The captain of a tugboat must hold a Merchant Mariner Credential (MMC) National Officer Endorsement as Master of Towing. The following describes the mainstream path established in the federal regulations to advance from deckhand to Master of Towing.
Apprentice Mate (steersman) of Towing requires 540-days of total experience that includes 360-days experience on towing vessels, and completion of an approved Apprentice Mate (steersman) course or the Apprentice Mate (steersman) exams at a USCG Regional Exam Center (REC).
Mate (Pilot) of Towing requires 360-days experience on towing vessels while holding the Apprentice Mate (steersman) of Towing endorsement AND completion of a TOAR (Towing Officer Assessment Record), AND an approved Radar Observer course.
Master of Towing requires 540-days experience on towing vessels as Mate while holding the Mate (Pilot) of Towing endorsement.
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