John Melcher

John Melcher

Second Assistant Marine Engineer of Steam or Motor Vessels, Any Horsepower


  • I am continuously exploring and seeking professional and/or non-professional opportunities that encourage us to further develop our skills, enhance our experience, promote mutually beneficial relationships; and in general, any opportunity seeking to affect the outcome in a positive way.

Profile and Personal Statement

  • As an officer and marine engineer, I am responsible for the safe and reliable operation of all shipboard machinery. I use information, critical thinking, experience and tools to prevent and solve problems. 
  • In addition to these specialized marine engineering skills, I am capable of contributing to any organization in other, yet equally significant ways. 
  • I strive to remain intentionally focussed and aware of the organization’s and/or ship’s primary mission at all times. This requires deliberate filtering, identification, prioritizing and execution of the specific actions necessary to fulfill the predetermined goals and objectives. 
  • I believe the most effective way for an organization to reach its maximum potential is to create and maintain a positive, pro-active and encouraging culture; to acknowledge that each crew member’s role is essential; and to respect them accordingly. I believe the most effective method of training is "by example."
  • I generally assume that most issues, dilemmas and/or problems have been previously confronted and probably addressed; and the appropriate preventative measure, corrective action, solution, law, policy, practice or tradition has been documented and made available; and retrieving the specific information in a timely manner is itself a valuable skill. 
  • I am also aware that there are specific moments when a problem must be confronted immediately, and hesitating or attempting to find an “ideal” solution is not an option (potentially leading to catastrophic consequences).
  • I consider myself socially flexible and culturally aware - and capable of effectively communicating, working and personally identifying with anybody- at any level of an organization.
  • I believe leaders emerge (regardless of job title), not necessarily by replacing their team skills for a new skill set; but, by maintaining the same team skills in addition to demonstrating greater endurance, focus and stability over time and in situations involving inconvenient circumstances (as others trend toward stress, distraction and fatigue). 
  • I consider comfort, convenience and predictability to be effective tools for promoting and encouraging specific outcomes. I believe the more comfortable, convenient and predictable it is for people to behave in a particular way (such as wearing PPE- personal protective equipment), the more likely it is that people will act in the preferred way. 
  • However, discomfort, inconvenience and uncertainty are a part of daily life and should not be avoided simply for the sake of avoiding them; nor should we be agitated or overwhelmed when events unfold differently than assumed. 
  • I acknowledge that organizations (profit and no-for-profit) survive over time by continuously increasing value (profit) and reducing costs; and, by understanding that maintaining existing relationships with stakeholders is almost always more efficient and financially prudent than having to replace them. 
  • Most significantly, I am aware that our professional and personal quality of life is absolutely dependent upon- individually and collectively- our ability to remain safe and maintain physical wellness and mental health.

Work History

Work History

Assistant Marine Engineer - Various Vessels

Tidewater Marine
  • Served on various Off-shore Supply Vessels (OSVs) and Platform Supply Vessels (PSVs) serving the off-shore drilling rigs and platforms in the Gulf of Mexico
  • In addition to assisting chief engineer in all operation and maintenance of machinery - also participated in all transfers of water, fuel, oil and various drilling lubricants (mud) from shore to ship, and from ship to rig/platform
  • Assisted deck department with all deck operations as necessary (line handling, securing vessel, etc.)
  • Handled and delivered manifest to drilling rig (the customer) for cargo delivered, often in excess of $1 million per transit 
Mar 2010 - Present

Third & Second Assistant Engineer - CS Global Sentinel

Tyco SubCom (Transoceanic Cable Ship Company)
  • CS Global Sentinel (Portland, Oregon)
  • Maintain cable ship in a state of readiness to immediately respond to sub-marine fiber optic cable breaks in Northern Pacific between North America and Hawaii; provide scheduled cable maintenance and surveys as necessary
  • Specific responsibilities include watch-standing while at sea, serving as duty and security engineer while in port, operation and maintenance of potable water system including salt-water distillers and ultra-violet sanitizers, sewage collection and treatment system, bilge system and waste oil/water (slops) management, lube oil systems, lifeboat and lifesaving equipment; assisting Chief Engineer and First Engineer in the operation and maintenance of all other machinery; assisting Chief Electrician as needed
  • Participate in all cable operations (operating hydraulic cable drums used for raising and/or lowering fiber optic cable to/from ship and sea floor)
  • Cable experience includes survey and repair of telecommunication cables, and repair and maintenance of underwater scientific observatory cables (MARS, NEPTUNE)
Aug 2008 - Mar 2010

Third Assistant Marine Engineer - MV Pacific Collector

Interocean American Shipping
  • MV Pacific Collector (Portland, Oregon)
  • U.S. government owned ship; managed by U.S. Maritime Administration (NDRF/RRF)
  • Ship's mission is to serve Missile Defense Agency by tracking missile and/or interceptor during test launches collecting telemetric data 
  • Specific responsibilities include operation and maintenance of potable water system including Nirex salt-water distillers, sewage collection and treatment system, bilge system and waste water management, lube oil system, and assist first engineer in the operation and maintenance of all other machinery
  • Assist contractors and MDA employees as needed
Nov 2005 - Aug 2008

Third Assistant Marine Engineer - MV Cape Hudson

Pacific-Gulf Marine, Inc.
  • MV Cape Hudson (San Francisco, California)
  • U.S. government owned ship; managed by U.S. Maritime Administration 
  • Roll-on Roll-of vessel in the Ready Reserve Force (RRF) with reduced crew while in stand-by (Reduced Operating Status - ROS); maintained in a state of readiness as to be at Full Operating Status (FOS) in five days or less
  • Specific responsibilities include operation and maintenance of potable water system including Nirex salt-water distillers and ultra-violet sanitizers, sewage collection and treatment system, bilge system and waste water management, lube oil systems, lifeboat and lifesaving equipment; assist first engineer in the operation and maintenance of all other machinery



Bachelor of Science

Ferris State University

            Program Requirements

  • Associate of Applied Science Degree through Northwestern Michigan College with Bachelor of Science in Business Administration through Ferris State University
  • Preparation for business and managerial positions with shipping companies, shipyards, ports, civil service and non-maritime businesses. Graduates are uniquely qualified for management positions in and out the maritime industry, having a U.S. Coast Guard Merchant Marine officer’s license, a strong academic background in business and substantial field experience.
Sep 1998 - May 2003

Associate of Applied Science

Great Lakes Maritime Academy and Northwestern Michigan College

            Program Overview            Program Course Requirements

            Program Course Descriptions

            Sea Projects

  • Associate of Applied Science Degree through Northwestern Michigan College with Bachelor of Science in Business Administration through Ferris State University.
  • Academic and practical training for merchant marine officers and business professionals operating commercial ships of unlimited tonnage on the Great Lakes and oceans. Engineering officers are trained in operation and maintenance of auxiliary machinery and propulsion systems including diesel, diesel-electric and high-pressure steam turbine ships. Training also includes human resources, domestic and international regulation and compliance, and ship’s business as associated with managing all onboard equipment and mechanical aspects. Three sea projects (internships) totaling 270 days are required for program completion. 
  • Upon successful program completion, cadets are qualified to write the U.S. Coast Guard examination for licensing as a Third Assistant Engineer, Steam and Motor Vessels of any Horsepower; and are fully compliant with STCW '95 International Quality Standards. Graduates are also qualified to operate and maintain land-based power plant facilities. 


Mar 2010 - Mar 2015

Seafarer's Identification and Record Book

The Republic of the Marshall Islands Maritime Administrator
Nov 2008 - Nov 2013


United States Coast Guard
Nov 2008 - Nov 2013

Merchant Marine Officer's License

United States Coast Guard
Nov 2008 - Nov 2013

Merchant Mariner's Document

United States Coast Guard
Mar 2010 - Nov 2013

Merchant Marine Officer's License & STCW

The Republic of the Marshall Islands Maritime Administrator
Apr 2013


United States, Transportation Security Administration - Homeland Security



Safety, Emergency Response and Lifesaving Equipment

  No recorded or unrecorded personal workplace injuries to date after 13 years in the maritime industry  Participation in behavior-based safety program (correct and record unsafe practices as they occur, focus on identifying and minimizing high-risk behaviors) Strictly follow a company/organization's Safety Management System (SMS) (incident and risk management, compliance and legal requirements, audits, training and documentation)   Operate and maintain lifeboats and lifeboat engines Participation in fire, lifeboat and man overboard drills Respond and investigate fire alarms; operate and maintain fire alarm panel and detection system, including smoke and heat detector troubleshooting Proper and appropriate use of personal protective equipment (PPE) Strict adherence to Lock-Out/Tag-Out system and confined space entry procedures Use of gas & oxygen detectors; Competent Person Certification  

Bilge Systems and Waste Water Management

  Monitor bilge levels and pump as necessary Isolate bilge water from contaminated oil and sludge as much as practical Accurately report and record all transfers and tank levels; report total bilge and slop quantities daily Assist chief engineer with maintaining the Oil Record Book Minimize and/or eliminate bilge water and slops at their source Operate, maintain, troubleshoot and repair oily water separators, including Alfa-Laval centrifugal OWS systems. Operate, maintain and repair pipes, pumps and valves as scheduled or necessary Regularly test bilge "high level" alarms Participate in tank cleaning and ABS inspections Participate in discharge of slops to shore facilities; assume the Person In Charge (PIC) role when requested MARPOL Annex I and all other regulatory compliance  

Lube Oil Systems

  Monitor oil levels and consumption of all machinery; add oil as necessary; log accordingly Operate, maintain, troubleshoot and repair Alfa-Laval centrifugal purifiers Sample engine oil; test for water and other contaminants; record and report results As scheduled or necessary- Inspect and/or replace lube and hydraulic oil, including filters Participate in bunkering operations Participate in tank cleaning and ABS inspections Record and report oil inventory daily; assist chief engineer in maintaining Oil Record Book   

Communication Systems

  Communicate effectively and properly using shipboard systems; including telephone, sound-powered telephone, engine order telegraph, VHF radio and emergency signals Communicate effectively and properly using shore-based systems; including mobile phones, text messaging and email  

Microsoft Office

  Effectively use Word, Outlook and Excel applications Create interactive documents and spreadsheets (with formulas) for managing and sharing critical engine room data Created a spreadsheet for assistant engineers to record and monitor lube oil consumption of multiple engines over time, used by chief engineer and port engineer monthly for official documentation and long-term trend analysis (CS Global Sentinel). Created a spreadsheet for recording and monitoring potable water transfers and daily consumption, used by chief engineer, deck officers and Captain for official documentation (CS Global Sentinel)  

Computer Systems and Internet

  Operate and troubleshoot Microsoft Windows and Mac OS X operating systems  Maintain wired and wireless networks Search engines, cloud & mobile computing, internet security  

Potable Water Systems

  Knowledge and awareness of water sanitation and contamination Properly receive, transfer and store potable water Test for biological and chemical contamination Operate, maintain, troubleshoot & repair Alfa-Laval Nirex vacuum-type evaporator-distillers Operate, monitor, maintain and repair Sanitron ultra-violet sanitation systems   Log and record water consumed, received and/or made; report to senior deck and engine officers Participate in tank cleaning and ABS inspections

Marine Sanitation Devices (MSD)

  Operate, maintain, monitor, troubleshoot & repair  Red Fox and Hamworthy biological/enzyme-type treatment plants  Vacuum and gravity-type piping systems MARPOL Annex IV and all other regulatory compliance   

Diesel Engines- Overhaul & Repair

  Medium Speed: Wartsilla and EMD Slow Speed: Man B&W Complete disassembly, inspection, overhaul and reassembly; use of special tools including hydraulic jacking gear Replacement of lube oil coolers, cooling water pumps, cylinder heads, pistons, cylinder heads and bearings  

Diesel Engines- Operation & Maintenance

  Medium & High Speed: Wartsilla; Alco; MAK; Caterpillar; EMD; Detroit Diesel; Volvo;  and Saab Slow Speed: Man B&W Applications include propulsion engines; electrical generators; emergency generators; and lifeboat engines Operating skills include lining-up auxiliary systems; starting procedures including pre-lubrication, rolling-over and blowing down; running multiple engines in parallel; local and remote monitoring; responding to alarms and abnormalities; securing engines and auxiliary systems Maintenance skills include cleaning or replacing air, oil, water, and fuel filters/strainers; lubricating fuel injector racks and other external moving parts; water-washing turbo chargers; lube oil and cooling water sampling and testing   

Engine Room Watchstanding

  Strictly follow chief engineer's standing and night orders; in addition to all other official policies, rules, laws and regulations Act as chief engineer's representative in his absence while on watch Utilize, mentor and supervise unlicensed crew members; take responsibility for their safety and actions Start, stop and monitor all machinery locally and remotely from engine control room; make thorough rounds at regular intervals Use of Honeywell monitoring and alarm system  Operate switchboard; including propulsion, maneuvering and electrical distribution system; parallel generators  Respond to all abnormalities and emergencies Accurately record and sign official engine room logbook Maintain positive relationship with captain and deck officers; communicate with bridge as needed  Call for assistance when necessary  

Shipboard Resource Tracking and Managing Software

  Effective use of NS5, PCSAL and AMOS software applications Specific uses include tracking scheduled and unscheduled maintenance; writing component histories; recording machinery specifications and operating hours; and inventory control