Wonder what will happen to those who bought phony certs…
Serious black eye for the school for the few dollars gained. Seems they have identified 150 or so mariners involved, they are in for a nasty surprise. Sounds like there will be some job openings soon for the legit guys on the beach…Feds snagged 4 involved in administration, that’s plenty for them to rat on each other to get a plea.
I can understand a crook getting a job at such a school & starting a racket but not the part about 150 professional mariners risking their careers to save a few thousand dollars or a few weeks of their time? I wouldn’t turn in a phoney certificate to the USCG if a person offered me $50k to do it. The risk/reward math doesn’t line up. If this story is true I hope those 150 mariners get the MMC revoked permanently because they’re dumber than the average mariner which is real bad type of dumb.
This business is tough enough with all the horseshit you have to go through to stay current and legit.,then these clowns show up. It’s an insult to the mariners that worked the required time and studied hard to get ahead. This story has legs, I believe the people who are involved are not sleeping too well. Some of the mariners who took part in this are perhaps at sea and don’t know their livelihoods are headed for the toilet. If they had to buy their documents, most likely were not the best choices for shipmates either.
After reading the article again & giving it some thought I don’t think much will come of this. If guilty, the ring leader might get a prison sentence that will be suspended, no time served. The other 3 will get probation. The 150 will need to take the courses elsewhere. The prison system has surpassed their quotas but not the maritime industry concerning officers.
Wow, this is insane, but haven’t we seen this before at another school?
I’m curious what specific certs they were handing out?
Unfortunately, nothing much will happen to anybody over this. Some fines will be paid, no jail time. The mariners in question will likely not even be contacted, much less punished. It’s sad, but this has happened before and nothing much happened of consequence to the parties in question. Sucks because there should be massive deterrent displayed, but it won’t be.
I hope you are wrong regarding prosecution, and you are right regarding not too many deterents as of yet… . I know if I were still working and got passed over by a person that acquired a document by less than honest means I would be raising hell…There are perhaps 100- 150 mariners out of work or passed over for better jobs that did it the right way. I vote no free pass for these greedy criminals that prey on our mariners.
This is shithole country behavior.
Back in about 1981 or so one of the civilians working at the Seattle REC was selling AB documents. I was told he went to jail but not sure, I know I never saw him at the REC again.
I was thinking the same exact thing. I worked with 3 or 4 Honduran officers who said they bought their licenses in Tegucigalpa. I would kid them & said their airport had a vending machine for maritime licenses. Nothing is going to happen to these 4 guys or the crooked mariners who gave them money. Corruption at all levels. Every year it gets worse with what we accept as normal.
Same deal in Nigeria. A boat working out of Onne had almost the entire local content run off when USCG noticed all the serial numbers were the same. They were back the next day with new documents with different serials… and being Nigeria, there was no way for CG to check up on validity at that time so they had to just go with it.
I mean… It is shithole Norfolk.
MAMA has always given me the feeling of being a license mill. There is lots of GI Bill money running through that place, to the point where it seems like, to me, they cater more to ex-military than actual merchant mariners.
I’ve taken lots of classes there myself and while it has top notch instructors I wonder what happens in that admin office at times.
To both Bayrunner and Sandpebble, I have taken more than a few courses in Norfolk Va. over the years/decades with a reputable school They were run by ex military, Army and Coast Guard fellows. I never got the the impression they were “Selling out documents”. They actually did operational audits for a few companies I worked for, they sailed with us and gave fair assessments, These guys got older and sold the business. Somehow, MAMA got a bit bigger and these frigging pirates got a hold of it. What happened here is a couple of assholes damaged a decent business started many moons ago that served our mariners well. I am totally pissed.
I agree, new mama isn’t the same as old mama.
I’m glad you brought up the instructors. Most are ex-Navy or CG, few have spent much time at sea on a merchant ship or tug. No doubt they know how to teach and are knowledgeable on the subjects but are thin on non-Military maritime Experience.
Right? I feel like this is vaguely familiar from the mid-2000’s. Can’t recall the reference
There’s been a big scandal in Pakistan about airplane pilots faking taking their exams.
Not a school, the satellite REC in San Juan. The sole employee there was selling fraudulent documents.