Does anyone know if there is such a thing as a list of Designated Examiners for completing the TOAR? If such a list does not exist, anyone have any recommendations for finding a DE somewhere in Louisiana? Thanks in advance!
Each company has their own list. When I did mine I called the USCG and they emailed me a list of Captains from my company. The letter of approval for a DE is only good for 2 years. So you will find a lot of captains that tell you they got it and when you send it in the USCG will deny your TOAR cause their letters must be valid at the time they signed your TOAR.
As far as a master list I have never seen one! But never looked for one ether!
PR-9, thanks for the info. I didnt realize the DE letters were only good for 2 years. Guess once I find one I need to check the designation date. My problem is that I am active duty CG and have been running CG tug/barge cutters for the last 9 years, and trying to play the licensing game for when I retire. Guess what the Cg doesnt have: any DE’s of their own. So it is an uphill battle every step of the way.
Actually this is more problematic that it first appears.
I have had three guys who I signed either a TOAR or RFPNW evals off for get denied because Uncle Sams Confused Group won’t recognize my DE status.
When I send in a copy of my USCG approved (valid) DE letter then some how they agree that I am approved. It would appear that the evaluators (at least the initial, civilian ones) either are being trained to ‘deny’ don’t look too deep, or are just ignorant to begin with.
I realize they deal with hundred of papers a day, but sheesh, How hard can it be to spell my name, and enter one of their own database to find me. Obviously once I send the copy of THEIR paper they issued I am found. But I wonder how many guys just give up either out of frustration or ignorance that it is the applicant who needs to keep up on the USCG, not the other way around!
[QUOTE=Robert Johnson;57685]PR-9, thanks for the info. I didnt realize the DE letters were only good for 2 years. Guess once I find one I need to check the designation date. My problem is that I am active duty CG and have been running CG tug/barge cutters for the last 9 years, and trying to play the licensing game for when I retire. Guess what the Cg doesnt have: any DE’s of their own. So it is an uphill battle every step of the way.[/QUOTE]
Unless you have worked IN the REC or at NMC I don’t see how your time in the CG would help make you a viable ‘license consultant.’ There are several ex coasties out there doing this who spent the last tour (or three) in REC’s and really boned up on this stuff. And honestly, you would be on here answering questions, instead of asking them if you had the requisite experience!
Are you licensed (USCG Master or Mate) already? You should look into the status of your USCG authorization (I forget what the actual acronym is) to be a coxswain or OOW on USCG vessels, but it IS NOT valid on commercial vessels after you get out. You have to actually sit for, pass, and take classes that meet the USCG requirements that all the rest of us have to meet in order to get these licenses. Even some of the BST, firefighting, BRM, and other classes that YOU have had to do your job IN the CG are NOT valid to use to qualify to apply to even sit for a license!
The USCG is really screwed up. too many divisions, subdivisions and sectors all competing to ‘be in charge!’ Then when someone (like you) who is actually doing the same thing ‘inside’ comes out, you must re test, take more classes, and do more training, since the CG does not recognize it’s own training as ‘meeting the standards’ that the civilian side must meet!
I don’t see where he said anything about being a license consultant or otherwise earning this reply…
cappy208…I think you may have misunderstood things along the way.
I currently have a 100 Ton Master License, and am working on upgrading that. In addition, I am looking to get a 200 Ton Master Towing license. That is proving to be problematic at best. I have been the OIC of CG tub/barge cutters for the last 9 years, but am still required to complete the TOAR in order to start applying for the various levels of commercial towing licenses, leading up to Master. The CG does not have any DE’s of their own, and it is proving difficult to locate a current DE in or near Louisiana in order to try and get the TOAR signed off.
I did answer this both ways, but the statement “Licensing Game” sounds similar to what these other coastie retirees do as an income supplement.
Maybe I read that wrong, but I did answer if it is the other way ( He just wants to get a license)
I would be surprised if it weren’t the first though. It is a lucrative gig, selling your experience to wade through the bureaucratic BS the CG spews out, which doesn’t even apply to it’s own members!
I am just not impressed with Government. Any of it. It is more interested in self perpetuating itself than actually making progress in any sector.
Sorry to have jumped… If you have time to get a 500 ton go that route. The apprentice tow license takes 6 months longer to get, both in seatime and time as 'apprentice, ON your apprentice license, and not making mates pay.
You already have a 100 ton, so you show at least one year seatime. get your seatime documented before you get out. I forget the form, (I think it’s not just a DD214 but a creditable sea service letter) but ask around so you get the right one, signed BY the supervisor who SAW you do the job, and hopefully you have time on vessels over 100 tons, to qualify for 500/1600 ton master. Once you get ‘A license greater than 200 tons’ it is really easy to get a ‘30 day wonder’ TOAR to go mate (or Captain if you are qualified.) To get a TOAR with a ‘Not more than 200 ton’ license takes 5 years seatime. That would be hard to get I would imagine.
Just so you know, the industry almost exclusively hires only 1600 ton mate/masters now. Some of the smaller or more desperate companies hire from the 200 ton pool, but most of the reputable ones don’t.
Believe me, after living it for 28 years seeing all the changes in policy and procedures, I feel your pain towards government and bureaucracy. Hell of a way to run a railroad, isnt it?
Currently, I have just over 14 years sea time, all of it on vessels over 100 tons, and the last 9 years of sea time being on a tow vessel. When I retire in two years (with an aditional 2 years overall sea time and 2 more years towing), everything will most definately be documented on a DD-214, as well as on a Transcript of Sea Service form (TOSS). I am also in the process of getting the commercially recognized schools to fulfill the requirements for my 500 ton Master. With the way the current towing license requirements and steps are, it is looking more and more like you are correct in that the way to go is get a 500 Ton license then do the quick and dirty “30 day wonder” for a Master Tow license. Either way, it still comes down to finding a DE that is current and recognized by the NMC to observe and then sign off the TOAR.
Thanks for the heads up about the 1600 ton being the sought level as opposed to a 200 ton license.
Some of the smaller or more desperate companies hire from the 200 ton pool, but most of the reputable ones don’t.[/QUOTE]
Oh sheisse, there I go again, putting out my opinion again. just shoot me!
Have you found the marine topics section and the subfolder marine training and licensing?
I havent really explored the forums too much, but that sounds like a good topic and subfolder to check out this evening
Use the search function. Lots of info here.
Also, there is a bit of confusion about DEs. Unless at an accredited school, a DE letter authorizing the holder to be a DE ONLY applies to the vessel ( or companies vessels) for the evaluations to be valid. I have heard from the grapevine that guys are ‘travelling around’ hiring themselves out to be DEs for sale. I believe this hasn’t quite been hashed out yet at NMC. Don’t get caught short. Your dilemma will be to find a place that will hire you as a deckhand, and let you train all WITH a DE to sign you off. I don’t know of any companies in this economy that hire potential mates to pay you just to train. If you find one to work at on your free time you better keep it a secret, cause ‘that’ place will be swamped!
Just so you know, the industry almost exclusively hires only 1600 ton mate/masters now. Some of the smaller or more desperate companies hire from the 200 ton pool, but most of the reputable ones don’t.[/QUOTE]
Wow, tons of great info on the 500T sub-forum.
I have been contemplating the possibility of finding a “local” fleeting towboat company that has a DE, and see if I can broker some sort of deal to ride with them as my schedule permits, doing the training and eval for TOAR with them that way. I am thinking that it works well for my flexible work schedule, would not require tracking down a tow somewhere along its trip then having to figure out how to hop off and get a ride back to work or home, has actual hands-on experience with a variety of scenarios and would be legitimate training and evaluation, and not cost the tow company any salary or benefits. Just one of the ideas how to make things happen since there is no DE for the CG.
I’m not sure how the Coast Guard works, but from what I can tell the dept of veteran affairs no longer supplies transcripts of sea service for Navy time. Ironically at the beginning of the military sea service chapter of the Marine Safety Manual they stipulate transcripts as the only valid documentation of sea service, and then at the end of the chapter they admit that the VA doesn’t provide the transcripts anymore. I managed to slip by using fitreps and a letter from my captain, but the captain’s letters are specifically called out as invalid. Same with the DD 214…Anyways the question now what is the exact piece of paper do sailors need to provide to show proof of the number of sea days?
Ok my fingers are getting tired, but I do have a solution. The VA does issue military records on CD, which is basically every significant piece of documentation signed and scanned into PDFs. All the relevant data is there including ship and duty assignments. The NMC should use these as the baseline with captain’s letters to cover any gaps, ie number of days standing a bridge watch. The CDs could also be presented at any REC and the relevant files pulled right there. Ok I’m done.
Luckily, the CG has an official form for Transcript of Sea Service, so as long as active duty, it is no problem getting one.
I really like your idea of a CD with all pertinent data and form loaded on it as pdf’s. Sure would simplify things. Oh wait…we are talking about the govt. Scratch anything that may simplify a process.
This is about the towing industry.
I said ‘small OR desperate’ I didn’t say ‘small and desperate’… there is a difference.
If you doubt it, check with ANY of the companies who move over 75k bbl petroleum barges. I can give you a short list off the top of my head.
Bouchard, Crowley, OSG, Penn, Morania, Reinauer, K-Sea/Kirby, Moran, Vane, Andrie, and more i can’t recall right now. KSea ate up a HUGE amount of companies who hired almost exclusively from the 200 ton pool. But their official company policy is New hires = 1600 ton (maybe even ocean.)
I remember seeing a pamphlet put out by Texaco in the '80’s. They were bragging that “All their Masters had ‘at least’ a 1000 ton license at Texaco.” I remember talking with my Captain at the time (he was a Texaco alumni) about this. He said that “Only Texaco has that crazy idea, it will never go anywhere else!” I wish he was wrong. Now all these oil companies want 1600 ton oceans as a minimum to push their oil around.
Inland river work would NEVER hire a mate off the street anyway, too much knowledge is needed for a newbie to stand a watch in river current, traffic and equipment.
True, sorry I miss read that.
[QUOTE=PR-9;57684]… The letter of approval for a DE is only good for 2 years. So you will find a lot of captains that tell you they got it and when you send it in the USCG will deny your TOAR cause their letters must be valid at the time they signed your TOAR. [/QUOTE]
DE approvals have been good for 5 years since 2008. As that was more than 2 years ago, all current approvals are valid for 5 years.
There is no published list of approved DEs. The reason was to protect the priovacy of the DE and to shield them from unwanted contact, usually at home. Requesting to be a DE is not consent to publishing their contact information, usually at home. However, it is possible for opne to serve as a mate or master on a towing vessel without having the endorsement in your MMC, you can hold a 500 GRT or greater license and carry a completed TOAR and proof of sea service. So there is a need for companies to be able to verify the mate or master they hire has TOAR signed by an approved DE and thus is authorized to work on a towing vessel. The Towing Safety Advisory Committee has made a recommendation to this effect and the Coast Guard will consider it. Previous requests for DE info focused on being able to contact the DE, and as noted above, that was determined to violate provacy laws. The situation I described is a legitimate need, and we will consider if it can be accommodated and while continuin to protect the DE’s privacy rights.