As I write this, most companies who own tugs are getting manning requirements from the CG. they are voluntarily getting audited and a COI with manning requirements is being created by the CG. This is really only affecting the engine department. When the companies receive their new COI, it usually states that the tugboat (which used to only have a deckineer) now has to carry a chief limited and a DDE 4000.
The company immediately sends a rep to the CG to argue that, “hey we have always run deckhands before, or a DDE 1000” and the Coast Guard usually sees their point and adjusts the COI so that now the vessel only has to carry a DDE 4000, or DDE 1000.
What this means is that for guys like myself, and many more of you all, who have worked through the ranks, tested, studied, etc…, that your license is becoming obsolete. It took me ten years to get the licensing that I have, and I am finding that there are no jobs out there. Sure I could sail on an ATB or tugboat, but these are jobs that only require a DDE!! Even on a massive boat, with 12000 hp! The Chief Limited license is becoming completely obsolete. There is no one to argue for the mariner, so the companies are winning.
Oh and if you want to sail unlimited, just make sure you get the divorce and stuff out of the way first. These unlimited and union jobs often require sailing for four months! While the deck department stacks on more and more people, the engine department gets people taken away.
I know that all you Captains will be making plenty of rude comments on this post, but the lack of skill and experience in the engine room will make your lives difficult also.
All of us with intermediate licenses,Chief Limited etc., need to write the Coast Guard and ask them to stick to their guns on the licensing requirements for the engineers, before we are working for less than deckhands.