Chief Mate Orals (Glasgow)

Thursday, October 31st, 2013 at 15:46 | by Alistair Baillie

I sat my Chief Mate Orals exam back in March and quickly had to return to sea a few days later, so not only did I not get a chance to send the paperwork off to get my new licence until August, I also forgot to post what I was asked here.

Firstly, for anyone who has sat their Orals at Glasgow prior to 2013, you should probably be aware that the MCA have moved from the Navy Buildings out at Greenock to a business park next to Glasgow International Airport. There is plenty of parking in the street outside, the business park does also have a huge car park but it’s barrier controlled and you need a code to get in.

Disclaimer: As with all “Orals Reports” this is my best recollection a few days later when I wrote it for the college – some questions may not be exactly as asked and there may have been other questions!

After being called in there was the usual discussion about fire procedures and he asked to see my CoC, Passport and Discharge Book. He spent some time discussing the company I worked for and the trading areas.

He then told me that for the purpose of the examination I will be on a well manned, UK flagged passenger vessel, unless he states otherwise while asking the question I am to be chief officer and the master is always available.

He then discussed my last ship which led into the first question of what is GRT? What do I understand by Displacement? What is Deadweight?

What is residual deviation? How could you check for residual deviation? How could you remove it?

What certificates are required under SMS? What does the ISM code mean for you onboard? I talked about being a framework for the SMS and what was in it then mentioned PMS.
What types of job would you expect to have in your PMS system regarding the mooring deck?

MLC 2006, what is it? Has the UK ratified it? What are some of the changes? How does it affect your contract of employment?

You are proceeding to a dry dock, its the first time your ship has docked at this yard, what information would you expect to provide the yard / receive from the yard?

What is the critical point? how do you minimize upthrust?

He then said, we’ll come back to dry docking in a minute, discussed how a ro-ro ferry was in a dry dock nearby due to berthing with the stabiliser fin out. As master how would you ensure that doesn’t happen?

Your nearing the end of the dry docking, the dock is to be flooded in 6 hours time, what would your duties as chief officer be? Would you keep the bottom plugs or let the shipyard keep them?

How long is your ISPS certificate valid for? As SSO what drills would you want to carry out? How often? He mentioned one of the common deficiencies was to do with trading areas? What is a declaration of security? When would you expect to have to produce one?

How long are you required to hold the records of drills and DoS for?

TSS, what vessels are permitted in the separation zone?

PDV crossing from port (TSS), actions?

PDV crossing from starboard (TSS + I am CBD), actions?

Towing Vessel – what shapes would it show if length of tow is less than 50m, what shapes would it show if length of tow is greater than 200m? What shapes would it show if it was severely restricted by its tow? At night what lights would be exhibited?

Towing Vessel (RAM) crossing from port (TSS + I am CBD), actions?

Buoyage: Region B: Preferred Channel to Starboard. Lights? Proceeding against direction of buoyage what side would you pass it?

What is a safe speed? Restricted visibility, what is a safe speed? (He didn’t stop me talking so I started quoting the rule) What rule refers to this?

Lookout reports a sound signal coming from ahead, nothing on radar, actions? What rules apply in restricted visibility?

What does Rule 19 say regarding your actions?

Radar plot, complete the plot, actions?

Smarty Board: (Wanted to know, what it was, what it’s doing, day shapes, sound signal) – NUC
– Pilot Vessel
– Vessel Aground

In between each of the smarty board questions he asked some other questions about what statutory certificates you’re required to carry.

There may have been other questions but these are the only ones I can remember. It turned out it was the same examiner who had examined me for my OOW, I got one or two questions wrong but he pointed me in the direction of the answer he wanted. At the end he spent 5 – 10 minutes going over the questions he asked that I didn’t answer quite right.

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