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Any Color Blind Captains?

Old 01-19-2010, 06:51 PM
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Default Any Color Blind Captains?

I'm winding up my captain's school, but the PA who did the physcials wouldn't pass me on the color blindness test. I guess I can see why as I could only see one of the numbers in that test. Got into the same thing when I got my first DOT physical, but that turned out not to be a problem once I convinced them I can differentiate between red, yellow, and green... which I can obviously. To my knowledge, there isn't any color I can't see. It's just those tests that screw with me.

My instructor says worst case scenario would be my license being restricted to daytime only. Anybody out there have any experience with this?

Oh yeah, I scored 100% on all the practice tests tonight, and the real one is tomorrow. It sure would be a belly drop to end up getting shortchanged over some damn dot test. Then again, being restricted to daytime wouldn't be the end of the world.
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Old 01-19-2010, 07:21 PM
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Instead of using the color number charts ask to see a color panel with just the individual true colors to identify. Most times they will have a alternative color test. A lot of those color number charts use pastel colors which can screw some people up, me being one of them. I go through this every year at work and they pull out a card with rectangles of all the basic colors and ask me to tell them what is what.
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Old 01-19-2010, 08:24 PM
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I personally know two Captains that are color blind. I asked one about how he passed the test and I think he said they held up two lanterns one red and one green and he pointed to each one and told them what color they were. I think there are a few acceptable ways to pass the test you may just have to request another way to tell color.
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Old 01-19-2010, 09:00 PM
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How did you get this far without a physical?

When I became a mariner, I couldn't get a fricken Z-card (MMD) without a physical.
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Old 01-20-2010, 05:01 AM
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Most of my experience with this has been in dealing with the FAA requirements for pilots, but there are probably similarities. First, you need to find out exactly what the regulations say with respect to exactly what color proficiency must be demonstrated and what tests may be used. You then need to consult with an eye professional who has the resources to administer several different tests under controlled conditions to render a professional opinion about your compliance. Some tests are easier to pass than others. With the FAA, they will accept any one of several different tests that are available. A letter from an eye professional is accepted by the FAA medical division, and there must be a similar procedure for the mariners. Even if this is not successful, there may be a protocol for you to demonstrate your ability in a sea test. There are also glasses available with special slight rose color tint lenses that will correct the most common deficiency. The FAA does not accept these, but it may be different in the marine world.

I dislike the commonly used term used in your title "color blindness" because it is inaccurate. It is extraordinarily rare for a person to be color blind, that is seeing the world in shades of gray. The correct term is color vision deficiency. That is difficulty in distinguishing between certain hues of certain colors. 10% of the male population is affected to varying degrees, with the most common being difficulty with shades of red and green. It is rarely so severe that a person cannot distinguish a red light from a green one in the real world. The tests are designed to catch the subtle deficiencies.

If you can post a pointer to the applicable regulations I can try to provide more guidance.
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Old 01-20-2010, 05:55 AM
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Originally Posted by Booker View Post
How did you get this far without a physical?

When I became a mariner, I couldn't get a fricken Z-card (MMD) without a physical.
I knew up front that I had this problem, and I discussed it with the school before I signed up. They didn't seem to think it would be an issue. I did mention something after the time came to take physicals that it seemed to me like they would want to advise applicants to have their test before they signed up for the course. I think we all know why they choose to do it the other way around.

Color deficiency is indeed the proper terminology for my condition, but their test refers to color blindness, not color deficiency. I have the forms from the exam at my office, and I'll post up the guidelines later. I too have heard of other tests being administered, so I'm hoping my doctor will either come up with such a test or refer me to an eye guy who can.
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Old 01-20-2010, 07:02 AM
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Section V(b) - Color vision:
Current regulations require all applicants to submit the results of color vision testing.
The color vision test performed should be selected from the list provided, and the 719K must be checked normal or abnormal. If any block is checked “Abnormal”, information must accompany the CG 719K to explain. Any alternative test must be approved by the USCG prior to sending the examination report. The use of unapproved alternative testing will likely cause delays in the medical evaluation process. The use of color sensing lenses is prohibited. See NVIC 04-08 encl (5) for further guidance.

These applicants must demonstrate that they have a normal color sense when tested by the 14 plate (which replaces the obsolete 16 plate), 24 plate, or 38 plate Ishihara pseudoisochromatic plates tests, Farnsworth Lantern, or an alternative test approved by the NMC. The use of color sensing lenses to assist these applicants with passing the color vision test is prohibited by 46 CFR 10.205(d)(2). Any questions about acceptable color sense testing methodologies should be directed to the NMC. See 46 CFR 10.205(d)(2).
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Old 01-20-2010, 07:10 AM
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From Code of Federal Regs
46 CFR 10.205
(d) Physical examination. (1) All applicants for an original license must pass an examination given by a licensed physician or a licensed physician assistant and present to the OCMI a completed Coast Guard physical examination form, or the equivalent, executed by the physician.

This form must provide information on the applicant's acuity of vision, color sense, and general physical condition. This examination must have been completed prior to submission of the application and not more than 12 months prior to issuance of the license. (Physical examinations are not required for staff officers.) (2) For an original license as master, mate, pilot, or operator, the applicant must have vision correctable to at least 20/40 in each eye and uncorrected vision of at least 20/200 in each eye. The color sense must be determined to be satisfactory when tested by any of the following methods, without the use of color sensing lenses: (i) Pseudoisochromatic Plates (Dvorine, 2nd Edition; AOC; revised edition or AOC-HRR; Ishihara 16-, 24-, or 38-plate editions).

(ii) EldridgeGreen 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.

Shop a DR until you can get a certifying letter.
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Old 01-20-2010, 07:11 AM
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Thanks for the post airbrush. I'm looking at the form, and it shows several different tests which are acceptable...

AOC (1965)
AOC-HRR
Richmond
Ishihara (the one that screws me up and the one they used)
Titmus Vision Tester
Farnsworth Lantern
Opetec 900
"An alternative test approved by the Coast Guard"

Surely to God I can get by on one of those. I had somebody else mention the Farnsworth Lantern as being one I could pass. Hopefully my PCP will be up on this crap or be able to come up with something that fits the bill.
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Old 01-20-2010, 07:13 AM
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OOPS!!! Looks like we were posting at the same time. Thanks for the follow-up.
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Old 01-20-2010, 07:14 AM
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I've been thru all of this. Finally drove to the USCG in Baltimore and took the Farnsworth Lantern test. I failed it !

It is very difficult for me to tell the difference between the white and green lights. The green light appears to be a very lite green and can be confused with white.

My license is restriced to daylight only. I don't use it for hire.
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Old 01-20-2010, 07:15 AM
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A little more from the Aviation guys regarding those (like me in the extreme) who have color defficiency:

Farnsworth Lantern Test (FALANT): This is the only test allowed which is not based on isochromatic plates. The FALANT test consist of two little lights showing one of the colors red, green, or white which have to be named correctly. It is reported to be the easiest test to accomplish.
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Old 01-20-2010, 07:25 AM
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Originally Posted by airbrush View Post
A little more from the Aviation guys regarding those (like me in the extreme) who have color defficiency:

Farnsworth Lantern Test (FALANT): This is the only test allowed which is not based on isochromatic plates. The FALANT test consist of two little lights showing one of the colors red, green, or white which have to be named correctly. It is reported to be the easiest test to accomplish.
I remember somebody mentioning this test when I was planning to get my ticket a few years ago. Surely to God I can pass that one as I have no problem with distinguishing colors unless they're run together in different shades as is the case on the Ishihara.

BW23, have you been diagnosed as color blind or are you still considered color deficient? Maybe there's more to this lantern test than I'm thinking.
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Old 01-20-2010, 07:28 AM
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Originally Posted by airbrush View Post
A little more from the Aviation guys regarding those (like me in the extreme) who have color deficiency:

Farnsworth Lantern Test (FALANT): This is the only test allowed which is not based on isochromatic plates. The FALANT test consist of two little lights showing one of the colors red, green, or white which have to be named correctly. It is reported to be the easiest test to accomplish.

If I could have seen "their" single white, single green before they actually start the test, I probably could have passed.

The test gizmo depicts very close to live nighttime scenarios. Not to discourage you but I found the test challenging.

They say I'm color blind...not color deficient.
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Old 01-20-2010, 07:37 AM
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Originally Posted by airbrush View Post
From Code of Federal Regs
46 CFR 10.205
(d) Physical examination. (1) All applicants for an original license must pass an examination given by a licensed physician or a licensed physician assistant and present to the OCMI a completed Coast Guard physical examination form, or the equivalent, executed by the physician.

This form must provide information on the applicant's acuity of vision, color sense, and general physical condition. This examination must have been completed prior to submission of the application and not more than 12 months prior to issuance of the license. (Physical examinations are not required for staff officers.) (2) For an original license as master, mate, pilot, or operator, the applicant must have vision correctable to at least 20/40 in each eye and uncorrected vision of at least 20/200 in each eye. The color sense must be determined to be satisfactory when tested by any of the following methods, without the use of color sensing lenses: (i) Pseudoisochromatic Plates (Dvorine, 2nd Edition; AOC; revised edition or AOC-HRR; Ishihara 16-, 24-, or 38-plate editions).

(ii) EldridgeGreen 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.

Shop a DR until you can get a certifying letter.

Randy this is what i was going to sugest, if you can indeed see the colors their is a test you can pass. Worst comes to worst you will get the daylight only license, I know a guy who has one and he is a dinner boat captain in DC.
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Old 01-20-2010, 08:19 AM
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Hey Bird, I'd show up for the test with a couple of lanterns in my hands.


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Old 01-20-2010, 08:28 AM
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Originally Posted by CaptKennyW View Post
Randy this is what i was going to sugest, if you can indeed see the colors their is a test you can pass. Worst comes to worst you will get the daylight only license, I know a guy who has one and he is a dinner boat captain in DC.
So they eat dinner during the daytime in DC?

Originally Posted by Snapper Head View Post
Hey Bird, I'd show up for the test with a couple of lanterns in my hands.


Big Al
You gonna hold the white one in your teeth or did you have some other anchor point in mind?
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Old 01-20-2010, 08:29 AM
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Originally Posted by BW23 View Post
If I could have seen "their" single white, single green before they actually start the test, I probably could have passed.

The test gizmo depicts very close to live nighttime scenarios. Not to discourage you but I found the test challenging.

They say I'm color blind...not color deficient.
No offense, but I'm glad to hear you're color blind as opposed to color deficient. Maybe that's why you couldn't pass the lantern test, or at least I'm hoping that's why. It really would piss me off to be limited to daylight.
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Old 01-20-2010, 08:47 AM
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Originally Posted by Freeebird View Post
You gonna hold the white one in your teeth or did you have some other anchor point in mind?
You are color blind


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Old 01-20-2010, 08:53 AM
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I was told that 10% of the men have some type of Color deficiency. Women only 1%.
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