NMC won't acknowledge 3 years as apprentice mate plus completed TOAR

I have been eployed as deckhand on tugs for 6 years. I got my apprentice mate and 200 ton mate in 2007 and have been sailing as AB plus training in the wheelhouse off watch ever since. Now that I finally completed my TOAR and am proficient in the wheelhouse on towing vessels, I have applied for Mate of towing. My evaluator won’t give me the endorsement siting 46 cfr 11.205 the last sentence of subpart b “An MMC is not considered as satisfactory evidence of any qualifying experience.” Meaning that I need to sail as an apprentice mate and not just hold an apprentice mate endorsement while sailing and training on tugs. My sea service letter even says that I am in the wheelhouse, learning safe navigation ad tug/barge handling from the captain and mate of the(vessel). I know that I deserve this endorsement and I have been working very hard on it. It just seems that the NMC is going out of their way to keep Mariners from advancing. Has this happenned to anybody else? Is this at all fair?

No, it is not fair. It is sad.

I would ask for “reconsideration” and explain how you got the endorsement completed. In addition, I would get a letter from the Master and the Relief explaining what you did.

If they still turn you down, then you appeal. This all a pain in the ass but now that the evaluators are not required to hold a license, it is the only way to deal with the bureaucracy.

Remember, NMC was consolidated to level the playing field and make things more efficient. They levelled it all right and it is much more efficient for the Coast Guard.

I hate to keep smashing the place I worked for 22 years but they keep illustrating it time and time again. It makes me very sad.

You need your sea service letter to state:

Seaman Jones has served in the capacity of “APPRENTICE MATE” for the duration, XX 12 -days = XX 8 hour days. The underway time was on (Inland, coastwise, ocean) ((Pick one)) waters. And then the rest of the info they put on.

If they put in your sea service letter that you were employed as deckhand, then you don’t meet the requirements for apprentice steersman qualifications.

This is a sticky situation, since almost all companies don’t hire people (since the recession) in solely a training position. But some (the smart ones) recognize upward progress and momentum and can write the letter correctly.

You might want to talk to a consultant, such as Chuck Kakuska of Sea K consulting. He’s a retired Chief of a regional exam center, and has pulled the fat out of the fire for a number of mariners. A short visit with him could be very helpful.


Good luck!

Yeah I see now that the evaluators are just doing their jobs. The biggest problem is that in order to sail in a training position most companies want you to already hold mate of towing, not apprentice mate. They really need to recognize the hard work put in to staying up off watch for 3 years to finally complete a TOAR. Thanks for the help.