So I have worked on the same river as a deckhand for 15 years for 3 different companies which all have less then 4 employees. I finally went and got my 100 Ton Master/200 Ton Mate. Most of us hop from one co to the other to help the other. None of these companies are big enough to have a DE. The big companies on the river don’t like us, so they won’t help me get a signature from a DE. Anybody Have any ideas??? I really need to get my MOT, oh by the way I have my steersman too.
Thanks Jason

You don’t have to be a big company to have a DE. Any tug master can apply to become one. I’d suggest that you encourage your Captains to apply for DE and then they can sign you off.

suggest there are DEs out there who would be available to conduct “freelance” TOAR assessments for the appropriate renumeration??

Size of the company doesn’t matter. The Coast Guard approves the individual DE, not the company (the DE approval goes to the individual mariner, not their company). Any captain with substantial experience (generally 3 years) can be approved as a Designated Examiner. To get approved thewy only have to send a letter requesting approval and include a description of their expereince operating towing vessels and also any traiing or experience on conducting assessments and providing training (a formal course isn’t required, on the job training of crew members will often suffice). The request can be sent by e-mail to (the 2nd chracter in the address is a zero) or to:

National Maritime Center (NMC-2)
100 Forbes Drive
Martinsburg, WV 25404