COVID-19 effects on Mariners; Training, Paperwork, etc

Well I had my Radar, my BST, and my Advanced FF renewal classes canceled and rescheduled for April (Unless they cancel them again). Has anyone else had any canceled classes or exams? How are the NMC and RECs addressing this? Its almost time for my renewal and I’m concerned it will screw with getting things submitted on time.

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Got this email yesterday, fwiw:

Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) and Mariner Credentialing Program Impacts

The National Maritime Center (NMC) is closely monitoring the COVID-19 pandemic and, as the situation evolves, is prepared to adjust operations accordingly.

First and foremost, we are concerned for your safety and the safety of our staff. If you are experiencing any symptoms of illness, including any symptoms of flu or COVID-19, please seek the appropriate medical attention and postpone any planned visits to a Regional Examination Center (REC) or Monitoring Unit (MU). You may cancel or reschedule any REC appointment by contacting NMC’s Customer Service Center at 1-888-IASKNMC. This includes appointments for application submission, payment of fees associated with an application, or appointments for examinations.

During this time of heightened concern and to minimize public exposure risks the following guidance is provided.

  • For improved service and security, mariners should use electronically submit application materials. Guidance on electronic submission and REC/MU e-mail addresses are located at

  • User Fees may be paid electronically with a credit card or with a check by visiting If you make an electronic payment, include a copy of your receipt with your application. You may also submit a check with your application by mail.

  • Visit to view the latest updates, to download and complete application forms, and view additional credentialing guidance.

Mariner training providers are encouraged to follow recommended guidelines ( to minimize potential exposure risks for staff and students. The NMC will work with training providers on a case-by-case basis to implement temporary measures, such as distance learning capabilities, to ensure flexibility in the schedule and delivery of training while maintaining the standards contained in course approvals. Questions and requests for temporary approval of alternative delivery methods should be addressed to or 304-433-3720. The NMC will make every effort to respond to your requests within two business days.

In the event of facility closures and related operational shutdowns, the NMC will enact measures to minimize any negative impacts to our customers. We recognize that these issues will affect the maritime industry and we plan to provide as much assistance as possible, to ensure that applications are processed in a timely manner.

If you have any questions or concerns, contact the NMC Customer Service Center by e-mailing, or by calling 1-888-IASKNMC (427-5662).


/K. R. Martin/

Kirsten R. Martin

Captain, U.S. Coast Guard

Commanding Officer


Who cancelled the classes, the training facility, or your company?

I have a class at MPT scheduled for 3/22 and have not seen an update on their website since 3/2 in regards to the Virus. B

The training facility canceled the classes.

I don’t see how the CG have any other choice but to automatically grant blanket time extensions until the situation stabilizes. It’s either that or start a messy chain of events.


Son just finished radar renewal yesterday in a major East Coast port. Has another class next week…Maybe, Probably not. Most of the City, Federal and State operations have shut down. Containers and oil are still moving.

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Agree Lee- Shore

Which facility was this?

Mid Atlantic Maritime Academy . Website says as of today they remain open and taking precautions… We will see what happens as this giant ass problem progresses.

Italian hospitals are triaging patients as of the 11th.

Aren’t radar renewals no longer necessary?

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For most mariners, but you still need the basic safety refresher and the firefighting refresher to renew most big licensees.

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As an SSO officer in Naval reserves and to renew his 3rd Mate Unlimited, it is required, among a few other things. Glad Navy is paying for it. Going thru the channels to get reimbursed in a timely manner is a whole different subject.

Those are for STCW, and if you don’t immediately need STCW, you can let it lapse and renew in the future with whjatever the renewal requirements are when you renew. For the foreseeable future, that would be the same as now. DO NOT LET YOUR LICENSE LAPSE BECAUSE YOU HAVEN’T TAKEN THE STCW COURSES, Renewing the STCW at a later date will be fairly easy, renewing your license more than a year after it expires will not be.

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This is true, the problem I think I’m going to be in is renewing my license. I have to take BST and AFF renewal which require you to have currently valid BST and AFF. In theory I could just let it expire and take take the BST-Original, and AFF-Original. But they are almost twice as expensive and a greater time commitment. I have to pay for it on my own, and take time off from work since I work shore side as a project manager/safety manager at a shipyard. Still want to keep my license though, because you never know when you might need it.

Seafarers signing on\off ships in ports around the world are also affected by Covid-19 restrictions imposed by various authorities and countries:

Would like to update regarding Radar renewal. Because my son hadn’t sailed in the last few years because of a health issue, Radar was needed. Had he been able to sail regularly, would not be required. He is at the school I mentioned beforehand getting lifeboat and other STCW refreshers to qualify for license renewal. Navy Reserves SSO is paying him a daily rate of pay for his rating to attend the classes, but aren’t paying for the the class itself…The school is still open as of today. Hope this clears up some questions. Agree with Mr Cavo, DO NOT LET YOUR LICENSE EXPIRE.

You can also let radar observer expire if you do not need it and restore it at any time in the future by taking a radar class. Also, until 2024 you can be qualified as a radar observer without having the endorsement in your MMC provided you carry the course certificate, so if you renew without radar now, you will not need to re-apply (until 2024) to add the endorsement to your MMC. See 46 CFR 15.815(d).

Mr Cavo, Thanks for your more than welcome responses to the mariners on this site. Navy told him to get it, necessary or not, he wasn’t taking any chances. Renewal is the key, whether he sails again or not.

I thought we didn’t need to renew radar anymore ?