[B] Good Afternoon Everyone!
Many of you may have heard that the Grandfathering option to upgrade your credential to a Master or Mate of Towing is open. This is true; it was part of the final rule on STCW published December 24, 2013. I confirmed the process requirements with NMC (National Maritime Center). The requirements to upgrade are as follows:
[li][B]Must have met the training and service requirements for towing vessels before 2001 – Basically, if you had a Masters license prior to 2001, you are eligible. If you had an OUPV or no license, you are not eligible. [/B][/li][li][B]Must have maintained a valid CG credential since that time [/B][/li][li][B]Demonstrate at least 90 days of towing service before May 21, 2001 – old sea service records or your old license file should work [/B][/li][li][B]Must complete at minimum the apprentice mate exam or have completed a superior exam – The superior exam would be a 200 T Master and above.[/B][/li][li][B]Demonstrate your proficiency in front of a Designated Examiner (DE). [/B][SIZE=2][B](yes, you need a tug/barge to borrow)[/B][/SIZE][/li][/ul]
[B]The stumbling blocks will be the exam and the DE for most of guys who did not upgrade prior to 2004 when the original grandfathering ended. That being said, for anyone wanting to do this now, it is possible. Sea School offers courses for apprentice mate if they prefer not to take the exam without the course. I know this because I am a DE and do many TOAR’s for them when asked.
The NVIC providing guidance for the implementation of the STCW regulations of which this is a part, is available on the NMC website for those who want to read the guidance. (A NVIC is a guide for CG that explains the regulation.) There will be a checklist “Grandfathering for National Master and Mate of Towing” on the NMC website by March 24. After discussion with NMC personnel, it may be worthwhile to wait for the checklist as it guides the mariner through the process more easily. It is written and being reviewed by CG Headquarters now. It is not necessary to wait for the checklist.
The benefit of knowing a DE is they have the ability to train your captains and complete their TOARs so they too may obtain a Master of Towing if they so desire. Keep in mind, a Master of Towing is not needed to do assistance towing. It is needed if you want to move anything without an engine on the water.
For those wondering about the Master of Towing Utility credential that created the bridge from our credential to a Master of Towing credential and allowed towing of work floats, docks and other small floating items, it was removed from the final rule and will be discussed again at TSAC (Towing Safety Advisory Committee) in March.
This is brought to you strictly for informational purposes. Where you go is your choice. The above institution has been doing this superbly for 37 years, be sure to research your options carefully.[/B]