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    esailor Team
    Keymaster

    Date: 31/03/21 – Online
    Time: 1300 BST
    Surveyor: Ranjit Joseph – Southampton
    Duration: 1hr 45mins
    Ships: Tankers/FPSOs
    Result: Fail – 1st Attempt

    I signed in 15 minutes before hand and the surveyor joined shortly after. He spent around 15 minutes going through my seatime as he had noted that since I gained my Chief Mates CoC I had spent time mainly offshore on FPSOs. He was asking about the full seatime requirements and I stated that I had provided all the relevant testimonials required as per my NOE application but he wanted to check for himself. I even had to dig out my old discharge book at one point as he wanted to see some entries on the camera. I suspected then I would be in for a tough afternoon and so it proved! After he was satisfied he ran through the other requirements of the exam and asked for a 360° of the room and then made a start with the questions.
    You are joining a new build vessel (Tanker) as Master, what would you expect to get ready and what certification would you be getting prepared to be surveyed for? I started with LSA/FFA equipment and operational procedures but he quickly moved on to the certification side and as I named every piece of certification he would ask the validity and survey/inspection frequency etc of each one and would often ask for more details on the certification and I found it hard to determine exactly what he was looking for at times. He spent a bit of time on ISM and the procedure for getting DOC/SMC as well as when the anniversary dates are taken from for all certs.
    What is the Alternative Compliance Scheme, what can be surveyed under this scheme, what surveys are still carried out by the flag state in this scheme, what are the requirements of this scheme and what is the difference between the Enhanced Authorisation Scheme? What is the difference between Survey, Audit and Inspection?
    You have crew joining the new vessel, what certification would you check for? What is the validity of STCW certification?
    The C/O doesn’t have a UK CoC, what would you do? He particularly wanted to hear apply for CEC and confirmation receipt of application.
    Name the certification associated with MLC? What are the key points of MLC? Are there 14 or 16?
    What are the mandatory drills to be carried out onboard? As I named each one he would ask for the minimum frequency of each.
    What is the launching procedure for a Freefall Lifeboat?
    What training do you require for ECDIS?
    How would you know an ECDIS is type approved? I talked about the IHO standards here but he told me later in the debrief he was also looking for the IMO/IEC criteria and performance standards.
    What are the requirements with regards ECDIS for a paperless system? Can an ECDIS be used instead of a ‘Take Me Home’ folio? Can you use an RNC on an ECDIS? If so, what is the process for this?
    What are the 5 mandatory alarms in an ECDIS system? What are the minimum inputs required on an ECDIS?
    You are carrying out the first mooring operation on this new vessel, what are your considerations and the dangers involved? Are snap back zones the only dangerous areas of mooring? Where would you find out the latest information on snap back zones? When I mentioned COSWP and as it was a tanker the OCIMF Mooring Guidelines he asked me to name the latest editions.
    Okay, let’s go through MARPOL chapter by chapter and tell me which is applicable on this tanker and what certification/equipment would be associated with each:
    Annex I – IOPP Form A/B, SOPEP but he particularly wanted to hear about BOPIC and OPIC here.
    What are the parts of the Oil Record Book and as Master how would you know you are complying and it is being filled out correctly? What are the limits for oily water discharge? Does the ODMCS need an automatic cut off? Can you discharge oily water in a special area? What are the limits for oily mixture cargo residues discharge from tankers?
    Annex II – N/A
    Annex III – N/A
    Annex IV – International Sewage Pollution Prevention Certificate. As Master, how would you know you are in compliance regarding Sewage? What are the 3 kinds of sewage systems permitted onboard?
    Annex V – Garbage Management Plan. Name the categories of garbage? What is the newest kind of waste? He was looking for E-Waste here. Name some of the special areas for Garbage? Can Dunnage and Wood be thrown overboard? Can all food waste be thrown overboard? How far off land do you need to be? What is the definition of land as per MARPOL? As Master how do you ensure compliance and the garbage log book is being filled out correctly?
    Annex VI – International Air Pollution Prevention Certificate. What emission levels are acceptable for SOx? What is the latest Emission Control Area? What equipment onboard would you associate with preventing Air Pollution? Does EIAPP apply to all engines?
    You are now on a 15 year old tanker heading for a drydock between years 2 and 3, what are your preparations for entering the drydock?
    What is P Force? When is P Force maximum? When I mentioned entering with a small stern trim he also asked me why and what would happen if you entered Even Keel?
    You are now in the drydock, what inspections would you expect to be carried out? As soon as I mentioned Enhanced Survey Programme he moved on.
    You need to prepare a ballast tank for entry, how would you get it ready for inspection? Where would you find detailed information regarding tank entry procedures? With regards gas testing, what are you testing for? What are and where would you find the maximum values permissible to allow a tank entry to go ahead?
    He then finally moved on to Rules and Buoyage, there was nothing really out of the ordinary here.
    Started with Rule 19, he shared the screen and placed two targets electronically on a radar screen. He then asked me what would I do? When I mentioned systematic plotting I then had to talk him through the process of making up the WOA triangle and as I talked through each stage he would move the plots and vectors electronically as I wanted them until I had built up the full picture. He then asked me what is CPA and TCPA and how would I determine it from the radar plot? There was 1 target right ahead which I was overtaking and another on the Stbd Qtr which was overtaking me, risk of collision existed with both. Actions? I gave a summary of Rule 19 in this situation and that my options would be to slow down or go to Port. Final Action? I altered course to Port.
    He then gave me a number of scenarios where I was on a PDV and risk of collision always existed with the other vessels:
    – Sailing vessel in open water, discussion regarding Rule 18.
    – Tug and Tow (Not RAM) crossing from Port, actions under which rules?
    – Vessel engaged in fishing in open water, discussion regarding Rule 18.
    – Vessel engaged in fishing crossing TSS from Port, actions?
    – Sailing vessel crossing TSS from Stbd, actions?
    – CBD crossing a TSS from Port, who is give way?
    That’s all I can remember from the scenarios, there may have been a few more but he would ask me to explain the applicable rules for each and also ask the sound signal in restricted visibility for each vessel. Also he would always normally ask at the end if I could go to Port in each scenario.
    He then gave me a buoyed channel with missing top marks where I was heading south/inbound and asked me to name the buoy, the top marks, light characteristics and how I would pass each in this scenario:
    – Safe Water Mark
    – East Cardinal
    – Isolated Danger
    – Preferred Channel to Port (IALA region A)
    – West Cardinal
    Smartie board was all standard stuff – Vsl engaged in Trawling, NUC, RAM involved in under water operations, Tug and Tow less than 200m in length from what I can remember.
    That was it complete and on to the debrief, running through where I had answered satisfactorily and highlighting the weaker areas. He then told me he felt that I had not done enough to pass on this occasion but he understood that as I had been working offshore on FPSOs for a number of years I wasn’t dealing with a lot of this stuff regularly. However, that was the standard required for the Masters Unlimited examination and that I should use this as a learning experience and utilise the feedback to focus my studies prior to the next attempt. His comments were fair enough but even where I felt I had answered adequately or well he was always digging for more and I was unable to come up with what he was looking for on a few occasions unfortunately. My advice to anyone up against this examiner is to have a really thorough knowledge of Certification and MARPOL as he is always looking to for more information with regards how it is applied on board and what equipment it pertains to.

    Good luck to all future candidates!

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