A former shipmate was just denied his Master’s license because of a new U.S. requirement to have 6 months of sea time on a “conventional ship” other than a MODU. It also requires 6 months of “conventional ship” sea time between 2/m and c/m. Same for 1a/e and C/E. It was part of the same Federal Register that finalized the new red book license last year. Somehow I missed that section when reviewing it, at the time. I know other countries do this, Canada included, but I don’t see it in STCW.
The consequences of this are huge. Companies will no longer be able to grow their own Chief Mates and Captains. Many operators were reluctant to pay for the Chief Mate training before. Why would they pay for Second Mates to go to school now (when they found out about this), if they have to leave to get sea time? Where will we get Chief Mates, Captains, 1a/e’s, and Chiefs from, with drilling experience?
I don’t want want to get into a debate about if this is a good idea or not. The final rule is already published. What I’m curious about is how will we manage this as an industry?