Looking for advice. Sudden unexpected canadian speed bump with current company

Hello all. Im Drew, New to the forum.

I appreciate any feedback on the situation I’m going to explain.

I have been with a particular company on the great lakes, as a “permanent employee” since end of 2013. Also it’s the only company I’ve worked for, as I’m relatively new still.

Ive worked on deck, in the “tunnel” as a gateman and also as a conveyorman, doing simple repairs and maintenance. Out here i am considered a general vessel utility person, and do whatever is needed under that scope. To keep the story relatively short, while i was working primarily below deck in the tunnel, the chief suggested i get my qmed and get would start to break me into the engine room world the next season. So i did. However ive never worked in the capacity of a qmed To date due to that vessel being laid up and me moving back to deck on another company vessel. My time was written and submitted to the c.g. as all engine room time. 180 “extra days” which i know am feeling the pain of. I thought i had enough time to submit for my ab special, with my accrued deck time so i went to school, passed, only to find I was 100 days short of my time to submit for the special.

So, no big deal I thought I’ll ride out this season. I was told I’d have 230 some days straight… And I’ve done long hitches before so…No biggy I thought. Well. Started June first and a week ago was informed that I should seek other employment because we are going to be fueling in Canada for the season. And low and behold a DUI from years back is now coming to haunt me… The time it is going to take to rectify that and financial sitch puts me in a bad spot. I wanted to leave eventually. Get off the lakes, do something more exciting, different, better pay and treatment…But bad timing. Now around 70 days short of ab special time.

So I will be home the 5th of July. And think I will submit what I have to the c.g. at least to have my stcw and lb and rfpnw on there, although I will only qualify for an ab osv with my time. At least I won’t default on time to submit and have to retake the class, right…

I’m wondering if anyone might have some words of advice for a person in my situation. What do you think a good direction to go would be, looking for work. I am 31. Single. Not held down by anything. And at this point, I am not changing careers. I’ve bided my time here to try and get as much as I can out of it, and would like to keep moving up. Obviously in pay but beggers can’t be choosy either… The little more than 100 bones a day it works out to be after taxes here, and the way I’ve learned how things are around here, I’m not sad about moving on, and I didn’t quit so I am still in good standing so to speak, but it seems on the surface to be bad timing but truthfully I’m kind of excited to work this challenge. And hopefully it will all make sense why it happened now, soon enough.

I work hard, willing to learn, have done long hitches in the good weather and the horrible great lakes winters alike…Not not afraid to scrub a toilet, lol and realize I’m in no position to be picking and choosing. But what options do you think are best suited for me to look into.

So to recap, in this time ive been employed I’ve taken qmed and ab classes, including bst/stcw, life boat, and rfpnw. But have only worked on deck and in the tunnel. For the last few years.

I have my qmed endorsement as stated. But I waited to submit all my others (stcw, etc) until I had the “special” time.

These sentences got a bit jumbles on this app and I can’t move them around for some reason. I apologize for that. Hope the jist is gotten

Thank you for your time.
Glad to be part of the forum.


I’m not sure what you’re asking, you seem to have a solid plan of action.

It would benefit you to get the Canada issue resolved if possible…


I wonder what you think, if I were to just submit all my certs and get the ab osv. Added to my book, what job prospects do you think are available. It seems from what I hear anything less than a special is not really desired. I don’t have the time or funds to pay and wait for canadian rehabilitation…It will take upwards of a year. Though I have started the process by gathering what is needed. It is a ridiculously time consuming thing and complicated. Thanks for the reply


Definitely go for the AB OSV, even though it’s no good on other vessel types, so your AB training doesn’t expire.

You can at least try for OS work with your RFPNW (which is sometimes required even for an OS) or try for engine room work.

Check the job boards here and on LinkedIn.

Thanks for both replies. Michigan doesn’t expunge. I am familiar with the process. That’s why I’m looking for ideas that don’t involve rectifying the Canadian situation as of right now. Because while I will in time… that 1000 or 2000 dollars is not a luxury I have presently. And that’s alot of returnable pop cans in Michigan.


Contact Attorney David Cohen at Canadavisa.com. He offers a free telephone consultation. I think you are misinformed and that you have a couple of practical options, but get highly qualified up to date advice.

Submit your application for AB OSV right away. You do not need any OSV seatime. It may take a few months to get it added to your MMC. It would help you get your next job. There are some tug companies that will hire an AB OSV. Tugs under 100 tons are not legally required to have ABs, but they are often preferred.

You may find that QMED is a more valuable Qualification to job hunt, but better to have AB too.

Thank You I will call him. I have spoken to a few immigration lawyers but I will call him too. Also, that I think is where I want to head, tugs. I have a friend who’s been with harley Marine for fifteen years and he tells me that it’s a promising avenue to take for much better rotation and much better pay. I am not likeing this 8+ months straight business But getting the time in while I could…Anyway he tells me ab special is required for most even entry level jobs. But I will def. Get all my certs submitted in a few days when I get off the rig and am back home. And hopefully between Sweeny and Davis and I have some inquiries in to interlake as of today…I can get what time I need and be with a job again soon. Stressful but exciting at the same time!

Also, I’m Leary on going the qmed route, simply because I am not exactly mechanically inclined, and haven’t had any hands on in the engine room. But spose gotta start somewhere. After all it’s a tool in the bag right.

“Temporary Residency” permit…call around Windsor and Sarnia for an immigration attorney, it is a relatively painless process and many take payment plans to cover the fee.

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Yes, that’s correct. (I just looked it up.)

I thought I might have seen a requirement to have type specific sea time like with AB Sail, but wasn’t sure.

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Canadian Temporary Residence Permit is one of the routes. The other is a Michigan pardon for the DWI. But I’ don’t know if anything has changed or current processing times.

Many tugs have deckhand/engineers. I have seen plenty of deck/engineers with just an OS. Either an AB or qmed might cover it on some tugs at some companies. Some smaller tug companies may incorrectly think AB OSV is close enough.

Once you have AB OSV, you can upgrade with just seatime without further exam. You will usually have 12 hour days on tugs that count for 1.5 days of seatime. You don’t need much more seatime, so it won’t take you long to upgrade.

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