New Title 46 law and denial

The new title 46 usc 7511a law is in place. It now puts a lot of mariners who have had a MMD for years and even decades now in a position to be denied a renewal or a revokation. From what a few maritime attorneys have said USCG has their hands tied and has to follow the SHALL DENY language in the law. The attorneys ive spoken to say that the situation is so new that nobody really knows how to deal with it. Has anybody run into this problem? What was your solution? TIA

No problems with it because I haven’t been convicted of sexual assault. It’s about time the Coast Guard has started taking this seriously.
I have no interest in sailing with someone who has been convicted of sexual assault or the myriad of other horrible crimes that fall under that umbrella.


Not sure where the attorney’s confusion lies. If you’ve been convicted of sexual assault you don’t get to go back to sea. Seems pretty clear and straightforward. What do you mean “solution”?


Take your raping ass out back and put one ear hole to eye hole

You’re welcome!


Until the Courts make enough precedent setting decisions in litigated cases, the law will not have interpretations that lawyers can rely upon.

1 Like

It’s been out for a year, see CG-MMC Policy Letter 03-23.

You apparently misunderstood the lawyers you spoke to, or they are incompetent. The law and policy are clear. If “nobody really knows how to deal with it?” it’s possibly because their clients are clearly within the statute/policy and there is no reasonable ground for dispute.


Hmmmm. No more raping? That’s liable to cut-in on the college boys…

1 Like

I wonder how many existing mariners have some type of sexual assault conviction that would prevent MMC renewal?

I suspect it’s a very small number, but it’s apparently creating a lot of work for NMC, and exacerbating the delays in application processing.

Except it’s exceedingly rare that college boys get convicted of that. Don’t want to mess up that promising future don’tchaknow.


I took a very quick at 46 USC 7511 and the other statutes referenced therein. It’s a masterpiece of obsfucation, but it boils down to this:

7511(a). Bars anyone criminally convicted of penetrative, or oral, or naked touching, sexual assault from getting an MMC. The USCG has no discretion.

7511(b) Gives the USCG discretion to decide whether someone convicted of sexual touching through clothing (groping) within 5 years should have an MMC.

I dont think there is a tonnage requirement, so the numbers probably get a little funky when you start counting every water taxi captain and yachtie.

If you are impacted, you are in fact the problem being delt with.


Another positive result: increased wages for mariners. Once the USCG got serious about banning persons with certain criminal records back around 2000 I noticed an uptick in mariner wages.

I’ve come to understand that when artificial restrictions are put on a labor pool the pool shrinks, and employers have to raise wages to attract more people to replenish the pool.

The effect here may be measured in pennies per hour of wages but pennies add up.


I had always hoped that drug testing would raise wages, but it didn’t.

The druggies just sniff glue, or use drugs that cannot be detected by the test, or bring grandma’s piss to the test in a Whizinator.

More recently, since legal recreational pot, drug testing might be contributing to higher wages.

The bigger tug companies are losing several people a month after drug tests, including captains and mates.

More importantly, a lot of younger people are just saying no to jobs that require drug testing. That affects trucking much more than maritime.

Drug testing is degrading and disgusting.

Being drug free has value.

I want to be paid more for it.


Why wait for sex offenders to make applications to the NMC?

Congress should appropriate money to enable the USCG to hire a big background check company to promptly screen all 50,000 US mariners for compliance with 46 USC 7511a once a year to produce a list of noncompliant people that have sex offender convictions.

Then the USCG should promptly re-investigate each of them to verify that they are sex offenders and revoke their MMCs.

Meanwhile NMC would no longer need to spend months doing background checks on everyone of the rest of us for renewals. Our renewals would not take 6 months.

Looking on the the bright side, the renewal backlog at NMC is already reducing the size of the labor pool, and that ought to raise wages.

1 Like


Can’t argue that it’s a little degrading sometimes… I’ve had a couple random tests on my ships over the years where the collectors witnessed/observed the collections.

I’m a sailor, frankly I couldn’t care less if they’re looking at my junk, it’s the fact that I’m entrusted with driving a multimillion dollar vessel and yet I’m not trusted enough to piss in a cup and not tinker with it. A retest due to being out of spec? Yeah, absolutely watch them like a hawk. But the whole crew? That’s over a line in my opinion.


Not trying to defend anyone for their crimes especially sex offenders but as a general principle I’m not for the US government putting restrictions on licenses for people who commit crimes and have paid their debt / served their time. I feel like it’s a slippery slope, next thing you know petty crimes could prevent people from working on ships people convicted as young and stupid teens could prevent them from having a successful career at sea. This is also the US getting involved in a private transaction too. If a company wants to hire someone they should be able to. It’s up the the company to evaluate the risks and make that decision. I’ve sailed with felons (non sex crimes) who were the best sailors and most dedicated guys, they knew they messed up in the past and were a happy to be given a chance to work hard and be successful despite land jobs turning them away.

I think the real issue from all this KP cadet drama is that the USCG now is able / willing to revoke or suspend peoples licenses who have been accused of something but not convicted.

I think you’re going to see ALOT of crew members not even talk to cadets or engage with them AT ALL. Many C/m and 1ae have have families that depend on their income and can’t risk loosing their jobs. A false accusation by someone looking for a payout could destroy someone’s life.

Not talking to Cadets eliminates this possibility. If everyone and the cadets know that you do not talk to them there’s nothing they can say or twist to falsely accuse you. I don’t get paid extra to teach cadets. I don’t want them on my watch, I don’t want them near me tying up, I don’t want them near me when I drop the anchor, and I will not eat in the same mess as them without others being present.

We are in a new era of sailing. I intend to protect my family and livelihood. Even if that means taking extra precautions as in not talking or acknowledging the cadets.


I am happy to say I believed teaching and mentoring other crew members (cadets included) was part of my job description.


Thanks for bringing this up. This is a HUGE MASSIVE concern. There are far too many instances of false allegations in general. And even once someone who has been falsely accused has been exonerated those allegations stick anyway.