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Chemical Tanker and Reefer Container Ships.
Date: 19th September 2013
Examiner: SJ Alletson
Result: Pass (Resit)
Instruments and Theory
My exam was from 0900 hours to roughly 1020 hours at the Glasgow Marine Office. Alletson met me in the foyer and welcomed me into the examination room and at this point he ran through some paperwork where he was checking that I was in for the right examination (OOW Unlimited). He looked through a notebook to find notes on my first exam which I failed with Capt. Fletcher. I assume this was so he could decide what he would ask me. He then asked to see my identification and my discharge book however he was not interested in seeing my Training Record Book or Navigation and Operations Workbook.
He asked me about the ships I served on, where I was in the world and what the routes were. After this we spoke in specific about my last vessel (M.V. Dole Chile). We spoke about life saving appliances and the vessel’s free-fall lifeboat.
After this he asked me to come to the instruments table where I was asked about the Magnetic Compass and a Hydrometer. I was not asked about the Sextant or anything else. With regards to the Hydrometer he wanted to know what it was used for, how I would use it and asked me to float it in a glass of water which he had prepared and read of the density. The density was around 1005.
After this I was offered to sit down where he asked me questions on ISM, Safety Management System, Risk Assessments and Permit to Work, MARPOL. He gave me an example of vessel at anchor 12 miles offshore waiting for a pilot and the Chief Engineer wished to discharge from the bilges, and he asked me what I would say to the Chief Engineer. He asked me about the discharge of garbage under MARPOL in the Wider Caribbean Region and in the North Atlantic.
He asked me about how I could get weather reports and what equipment was on my bridge for receiving weather reports. Answer, Sat B, Navtex and we also had a weather fax machine. Upon hearing that we had a weather fax machine on the bridge he produced a synoptic chart placed me on a vessel in the Bay of Biscay next to a depression. He asked me what weather would I expect in this area, what would the sea state be like, how could I calculate wind speed and direction. Answer measuring the closeness of the isobars on the scale in the top left corner of the sheet. There was an occluded front next to the depression and he asked me whether it would be raining or clear skies at this. Answer, rainfall expected.
After this he put me in the situation where I am the OOW on the bridge of a vessel at anchor. How do I carry out my watch? If the vessel was to suddenly begin dragging anchor, how would I know and what would be my actions?
After this I was given a model of a vessel and told I am OOW on watch and there is a Man Overboard on my port side. He asked me what my actions are and which turn could I carry out. Answer, Williamson Turn. I was unable to tell him at which point I would alter from hard over on one side to hard over on another as I had forgotten what the bearings were from my initial course. I explained to him that there would be an illustration of the Williamson turn on the Ship’s wheelhouse poster and that I could look at that to refresh my memory.
He placed a model of a PDV in front of me and told me that unless told otherwise I was on a PDV in open sea. When taking action I was to state which fog signal would be used.
Sailing vessel on my port side – Action.
Sailing vessel ahead of me on my port side in a TSS – Action.
Vessel engaged in fishing on my port side – Action.
Vessel engaged in fishing ahead of me in a TSS – Action.
PDV crossing me from Port – Action.
I am overtaking a PDV – Action.
Restricted Visibility he laid out small magnetic pins and asked me if this is a radar plot what is happening. Answer way of own, way of another triangle.
IALA B Starboard Lateral
IALA A Port Lateral
IALA A preferred channel to Starboard
East Cardinal mark sighted ahead on a NW heading.
Safe water mark sighted ahead when entering harbour.
Vessel NUC not making way – Day shape, fog signal, action if sighted ahead.
Vessel engaged in Trawling underway and making way seen from port side shooting it’s nets – Day shape, fog signal, action if sighted ahead.
Pilot vessel underway and making way – Day shape, fog signal and action if sighted ahead.
After the smarty board he stamped my NoE and congratulated me on passing my exam. My advice to any candidate sitting their orals is to look through all of the past papers and create a questions bank based on all the topics which have previously come up and study these intently. At least then you won’t be surprised at something coming up. The examiner may assist you if you are in some trouble over the theory but there is absolutely no margin for error with regard to ROR and Buoyage. You must be bulletproof on these.
My thanks to Vinil Gupta for his CD as it was invaluable in helping me with my ROR, Buoyage and Lights/Shapes. Best of luck to anybody going up for their exam!