(a)Medical and Physical Exams. To qualify for an MMC an applicant must meet the medical and physical standards in this section. Columns 2 through 5 of table 10.215(a) provide the specific exam, test, or demonstrations required to obtain the corresponding credential listed in column 1. Further clarifications of the requirements contained in the table are found throughout this section. Any required test, exam, or demonstration must have been performed, witnessed, or reviewed by a licensed medical doctor, licensed physician assistant, or licensed nurse practitioner.
(1) First-class pilots, and those serving as pilots under § 15.812 of this part, on vessels and tank barges of 1,600 GRT or more must satisfactorily complete annual medical exams and, unless exempt per 46 CFR 16.220, pass annual chemical tests for dangerous drugs and submit the results to the Coast Guard.
(2) Medical exams for Great Lakes Pilots must be conducted by a licensed medical doctor in accordance with the physical exam requirements in 46 CFR 402.210.
Table 10.215(a)—Medical and Physical Requirements for Mariner Endorsements
(1)Deck Standard. An applicant must have correctable vision to at least 20/40 in one eye and uncorrected vision of at least 20/200 in the same eye. An applicant having lost vision in one eye must wait six months before application and provide a statement of demonstrated ability on his or her medical examination. The color sense must be determined to be satisfactory when tested by any of the following methods or an alternative test approved by the Coast Guard, without the use of color-sensing lenses:
(i) Pseudoisochromatic Plates (Dvorine, 2nd Edition; AOC; revised edition or AOC-HRR; Ishihara 14-, 24-, or 38-plate editions).
(ii) Eldridge-Green Color Perception Lantern.
(iii) Farnsworth Lantern.
(iv) Keystone Orthoscope.
(v) Keystone Telebinocular.
(vi) SAMCTT (School of Aviation Medicine Color Threshold Tester).
(vii) Titmus Optical Vision Tester.
(viii) Williams Lantern.
(2) Engineering, radio operator, tankerman, and MODU standard. An applicant must have correctable vision of at least 20/50 in one eye and uncorrected vision of at least 20/200 in the same eye and need only have the ability to distinguish the colors red, green, blue and yellow.
(3) Any applicant whose uncorrected vision does not meet the standards listed above, and is granted a waiver in accordance with paragraph (g) of this section, may not serve under the authority of the endorsement unless corrective lenses are worn and spare lenses are carried onboard a vessel.
(c)Hearing test. If the medical practitioner conducting the general medical exam has concerns that an applicant's ability to hear may impact maritime safety, the examining medical practitioner, if not qualified to conduct the appropriate examinations, must refer the applicant to an audiologist or other hearing specialist to conduct an audiometer test and/or a speech discrimination test, as appropriate.
(1) The audiometer test should include testing at the following thresholds: 500 Hz; 1,000 Hz; 2,000 Hz; and 3,000 Hz. The frequency responses for each ear should be averaged to determine the measure of an applicant's hearing ability. Applicants must demonstrate an unaided threshold of 20 decibels or less in each ear.
(2) The functional speech discrimination test should be carried out at a level of 55 decibels. For issuance of an original MMC or endorsement the applicant must demonstrate functional speech discrimination of at least 90%. For renewal or raise of grade, the applicant must demonstrate functional speech discrimination of at least 80%. An applicant who is unable to meet the standards of the audiometer test, but who can pass the functional speech discrimination test, may be eligible for a medical waiver in accordance with paragraph (g) of this section.
(d)General medical exam.
(1) This exam must be documented and of such scope to ensure that there are no conditions that pose an inordinate risk of sudden incapacitation or debilitating complication. This exam must also document any condition requiring medication that impairs judgment or reaction time. Examples of physical impairment or medical conditions that could lead to disqualification include, but are not limited to, poorly controlled diabetes, myocardial infarctions, psychiatric disorders, and convulsive disorders.
(2) Food handlers are not required to submit to a general medical exam, but must obtain a statement from a licensed physician, physician assistant, or nurse practitioner attesting that they are free of communicable diseases.
(e)Demonstration of physical ability.
(1) A demonstration of physical ability is required only if the medical practitioner conducting the general medical exam is concerned that an applicant's physical ability may impact maritime safety or if table 10.215(a) shows that the mariner must pass a demonstration of physical ability, but he or she is not required to pass a general medical exam.
(2) For an applicant to satisfactorily pass a demonstration of physical ability, the examiner must be satisfied that the applicant:
(i) Has no disturbance in the sense of balance;
(ii) Is able, without assistance, to climb up and down vertical ladders and inclined stairs;
(iii) Would be able, without assistance, to step over a door sill or coaming;
(iv) Would be able to grasp, lift, and manipulate various common shipboard tools; move hands and arms to open and close valve wheels in vertical and horizontal directions, and rotate wrists to turn handles;
(v) Does not have any impairment or disease that could prevent normal movement and physical activities;
(vi) Is able to stand and walk for extended periods;
(vii) Does not have any impairment or disease that could prevent response to a visual or audible alarm; and
(viii) Is capable of normal conversation.
(f)Reports of medical and physical exams, demonstrations, and tests. These reports must be submitted within 12 months from the date signed by the licensed medical professional. When submitted with a complete application package these reports remain valid for 12 months from the date of the application approval.
(g)Medical waivers. Where an applicant does not possess the vision, hearing, or general physical condition necessary, the Coast Guard, after consultation with the examining licensed physician, licensed physician assistant, or licensed nurse practitioner may grant a waiver if extenuating circumstances warrant special consideration. An applicant may submit to the Coast Guard additional correspondence, records, and reports in support of a waiver. In this regard, recommendations from agencies of the Federal Government operating government vessels, as well as owners and operators of private vessels, made on behalf of their employees, will be given full consideration. Waivers are not normally granted to an applicant whose corrected vision in the better eye is not at least 20/40 for deck officers or 20/50 for engineer officers.
(h) Individuals holding only a staff officer endorsement need not meet the medical and physical requirements of this section.