Advice Orals Hints & Tips OOW orals Mate - orals Master - orals

Use the links above to get information about specific subjects. ORALS INFORMATION - OOW Syllabus

This is the OOW Orals syllabus taken from MGN 69 (TRAINING AND CERTIFICATION GUIDANCE – PART 11 Conduct of MCA Oral Examinations)

Navigation - Cargo Handling and stowage - Response to emergencies - Onboard ship operations


Candidates should demonstrate the ability to apply the knowledge outlined in this oral examination syllabus by appropriate responses, anticipations and reactions to a range of routine, non-routine and contingency scenarios as presented by the examiner, from the perspective of OOW - Ships of 500gt and above.


.1 Plan and Conduct a Passage Including Position Determination

a) passage planning with respect to the use of navigational publications including navigational charts (including ECDIS and RCDS), sailing directions, light lists, tide tables, radio navigational warnings and ships’ routeing information;
b) the requirements of ship routeing and mandatory reporting systems;
c) IALA systems of maritime buoyage;
d) electronic navigational systems - limitations and sources of error, methods of correction;
e) limitations of electronic chart systems including ECDIS and RCDS navigational chart systems;
f) radar and ARPA - practical use of, modes of operation, limitations, sources of error and parallel indexing;
g) to use an azimuth mirror for taking bearings, including the determination of compass errors;
h) to use a sextant, identify and correct errors;
i) sources of meteorological information, ability to use and interpret information obtained from ship borne meteorological instruments (the instruments supplied by the Meteorological Office will be taken as standard), knowledge of characteristics of various weather systems, reporting and recording systems.

2 Maintain a Safe Navigational Watch
a) a thorough knowledge of the principles of navigational watchkeeping at sea, including under pilotage, and watchkeeping at anchor and in port;
b) a thorough knowledge of the content, application and intent of the International Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea;
c) radar and ARPA - practical use of, modes of operation, limitations, sources of error, plotting and parallel indexing;
d) understand the use of bridge equipment, including rate of turn indicators, course recorders, echo sounders and NAVTEX;
e) knowledge of steering control systems, including automatic pilot, operational procedures and change-over from manual to automatic control and vice-versa - adjustment of controls for optimum performance;
f) knowledge and application of the ICS Bridge Procedures Guide.

.3 Compasses
a) use, care and limitations of the magnetic and gyro compasses, and associated equipment, including automatic pilot.

4 Manoeuvre the Ship
a) preparation for getting under way, duties prior to proceeding to sea, making harbour, entering a dock, berthing alongside quays, jetties, or other ships, and securing to buoys;
b) use and care of mooring lines and associated equipment;
c) helm orders, conning the ship, effects of propellers on the steering of a ship, effects of wind and current, stopping, going astern, turning short round, interaction and squat, manoeuvring in the vicinity of pilot vessels and other craft, embarking and disembarking a pilot;
d) action in event of failure of:- bridge control, telegraph or steering; emergency steering arrangements.
e) proper procedures for anchoring.

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.1 Loading and Unloading of Cargoes

a) use and care of synthetic fibre and wire ropes, ascertaining of safe-working loads;
b) basic knowledge of the regulations and recommendations affecting cargo handling, stowage, securing and carriage, including the IMDG Code;
c) use of the hydrometer.

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.1 Response to Navigational Emergencies

a) initial action following: man overboard, collision, grounding, flooding or major mechanical damage, and receipt of a distress message; initial damage assessment and control, protection of the marine environment;
b) precautions for the protection and safety of passengers in emergency situations;
c) use of the International Aeronautical and Marine Search and Rescue (IAMSAR) Manual (Volume III), distress and emergency signals; Search And Rescue around the UK and world-wide.

.2 Response to Other Emergencies
a) understanding of the organisational procedures for emergency parties and drills;
b) knowledge of fire prevention, use and care of fire-fighting appliances, the shut-down and isolation of plant and equipment, escape and breathing apparatus, fire and safety plans;
c) knowledge of classes and chemistry of fire;
d) understanding of action to be taken in the event of fire including fires involving oil;
e) use and care of life-saving appliances and equipment including hand held radios, EPIRBs, SARTs, immersion suits and thermal protective aids, and rocket line throwing apparatus;
f) meaning of markings on survival craft and associated equipment;
g) correct use of distress signals and awareness of penalties for misuse;
h) launch and manage survival craft, recover rescue boats at sea;
i) precautions for the protection and safety of passengers in emergencies;
j) knowledge of the contents of SOLAS training manuals and maintenance logs;
k) basic principles of survival;
l) appreciation of action to be taken when emergencies arise in port;
m) sources of medical information available.

3 Communications
a) use of distress and emergency signals, International Code of Signals and the IMO Standard Marine Communication Phrases;
b) emergency communications within the GMDSS regulations.

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.1 Pollution Prevention Requirements

a) precautions to be taken to prevent pollution of the marine environment as required by the MARPOL conventions, including Restricted Areas and the disposal of pollutants;
b) basic understanding of the SOPEP manual, Garbage Management Plan and anti-pollution equipment.

2 Seaworthiness of the Ship
a) understand fundamentals of watertight integrity, and the closing of all openings including hatch covers, access hatches and watertight doors;
b) preparations for heavy weather.

3 Legislative Requirements
a) contents and use of Merchant Shipping Notices, Marine Guidance Notes, Marine Information Notes and Annual Summary of Admiralty Notices to Mariners;
b) knowledge and application of current Merchant Shipping Health and Safety legislation, and the Code of Safe Working Practices for Merchant Seamen;
c) basic knowledge of relevant IMO conventions concerning safety of life at sea, and protection of the marine environment.
d) purpose and application of the International Safety Management (ISM )Code;
e) purpose of Flag State and Port State Control.

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