Flashing Light Requirements

Per my reading of the most current STCW requirements, the requirements for “visual signaling” have been relaxed to only needing single character codes and SOS. Is this the case? This clause specifying proficiency from page 54, Task 8.2.A of this USCG Circular was what caught my eye:

“Ability to transmit and receive, by Morse light, distress signal SOS and single-letter signals as specified in the International Code of Signals”

Tag for interest and an answer

from what we at CMA do I do not think it has been relaxed. Before this summers cruise all you needed was a 70% but this year it was bumped up to 80% on the test. this seems to be what were had to operate with http://deckskills.org/id166.html

That’s more or less what I’ve been seeing, but I can’t find any current official document that lays out the requirements beyond what I linked to above. Hoping that Mr. Cavo will see this and chime in.

[QUOTE=socalguy;172904]Per my reading of the most current STCW requirements, the requirements for “visual signaling” have been relaxed to only needing single character codes and SOS. Is this the case? This clause specifying proficiency from page 54, Task 8.2.A of this USCG Circular was what caught my eye:

“Ability to transmit and receive, by Morse light, distress signal SOS and single-letter signals as specified in the International Code of Signals”[/QUOTE]

This isn’t much of an official answer, but the NMC checklists don’t include Flashing Light as a requirement for renewal anymore. Looks like they axed it, which is fine by me. It was a BS competency anyways, everyone did a complete brain dump 5 minutes after the test and you’re lying if you say otherwise.

That’s more or less what I’ve been seeing

[QUOTE=socalguy;172904]Per my reading of the most current STCW requirements, the requirements for “visual signaling” have been relaxed to only needing single character codes and SOS. Is this the case? This clause specifying proficiency from page 54, Task 8.2.A of this USCG Circular was what caught my eye:

“Ability to transmit and receive, by Morse light, distress signal SOS and single-letter signals as specified in the International Code of Signals”[/QUOTE]

The December 2013 rulemaking for STCW 2010 removed this requirement for original issue and every upgrade of an unlimited national endorsement (license). However, the STCW competemncy standards for Officer in Charge of a Navigational Watch (Table A-II/1) specify the competence you cited. So it cannot be eliminated entirely. It is now a one-time only training requirement for an OICNW endorsement. Note that the courses are not required to assess ability to transmit, just receive. We are making the assumption that someone can competently receive can is at least miniomally competent to transmit.

Per 46 CFR 11.309(a)(4)(vi) a course is required. You cannot test from an REC or do a shipboard assessment.

Funny, when I was at leadership & managerial skills a guy who was getting ready to take chief mate classes and then sit for his upgrade exams paid the school to do flashing light “to get it out Of the way” while he was there so he could upgrade. Obviously he had OICNW sailing as 2nd mate on a drill ship. Doubt the schools will be happy to give that out, it must be quick easy cash for them.

Flashing light has prevented me from getting a “limited” 3rd mate, maybe I’ll apply for it on my next go knowing this. (Did it once already)

Yeah celestial nav I can probably struggle through. But the last time I tried to take flashing light I couldn’t get my brain to work fast enough to keep up with the blinker despite having memorized morse code.

Flashing Light was a joke when I took it at SeaSchool. A little memorization & was out in 2hrs. Take Celestial @ CMTI.

[QUOTE=yard_bird;172964] It was a BS competency anyways, everyone did a complete brain dump 5 minutes after the test and you’re lying if you say otherwise.[/QUOTE]

I remember being so stressed about flashing light, and I ended up flying through the test. I didn’t end up getting a mate’s license as I planned anyway, much to my chagrin. (ended up getting a lesser tonnage masters ticket instead)

As far as being a bs competency, as I’ve said before, its a good skill to have cause you never know when you may need to warn other vessels in your area of u-boats.

[QUOTE=jdcavo;172991]The December 2013 rulemaking for STCW 2010 removed this requirement for original issue and every upgrade of an unlimited national endorsement (license). However, the STCW competemncy standards for Officer in Charge of a Navigational Watch (Table A-II/1) specify the competence you cited. So it cannot be eliminated entirely. It is now a one-time only training requirement for an OICNW endorsement. Note that the courses are not required to assess ability to transmit, just receive. We are making the assumption that someone can competently receive can is at least miniomally competent to transmit.

Per 46 CFR 11.309(a)(4)(vi) a course is required. You cannot test from an REC or do a shipboard assessment.[/QUOTE]

Glad to hear it is only a one time deal now. Nevertheless (pardon my seeming obtuse), but I guess my question is- do the flashing light tests that the various schools administer now need only consist of sending SOS and various single letter signals (such as those on p.22 of PUB102)? If they are still using the old standard of groups of multiple character codes, on what basis do they do so?

For years the test was 6 words per minute. The last I heard, the test was 4 wpm. You can can jot down the dots and dashes and decipher from 102. Not much of a challenge.

[QUOTE=socalguy;173130]Glad to hear it is only a one time deal now. Nevertheless (pardon my seeming obtuse), but I guess my question is- do the flashing light tests that the various schools administer now need only consist of sending SOS and various single letter signals (such as those on p.22 of PUB102)? If they are still using the old standard of groups of multiple character codes, on what basis do they do so?[/QUOTE]

Did mine about two years ago, and sorry to say I don’t remember.
I remember there was two seperate tests, and both were 70% passing. One test involved pub 102.

[QUOTE=socalguy;173130]Glad to hear it is only a one time deal now. Nevertheless (pardon my seeming obtuse), but I guess my question is- do the flashing light tests that the various schools administer now need only consist of sending SOS and various single letter signals (such as those on p.22 of PUB102)? If they are still using the old standard of groups of multiple character codes, on what basis do they do so?[/QUOTE]

I don’t know what they are using, I’m not at NMC and normally don’t see course curricula. They should be able to use the new lesser requirement, [U]if they wish to do so and get approval from NMC to change their curricula[/U]. Schools aren’t giving a test, they are giving a course that includes a test, and have strict currculim requirements. They must thoroughly document their courses, and strictly adhere to the curiculum they submitted for approval (they can subsequiently modify, with NMC approval). So it’s quite possible many schools are using the old format because they haven’t bothered to update their curriculum. The Coast Guard sets minimum requirements, and schools may exceed them if they choose to, so there is no requirement for schools to chnage to a lesser requirement, they can continue to train to the old, higher standard.

[QUOTE=injunear;173137]For years the test was 6 words per minute. The last I heard, the test was 4 wpm. You can can jot down the dots and dashes and decipher from 102. Not much of a challenge.[/QUOTE]
That change was made in 2002. As I explained previously, it’s no longer a license requirement, and is now to meet STCW. STCW only requires recognition of single letters and SOS, and the ability to use the International Code of Signals. That latter requirement means there needs to be motre than just revceiving SOS and single letters. The courses need to have some way to assess familiarity with and ability to use the International Code of Signals.

currently CMA has two test combined 80% score first one is five sets of three random letters no pub 102 on this part then you take five either two or three character codes which you have to look up. I have the program we use I wish i could upload it for you guys.

[QUOTE=socalguy;173130]Glad to hear it is only a one time deal now. Nevertheless (pardon my seeming obtuse), but I guess my question is- do the flashing light tests that the various schools administer now need only consist of sending SOS and various single letter signals (such as those on p.22 of PUB102)? If they are still using the old standard of groups of multiple character codes, on what basis do they do so?[/QUOTE]
The MINIMUM standard the Coast Guard requires is described opage 18 of Enclosure (3) to NVIC 3-14. Schools may use a higher standard, and may continue to give their courses using the old standard. The “basis” for doing so is that the Coast Guard only sets minimum standards amd schools may exceed them if they wish to (on’t want to chnage their course).

[QUOTE=jdcavo;173258]I don’t know what they are using, I’m not at NMC and normally don’t see course curricula. They should be able to use the new lesser requirement, [U]if they wish to do so and get approval from NMC to change their curricula[/U]. Schools aren’t giving a test, they are giving a course that includes a test, and have strict currculim requirements. They must thoroughly document their courses, and strictly adhere to the curiculum they submitted for approval (they can subsequiently modify, with NMC approval). So it’s quite possible many schools are using the old format because they haven’t bothered to update their curriculum. The Coast Guard sets minimum requirements, and schools may exceed them if they choose to, so there is no requirement for schools to chnage to a lesser requirement, they can continue to train to the old, higher standard.

That change was made in 2002. As I explained previously, it’s no longer a license requirement, and is now to meet STCW. STCW only requires recognition of single letters and SOS, and the ability to use the International Code of Signals. That latter requirement means there needs to be motre than just revceiving SOS and single letters. The courses need to have some way to assess familiarity with and ability to use the International Code of Signals.[/QUOTE]

OK, so I’m upgrading to my Unlimited Master. I’ve taken the flashing light for 3/M, 2/M and last time for my C/M. With this new requirement, do I need to submit a new certificate for my Master?

[QUOTE=noefite;185278]OK, so I’m upgrading to my Unlimited Master. I’ve taken the flashing light for 3/M, 2/M and last time for my C/M. With this new requirement, do I need to submit a new certificate for my Master?[/QUOTE]

Sorry Hoss, but the answer is yes. It is required for all upgrades. It will be the last and most meaningless test you will ever take for the Coast Guard. Also the most fulfilling when you pass it.

Didnt jcavo say recently that he was involved in helping get rid of the requirement? or something to that effect? allegedly STCW only requires you do it once and this was an effort to continue getting in sync with STCW.

  1. (ADDED 07/07/14) Signaling (flashing light): Are mariners upgrading to national endorsements of unlimited tonnage required to complete flashing light? This requirement is not in 46 CFR 11.401 (h) in the final rule. When will mariners need to complete signaling?[B] Mariners seeking national deck officer endorsements do not need to complete a signaling course. However, mariners should be aware that there may be questions concerning visual signaling on national endorsement examinations. Mariners qualifying for a national endorsement under the grandfathering provisions do not need to meet the requirements of the old 46 CFR 11.401(h).[/B]