Has a specific STCW clause or wording for a maintainer endorsement or course come into effect very recently? My certificate simply states Radio Operator - Valid for service on vessels operating in the Global Maritime Distress & Safety System (GMDSS). I hold an FCC issued General Radio Operator’s Certificate and GMDSS Operator/Maintainer.
The wording in B-IV/2 “Training related to maintenance of GMDSS installations onboard ships” (STCW.6/Circ 1 page 208) states that “The person designated to perform functions for at-sea electronic maintenance must hold an appropriate certificate as specified by the Radio Regulations or have equivalent at-sea electronic maintenance qualifications.” The document then goes on to outline what constitutes equivalency.
The way I read this is if you hold an STCW Radio Operator qualification valid for GMDSS and also hold a GMDSS maintainer certificate issued by your national radio licensing authority that is recognized by the ITU then you meet the STCW requirements.
Further perusal of the FCC regs shows that you don’t even need a GMDSS operator’s license to be a maintainer. A maintainer cannot operate the GMDSS equipment but he/she can repair it. The STCW makes no mention of having to be an operator either, it just states the certification or the equivalent electronic experience that must be held by the person filling the maintainer slot, as if such a slot even exists or ever will.
But then again, I don’t often read much of anything the same way the CG does.