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Beneteau 393
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According to the indictment, for over seven years, Smith engaged in a scheme to defraud the United States. Smith took bribes to fix exam scores, enabling license applicants to bypass the required testing. This resulted in the applicants illegally obtaining a range of licenses for officer-level positions, including the most important positions on vessels, such as master, chief mate, and chief engineer.
Unbelievable!!!
This will destroy many jobs... but shocked how many could be driving large commercial ships with fraudulent licences.
 

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Frightening and amazing to me that this went on. If you're planning to spend your career in a field like this, wouldn't you want to spend the time to actually learn the things you need to know in order to be successful? I realize that those who chose to cheat might try to justify doing it by claiming that there are things on the USCG exams that aren't relevant to most sailors but most of it is and the parts that aren't relevant aren't too hard to shove into your short term memory just in time to take the test and then forget. It's just not that hard to do it the right way, mostly just a matter of taking relatively short amount of time needed to study and jump through the required hoops just like in any other profession and then enjoy the benefits of having that license for the rest of your life. Very pathetic that these people chose to cheat.

If found guilty, I don't really care what the criminal penalty is, but hopefully they will be barred from ever holding another USCG license. We don't need people with that mentality out on the water with us.
 

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I've never noticed the USCG being particularly attentative to the sea time forms to begin with. I have never once been contacted for verification of my signature on any of the crew forms I've signed over the decades. And then you add a multiple choice format to the written part and it becomes a give away license, at least under 500 tons.
I have no doubt many of the schools/testing facilities do things similar to the one above that got caught. After all, you can buy a DL, Passport, etc for a price, why not a captain's license?
 

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I have no doubt many of the schools/testing facilities do things similar
I think that is a stretch, but I agree that an unverified sea time form and a multiple choice test is all it takes, up to some very heavy iron. Like many licensed activities, the insurance companies are likely far more demanding and what actually tempers the use of a wet ticket.
 

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Frightening and amazing to me that this went on. If you're planning to spend your career in a field like this, wouldn't you want to spend the time to actually learn the things you need to know in order to be successful? I realize that those who chose to cheat might try to justify doing it by claiming that there are things on the USCG exams that aren't relevant to most sailors but most of it is and the parts that aren't relevant aren't too hard to shove into your short term memory just in time to take the test and then forget. It's just not that hard to do it the right way, mostly just a matter of taking relatively short amount of time needed to study and jump through the required hoops just like in any other profession and then enjoy the benefits of having that license for the rest of your life. Very pathetic that these people chose to cheat.

If found guilty, I don't really care what the criminal penalty is, but hopefully they will be barred from ever holding another USCG license. We don't need people with that mentality out on the water with us.
Here you are right, such cases are rare and I am sure that such people lose their license. And I also agree that all the same, this exam is important.
 

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I think that is a stretch, but I agree that an unverified sea time form and a multiple choice test is all it takes, up to some very heavy iron. Like many licensed activities, the insurance companies are likely far more demanding and what actually tempers the use of a wet ticket.
My wife went through the rigamarole last year to get her 100 ton. The school she used guaranteed those taking the course that they would pass the test.
 
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My wife went through the rigamarole last year to get her 100 ton. The school she used guaranteed those taking the course that they would pass the test.
That's really pretty foolish of them, as they could lose their certification to hold/teach classes and potentially face prosecution. I'm guessing that the CG field audit capabilities are limited, but it only takes one incident and they'd be out of business, and licenses issued by them could be voided.
 

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Here you are right, such cases are rare and I am sure that such people lose their license. And I also agree that all the same, this exam is important.
Some people do not test well, even if they are capable and experienced. Perhaps that's why they GC uses multiple choice tests, which even a teen could pass with ease. For heaven's sake, the correct answers are there right there.
Just as an example, the British Commonwealth test I took was 25 hours, including the last 5 that were oral in front of 5 licensed masters. No multiple choice on that test.
 
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