Join Date: Jan 2001
Location: Northern New Jersey
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BAD CAPTAIN WARNING! Beware Internet Scammers
For anyone interested enough to know the licensing document rules, a legitimate captain needs to keep his originally issued license with him anytime he is acting in a ''licensed'' capacity, just as the other deck and QMED folks are required to do.
The original issued document can not be at home or in the office, or in the car at the dock where he/she shoved off, but actually kept on board in the wheel house of the vessel he/she is skippering.
Photo copies of licenses are illegal and therefor a definite no-no, period, end of story.
Most captains with USCG 15 to 100 Gross Ton licenses do not have the proper credentials to go out beyond 250 miles in a licensed capacity anyway, as an ''Upon Oceans'' endorsement is required and very difficult to get, requires the original license with the required tonnage, two weeks of a CG approved celestial navigation course with a 90% test score, and in addition requires at least 360 days (not hours) ''Upon Oceans'' within the previous three years. That my friends is a whole lot of ocean sailing, one day on and two days off for the previous three years.
So many of these skippers functioning in a licensed capacity on a transatlantic trip or one that carries the boat, crew and guests out beyond 250 miles is breaking the law at the least if not carrying the required license for the boat and the ''Upon Oceans'' endorsement for the route.
Additionally, if operating commercially a skipper need also have and display a current FCC Commercial Radiotelephone License. (not permit)
If you ever need to inspect a license of a proposed captain you will be taken by how much an original deck officer''s document looks like US paper currency. The license document is created using the same high quality rag paper and is in several colors as US currency is, containing white, black, green, & red ink. The document is 8.5 x 11 and is two sided containing a USCG stamp and seal over the authorizing signature.
Any black and white license irregardless of the paper quality is a copy at the least because it is almost, if not impossible, to copy an original with a color copier because of the protection built into the ink and paper design.
Now after all that, let me add that there is no US law, or USCG rule that requires a delivery skipper to possess or carry any kind of captain''s license unless he/she is charging the attending crew and/or quests a fee for the passage or that the boat is licensed as an inspected vessel.
But lastly and irrespective of the law and without predudice, the owner or insurance carrier of a non inspected recreational boat can require that the skipper be a duly licensed Master, although they can not force him/her to function in a licensed capacity, but only that he/she possess a current & valid license.
So sorry, it was not my intention to get on a rant here but I just wanted to reply against what is an obvious attempt at fraud and it sometimes has a tendency to give legitmate folks a bad rap.
Fair Winds & calm seas,
Captain Bruce Gregory
Licensed USCG Master of Steam and Sail (honest)