Marine Safety Officer

The South African coastline is advantageously positioned along some of the world’s most important sea trading routes that are used to transport over 96% of the country’s imports and exports. An important consideration and responsibility is ensuring the safe and responsible operation of seafaring vessels and the health and safety of all mariners during these operations.

Marine safety officers inspect all parts of a vessel to ensure compliance with health and safety standards and regulations. They check the functionality, availability and supply of firefighting and lifesaving devices and equipment. They often train operating crew on safety procedures and drills and conduct interviews to evaluate whether correct procedures are followed in the case of emergencies. They further inspect for potential environmental hazards.

Marine safety officers work on board boats and shipping vessels with crew members as part of a team. They can work in dangerous environments, demanding long working hours.


Marine safety officers need to have a very good understanding of the maritime standards, rules and regulations that govern occupational health and safety on board shipping vessels. They will further benefit from: 

  • Creative problem-solving ability 
  • Safety conscious and be able to stay calm in emergencies
  • Strong organisational competence
  • Excellent interpersonal and communication skills


Inspect processing, transport, handling and storage areas on vessels

Advise all crew members on the rules and regulations of the occupational health and safety on the ship

Inspect all safety components, addressing default or missing equipment   

Investigate and report on emergency cases, accidents or incidents


Diploma and Advanced Diploma in Nautical or Marine Studies at CPUT and DUT

Marine safety officers can also benefit from a Certificate in Ship Safety offered at Grindrod Shipping and Training Academy, Project Maritime Training and Sea Safety Training Group.


Commercial and small-scale fishing companies.

Private charter fishing companies.

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