I recently submitted my application to the CG for an upgrade from 3rd mate to 2nd mate. I have 2602 days sea time as Captain on limited tonnage inland vessels (825-1200 GRT), while holding a 1600 ton Master and a 3rd mate unlimited ticket earned over the past 26 years. I also have 192 days as 3rd mate on ocean unlimited tonnage vessels earned in the past year. I have all the relevant STCW endorsements plus a few optional ones.
The NMC is disallowing all of my time as Captain, and only crediting the 192 days, which puts me 168 days short. As I read the CFR’s and their checklist, any time on vessels over 100 GRT and under 1600 GRT counts up to 50% of the required time. And time on inland navigable waters counts up to 50% of the required time. So the 2602 days should equal 180 creditable days. That plus the 192 they do credit is 372 days creditable sea time, correct? Even if they took the 2602 days times 50% for limited tonnage, then times 50% again for inland waters, it would still be 650 days.
The CFR’s they referenced are 46 CFR 11.201; 46 CFR 11.402; 46 CFR 11.406 as being the reasons they won’t accept the time. 46 CFR 11.402; 46 CFR 11.406 say that it should count up to 50%, and 46 CFR 11.201 doesn’t mention sea time, that I can see.
I have asked the NMC to reconsider, and quoted the CFR’s with explanations in more detail than outlined below.
46 CFR 11.201 (I see nothing in this CFR reference that prevents me from upgrading my license based on sea time.
It talks about all the general requirements for all licenses, but not sea time.)
46 CFR 11.401(e) Service towards oceans, near coastal or STCW endorsement will be credited as follows:
(2) Service on inland waters, other than Great Lakes, that are navigable waters of the United States, may be substituted for up to 50 percent of the total service. (Yes, navigable waters)
46 CFR 11.402 (1) All the required service must be obtained on vessels of 100 GRT or more; and
(2) At least one-half the required experience must be obtained on vessels of 1,600 GRT or more. (Yes all over 100 GRT and more than 50% of required time over 1600GRT.)
46 CFR 11.406 Service requirements for second mate of ocean or near-coastal self-propelled vessels of unlimited tonnage.
(1) One year of service as officer in charge of a navigational watch on ocean self-propelled vessels while holding a license or endorsement as third mate; or (Yes, unless you don’t consider the Captain, and the only deck officer onboard to be a OICNW. Held 3rd mate license since 1983)
(2) Service in inland waters, other than Great Lakes, that are navigable waters of the United States, will be credited on a day for day basis for up to 50 percent of the required service. (Yes)
MCP-FM-NMC5-04 (01) Checklist for 2nd Mate of self propelled vessels of unlimited tonnage:
NOTE: Service towards an Oceans, or NC will be credited as follows:
2. Service on inland waters, other than GL may substitute for up to 50% of the total required service.
All required service is on vessels of 100 GRT or more AND 50% of the required service is on vessels of 1600 GRT or more. (Yes and yes)
Please tell me if I’m reading the CFR’s wrong, and if so help me understand why.