Haven't seen any discussion yet on the just implemented medical NVIC 04-08

find it and its appendices here :
so this will obviously cut two ways…
As a master, I am grateful to not face continually having crewmembers who are high risk for medivacs or who could not save themselves in a serious emergency let alone participate in saving the ship but…
as I get older, I see how difficult it might become to continue to go to keep my license. We all get older and need meds…I guess it will be an added reason to work hard to stay in shape which is never a bad thing so perhaps not so terrible afterall.
It all boils down to how hard the USCG Medical Examiners are going to be in screening the applications. If they are going to be like the FAA then there are going to be a whole lot of mariners over 55 forced to retire.

Norleen’s got some comments on her blog.
If I read the NVIC correctly, your doctor has become like the RECs have. He collects the medical history, checks your eyesight, color vision, hearing, etc etc. and fowards the results to NMC. Your personal doctor no longer can determine your fitness to sail, that will be decided by a faceless desk jockey in Virginia. That, I find preposterous, and so does my physician.
That being said, I checked it out for how it would affect me, quickly approaching my fifties, and all my conditions are waiverable. A little more work for me and my doctor, but I’m not worried by it.
EVERY mariner absolutely needs to thoroughly familiarize him/herself with this NVIC. It will most definitely have a major impact on the folks in this industry. We cannot afford to be uninformed about policy anymore, and as the son of a retired airline captain, I see we in the maritime field are fast approaching the same level of scrutiny that my father faced in his career. He obsessed about his health becuase there were so many things that could cause him to lose his ATP license. Now us sailors, traditionally an slovenly and unhealthy bunch, will come to learn what that is all about. Too bad the USCG hasn’t seen fit to take the NTSB’s “most wanted list” advice and get to work on the human factors side of things with regard to fatigue and SLEEP. While the new medical standards, a direct reaction to the Staten Island Ferry tragedy, now hold us to a higher standard, the Coast Guard continues to bow to pressure from the industry allowing us to work six and six watches for sometimes months on end. When my dad was flying, he could only be in the cockpit 72 hours per month. I logged 360 hours my last 30 day hitch, most of those hours on watch in the pilothouse, all by myself. And there were, of course, hours unlogged so as not to violate the sacred twelve hour rule. So, USCG, hold us to near-aviation medical standards but don’t give us the sleep we need. Makes no sense to me.

Well said!!! Capt_Anonymous

Do like i did LIE!!

Yeah, that will work great until you run a container ship into a bridge…

There was one discussion and a blog post:



So, I just recently completed (11/24) what was billed as the ‘new’ physical exam.
I confess to wondering what the hullaballo was all about as it was as painfull/painless as any other.
There WAS a large packet of papers to fill out but they were for the most part the same papers I would have filled out, it just would have been done in the office versus doing them ahead of time. I am about 30 to 50 lbs overweight, BMI wasn’t even a topic of conversation. He (Dr.) watched me attempt to touch my toes and do a deep knee bend. No follow-on comments just an affirmative signature on my Boarding Letter certifying me Fit for Duty.
<span style="color: rgb(255, 0, 0);]EDIT (12/6) I neglected to mention that I have COPD and Obstructive Sleep Apnea that requires the use of a CPAP machine while sleeping, also topics that were NOT beaten into the ground with the Doctor.</span>
Was it all noise or is my experience NOT the norm?

JED sends from the York River

Hey Boats,
So the 20 a year after retirement got you too? I left at 235, that’s just a memory now!!! Did you go to NH Jax, or your own doc. I got farmed out, and my doc had no clue! I had to walk HIM through it!

Boats Aye!
Company I work for has another company (Anderson-Kelly) that does all the homework on that stuff. I call AK tell them I need a physical, they ask where I live and find somebody within some arbitrary window of opportunity and call me back to tell me when and where to go. In my case it was a facility on Dunn Ave. They also were the ones to prep the questionnaires, I filled them out and AK sent them to the Doc. The Doc came across as having done something like this before.

JED sends

Let me get this straight. The doctor who has been doing my Coast Guard physicals and my FAA physicals can no longer do the Coast Guard one? The form I printed up off of the website is the same. My state of health and vitals haven’t changed significantly. Do I (or he) have to do anything different when I take a physical to increase the scope or tonnage of my license? I read the new language but I’m not fluent in legalese.

Your doc can do the physical, but NMC makes the final call on your fitness for duty. There are also nearly 200 conditions that require additional tests and follow-up before they can be waivered. Download the NVIC and all the enclosures and read them carefully. Take the pertinent ones with you to your physical. Good fun, yes?

Good fun, no!
I have to print and take to my doctor, for him to apply, the standards to which I have to be certified?
We’re headed in a bad direction…in case anyone hadn’t noticed. A new course needs to be plotted and set.

If you have certain conditions the NVIC outlines what needs to be submitted in addition to what goes on the standard form. If you’re one of the few who have made it to middle age with their health intact it is business as usual.

Everybody might want to read this: [<span class=“yshortcuts” id=“lw_1228547835_0]http://www.uscg.mil/nmc/Whats_new_to_NMC/Guide%20to%20Medical%20NVIC%2004-08.pdf</span>](http://www.uscg.mil/nmc/Whats_new_to_NMC/Guide%20to%20Medical%20NVIC%2004-08.pdf” target="_blank)

<div id=“highlighterDivCG” style="display: none; z-index: -1; position: absolute; background-color: yellow] </div>
And, as usual, Capt. Anonymous is spot on with his comments. The Coast Guard tightens the screws on us another turn, yet resolutely refuses to touch the serious health issues associated with the lack of proper rest that comes with the manning standards and watch schedules we work under. A lack of adequate, quality rest is one of the worst thiongs for your overall health, both short-term and long-term, and they know this very well. You won’t catch the Coast Guard standing 6 & 6 watches.
Then there’s the 2nd-hand smoke issue. The Coast Guard banned smoking inside their vessels and shore-based facilities years ago, but they won’t lift a finger to help mariners who are powerless to do anything about it. But if the health effects of that exposure makes another condition you may have worse, possibly making you not fit for duty, well, that’s too bad I guess.
What we don’t know is whether the Coast Guard knows that this approach to ensuring the health of mariners is both flawed and doomed to failure, but just doesn’t have the stones to do anything about it, or they just don’t care. Either way, we’re on our own.

Since my doctor can not determine if I’m fit for duty, maybe I should cut out the middle man and send my stool sample straight to NMC. Do you think that would speed things up?

CJS said:
What we don’t know is whether the Coast Guard knows that this approach to ensuring the health of mariners is both flawed and doomed to failure, but just doesn’t have the stones to do anything about it, or they just don’t care. Either way, we’re on our own.
Whether they know or not I see these thumbscrews being loosened when it starts having a direct, negative impact on manning. These will go by the wayside just like TOAR requirements. At first it was gonna take GOBS of time to get one, now the time requirment is down to thirty days. I am QUITE sure they don’t care (with the exception of Mr. Cavo of course) as it doesn’t affect them.
Let me join the chorus of those of who hate 2nd-Hand smoke.
As for sleep, say what you want, but on a tug you could give me TWELVE hours to sleep and I’d STILL be lucky (and blessed) to get four, solid, uninterrupted hours of sleep, I mean they ARE designed to collide with other things that float…

JED sends from the York River

I don’t think anyone likes 2nd hand smoke…not even the smokers, they like the 1st hand kind.

Allow me to veer away from the health topic for a moment. Yeah, the good ol’ TOAR isuue. Well, as a Designated Examiner for the towing licenses, I can assure you that I have not, will not, and never will sign somebody off on their complete TOAR assessments in thirty days. More like eighteen months as far as I’m concerned, and that’s for an exemplary case not the average. Anyone without prior towing experience who sends in a TOAR to the NMC that was completed in thirty days is sending in a pencil-whipped document and the DE(s) who signed it should be slapped upside the haid. I’ve also heard, but have not confirmed, that the academies are signing their cadets’ TOARs in the classroom using scale models of tugs and barges. I’m working to confirm this. If it is true it is complete and utter bullshit, primarily IMHO because it gives the cadets a false impression that they’re “tug boat ready” out of the gate and adds to that occasional academy attitude that must be broken when they stumble onto a tug for the first time. It’s an easier task to complete if they haven’t had someone blowing TOAR smoke up their asses.
Mr. Cavo, is there truth to this academy TOAR signoff rumor?

I can tell you that at Schuyler they don’t sign off TOAR’s in the classroom. There are a couple of Tugs and Towing classes, and the cadets have to go out on a tug for the weekend and do a project, but they dont’ get their TOAR out of it. I don’t know about any other academies.

I haven’t heard of it, nor I have I seen any scale models when I was at the various acdemies, other than the manned ship models at Mass. Maritime. Some of the cademies have DEs on their staff, and either have a tug and barge, or make arrangements to use one. They are also permitted to send cadets on a tug of more than 500 GT ITC for one of their three traiining cruises. Also, academies and anyone else also doing all of the STCW assessments doesn’t have to do the entire TOAR, just the parts that do not duplicate STCW OICNW assessments (mostly, the manuevering section of the TOAR). See NMC Policy Lertter 04-03 at http://www.uscg.mil/nmc/mmic_policy.asp