[QUOTE=jdcavo;51860]The Coast Guard has issued a new policy letter for qualifying for STCW endorsements as officer in charge of a navigational watch (OICNW). The policy letter cancels NMC policy letter 01-02.
The policy is (or will be) available at:
Very good news. I read the policy letter and I think they got this one right. When Stew was at NMC, this new policy letter was the same interpretation of what Policy letter 01-02 was back then. Particularly for the 1600 ton Master to 3rd Mate upgrade. Very many mariners, including myself, did upgrade to 3rd Mate with the assessments and the OICNW test under 01-02, with the blessing of Stew - AND NO CLASSES REQUIRED. Then, all of a sudden, mariners where required to take all the courses doing the same upgrade!? - that never made any sense. You had to pay up to $15,000 to a private party to prove yourself to the Coast Guard at a level lower than your current competence to take a test and prove it all over again…Que Pasa? For a 1st issue, I can understand, but I mean really - what was going through their heads? Too bad it took a long time and another policy letter to get where we started. Somewhere along the line, someone lost sight of the fact that the reason policy letter 01-02 applied specifically to 500, 1600, and 3rd Mates - those were the possible 1st issue licenses in which OICNW requirements can apply. Now experience is being treated as it should be. Thanks for that USCG.
Now, it’s very basic. If you took the test, you do not a have to take it again. If you never took the test, then you have to take it, but without having to take remedial classes to get to the point of approval for those that have experience.
FOR ALL OF YOU 1600 TON MASTERS OUT THERE THAT NEVER TOOK AN OICNW TEST, START STUDYING NOW FOR 3RD. FOR ALL OF YOU RELATIVELY NEW LICENSED MARINERS THAT TOOK THE OICNW TEST - MERRY FREAKING CHRISTMAS.