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UK Oral Questions By Capt. Jackson On 15th Feb 2013
#1 Posted : Monday, November 4, 2013 3:24:02 PM(UTC)
Rank: Member

Groups: Registered
Joined: 9/25/2013(UTC)
Posts: 16
Location: Canada

February 2013,

Friday 15th

0850 – 0945 hrs,

Tyne Dock,

Capt. Jackson,

Lachlan Wotherspoon,

Ro-Pax – Pass.

I entered the building shortly after 0845 and was almost instantly invited into the examination

room by Capt. Jackson. On the desk was the following report, (Case 7 – Bridge Team’s Multiple

Failures) minus the findings, and I was left with an A4 pad and pen to jot down my thoughts and

he’d be back to have a chat about it.


I went to town on this and filled about three quarters of the page. I even speculated whether fatigue

may have been a factor in the incident and after listing of all my findings, sure enough, I was asked,

tell me about fatigue? I launched into the HoR regulations, quoting MSN 1767, including the Manila

amendments and he only stopped me when I started to rhyme off the young person’s equivalent.

By the time we had finished, and although I must have been in the room a good twenty minutes, I

deliberately hadn’t looked at my watch!

He asked if I had ECDIS and I said yes with SENC’s but not as PMN. He asked how I’d know this so I

told him the SMD made no mention of it but I told him the four conditions that are on my last ship’s

SMD, HoR, UMS, Cook Training and lone E/R watchkeeper. He asked what procedure we had for

the lone E/R watchkeeper. I said on the rare occasion this happened, the lone watchkeeper had to

contact the bridge every 15 minutes. He then asked if we had BNWAS although he didn’t ask how it

worked, just moved swiftly on........

He then asked if I’d been on the HELM course? I said I’d never heard of it so he said Bridge Resource

Management? I said the one I attended was called Crew Resource Management by Wrightway

Training. He asked what did you think and I replied that I’d done NARAST traing just a few months

previous and felt that they were too similar for me to gain an awful lot. He agreed with my

sentiments and I said, if you are autocratic, a five day course ain’t going to change you! He seemed

to like that as he grinned again!

I was then asked what factors would influence making up the composition of the bridge watch team

and where I would find advice on this? Straight forward stuff and he stopped me when I’d rhymed of

half a dozen.

The next question was, tell me about your last ship? Again, I launched straight in telling him about

the LSA and anchor types and scope of cable on each side. I was asked what type of MES we have

on board and what the requirements were for servicing, deployment and crew training were? Very

straight forward stuff.......

I was then asked what certs I’d be looking for when signing deck crew on? I rattled of the usual

PSST, PSR, EFA and Fire Fighting. I then went on to say that as it was a passenger vessel, they’d also

require to undertake Hull Integrity and Crowd/Crisis Management Training. He seemed impressed

with my knowledge of this, and as he hadn’t interrupted me, I went on to say that I’d ensure as

part of our SMS, the Induction Form also ensured that no-one would be assigned shipboard duties

for a minimum of five days and that the Induction also include a “Welcome Pack” which brought

out a grin, and familiarisation on Watertight Door operations. He then asked, what specific certs

would a Deck Rating have and did we ever get any agency staff? I replied yes, and that they should

have CPSC, FRB, EDH and an AB Certificate. I’d expect the agency staff to have exactly the same

certification as our regular employees, and I took the opportunity to say that there had been times

in the past when agency staff perhaps didn’t have an FRB or MES but we always managed to ensure

that the duties on the Muster List were covered accordingly.

I was then asked what I’d be doing when joining my last ship as Master? I launched in to checking

when the next Safety/On board Management Meeting’s were due? The performance and experience

of the Bridge Team, before I got stuck in to checking the Passage Plan and the Ships Certification. He

stopped me when I got to about twenty five and as I had deliberately sandwiched the compass cert

somewhere in the middle, I was delighted when he then asked me about the last one I mentioned,

the ISSC! Wonderful! I got tore into the CSR, SSP, PMS for security equipment, DOS’s, the SSO’s

certificate, Drill/Exercise records, change of security codes, Security Awareness Training for the

crew, internal and external audit reports.........Again he was scribbling furiously as I spoke, but I must

have been more than half way through the exam and I was thinking, I can only throw this away!! It

was half time and I must have been 4-0 up!

Next came the emergency scenario and my ship had grounded. Actions? I gave the structured

answer that I’d practiced for weeks and ensured that I got in the gold dust of reducing the pitch to

zero, general emergency, muster-headcount, close watertight doors, masters decision and support

system, SOPEP, damage control plan, weather report, lights shapes, Mayday-downgrading later if

required, plotting position on the chart and ascertaining the nature of the seabed. I then went on to

getting a full damage assessment from the work party and giving consideration to putting an anchor

out at short stay if there was any swell in case we’d be over our survivability capabilities. He stopped

me here and said, ok, it was a sandy bottom, the hull is intact, now you are going to refloat, describe

how you would do it? This was something I hadn’t thought of in the previous weeks but I just gave

what I thought was a common sense reply, saying I’d only do this if absolutely sure it was safe and

I’d want to do it on a rising tide, with the pitch at the minimum required to prevent damage to the

propellers and I’d consider transferring ballast if this was safe and not detrimental to the stability. I

wasn’t sure if that was what he was looking for but we moved on and my day got worse as we now

had DG on fire on the car deck! This is a well rehearsed drill on our ships so I was able to give a very

good, well rehearsed answer, even popping in saving the VDR, and apologising for failing to mention

that during the grounding! Doh! He grinned again and said, don’t worry about it and said, you

mentioned the Masters Decision Support System, it would have been in there.......Ladies/gents, if


I threw in SOPEP again and the possibility of FSE on the car deck with the drencher and fire hoses

being used for extinguishing/boundary cooling.

I was then told, you are heading for a POR. Actions? I said appoint an agent, passage plan amended,

inform owners, DPA, P&I, Flag, Class, MAIB by quickest means possible, get inward clearance and

I rattled of forms Fal 1-7, naming every one. I felt I had given a good answer, only to hear “and”?!!

I’m thinking loudly, now what else, when he prompts me with security? I said, of course, I need to

ascertain the Port Security Level, do a DOS if the Port is at a lower level than us, get up to date info

from the CSO, and provide our last ten DOS’s to the Port Security Officer, etc, etc. I then went on to

say, there would be MARPOL considerations, wrt Annex I, IV, V & VI. He then said, what is in Annex I

for your vessel type? Straight forward answer. As I was telling him this, he took a laminated A4 radar

lot with me doing 300ᵒT @ 10 knots. There were four targets and each had the relative track on the

plot. Each had the CPA, TCPA, Co. & Speed completed. Target one was crossing me from Port to Stbd

and was no ROC, target two was the same. Target three, was right ahead of me and I was overtaking

him with a zero CPA. Target four was a single dot on the plot as he was doing the same Co. and

Speed as me, no ROC. He said have a look at that and we’ll have a chat when I come back. I mentally

drew in the WOA triangle for each target, and was thinking, I can’t blow this now! For the first time

in the exam, I glanced at my watch and it was 0942. I was thinking, surely I haven’t got another forty

minutes to go! However, when he came back I gave him a lowdown for each target, what they were

doing, what I expected them to do under Rule 19 and what the rule said I could do for each target.

He then said, so what is your action? I said a bold alteration of course to Port, (the effect of which

I would continue to monitor until I was finally past and clear), as I was overtaking target three, and

it would not result in another close quarters situation with any of the other three targets. He said,

you have trial manoeuvre, what heading would you input? I was doing 300ᵒT originally and I said I’d

come round to 230ᵒT.

That was it! He said, ok Mr Wotherspoon, very well done, you have passed!! No Colregs, lights or

buoys! I was over the moon and thanked him. He said don’t thank me, you provided the answers!

What a wonderful feeling!

We then chatted about Calmac for five minutes before I came out at 0950. Capt. Jackson was a

gentleman. The one time I needed a wee nudge for the POR question, he provided it. I think the

secret is to go in confident and get off to a good start. Also, KNOW YOUR LAST SHIP! I honestly felt

that I was 2-0 after ten minutes and I never looked back. He does like a structured answer and you

must be strong with whatever emergency scenario he gives you. I had really psyched myself up for a

difficult morning but came out thinking it felt more like a chat, but having said that, the exam is easy

if you know the answers! He doesn’t dig deep if you can give a good answer right away and I’d say he

is very fair, but then I would!

I’d like to that all the lecturers at STC, and in particular - Don Oliver, not just for Masters, but for

Mates as well. Good luck to everyone else this week and in the future. Not just for the exam, but for

the NOE’s as well!!
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