News Archives from 9-11-08 to 9-30-08

Flashing Light Exams at RECs . . . - 09/30/2008
The Coast Guard announced that effective November 1, 2008, it will discontinue offering the flashing light examination at its Regional Examination Centers (RECs). Mariners requiring STCW certificates which require proficiency in the use of flashing light will be required to take a Coast Guard approved Visual Communications (Flashing Light) course in lieu of testing at an REC. Complete details are in the documents below.


Flashing Light Examinations at RECs

National Maritime Center Guidance Document

TWIC Deadline for Alaska Announced . . . - 09/29/2008
September 29, 2008, the US Coast Guard announced that enforcement of the requirement to hold a Transportation Workers Identification Credential (TWIC) would commence in Alaska on February 12, 2009. Complete details are in the Press Release and Notice posted below.


TWIC Enforcement Deadline Announcement

COFR Coverage Changes . . . - 09/17/2008
September 17, 2008, the US Coast Guard issued a final rule increasing the levels of financial responsibility that must be demonstrated by owners and operators of certain vessels operating on waters subject to the jurisdiction of the United States. The applicable amounts of the Certificates of Financial Responsibility (COFRs) are being increased to be consistent with recent statutory increases in the limits of liability. The regulatory amendment is worded so as to account for future mandated increases in liability limits. The amendments also implement changes in the Coast Guard’s administration of the COFR program and clarify the current rule. Among other things, this amendment eliminates the requirement that the original of the COFR be carried onboard the vessel and increases the fees for obtaining COFRs. The changes come into effect on October 17 and vessels subject to the COFR requirement must have COFRs in the new appropriate amount not later than January 15, 2009. Complete details are in the Federal Register Notice posted below.


COFR Federal Register

Navigation Study for Port of Juneau . . . - 09/15/2008
The Marine Exchange of Alaska is conducting a navigation study of the various cruise ship dock alternatives under consideration for the City and Borough of Juneau. Attached below is the Navigation Study Questionnaire and background information on the various alternatives. This study is to solely consider the navigational aspects of the various cruise ship berth construction alternatives. Questions regarding this study may be directed to Captain Ed Page, Executive Director of the Marine Exchange at (907) 463 5078 or

The Navigation Study Questionnaire (3.6 MB) and the Navigation Study Background (3.77 MB) are large files and should be downloaded and saved on your computer before attempting to open them.

Completed questionnaires may be sent via fax to 1-800-682-2898 or scanned and e-mailed to or sent via mail to the Marine Exchange of Alaska, 1000 Harbor Way, Juneau, Alaska, 99801


Navigation Study Cover Sheet (97.9 KB)

Navigation Study Questionnaire (3.6 MB)

Navigation Study Background (3.77 MB)

Licensing Regulations Revised . . . - 09/11/2008
On Thursday September 11, 2008, the Coast Guard published a final rule in the Federal Register concerning the Training and Service Requirements for Merchant marine Officers. In this final rule the Coast Guard eliminated the requirement for the expiration date of radar observer endorsements to be placed on licenses. This is to alleviate a problem where the radar endorsement expiration date does not coincide with the license expiration date. In the future the licensee must carry with his license proof of the completion of the radar observer refresher training showing the expiration date. There also were other revisions to allow for an apprentice mate of towing vessels to reduce sea service time for mate (pilot) of towing vessels by completing additional approved training and provide an alternate path to mate (pilot) of towing vessels for master of steam or motor vessels of any tonnage that is 200 Gross Registered Tons or less. Complete details of these revisions are provided in the Federal register Notice below.


Federal Register regarding changes to the Licensing Regulations