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Ordinary Seaman Job Description A Ordinary Seaman stands deck department watches and performs variety of duties to preserve painted surfaces of ship and to maintain lines, running gear, and cargo-handling gear in safe operating condition: Watches from bow of ship or wing of bridge for obstructions in path of ship. Turns wheel while observing compass to steer and maintain ship on course. Mops or washes down deck, using hose, to remove oil, dirt, and debris. Chips and cleans rust spots from deck, superstructure, and sides of ship, using hand or air chipping hammer and wire brush. Paints chipped area. Splices wire rope, using marlinespike, wirecutters, and twine.