Lifeboatman questions


I’m looking to take the test for my AB endorsement and get my initial MMD. I’m confused by what I’m supposed to know under the Lifeboatman part of the test… will I be expected to launch a model lifeboat, using a specific type of davit, in a certain way? What will I be expected to know (as far as the Lifeboatman part goes). I have a good understanding of liferafts and personal protective equipment.
Also, when I see ads for lifeboatman courses at various schools, they’re talking about rowboats… how much do I need to know about rowing and sailing a lifeboat, versus a powerboat? Thanks for any help, I’m pretty confused on this one. I’m sure I’ll have other questions in the near future about other parts of the AB endorsement and career paths. -JW


THe REC no longer administers the Lifeboatman test. You will have to take a course, and yes, you will learn oar commands. Complete your course prior to going to the REC to test for AB. Then when you get there, just present them your certificate from the class.


Are you saying that you do not have an MMD and you are trying to get your first one as an AB? Do you have a TWIC? RFPNW? The required seatime? STCW? AFAIK these are all things you need to take care of prior to getting your AB.


Here’s some more information.


Guest: I do not have a MMD at this time. I am currently active-duty Coast Guard, a boatswain’s mate. I have the required sea time.
A separate question I had was, can I get the AB endorsement with the initial MMD, all in one shot? Or do I need to get a MMD, then wait to test and get my endorsement? I haven’t contacted the REC yet-- I’ve been doing all the research I can on my own, so I can limit the questions I need to ask the REC. Also, I do not have RFPNW or STCW. My understanding was that those were required only for vessels over 200 GT? (Or for the AB “unlimited” endorsement?-- I may be reading this all wrong, though).
Basically, right now I have a 100 ton near coastal masters license; been a Deck Watch Officer on a Coast Guard cutter; I have four years on cutters and two years at a small boat station.
I do have questions about what type of career path I should get on: I’m interested in working on towboats. I want to get my AB, get with a good company, and work on my mate’s license, and eventually work up to master.
How far could I go in the towing world if I upgraded to a 200 ton oceans license (and then go through the TOAR program, etc.)?
And from your comments I understand that, bottom line, I need to take the lifeboatman course-- there’s no other way to take care of that requirement? Well, I guess I need to get used to taking courses at institutes.
Thanks for the help, I really appreciate it. I’m just looking to get as much information about how to set myself up for success when I transition from the military.


This first thing you need to do is get your TWIC card. You cannot get an MMD/Licence, upgrade or renew without one anymore. I would go start the process for this ASAP since it can take a while. You will have to return to the same port that you apply at to pickup/activate the card. I suggest pre-enrolling and scheduling an appointment at since wait time for walk-ins can be quite long and even impossible at some ports. While you are waiting for your card to arrive I would call the USCG REC and make sure you have everything else you need. Hope this helps.


Capt_Anonymous: Gun control would have had no effect on this since that weapon was purchased legally under the National Firearms Act. And no, the “Assault Weapons Ban” would have had no effect on this since that law had no effect on the NFA and infact was just a ban on cosmetic features. Don’t think that I am trying to play down this incident, however the stupidity of a few DOES NOT negate the rights of the majority.


Yes you can get an original MMD as AB, I did. From what you say sounds to me like you may be eligible for a lot mor than AB, depending on the tonnage of the cutters you’ve been standing those watches on.