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COLOUR DEFICIENCY & ENG1
TEE
Posted: Thursday, July 4, 2013 11:44 PM
Joined: 04/07/2013
Posts: 1


DEAR DR KEN, I HAVE JUST DONE AN ENG1 MEDICAL FOR SEA FEARERS TO WORK AS A MARITIME SECURITY OPERATOR ON COMMERCIAL SHIPS.THE RESULT CAME OUT AS "NO NAVIGATIONAL LOOK OUT DUTIES,BECAUSE I HAVE COLOUR DEFIENCY.I WAS SADDEN FOR THE RESULT BECAUSE IT WILL MINIMISE THE CHANCE OF GETTING EMPLOYED. IS THERE ANY OTHER TEST I COULD DO?SO THAT I DONT HAVE COLOUR DEFIENCY? AND I DONT WANT THE "NO NAVIGATIONAL LOOK OUT DUTIES TO BE WRITTEN ON THE ENG1 CERTIFICATE? YOUR HELP WILL BE MUCH APPRECIATED. HERE FROM YOU SOON. TEE
Zenith
Posted: Friday, July 5, 2013 7:42 AM
Joined: 28/04/2011
Posts: 56


Tee, from my understanding you have been issued with a Category 2 restricted ENG1 due to you failing the Ishihara colour plate test which was conducted by the MCA Approved Medical Practitioner.  

In your circumstances the MCA Approved Medical Practitioner should have offered you the opportunity for a retest using the CAM lantern at one of the MCA nominated Marine Offices, and if you’d taken that option would have withheld your ENG1 pending the results of that, otherwise would have issued you with the Category 2 ENG1 remarked “Not fit for lookout duties”.   Note that some documents on the MCA website refer to the Holmes Wright lantern tests, this is now obsolete and has replaced by the CAM lantern test at MCA Marine Offices.  

This guidance is available on the MCA website in the form of MSN1822. http://www.dft.gov.uk/mca/msn_1822.pdf 

   

You can contact one of the Marine Offices listed below to enquire about taking the CAM Lantern test, and if successful you will be able to apply for your ENG1 to be reissued without restriction (Category 1). 

MCA MARINE OFFICES WHERE LANTERN TESTS ARE HELD 

 

1. Aberdeen Marine Office 

(temporarily unavailable; contact MCA) Tel: 01224 597900 

Marine House Fax: 01224 571920 

Blaikies Quay 

Aberdeen 

AB11 5EZ 

 

2. Hull Marine Office Tel: 01482 398700 

Crosskill House Fax: 01482 869989 

Mill Lane, Beverley 

North Humberside 

HU17 9JB 

 

3. Southampton Marine Office Tel: 023 8032 9329 

Spring Place Fax: 023 8032 9351 

105 Commercial Road 

Southampton 

SO15 1EG 

   

Here is an extract from ADG 14 (Approved Doctors Guidance)  

 

QUOTE

A deck applicant who fails the Ishihara test may arrange for their colour vision to be re-tested free of charge, using the CAM Lantern, at one of the 3 MCA Marine Offices (see Annex B of MSN1822) that offer lantern tests. The AD should withhold the issue of an ENG 1 until the test has been carried out. Failure in this test will mean that a medical certificate may only be issued with the restriction “Not fit for lookout duties” (and/or solo navigational watch). Although there is a tick box on the ENG 1 form relating to fitness for lookout duties, non-fitness must also be written as a restriction on duties.
A seafarer who is referred for a lantern test should not be issued with an ENG 1 until the results of the lantern test have been returned to the AD. Alternatively, the AD can offer to issue the seafarer with an ENG 1 suitably restricted to "no look out duties", "daylight duties only" or "no work with coloured cables" from the outset.
In cases where a seafarer being examined by a non-UK based AD fails Ishihara, the AD should advise the seafarer of their right to attend for a lantern test in the UK if they choose to although it should be pointed out that the likelihood of passing a lantern test is small. It may aid their decision on whether to travel for a lantern test if they have additional investigation by an optometrist or ophthalmologist locally to determine the severity of their colour impairment as it is very unlikely that anyone who has more than a minor degree of impairment will pass a lantern test. Unfortunately there are no acceptable equivalent lantern tests outside the UK.

END QUOTE

 

 

For the latest guidance, always consult the MCA website at www.mcga.gov.uk  

As a side note, unless you are expected to be on the Bridge as the assigned navigational lookout, which I find highly unlikely, you probably be absolutely fine with the "Not fit for lookout duties" restriction. This requirement is more pertinent to a Bridge Watchkeeping Officer/Lookout as they need to distinguish between the colours of various lights to determine aspects of vessel and for the correct identification of buoyage.

 


Anonymous
Posted: Friday, July 5, 2013 8:26 AM
Once you're colour blind there's not much you can do about it. But  there are always two options work as a engineer, or pay for your eng1 ( in witch case it will come out rater sooner then later that you have cheated, hopefully without any serious damages or life lost). In your case to work as a maritime security operatow ( whatever that is ) it doesn't sound like you need to do any lookout at all so o worries .
Jez
Posted: Monday, July 8, 2013 10:10 AM
Joined: 10/09/2008
Posts: 5


I had the navigational duties restriction on my ENG1, didn't matter as I was an engineer. However once I was on board it didn't stop me from being asked to keep watch or even from being promoted to Captain. In my time on yachts I was never even asked if I had an ENG1. Personally I think the colour vision requirement is outdated and meaningless, you're never on watch alone at night, so if the worst happens you can ask you fellow watchkeeper what colour the lights are but in reality you've been tracking the boat on radar from 12 miles out and you know exactly where she's headed and how fast. I believe it's not even a requirement for airline pilots any more. My rule was always, if you can see a light of any colour, try not to hit it.
Zenith
Posted: Monday, July 8, 2013 11:33 AM
Joined: 28/04/2011
Posts: 56


Jez, I have to disagree with several of your comments. Firstly, on any yacht that is ISM compliant or is subject to Class, Flag State or Port State inspections, the issues with the ENG1 will almost certainly be brought up. For a contracting maritime security worker, the ENG1 will regularly be asked for by owners and/or management companies, but I still don't think the 'Not fit for lookout duties' will pose a great issue if explained that it is due to colour blindness.

For a navigational lookout, watchkeeper or Master it is absolutely necessary to be able to distinguish between red, green, white and yellow. Safe navigation in busy coastal waters or through a busy a anchorage at night would be incredibly dangerous otherwise, as you need to be able to determine the aspect of vessels and identify buoyage to make the correct decisions, something that can't be made on radar or ECDIS alone. I find it incredible that as a alleged professional yachtsman you would think otherwise!

Also, to address the final comment about airline pilots. A European Class 1 Medical (Commercial Pilot) has very similar colour vision requirements to the ENG1 and also allows for a retest using the lantern method. The US FAA Medical is slightly more liberal and will allow mild colour vision deficiencies. However in the aviation industry colour vision is critical for the correct identification of signals and lighting (particularly to be able to differentiate between taxiway and runway lighting).


AndyG
Posted: Monday, July 8, 2013 6:13 PM
Joined: 15/07/2012
Posts: 18


+1 for Zeniths comment. 

Scariest thing is Jez does not even "see" the problem.

Not sure how you can be promoted to captain, wouldn't you need an ENG1 or equivalent without the restrictions in order to get a masters ticket?


Dr Ken
Posted: Saturday, July 13, 2013 1:36 PM
Joined: 08/07/2008
Posts: 23


Just picked up this thread after returning from holiday but looks like Zenith has responded very effectively - only to add that there is interest at the International Maritime Organisation to develop colour vision testing. This may lead to changes in the use of Holmes Wright B lanterns (they are no longer manufactured) and to their replacement with screen based methods. The MCA is collaborating with City University in Central London in a study on colour vision testing to provide important validation for the new methods and, whenever possible, seafarers are to be referred there although lantern tests can still be done at the Marine Offices in Beverley, Aberdeen and Southampton.

Contact details for MCA Lantern Test Centre, London are:

+44 (0) 2070400262              marisa@city.ac.uk

Optometry Division, City University, Northampton Square, London EC1V 0HB

According to the June 2013 MCA Doctor Newsletter (June 2013), "No immediate changes in UK requirements are envisaged"

 


 
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