A river boat captain can be a term used for any person in charge of a river boat whether that boat is carrying passengers of freight. The river boat captain determines the course and speed of the boat, based on weather, winds, tides, and the current of the river. The captain steers the boat and is in charge of the crew. The captain is the only representative of the ship's owner on the boat. The captain must know how to use buoys and light houses to navigate safely. The captain inspects the boat to make sure the passengers and crew follow the rules of safe operating of the boat. The captain is in charge of the safety of the passengers, crew, cargo, and the ship. The captain must be licensed by the U.S. Coast Guard. Depending on what the water-way the captain plans to operate on, the licensing will be for either steam or motor river boat. A person would need different qualifications for different places that they wanted to work for. Government agencies have different qualifications than other river boat companies. A person wanting to be a river boat captain would have to be knowledgeable on subjects related to the river, current, buoys, tides, locks, and dams. A river boat captain earns around 25,000 dollars per year.

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