Shiptalk Newsletter - September 2010

Welcome

Hello again and welcome to this month’s Shiptalk news. Incredibly this month contains no mention of pirates at all (well apart from this one). Yes, finally a pirate free month (oh, and that one).

We’re putting our security worries aside to concentrate on people...whether its money grabbing cadets, perverts, smokers, drinkers, whistleblowers or even a new Secretary General of The IMO...we’ve got them all covered.

Incidentally, talking of people, we’ve become involved in another do-gooder scheme to promote those fancy pants people who make the world a better place. So if you know anyone who makes shipping and the maritime industry all the more wonderful by their very presence please do tell us. Email newsroom@shiptalk.com

Shiptalk.com……reading you loud and clear

to view the news letter please click here

Human Game

South African police are investigating the death of 19-year-old Akhona Geveza after the cadet fell overboard and died only hours after making rape allegations last month.

It was claimed she had told a fellow cadet and the ship’s master she had been raped by the Ukrainian Chief Officer of the “Safmarine Kariba”. Her body was found floating off the Croatian coast, she had just two weeks to go to finish her apprenticeship.

The incident has rightly caused real shock, especially as other cadets have alleged a pattern of abuse by senior officers on board the vessel.

Geveza, was a cadet in the Transnet National Port Authority's maritime studies programme, which has seen about a hundred young South African women encouraged to go to sea. Investigations are ongoing into the troubled study initiative, as something seems to have gone horribly wrong.

Many Cadets have emerged to claim systematic abuse by senior officers, "who threatened cadets' careers if they did not perform sexual acts”. There are allegations, including claims by both male and female cadets that they had been raped at sea; a female cadet had to terminate two pregnancies. Another male cadet was allegedly signed off because he refused to have sex with a senior officer.

A cadet told the reporters that her cohort of ten female cadets was told on board that “The captain is our god; he can marry you, baptise you and even bury you without anybody’s permission. We were told that the sea is no man’s land and that what happens at sea stays at sea.” While one former female Cadet claimed, “It was like we were dumped in the middle of a game park.”

While there are strong suggestions that sexual harassment may be rife in the Transnet cadet scheme Safmarine Africa region executive Jonathan Horn said this was an isolated incident. He claimed, “We are deeply saddened by the untimely death of Ms Geveza and while this is a most unfortunate incident, we believe it should not detract from the success of scores of young South Africans – men and women - who are now pursuing a career in the international maritime industry.”

Careers they may have, but at what cost?

B

What is the STCW Convention?

Remember to keep your licence and training updated!
keep your licence and training updated!
The Standards of Training, Certification & Watchkeeping (STCW) Convention was drafted in 1978. In it’s first version, it had little impact on the US mariner because it really just formalized a system nearly identical to the US system, around the world. It established such things as the requirement for 4 years of experience for a Master 1600 gt license.

The big change came in 1995 when the US Coast Guard approached the International Maritime Organization (IMO) and asked them to amend the convention. Significant changes were made to the convention. The STCW 95 amendments did not have to be ratified like the original convention because it was an amendment to an existing convention. The amendments, however, completely re-wrote enforcement related to the Convention, and more importantly created an STCW Code (similar to the USCG licensing regulations) that set stringent standards for mariners to meet.

Unlike the original 1978 Convention, the 1995 Amendments required a separate piece of paper to certify that the mariner met the requirements. The STCW Certificate was the result. People get confused about these certificates because there is a 1978 Certificate and a 1995 Certificate. Both of these certificates were created at the same time!!!
The STCW 1978 Certificate means that a mariner was working aboard ship before August 1, 1998 and hasn’t completed all of the grandfather requirements, yet. New mariners (1st day aboard ship after Aug. 1, 98) cannot get an STCW 1978 Certificate. They have to comply with all of the Convention requirements! STCW 1995 Certificates are issued to grandfathered mariners after they do the "gap closing" training. (click here to see what you have to do).  In the United States of America, after January 31, 2003, existing mariners will no longer be able to get an STCW 95 Certificate by just completing the "gap closing" training.  Starting February 1, 2003, all mariners will have to fully comply with the STCW 95 amendments.  This February 1, 2003 deadline represents a 1 year extension from the original deadline.  Note: Even though the deadline for completing "gap closing" training has been extended 1 year for US mariners, they are still required to have the STCW 95 certificate BEFORE they can enter the waters of another country.

Some mariners who only operate in US waters have less requirements. The mariners who have licenses for 200 gross registered tons or less; and/or, Z-card holders working on Offshore Supply Vessels of 500 gross registered tons or less have different requirements. To check them out, click here.


STCW.org
Email: info@stcw.org


© 2000 - 2005 stcw.org. All Rights Reserved

What to do regarding STCW?

Training Requiements for Existing and New Mariners I have been a mariner for a while (since before Aug 1, 1998) AND I am NOT upgrading my existing license or document. (click here)

I am a new mariner (my 1st shipboard day was after Aug 1, 1998) or I am an existing mariner who is upgrading. (click here)

Existing Mariners - Getting an STCW –95 Certificate
(Ref: USCG NVIC 4-00) This "gap closing" training provision disappears for US mariners on 1 February 2003.

Deck Officers* whose first day of sea service was before Aug 1, 1998:

1. Basic Safety Training (BST) – The STCW 95 Code requires that you take this 5-day course of instruction. BST is actually 4 courses – Basic Firefighting, Personal Survival, Personal Safety and Social Responsibility, and Elementary First Aid. This course has to be renewed every 5 years, or under certain conditions, you have to show that you have at least 1 year of service on board vessels of 200 grt or more within the last 5 years..

2. Bridge Resource Management (BRM) – This is also called Bridge Teamwork Management. Normally a three day course of instruction.

3. Proficiency in Survival Craft and Rescue Boats (PSC) – This course is only required of deck officers who do not have an AB – Unlimited, AB- Limited, AB-Special (AB-OSV will not do it!), or Lifeboatman endorsement on their Z-card. The requirement is really for Lifeboatman, but this endorsement is embedded in all of the AB’s except AB – OSV.

Engineering Officers* whose first day of sea service was before Aug 1, 1998:

1. Basic Safety Training (BST) – Unless you have been on board a vessel that has a routine training and drill program (good only until Feb 1, 2002), you have to take this 5-day course of instruction. BST is actually 4 courses – Basic Firefighting, Personal Survival, Personal Safety and Social Responsibility, and Elementary First Aid. This course has to be renewed every 5 years.

2. Proficiency in Survival Craft and Rescue Boats (PSC) – This course is only required of engineering officers who do not have an AB – Unlimited, AB- Limited, AB-Special (AB-OSV will not do it!), or Lifeboatman endorsement on their Z-card. The requirement is really for Lifeboatman, but this endorsement is embedded in all of the AB’s except AB – OSV.

Unlicensed ratings (O.S., AB’s, QMEDs, deck hands, etc.) whose first day of sea service was before Aug 1, 1998:

1. Basic Safety Training (BST) – Unless you have been on board a vessel that has a routine training and drill program (good only until Feb 1, 2002), you have to take this 5-day course of instruction. BST is actually 4 courses – Basic Firefighting, Personal Survival, Personal Safety and Social Responsibility, and Elementary First Aid. This course has to be renewed every 5 years.


New Mariner** - Getting an STCW – 95 Certificate
(Ref: USCG NVIC 4-00)

First of all, let’s clarify what a certificate is and what it is not! An STCW certificate is a piece of paper that is attached to your license or Z-card (US Merchant Mariners Document). It is separate and distinct. You can have a license or Z-card without getting the STCW certificate (although you can not get the certificate without first having the license or Z-card).

So why would you want one? Because, the license or Z-card only allows you to work on inland waters. On the east and west coasts of the US, this means you cannot operate in the ocean. In the Gulf of Mexico the boundary line lies 12 miles offshore. And maybe most importantly, only the STCW certificate is recognized by foreign governments – not your license or Z-card!

O.K., so is there only one kind of these certificates? No! Mariners who had Z-cards and licenses when this new requirement was passed, were given 5 years to comply with the provisions. So, the first certificate that "existing" mariners got was an STCW – 78 certificate. That means that their license or Z-card complied with the 1978 STCW Convention. These certificates are good until February 1, 2002.  

An existing mariner has until February 1, 2002 to do the extra things s/he needs to do in order to comply with the new provisions of the 1995 amendments to the STCW Convention. If they do not convert the STCW 78 certificates to STCW 95 certificates by that date, they will be treated as though they never had a license or Z-card. [Since originally writing this the USCG has extended the deadline on the use of STCW - 78 certificates being used IN DOMESTIC SERVICE ONLY until February 1, 2003.]

However, new mariners have to complete a program (not a course) in order to get an STCW – 95 Certificate. Additional requirements exist for the license.

For new mates (Officers in Charge of a Navigation Watch in STCW speak) on vessels of 200 gross registered tons (500 g.t. ITC), as part of a USCG approved program:
Have seagoing service of at least one year (360 days) which includes on-board training and is documented in an approved training record book, or otherwise have approved seagoing service of not less than three years;
Have performed, during the seagoing service, bridge watch-keeping duties under the direct supervision (s/he is on the bridge with you) of the master, chief mate or a navigator for a period of not less than 6 months;
Complete other specified training and education as part of the USCG approved program.

For new assistant engineers
(Officer in Charge of an Engineering Watch) on vessels with at least 1000 shaft horsepower (750kW) propulsion units, as part of a USCG approved program:
Have completed at least 6 months seagoing service in the engine department; and
Have completed approved education and training of at least 30 months which includes on-board training documented in an approved record book.

For new AB’s, Lifeboatman and Ordinary Seaman part of the navigation watch (All AB’s and anyone else standing helm and lookout watches) on vessels of 200 gross registered tons (500 g.t. ITC), as part of a USCG approved program:
Have completed at least 6 months training and experience; and
Have completed special training, either pre-sea or on board ship, including an approved period of seagoing service which shall not be less than two months, plus the requirements in the regulations for AB.

** Licenses and STCW 95 certificates restricted to the Offshore Supply Vessel (OSV) service have different requirements. For OSV requirements, click here.


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STCW.org
Email: info@stcw.org


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