CCGC Training Room Comment

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JK
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CCGC Training Room Comment

Postby JK » Thu Apr 22, 2010 11:59 am

JollyJack wrote: The CCG isn't the only player in town and is actually, in my opinion, a disadvantage when the transition to Industry is made.


First off, apologies to JollyJack,he made this statement in the thread "I missed the Boat, More Advice and Guidance" and I don't want him to feel singled out here, that is not my intent.

I thought it was interesting enough to copy it in a new thread, because I didn't want to hijack that original topic.

I have heard variations of that theme over the years and it always makes me curious. I know ex-CG engineers who went through the college who are offshore with the LNG industry, oil industry and in shipyards across the country. I sat in on a meeting last year of 4 organizations and all of them were represented by CG grads who had 30+ years in the industry. Anyone coming from DND will also have that transition.

So can anyone tell me why going through the CCGC is a disadvantage? If people are contemplating, they might as well have the full disclosure.

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Re: CCGC Training Room Comment

Postby JollyJack » Fri Apr 23, 2010 6:30 am

My experience with CCG engineers, with whom I have come into contact only after leaving the sea and coming to work ashore, has been somewhat mixed. While I agree that many are very professional in their outlook, they tend to have a common trait. It appears that the majority have no concept of commercial pressures or, indeed, of life at sea. The 28 day on, (normally tied up in Dartmouth Cove or St Johns harbour) 28 day off work cycle engenders an attitude to which a 4 month contract on a tanker which never ties up alongside, or a bulker or box boat which is in port for a matter of hours, is completely alien. Small coastal craft (and I include the coastal vessel Louis St Laurent, largest in the fleet) is about all the vessels they will ever see and heavy fuel is from another planet.

A “Deep Sea” voyage, defined by Coastguard, is one which is 500 miles east of Anticosti Island, or about 120 miles east of Newfoundland, well within the Near Coastal voyage limits of 200 miles. There are 40’ fishing boats which go out farther. The main purpose of the fleet appears to be to keep the port of Montreal open all winter and to tow disabled fishing boats to safe harbour at no charge. (costing commercial towing Companies a lot of money, in my opinion) While I agree that Canada needs maritime snow ploughs and tow trucks, I’m leery that the experience gained there does not prepare an Engineer for 4 months on a commercial ship with minimum down time, fast turnarounds, critical lay days, minimum manning, social isolation, no shore leave and 16 hour days, 7 days a week.

There seems to be a rudimentary understanding of safe work practices and we are getting through with regards to requirements for Certification. CCG is exempt from carrying qualified Officers on their vessels, but they have voluntarily chosen to comply.

http://laws.justice.gc.ca/eng/SOR-2000- ... rbo-ga:s_2

(One Chief was taken aback and became quite aggressive when I asked to see his Certificate) After the initial culture shock of the decision by CCG to obey the law, there was a mad scramble to validate Certificates and update training. I think they are getting on top of it now. Some senior Chiefs are still in the dark ages, still Kings of their own fiefdoms, they have been on the same ship for so long that reality ends at the gangway and their world starts on deck or in their cabin. I have heard, more than once, the comment that "Coast Guard would be great job if it wasn't for the boats!"

I suppose if a young Engineer wants to go that route at the start of a sea career, the great advantage is that all the initial training courses (MED, PPS etc) are paid for and some examinations for more senior Certificates are exempted. These can cost thousands of dollars going the other, “Alternative Path” route. The 36 months qualifying service for 4th Class is included in the programme.

By all means, start off at CCG College, but I recommend getting some experience at sea afterward. I really don’t count being tied up for 28 days “experience at sea”, it’s merely time spent on a small coaster going nowhere.
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Re: CCGC Training Room Comment

Postby JK » Fri Apr 23, 2010 11:26 am

A cash strapped government fleet is somewhat different then a tanker company. CG is hobbled by the government of the day who have a lot more flashier things to spend taxes on. Many of those ships you look down on because they are tied up, are actually tied up because a lack of funding to run them 12 months a year. There might be a handful of people on them at the most.
A lot of people are content to work coastal and avoid that commercial pressure you mention.

I think BC Ferries falls neatly into your description as well.

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Re: CCGC Training Room Comment

Postby JollyJack » Wed Apr 28, 2010 7:24 am

JK, you asked "So can anyone tell me why going through the CCGC is a disadvantage?" Did I answer that question? I think I pointed out that the college itself is a distinct advantage in that all required courses and training are paid for.

Nobody "looks down" on CCG Engineers, they are just different and, in my opinion, lacking somewhat in experience in the broad Marine field. That's not to say that they lack experience in their own field, I sure wouldn't want to be strapped to a bucket seat in a SAR vessel for 12 to 15 hours, pummelled by sea state 4 waves in a force 8 at a speed of 16 knots! Bravo Zulu to these boys and girls. Nor would I appreciate a repeat of the racket of breaking ice, which I experienced in the Beaufort Sea, for hours and days on end. Horses for courses, I guess.

The decision to comply with the Marine Personnel Regulations and to come under the umbrella of the Canada Shipping Act 2001, has opened eyes to a broader horizon within the CCG, I think. Compliance, in the case of the CCG, is voluntary and they are to be applauded for it.

You mentioned the BC ferries, one could include the lakers, too, both have limited horizons and the same applies to them. Experience gained in respective environments are relative only to these environments. The value of any past experience is only relevant if the experience is of use in a current context. One could have extensive experience as a waiter, but that is of no use whatever if the waiter becomes a bus driver, except in the context of interaction with the public. The same analogy can be drawn when comparing the different marine environments, blue water, offshore, fishing, CCG, ferries, lakers etc. Each is distinct within itself, but all have common elements. It's these common elements within the Engineering and Safety fields we strive to improve.
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Re: CCGC Training Room Comment

Postby JK » Mon May 03, 2010 1:39 am

Ah, I misread this comment:
The 28 day on, (normally tied up in Dartmouth Cove or St Johns harbour) 28 day off work cycle engenders an attitude to which a 4 month contract on a tanker which never ties up alongside, or a bulker or box boat which is in port for a matter of hours, is completely alien.

It reads like the vessel is alongside for 28 days! The crew lolling about in tropical shirts sipping margaritas!
My apologies, the joys of written word and misinterpretations of them.

Having worked FG, I understand the commercial pressures and I expect any engineer who joined a commercial vessel would soon learn to appreciate being on charter, working 4\2 with only short port calls. Maybe even be expected to fight off a pirate or two.
As for CG coming under the umbrella of CSA 2001, I believe CG has always chosen to comply with the CSA. It is not something new. I am sure they also embrace minimum manning levels to cut salary costs.

I tend to point the posters from here to the CGC as a matter of course, as they are given the sea time during their cadet phase, graduate with a 4ths and after 3-4 years are free to do what they want. And they get paid. Seems like a sweet deal.

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Re: CCGC Training Room Comment

Postby JollyJack » Mon May 03, 2010 3:33 am

I agree JK, the training regime at CCGC is very good and well worth pursuing. The required courses are all paid for, and you get paid for taking them! You're right, it is a sweet deal when you consider the basic BSME course, which lasts a year, costs $7000. Any "Alternate path" route costs the year in trade training and then MED (3 off) and PPS courses which can cost $2000 or more each. On top of that is First Aid, which is $300 or so, and a Marine Medical which can be in the region of $150.

It would appear, on the surface, that new entry seafarers are actively discouraged, financially, but that opens a whole can of worms re foreign nationals on Canadian ships.
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Re: CCGC Training Room Comment

Postby JK » Wed May 05, 2010 5:55 am

It would appear, on the surface, that new entry seafarers are actively discouraged, financially, but that opens a whole can of worms re foreign nationals on Canadian ships.

The whining from HR sometimes makes me shake my head. They can't get crew, they can't get electricians and on and on because of the MED. But they haven't the budget to train the people they have on staff with courses they should get. Red tape nightmare.

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Re: CCGC Training Room Comment

Postby JollyJack » Thu May 06, 2010 3:33 am

MED courses compliant with STCW VI/1, VI/2 and VI/3 are now acceptable in Canada. This means a course taken in Manila or Bangkok is valid on a Canadian ship.
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Re: CCGC Training Room Comment

Postby JK » Thu May 06, 2010 4:03 am

wait a minute! I thought foreign nationals can't sail on Canadian registered ships? Wasn't there a big stink a few years back because of the offshore rig support ships having foreign crews?

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Re: CCGC Training Room Comment

Postby JollyJack » Thu May 06, 2010 5:37 am

Anyone who is listed on a Safe Manning Document issued for a Canadian ship must be certified accordingly with Canadian Certification, which is a Canadian Maritime Document. Anyone holding a CMD must be either a Citizen or Premanent Resident of Canada as defined in the Immigration and Refugee Act. An MED Certificate from a foreign Institution, complying with STCW, is not a CMD.

At first sight, it would appear that persons not listed on the Safe Manning Document need not be Citizens or Permanent Residents, but according to MPR section 269,

http://laws.justice.gc.ca/eng/SOR-2007-115/page-1.html

269. (1) No person shall employ as a seafarer a person to whom this Division applies unless the person produces a medical certificate issued by the Minister under section 278 or a provisional medical certificate issued under section 275.

(2) The documents referred to in subsection (1) shall attest to the seafarer’s ability to
(a) perform the duties for which they are to be employed; and
(b) complete the voyages to be engaged on by the vessel on board which they are to be employed.

(3) No person to whom this Division applies shall accept employment as a seafarer unless they hold a document referred to in subsection (1) that applies to their situation and that attests to the seafarer possessing the abilities referred to in subsection (2).

A Marine Medical Certificate IS a Canadian Marine Document. The question is, to whom does Division 8 of Part II apply?

Section 2 of the MPR spells it out..... http://laws.justice.gc.ca/eng/SOR-2007-115/page-1.html

APPLICATION

2. In these Regulations,
(a) Part 1 applies to applicants for a certificate of competency or an endorsement; and
(b) Part 2 applies in respect of Canadian vessels, other than pleasure craft, everywhere and in respect of foreign vessels in Canadian waters.

Good luck trying to enforce the 2.(b) requirement for a Marine Medical on Russian officers and Filipino crew aboard a Greek owned Liberian flag tanker managed by Cypriot ship manager with a head office in Monaco discharging at Canaport!

The Marine Personnel Regulations need to be fine tuned......
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Re: CCGC Training Room Comment

Postby JK » Thu May 06, 2010 10:10 am

You can't imagine how thankful I am to have someone posting here that knows where things are online for the regs.
I always end up cursing after an hour or so of looking and calling one of the surveyors. Sometimes you have to go to a different time zone to find someone in the office.

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Re: CCGC Training Room Comment

Postby JollyJack » Thu May 06, 2010 10:16 am

de nada :)

Incidentally, You'll note the links are to the Justice website. The TC ones are not always current, it takes time for the techygeeks to catch up.
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Re: CCGC Training Room Comment

Postby JK » Thu May 06, 2010 10:30 am

techygeeks...the not so IT bunch, let's not go there.
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