Commercial Vessel Compliance

8/3/2015: Crediting sea service for engine ratings serving on vessels authorized a two-watch system

The Howard Coble Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation Act of 2014 amended 46 U.S.C. 8104 to allow coal passers, firemen, oilers and water tenders serving on certain offshore supply vessels, towing vessels and barges engaged on voyages of less than 600 miles to be divided into at least two watches. Before this amendment, only officers and deck crew members were permitted to be divided into two watches.

Engine ratings (QMED, wipers, and oilers) serving on vessels authorized and practicing a two-watch, 12-hour working day, in accordance with the amended statute, may be given 1-1/2 days of service credit for each day a total of 12 hours is worked.

For mariners who applied for an endorsement on or after December 18, 2014, this credit will be applied retroactively for service obtained after that date. It will also be applied for service prior to December 18, 2014, if the vessel’s certificate of inspection permitted a two-watch system and the mariner worked two-watch, 12-hour days.

The National Maritime Center will begin applying this sea service credit immediately in accordance with the amended statute. Mariners who applied for an endorsement on or after December 18, 2014, the effective date of the statute, and were not given the credit for the 12-hour day may contact the NMC and request a reconsideration of the computation of sea service credit. Mariners who applied before December 18, 2014, and would like to be re-evaluated for 1-1/2 days of service credit will have to reapply for the endorsement sought.

View the notice for full details.

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