Author Archive | Staff

Polar Training

CG-CVC Policy Letter 01-16 provides guidelines for the training of personnel on vessels subject to the International Code for Ships Operating in Polar Waters (Polar Code).  “Polar Waters” are defined as including the Arctic and Antarctic.  The latter are defined as follows: Antarctic Waters are those waters south of 60° South. Arctic Waters means those waters […]

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Testing

There continues to be some confusion as to what modules mariners take for their examinations.  The confusion comes about because there are two sets of modules for examinations.  Which modules show up on an examination depends on when the mariner began his or her career.  For mariners whose qualifying sea-time began before March 24, 2014, […]

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Update to Pay.gov

February 6, 2016: The site for paying credential fees, Pay.gov, has been significantly updated.  Mariners will now be able to pay for multiple transactions, for example officer and ratings endorsements, on a single page.  To get to the NMC site, go to “Find an Agency” and click under “H,” for “Homeland Security: US Coast Guard, […]

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Medical Waivers

February 18, 2015:  Notice of Proposed Policy Clarification The Coast Guard asked for public comment on policy clarification of several conditions warranting medical waivers.  The three conditions in question are cardiomyopathy, diabetes mellitus and obstructive sleep apnea.  The proposed policy further specifies that narcolepsy, idiopathic hypersomnia and other hypersomnias of central origin are medically disqualifying […]

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Oilers & Time-and-a-Half

This Final Rule amends the Coast Guard’s merchant mariner manning regulations to align them with statutory changes made by the Howard Coble Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation Act of 2014. The Act allows oilers serving on certain offshore support vessels, towing vessels, and barges to be divided into at least two watches. This change increases […]

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Mind the STCW Gap-(Closing)

STCW deadlines have arrived for STCW-credentialed mariners as well as mariners renewing their credentials.  As of January 1, 2017, mariners will have had to update their credentials (“close the gaps”) to continue sailing under the authority of STCW 2010.  However, for those who could not meet that deadline, all is not lost.  While the STCW […]

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Submitting Applications

January 8, 2016: In an announcement today, NMC emphasizes that Credential and Medical applications MUST be submitted to the Regional Examination Center and not directly to the National Maritime Center or any Coast Guard Office.  The applications may be submitted by mail, by fax, in person or, preferably, electronically.  Applications submitted directly to NMC “may” be […]

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“Recency” & Military Personnel

October 16, 2015: CG-CVC Policy Letter No. 15-03 significantly changes the “recency” requirements for uniformed service personnel.  Effective immediately, National Officer endorsements will be issued to otherwise eligible applicants who have 90 days of qualified service on vessels of the uniformed services within the 7-year period immediately preceding application.  This change only applies to applicants […]

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NMC Status Update Emails

The automated emails mariners receive in response to submitted applications have been changed to provide greater clarity and to distinguish between Credential and Medical applications.  In the past, the generic content of these initial emails (“awaiting information”) had been the source of confusion and concern. The email includes the applicant’s Mariner Reference Number and Application […]

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Whelps

It is hard to imagine the pleasure of drinking wine being diminished by not knowing the name of the indentation in the bottom of the wine bottle.  And plenty of shoes have been successfully tied by people who do not know the name of the thingamajig at the end of a shoelace.  It’s the same […]

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Wind Driven Current

A wind continuing for an extended period of time will generate a current, the speed of which will depend on the speed of the wind and which will, unless deflected by some other cause, set to the right of the wind direction in the northern hemisphere and to the left in the southern hemisphere. Most, […]

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Red to the Error

Candidates for licenses over 200 GT may be asked questions about how to make certain compass adjustments. Today we’ll fiddle with the magnets in the trays housed inside the compass binnacle. These magnets, each of which has a red end and a blue end, travel in pairs. Some of the magnets are aligned fore-and-aft, others […]

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