USCG Cert for colorblind? - SailNet Community
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post #1 of Old 03-03-2008 Thread Starter
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USCG Cert for colorblind?

Does anyone know if there's a waiver or some other "workaround" available for a red/green colorblind person seeking USCG Six Pac certification?

I think the FAA accommodates color blindness with some contingencies (extra instrumentation or daylight only). I'd hope USCG would do the same.

Thanks.

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post #2 of Old 03-03-2008
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No, sorry, no workaround that I'm aware of - the do have several tests you can take if the color blindess is partial; but at a minimum you must pass one of them.
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post #3 of Old 03-03-2008
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There are about a dozen different color blind tests. I couldn't pass the book with the dots, but was able to go to a university eye school and take several of the other tests (20+ years ago). I passed several of the tests including the test the USN was using for pilots.

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I think it really depends on what colorblindness you have and how severe it is. If it is the common red-green colorblindness, and even only moderate, you're probably in trouble. Unlike traffic signals, which can be determined positionally, Red as the highest light, green as the lowest... navigation signals and buoys, color is often the only distinguishing characteristic.

In case anyone is interested Good description of the different types and how common they are here.

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Last edited by sailingdog; 03-03-2008 at 01:37 PM.
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Yeah. Daytime is no issue - easy to tell a nun from a can. Night time is really a problem for me with pretty severe red/green color blindness. I can understand the limitations - I'd have a hard time telling if a vessel was coming or going.

Anyone know if RYA has the same requirement?

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OK. I found it. Looks like I could get RYA Yachtmaster, but I'd be restricted from posting watch or nav duty. Hmmm. Sounds like an OK deal to me.

http://web.pml.ac.uk/solas/forms/msn1765.pdf

"6.3 Eyesight Standards
6.3.1 The approved doctor must also ensure that
the seafarer meets the visual acuity and
colour vision standards and will include
testing during the medical examination. This
includes screening for colour vision, using
Ishihara plates. It is essential that seafarers
applying for certificates of competency as
deck or dual career (merchant/fishing)
officers have full colour vision. A deck
applicant who fails the Ishihara test may
arrange for their colour vision to be re-tested
free of charge, using the Holmes Wright B
Lantern, at one of the MCA Marine Offices
that offer lantern tests (listed at Annex C).
Failure in this test will mean that a medical
certificate may only be issued with a
restriction precluding navigational
watch/lookout duties."

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post #7 of Old 03-03-2008
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I'm not actually color blind...I am just color ignorant. I can see they are different colors...but I don't know what they are.

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Quote:
Originally Posted by tonybinTX View Post
Does anyone know if there's a waiver or some other "workaround" available for a red/green colorblind person seeking USCG Six Pac certification?

I think the FAA accommodates color blindness with some contingencies (extra instrumentation or daylight only). I'd hope USCG would do the same.

Thanks.
The attached link is to Mark Grossetti. He is the guy we all use as CG license consultant. He was in the CG for 20 years and If there is anybody who can answer your question it would be Mark. By the way, I personally know a licensed Capt. who is in a wheel chair. So I do know that the CG can make exceptions in regards to the medical qualifications.

Grossetti License Consulting

Last edited by bubb2; 03-03-2008 at 05:01 PM.
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post #9 of Old 03-03-2008 Thread Starter
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Thanks Bubb2 - sent him an email.

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Quote:
Originally Posted by bubb2 View Post
The attached link is to Mark Grossetti. He is the guy we all use as CG license consultant. He was in the CG for 20 years and If there is anybody who can answer your question it would be Mark. By the way, I personally know a licensed Capt. who is in a wheel chair. So I do know that the CG can make exceptions in regards to the medical qualifications.

Grossetti License Consulting

I think the Coast Guard tries to be flexible if given a chance (I've met licensed one-armed Mates and one-legged Captains on sizeable commercial vessels) but red/green colorblindness really is a substantial deal. You don't need it on open water by day where it's too deep for any nav. aids, but you do closer to shore, and you really do by night. Maybe this consultant above knows some stuff. Licensing can be frustrating when you're the (would-be) licensee (I've been on both sides of this equation), but ultimately I think they try to do the right thing. It just takes months, or more, to get to the end of the decision tree.

Best of luck anyway.
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