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Forum Home > 2nd mate orals > Martin Buchan - Leith Marine office
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Oow oral exam

Martin buchan


23.02.15 0900

Capt milner

Exam time 1hour 35 minutes


I arrived 25 minutes early and was asked to fill in a visitors card in the lobby as there was no waiting room in the office. Once captain milner was ready he asked me to come in the office and went over muster points and escape routes and usual safety points. Then I was asked to stir a sample of water while he further prepared. Obviously for taking a reading with a hydrometer.


He then asked me into a room and the exam started. He asked for my discharge book and certificates and spoke about the ships I work on. He asked me when my last ship was built (I memorised everything about the last ship I was on with regards to tonnages, Lsa, ffe etc.) I told him 2002 which was a half guess. I got it right.




Asked me to take a sample and explain how I would do it and what it's for. He had 2, brass and glass I used the glass one as I've only seen the brass one twice.


Asked me correctable errors and then to pick it up and show him how. He told me the master wants sights everyday how would I do this. I told him I would plan a sight ahead of time with regards to finding approximate sextant altitude for the body and weather. Do the errors as I told him previous then do index error (went into detail to waste a little time.) then I would be ready for the sight. He asked me how to take a sight so I told him I would bring the reflected image of the body to the horizon, pivot the body and MARK the time. He seemed really impressed that I mentioned the time and asked why. Went into explaining the sextant altitude won't change on the sextant but time will and I need it for hour angles. He went on to tell me that other candidates just say I would read the sextant and none of them says I would note the time. This filled me with confidence.

Masons hygrometer

What is it, what it's for, how to predict fog.


Asked if the ship I'm on carried dg's

Wanted all the documents you need for carrying dg's including extra equipment you need when carrying dg's. I mentioned 4 chemical suits, 3 extra fire hoses, 2 extra ba's. He wanted more about how much jets of water should you be able to have and extra pfe's. I didn't know this but the jets of water required for dg's will be on your doc and you need 3 extra dry powder extinguishers as well (I got this feedback at the end of my exam).


Passage planning

Apem, coastal passage went on for ages till I said parallel indexing. He drew a headland on a piece of paper and I had to show him what my understanding of pi'ing was.


Preparations for entering fog

Heavy weather preperations

Anchoring proceedures


What I would do as 2nd officer whilst at anchor


What's squat, how do you minimise the effects


Imdg code, what is it how do you use it.

How many stickers on a container

Precautions of loading bulk cargo

What's tml?

Would you load cargo over the tml


Fire in the laundry room (the emergency situation was what I was dreading but he was very happy with my answer)


Lsa checks, wanted everything I know about gmdss handhelds, told him all I knew but he wanted more.(he gave me feedback at the end of what he wanted to hear.... Make sure the spare batteries are covered, particularly the terminals, if they are damaged replace them)


How do you determine a safe speed

Told him rule 6


Rule 9 overtaking

Told him what I understood by the rule



90% all open sea


crossing situations with various vessels


Overtaking, I'm overtaking actions


Tss- pdv crossing I give way, how would I join again.


Smartie board

I got about 12 to 15 vessels here and I thought why is he asking so much. I almost messed up 1. Trawler probably over 50m



Put a few on the table asked me to tell him everything about them

North cardinal

East cardinal

Port lateral mark region b

Preferred channel to starboard and port region b

Put a few buoys out 1 by 1 what my actions would be

Preferred channel to stbd

North mark on easterly course

Port mark region b outbound


He sat down and started writing for a minute then he said you have passed. I literally gasped out with relief. Good luck to all on their exams.


February 24, 2015 at 3:13 PM Flag Quote & Reply

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