We’ll I have now finally passed my Orals examination so am no longer a cadet! I sat the exam yesterday afternoon at the MCA in Glasgow (although technically its out near Greenock).
Since I know of at least one other doing their exam up in Glasgow, here’s roughly what I was asked – I haven’t included my answers, except where necessary because they caused a follow on question.
The previous exam was running late, so the examiner appeared and gave me a sheet of paper and told me to draw an on-load release mechanism and how a fall preventer device would be connected to it, as well as the purposes of the fall preventer device. (MGN 388).
Once inside and after he had seen my documents, explained the process and asked about my last ship he told me to pick up the sextant and read the reading off it.
Next he told me to open up the white screen (Masons Hygrometer) and asked what the instruments were inside, what they were for, and if both had the same reading what would this indicate?
Next I was asked if I had a safety officer on my last ship, what his duties were and where I could find these duties? I said in the SMS, so he asked where would they have been taken from? COSWP.
What documents are required under the ISM code? I also mentioned DPA during my answer.
Did we have a planned maintenance system onboard? Said yes, we used a computerised system called AMOS. How did it work? What tasks were in the maintenance system regarding lifeboats?
Tell me how MARPOL Annex 1, applied to your vessel? What documents are required? Can you discharge oil in the Mediterranean? What is an oily water separator?
Did you have a shipboard security officer? who was he?
What are the differences between “Voyage Planning” and “Passage Planning”?
If a passenger was injured what actions would you take as the officer on watch?
You’re on watch and a fire alarm goes off in a cabin? Said I would phone the cabin to check.. He cut me off and said, what if there’s no one in the cabin? so said if there was no answer I would radio fire patrol to check the cabin. Although if I received additional alarms before fire patrol reported back I would proceed to the “Assessment party” stage of the ships emergency plans.
What equipment did you have on the bridge of your last ship?
What radar detects SARTS?
What are the limitations of AIS?
You had 3 ARPA’s onboard? What are the limitations if say you altered from 000 to 090?
What are the limitations of GPS? Before I could answer he seemed to change his mind and asked what would you need to check when using GPS? I said that it was using GPS or DGPS and not DR mode – how would you know?
Electronic charts are thought of as “intelligent charts” why? What are the dangers of electronic charts?
How would you test the steering gear on your last ship? Where would you find the requirements? I said in the SMS, he said where would that have been taken from? SOLAS Chapter 5.
I presume you are familiar with MGN XXX – Watchkeeping at anchor (I think that’s what its called), what does it contain? Said I had never read it, but I would assume it contained what we did onboard at anchorage.. I then proceeded to go through everything we did when at anchor.
Then it was COLREGs, as well as actions he also wanted additional information such as day / night shapes, sound signals, etc, and told me not to bother with “take a series of compass bearings” as risk of collision always exists.
- Vessel engaged in towing port side, crossing, actions?
- Vessel engaged in towing port side, RAM, crossing, actions?
- Now I was CBD: Vessel starboard side, crossing, actions?
- TSS, Vessel port side crossing lane, actions?
- TSS, Vessel starboard side crossing lane, actions?
- Open water, vessel overtaking, then cuts in front of me, range 3 miles, action?
Then we had lights. He wanted to know everything about them; type, size, what its doing, whether its underway or making way, sound signals and day signals (including flags if applicable).
- Vessel not under command
- Vessel engaged in trawling (greater than 50m) hauling nets
- Vessel aground, probably more than 50m, less than 100m
Next was 3 buoys – he wanted top mark, lights;
- Port hand (Region B)
- West cardinal
- Preferred channel to starboard (Region A)