Ombugge was trying to say that the certificates were meeting the definition of “minimum safe manning” because allegedly minimum safe manning means the minimum crew to safely navigate the vessel (I used to think that too). I was pointing out that no, that is not what minimum safe manning means, which then means that the manning certificates are not up to the definition. Those regulations do not stop the regulators from caving to owner pressure, even the USCG.
There is also a need for some redundancy in manning in case some gets hurt or is sick.
We have two radars, two steering pumps, two generators, and two of a lot of things in case one fails. If you run a six man tug and one breaks an ankle, you can get by with 5 men. If you run the same boat with 4 men (which the silly USCG either allows or looks the other way on), then you really have a crisis if one man goes down. Yet, many companies run with 4 men. Subchapter M has failed to address this.
This topic started with the master and two mates on a 20,000 vessel. It could be on a transoceanic passage. One watch keeper is incapacitated so we are down to two watch keepers who also have to provide medical care. The same safe manning certificate also listed chief engineer and second engineer only.
If one was incapacitated the other would be a very busy lad. Do they think it’s just like a truck where you turn the key and it runs.
It must be, they’ll all be automated soon.