News

Wheelhouse Weekly – May 12, 2000


MASTER AND MMP MEMBERS ABOARD AND INTERESTED PERSONS THE MASTERS, MATES AND PILOTS’ — WHEELHOUSE WEEKLY

Bridging the Information Gap With E-News You Can Use

VOLUME 4. . . . . NUMBER 19. . . . May 12, 2000

STORIES COVERED



MM&P BOSTON HALL TO RELOCATE JUNE 1

The Boston Hall is relocating effective June 1. The new address is: Harbour Pointe East, 80 Everett Avenue, Chelsea, MA 02150. The current phone and fax will work for a period of time after the move. No new phone number has been assigned as of this date.

MM&P Wheelhouse Weekly


UPDATE ON RRF CONTRACT AWARD

Two MM&P-contracted employers, along with at least two other non-MM&P employers have filed protests with the Government Accounting Office (GAO) regarding the recently announced U.S. Maritime Administration (MarAd) Ready Reserve Fleet (RRF) contract awards. Another MM&P employer may soon follow. The Union is in discussions with our contracted employers to determine additional legal action to pursue.

MM&P has already questioned MarAd officials as to the criteria used to make the contract awards, especially regarding the downgrading of the CSX Lines contract bid. CSX Lines, (formerly SeaLand Service, Inc.) had previously been awarded management contracts for nine vessels in 1998. This time, CSX Lines was shut out. Another MM&P employer, Stapp Towing, which has successfully managed two vessels for over six years was also inexplicably left out.

MM&P Wheelhouse Weekly


MITAGS ADVISORY ON TRAINING IN LIEU OF SEA SERVICE

There have been some recent changes in U.S. Coast Guard policy concerning training in lieu of sea service.

First, the formula for calculating sea time equivalency for successful completion of specific training has been modified. As a result, most of the MITAGS courses have seen a reduction in service time. Effective May 1, 2000, the following sea service equivalencies are in effect:

  • 5-day BRM – 21 days
  • 3-day BRM – 6 days
  • Heavy Weather Avoidance – 10 days
  • 2-week MED-PIC – 20 days
  • 4-week Shipboard Medical Care – 30 days
  • 10-day Shiphandling – 42 days
  • 2-day Advanced Marine Weather – 6 days

Second, sea service equivalencies will be invalid for upgrades after February 1, 2002. Licenses under 200 gross tons (domestic) will not be affected and there may be some equivalencies granted for original licenses if the training is part of an approved program.

For more info, contact Mike Wein, MITAGS Director Training and Marketing at: Email: mwein@mitags.org.

MM&P Wheelhouse Weekly


ILA PRESIDENT JOHN BOWERS HONORED BY MARITIME HALL OF FAME

International Longshoremen’s Association President John Bowers was honored at the “Seventh Annual International Maritime Hall of Fame 2000 Awards” eariler this week. George Hearn, former executive VP with Waterman Steamship, was also among several others honored. MM&P was represented at the awards ceremony that took place in New York at the United Nations building.

MM&P Wheelhouse Weekly


NATIONAL MARITIME DAY ACTIVITIES SET FOR WASHINGTON, DC, ON MAY 25

National Maritime Day celebrations in the nation’s Capital will take place May 25 at 1030 hrs during the 30th anniversary of the US Merchant Marine Memorial Service. The service honors merchant mariners who gave their lives in service to the nation.

To be held at the US Navy Memorial, 701 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW, the event will feature remarks from both the Sec. of Transportation, Maritime Administrator and key industry members.

Following the service, the Propeller Club of the Port of Washington, DC, will hold its annual luncheon at the US Navy Yard. Remarks will be delivered by Rep. Herbert Bateman (R-VA). After the luncheon, all are invited to participate in the annual Wreath Laying Ceremony at 1430 hours, Pier One East, Navy Yard.

MM&P Wheelhouse Weekly


FOREIGN SCRAPPING OF 39 VESSELS WOULD BE ALLOWED UNDER BILL

Foreign scrapping of the 39-worst National Defense Reserve Fleet vessels would be allowed under the latest Maritime Administration Reauthorization bill (S.2487), which closely follows the recommendations of the Department of Transportation’s Office of the Inspector General report released earlier this year. The secretary would also be able to scrap any more vessels that are deemed to be hazardous.

The bill includes a provision from the report that the disposal deadline for obsolete vessels be extended; the bill allows for a three-year extension to 2004. MarAd had asked for such an extension. The report also had asked that MarAd target 40 of the “worst condition” vessels first; the bill includes 39.

The Inspector General’s Office had revealed in a report over a month ago that MarAd will not be able to comply with a Sept.30, 2001 federally-mandated deadline for scrapping its obsolete vessels. The report noted that 110 vessels currently await disposal. They present environmental risks because they are deteriorating, hold hazardous materials and contain oil that could escape into the water. Maintenance cost on these vessels, the report said, are likely to increase. One vessel cost $1.3 million over the last two years to maintain.

By the end of fiscal year 2001, the report said 152 obsolete vessels will await priority disposal due to additional vessel transfers from the Navy, downgrades of other NDRF vessels to obsolete status and the failure to sell ships for scrap. Of the 152 vessels, 130 of them will be targeted for scrapping, and the remaining 22 for other disposal forms.

The 39 vessels include the EXPORT CHALLENGER, EXPORT COMMERCE, WAYNE VICTORY, MORMACDAWN, MORMACMOON, SANTA ELENA, SANTA ISABEL, SANTA CRUZ, SUFFOLK COUNTY, VEGA, and the MARINE FIDDLER.

MM&P Wheelhouse Weekly


CREW TIPS COAST GUARD TO LEAK; CAPTAIN CHARGED IN BALTIMORE

A foreign-flag tanker captain has been charged with failing to report a leak in his ship after the USCG was tipped off by a member of his crew. Davor Maric of Croatia was released on $30,000 bail last week. His passport was confiscated and his movements were restricted to metropolitan Baltimore and the Croatian Embassy in Washington.

The charges stem from an incident March 22, when Maric attempted to unload part of the Norwegian tanker’s cargo of liquid ammonium nitrate in Baltimore, prosecutors said. Ammonium nitrate is used in fertilizer and other products.

A Coast Guardsmen was given a note that said the tanker had a crack in its hull. Another crewmember then told an inspector that the ship was taking on water and was in danger of sinking.

Inspectors found a hastily patched 12-by-18-inch hole in the engine room of the 6,379-ton FREJA JUTLANDIC. They later uncovered records indicating the ship’s operator had asked the captain to keep quiet about the damage, first discovered on March 12 en route from Europe to Bermuda. The ship initially leaked about 105 gallons of oily water per hour. The crew later estimated the ship leaked about five times that amount.

Maric faces charges of violating federal laws that require reporting hazardous conditions to the Coast Guard and with creating false entries in the ship’s record to conceal the dumping of untreated oily waste. Both violations carry possible five-year prison sentences.

MM&P Wheelhouse Weekly


BILL WOULD EXEMPT US LAKERS FROM PURIFYING BALLAST WATER

Trying to stem the introduction of dangerous non-indigenous species, a Michigan state legislator has introduced a bill requiring all ballast water brought in from outside Michigan to be 100% purified before a ship can enter the state’s waters.

Lakes carriers believe they should be exempt because their ships do not venture beyond the Great Lakes and therefore would not be responsible for introducing non-indigenous species in to the Lakes region. Foreign species such as the Zebra mussel met no natural predators when introduced into the lakes in the 1980s. Its spread has since caused billions of dollars in damage by clogging intake valves and eroding marine infrastructure.

The efforts to impose stricter regulations in the Great Lakes follow new regulations recently introduced in California and considered elsewhere on the West Coast. The US Environmental Protection Agency has also been asked to consider regulating vessel ballast water as a pollutant under the Clean Water Act.

MM&P Wheelhouse Weekly


APL LAUNCHES ‘BOOMERANG BOX JUNIOR’ AS A MOVING CLASSROOM

Today’s teachers are seeking hands-on learning projects for the classroom that also include Web-based curriculum. Aiming to meet their needs, MM&P-contracted APL has rolled out a specially-outfitted cargo container, converted to a mobile classroom, that will help students learn about international trade.

The mobile classroom is part of an educational effort that started three years ago with a colorful, 40-foot shipping container known as the “Boomerang Box” that actually carries commercial cargo, allowing students to follow its global journeys via an interactive Web site, http://www.apl.com/boomerangbox.

The program, in which some 150 schools around the world now participate, just had its first offspring: APL is launching “Boomerang Box Junior,” a 20-foot container replica of the original Box. The project, in conjunction with an on-line curriculum, teaches kids from 6 through 18 years old about geography, world cultures, reading and international trade via a full curriculum on its Web site.

The original 40-foot shipping container has carried shipments to points throughout the Americas, Asia and Europe. Students from more than 15 countries have learned about international trade from the program’s Web site, which has had more than 116,000 hits since the current school year began in September. “Junior” will travel in the US, then abroad.

MM&P Wheelhouse Weekly


REMINDER: DISCOVERY CHANNEL TO AIR SS MAYAGUEZ SPECIAL MAY 14

To mark the 25th anniversary of the seizure of the SS MAYAGUEZ by Cambodian troops on May 12, 1975, the Discovery Channel will air a documentary on the incident on Sunday, May 14 at 2000 hrs Eastern DST. Check local listings for the time in your area. All deck officers aboard the SeaLand vessel were MM&P members and some were interviewed for this program.

MM&P Wheelhouse Weekly


UPCOMING MITAGS COURSE OPENINGS

MITAGS has the following course openings:

  • May 22-26: BST
  • June 5-9: MED-PIC, HAZ, HWA
  • June 5-16: GMDSS
  • June 19-23: BST
  • June 19-30: GMDSS
  • June 26-30: FF-ADV, ROP
  • June 27-25: DC (MSC Classes)

PLEASE NOTE: CBRD on May 27, 2000, has been cancelled. Week 022: May 29-June 4 there will be no classes. May 29, MEMORIAL DAY observed.

Contact Mary Matlock at MITAGS admissions at: Email: admissions@mitags.org or phone: 443-989-3226. Information and applications are also available on the MITAGS web site at mitags.org.

MM&P Wheelhouse Weekly


The MM&P Wheelhouse Weekly is being produced under MM&P election guidelines which have been previously published and may be found in their entirety on the MM&P website. The Wheelhouse Weekly is the official electronic newsletter of the International Organization of Masters, Mates, and Pilots, ILA, AFL-CIO, 700 Maritime Blvd., Linthicum Heights, MD 21090-1941. Phone: 410-850-8700; Fax: 410-850-0973; Email: iommp@bridgedeck.org. For further info contact John Peige at jpeige@bridgedeck.org. The Wheelhouse Weekly is sent via Email to MM&P-contracted vessels at sea, broadcast worldwide via FEC marine telex and is posted on our web page under “News” at: http://www.bridgedeck.org.

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