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MM&P Wheelhouse Weekly

Volume 29… Number 11, March 14, 2023


In This Issue:

Mark Your Calendar:

Member News:

Job Opportunities:



The budget released on March 9 by the White House includes full funding at $318 million for the Maritime Security Program and $60 million for the Tanker Security Program.

President Biden’s budget also includes $196 million for Kings Point, with $2 million earmarked for activities aimed at preventing or responding to sexual assault/sexual harassment and $92 million for priority capital improvement projects.

Presidential budgets are considered a statement of the administration’s priorities and policy objectives and must be approved by Congress.
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A video that shows a POST-PANAMAX containership crowding a tugboat towards a closed lock gate on March 5 has reignited the debate over safety on the Panama Canal.

Voices in the background express shock as the tug, which carries a five-person crew, comes perilously close to being crushed under the bow of the massive vessel.

The video was posted anonymously to social media shortly after the incident took place.

“The locks were not ready, the chamber was not full, and the gates were closed, but the pilot went ahead anyway,” said a tugboat captain who asked that his name not be used.

“A tug at the stern is a requirement to go through the locks, but there was no stern tug because the pilot did not want to wait for the second tug, which was with another vessel.”

The MM&P affiliate Unión de Capitanes y Oficiales de Cubierta (UCOC) represents tug captains and associated vessel personnel on the canal.

The tug captains say the March 5 close call was a consequence of the Panama Canal Authority’s decision to loosen safety procedures.

“Nothing is written down,” one said. “There are no safety procedures, so pilots can do whatever they want.”

“Two weeks ago, a pilot decided to enter the locks without a deckhand crew.”

“Some of the pilots appear to think that they have the prerogative to enter the locks without stern tugs or line handlers and to travel at unsafe speeds through the Canal. We live in anarchy here.”

Panama Canal workers are being forced to perform their jobs under increasingly hazardous conditions, and the situation puts the world’s supply chains at growing risk, MM&P and UCOC have warned.

The most recent incident could have been fatal to the tug crew and seriously damaged the lock gate.

The hazards stem mostly from the poor design of the expanded canal, which has given rise to a much more labor-intensive process of vessel transit.

In the old locks, electric-powered locomotive “mules” run on tracks along the sidewalls, using mooring wires and tension winches to maintain the position of transiting ships.

In the new locks, tugboats are required to continuously position vessels in transit. This puts great strain on the tugboat operators who are at the controls of their tugs throughout the entire transit, often for many hours without relief.

Internationally recognized hours-of-rest standards are being routinely ignored by the Panama Canal Authority.

And there is no room for error. The lock chambers are 1400 feet long. Ships of up to 1215 feet in length are approved for transit in the new canal. Each of the two tugs averages 90 feet in length.

Equipment shortages and cost-cutting are increasing the danger. The Panama Canal Authority says it has 46 tugs, but many are so old that spare parts are no longer available, and they are no longer maintained.

The risks to safety are severe and growing. A fire broke out aboard the tugboat DOLEGA in the vicinity of the city of Paraíso on Feb. 14.

A video filmed in August 2022 shows an aging tug lose steering and propulsion in the Miraflores locks and strike one of the locomotives that run on tracks along the walls of the chambers.

“The Panama Canal Authority has allowed conditions to deteriorate to the point that it is only a question of time until disaster strikes,” says MM&P President Don Marcus, “and a crisis has the potential to impact international trade to an extent far greater than the grounding of the M/V EVER GIVEN in the Suez Canal in March of 2021.”

“Unlike the situation in the Suez Canal, which is simply a ditch, if a single Panama Canal lock gate were to be breached, it would take months to repair and, in the meantime, the Canal would be closed to all NEOPANAMAX vessels.”

“Immediate action is required.”
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The crew of the USS HERSHEL “WOODY” WILLIAMS delivered desperately needed humanitarian aid to survivors of the 7.8 and 7.6 magnitude earthquakes that struck Türkiye on Feb. 6.

Master Joseph R. Darlak describes the mission in the following report.

“USS HERSHEL ‘WOODY’ WILLIAMS (ESB-4) had just completed a northbound Suez Canal transit when we received orders to join the humanitarian assistance/disaster relief response efforts for Türkiye following the devastating Feb. 6 earthquakes.

The ship has the third largest afloat flight deck in the U.S. Navy, and can accommodate all U.S. military rotary wing aircraft, making it a natural fit for potential relief tasking.

We proceeded to U.S. Naval Support Activity Souda Bay, Greece, to load relief materials which included cots, sleeping mats, blankets, clothing, furniture for child care, toiletries and other sanitary products.

Once loading was complete, we sailed near Türkiye, where we were prepared to provide support to aviation assets and deliver relief materials at the request of the Turkish government.

On Feb. 20, Türkiye experienced a 6.2 magnitude earthquake which was felt onboard the ship 30 miles out to sea.

Eight days later, we received word that relief organizations on the ground were ready to receive the material we were carrying.

In the morning, we proceeded into port at Mersin, Türkiye, offloaded relief materials and returned to sea that afternoon.

The Civil Service mariners and military crew performed marvelously throughout the mission.

I think everyone onboard took pride in the fact that the ship was ready when called and executed the mission flawlessly.

There were also feelings of great satisfaction in the small role we played to provide relief following the disastrous earthquakes.

This was my first visit to Türkiye, and although the stop was brief, I was impressed with the Port of Mersin. All port operations services were extremely professional, and the pier facilities are first rate.

U.S. Mission to Türkiye, USAID and Turkish government relief officials were ready on our arrival. Our materials were quickly sorted, loaded on trucks and they were on the way to the people who needed them before the ship took in lines.

I think this mission and its short-fuse planning and execution demonstrate the vast capabilities of the expeditionary sea base platform.

The ship truly is a floating base. We can rapidly load materials and equipment for a wide range of mission sets and remain on station to provide services as required.

The synergistic nature of the combined civilian and military crew brings tremendous seagoing experience, efficiency, and the ability to quickly adapt to a wide range of missions.

The ESB platform has been in service for about seven years, and I believe we are only just beginning to realize the potential this extremely versatile ship brings to the fleet.”

The licensed deck officers aboard the USS HERSHEL “WOODY” WILLIAMS are represented by the MM&P Federal Employees Membership Group.
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The Pasha Group has produced a video, “Welcome GEORGE III and JANET MARIE,” which highlights some of the most important characteristics of its new LNG-fueled containerships.

The video includes interviews with Pasha Group President and CEO George Pasha IV, Senior Vice President Fleet Operations Edward Washburn and MV GEORGE III Captain Thomas McCarthy.

In the video, George Pasha IV traces the beginning of the group’s maritime operations to a phone call he received from the president of Toyota—at the time a very small start-up—asking to berth a ship with 200 Toyotas on board at a pier he and a friend had purchased at Fort Mason.

“That was the beginning of our terminal and our maritime group,” Pasha says.

McCarthy describes what it felt like to board MV GEORGE III, enter the wheelhouse and take the conn.

“On the West Coast, to have that option of LNG is the major distinction,” McCarthy says. “But overall, this ship was the commitment to go and exceed where we were already.”

“LNG is of course the best alternative fuel for high-performance industrial engines,” Washburn says.

“There are a lot of nay-sayers who said it couldn’t happen and hopefully this is an example, and more people adopt a cleaner fuel and see that it can be done.”
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The maritime authorities have issued advisory 2023-005 on GPS interference and AIS spoofing in various geographic areas.

The interference can result in lost or inaccurate GPS signals affecting bridge navigation, GPS-based timing, and communications equipment (including satellite communications equipment).

Over the past six months, for example, multiple instances have been reported in the Strait of Hormuz.

The U.S. Coast Guard Navigation Center webpage has a chronological list of recently reported GPS problems.

The NAVCEN and NATO Shipping Center websites contain information regarding effective navigation practices for vessels experiencing GPS interference.

This information reaffirms safe navigation practices when experiencing GPS interference, provides useful details on reporting disruptions, and is intended to generate further discussion within the maritime community about other disruption mitigation practices and procedures.

It also recommends reporting such incidents in real time; noting critical information such as the location (latitude/longitude), date, time, and duration of the outage/disruption; and providing photos or screen shots of equipment failures experienced to facilitate analysis.

Should you encounter ghost/fake AIS targets, report them at


For more information about maritime alerts and advisories, including subscription details, visit https://www.maritime.dot.gov/msci.
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There will be an Offshore membership meeting in the Tampa Hall on Tuesday, March 21, directly after the 1100 job call.

Gulf Ports Vice President Jeremy Hope will be in attendance to give a report.

All members and applicants are welcome to attend.

The hall is located at 4333 S 50th St.

Tampa, FL 33619.

The phone number is: 813-247-2164.
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MM&P Atlantic Ports Vice President Tom Larkin has scheduled an in-person membership meeting at the Norfolk Union Hall on Thursday, March 23, at 1100 EDT following job call.

All members and applicants are welcome to attend.

The Norfolk Union Hall is located at:

Interstate Corporate Center, Building 8

6353 Center Dr., Ste 200

Norfolk, VA 23502

The phone number is: 757-489-7406
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The Trustees approved changing of the four-day requirement of taking courses at MITAGS East to be eligible for travel reimbursement to three days for the new MITAGS USCG-approved LNG as Fuel Basic and Advanced Course (3 days total) and the combination of Basic Training Revalidation (2 days) and Advanced Firefighting Revalidation (1 day) only to be eligible for travel reimbursement.

All other courses still require four days of attendance and successful completion of the course(s).
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Chief Mate for the LMSR fleet needed now. Security clearance required.

Tanker CM and 2M also needed.
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There are jobs for ABs and engine personnel at Grand River Navigation.

There are jobs for unlicensed deck personnel, unlicensed engineering personnel and licensed engineering personnel at Weeks Marine.

If you are interested, please contact MM&P Vice President Great Lakes & Gulf Region Vice President Tom Bell, tbell@bridgedeck.org, or (216) 776-1667.
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There are openings for engineers in the MM&P Offshore fleet and the Great Lakes & Gulf Region.

For engineering jobs in the Offshore Group, contact Atlantic Ports Vice President Tom Larkin, tlarkin@bridgedeck.org, or 201-963-1900.

For engineering jobs on the Lakes, contact MM&P Great Lakes & Gulf Region Vice President Tom Bell, tbell@bridgedeck.org, or (216) 776-1667.
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For registration contact our Admissions Department: 866.656.5568 or admissions@mitags.org

\\Classes are 5-day unless otherwise noted\\

Class dates followed by an * are full
AB – Able Seaman (5-Day): 06/05/23
AIS-1 – Automatic Identifications Systems Orientation (1-Day): Not currently scheduled

ARPA-OIC– Automated Radar Plotting Aids (4-Day): 04/03/23, 06/19/23, 09/04/23, 11/13/23

AZIPOD (2-Day) : Not currently scheduled

BRM – Bridge Resource Management (5-Day): 05/01/23, 07/24/23, 10/09/23, 12/11/23

BRMP –Bridge Resource Management for Pilots (2-Day): Not currently scheduled

BRMP-EMR –Bridge Resource Management for Pilots with Emergency Shiphandling – (Now also included in BRMP-Refresher) (3-Day): Not currently scheduled

BRMP-Refresher (Now including Emergency Shiphandling for Pilots) (3-Day): Not currently scheduled

BT – Basic Safety Training (5-Day): 05/08/23, 09/11/23

BT-Revalidation (2-day) (Must have 1 year of sea service in last 5 years) – 03/13/23, 04/24/23, 06/05/23, 09/26/23, 10/16/23, 11/15/23, 12/19/23

BT-Refresher (3-day) – *04/24/23, 06/05/23, 09/26/23, 11/15/23, 12/18/23

CHS-OIC – Cargo Handling Basic (5-Day): 09/18/23

[CMM – Chief Mate and Master Courses]

ADVSTB-CMM – Advanced Stability (5-Day): 03/20/23, 06/26/23, 07/24/23, 12/18/23

ADVWX-CMM – Advanced Meteorology (5-Day): 04/17/23, 06/19/23, 07/31/23, 10/30/23, 12/11/23

CHS-CMM – Advanced Cargo Operations (10 Days): 03/27/23, 10/16/23

CM-OPS 1 – Chief Mate Operations (5-Day): 7/10/23, 11/27/23

CM-OPS 2 Maersk – Chief Mate Operations II Maersk Specific (5-Day): 07/17/23, 12/04/23

CM-OPS 2 APL – Chief Mate Operations II APL Specific (5-Day): Not currently scheduled

ECDIS – Electronic Chart Display Information Systems (5-Day): 04/10/23, 08/07/23, 10/02/23

LMS – Leadership and Managerial Skills (Management Level – Formerly MCL-CMM) (5-Day): 04/24/23, 08/14/23, 10/16/23

MPP-CMM – Marine Propulsion Plants (5-Day): 10/02/23

(DCS-1 available on request – contact Admissions)

SHMGT-CMM- Ship Management (5-Day): 05/01/23, 11/06/23

SHS-ADV-I-CMM – Advanced Shiphandling (week 1) (5-Day): 03/27/23*, 04/10/23, 06/05/23*, 07/10/23, 08/14/23, 09/11/23, 10/02/23, 10/30/23 12/04/23

SHS-ADV-II-CMM – Advanced Shiphandling (week 2) (5-Day): 04/03/23*, 06/12/23, 07/17/23, 10/09/23, 11/06/23, 12/11/23

**SHS-ADV-I & II are now approved to include SAR-CMM assessments at MITAGS**

VPEN-CMM – Voyage Planning & Electronic Navigation (5-Day): 04/10/23, 10/09/23

WKP-CMM – Advanced Watchkeeping (5-Day): 09/25/23

WX-HW-ATL – Heavy Weather Avoidance Routing: Atlantic Ocean (2-day) – Not Currently Scheduled

WX-HW-IND – Heavy Weather Avoidance Routing: Indian Ocean (2-day) – Not Currently Scheduled

WX-HW-PAC – Heavy Weather Avoidance Routing: Pacific Ocean (2-day) – 03/18/23

CIW-DPA/IA – Continual Improvement Workshop: Designated Person Ashore & Internal Auditor (3-Day) ** This course is NOT covered by the MATES Program **Online: Not currently scheduled

CIW-SMS – Continual Improvement Workshop: Successful Safety Management (2-Day) – Online: Not Currently Scheduled

CNAV-OIC– Celestial Navigation (15-Day): 05/08/23, 10/30/23

CRISIS-COMMS – Crisis Communications (1-Day): Not currently scheduled

CRSMGT – Crisis Management and Human Behavior (1-Day): Not currently scheduled

CDMGT – Crowd Management (1-Day): Not currently scheduled

CSE – Confined Space Entry (3-Day): 05/01/23, 08/22/23

CSE-AWR – Confined Space Entry Awareness (2-Day): Not currently scheduled

CY-MAR – Cyber-Skilled Mariner (5-Day) **NOT covered by the MATES Program ** – Not currently scheduled

Cyber-MAR-ONL – Cyber Skilled Mariner, Management of Information & Systems Security (Online Seminar) **NOT covered by the MATES Program ** – Not Currently Scheduled

DDE – Great Lakes (20-Day): Not currently scheduled

ECDIS for Pilots (2-Day): Not currently scheduled

ERM – Engine Resource Management (5-Day): 03/27/23, 08/07/23

ADV-FF – Advanced Fire-Fighting (4-day): Not currently scheduled

FF-BADV – Fire Fighting Combined Basic & Advanced (5-Day): 03/27/23, 05/08/23, 07/24/23

FF-ADV-Rev (1-day) (Must have 1 year of sea service in last 5 years) – Advanced Fire Fighting Revalidation: 04/26/23, 06/07/23, 09/27/23, 10/16/23, 11/17/23, 12/21/23

FF-ADV-REF (2-day) – Advanced Fire Fighting Refresher: 04/27/23, 06/08/23, 09/29/23, 11/13/23, 12/16/23

FSM – Fatigue, Sleep, & Medications (1-Day): Online; not currently scheduled

GL-Pilot – Great Lakes Pilotage Familiarization (2-Day): Not currently scheduled

GMDSS – Global Maritime Distress and Safety System (10-Day): 07/17/23

HAZ – Hazardous Materials (5 day): 05/01/23, 06/19/23, 09/11/23, 11/16/23

IEN – Integrated Electronic Navigation (3-Day): Not currently scheduled

LAP – License Advancement Program for Mate to Master (20-Day): 07/10/23, 10/16/23

LAP-Great Lakes – License Advancement Program – Great Lakes (15-Day): Not currently scheduled

LAP-ORG3rd – License Advancement Program for Original 3rd Mate, Oceans, Any Gross

Ton License (15-Day): 06/05/23, 11/27/23

LEG – Legal Aspects of Pilotage (1-Day): Not Currently Scheduled

LNG-TPIC (10-Day): Not currently scheduled

LNG-BADV (3 Day): Coming Soon!

LTS –Leadership and Teamworking Skills (Formerly MCL-OIC) (1-Day): 05/04/23

MEECE – Management of Electrical and Electronic Control Equipment (Assessments not included): 04/17/23, 08/07/23, 12/04/23

MED-PIC – Medical Person in Charge (10-Day): 04/10/23*, 07/10/23, 08/21/23, 10/02/23, 12/04/23

MED-PIC-REF– Medical Person in Charge Refresher: 03/20/23, 05/22/23, 08/07/23, 11/27/23

MED-PRO – Medical Care Provider: (5-Day): 04/10/23*, 07/10/23, 08/21/23, 09/18/23, 10/02/23

MED-DOT-DA – Dept. of Transportation Drug & Alcohol Testing (1-Day): 03/25/23, 04/15/23, 04/23/23, 05/20/23, 06/04/23, 07/15/23, 09/24/23, 10/07/23, 10/15/23, 11/18/23, 12/09/23, 12/22/23

[MSC – Military Sealift Command Courses]

MSC-CBRD-1 – Military Sealift Command Chemical, Biological, Radiological Defense Orientation (Basic) (1-Day): 05/22/23, 06/08/23, 08/10/23, 09/07/23, 10/26/23

MSC-DC – Military Sealift Command Damage Control (2-day): 05/23/23, 06/09/23, 08/11/23, 09/08/23, 10/27/23

MSC-ENVPRO (1-Day): 06/19/23, 08/21/23, 11/16/23

MSC-FF-HELO (2-Day): 06/06/23, 09/13/23

MSC-SMA – Military Sealift Command Small Arms Qualifications (4-Day): 04/17/23, 05/15/23, 06/12/23, 08/14/23, 09/11/23, 10/30/23

MSC-Security Watch Basic (1-Day/ 8-hour) – 05/13/23, 06/10/23, 08/12/23, 09/09/23, 10/28/23

MSC-Security Watch Advanced (1-Day) – 04/16/23, 05/14/23, 06/11/23, 08/13/23, 09/10/23, 10/29/23

MSC-Ship’s Reaction Force (3-Day) –04/21/23, 05/19/23, 06/16/23, 08/18/23, 09/15/23, 11/03/23

NDMS-ENAV – Navigational Decision Making Series – Best Practice in eNav (3-Day): Not currently scheduled

NSAP-MMP – Navigational Skills Assessment Program-MM&P (2-Day): 03/20/23*, 03/22/23*, 05/22/23, 05/24/23, 07/31/23*, 08/02/23, 11/13/23, 11/15/23

PSC – Personal Survival Craft (Lifeboatman) (5-Day): 04/24/23, 09/18/23

PSC-REF – Personal Survival Craft Refresher (2-Day): 05/01/23, 10/02/23

RFPNW – Ratings Forming Part of a Navigational Watch (3-day): Not currently scheduled

ROR-1 – Radar Observer Renewal (1-Day): Not Currently Scheduled

ROR-1N – Radar Observer Renewal Evening Classes (1-Night): Upon Request

ROU-OIC – Radar Observer Program – Unlimited: 06/19/23, 08/28/23, 11/27/23

SAR – Search & Rescue – (Now with OIC and CMM assessments) (3-Day): 05/01/23, 10/23/23

SHS-BAS-OIC – Basic Shiphandling: 03/20/23, 06/26/23, 09/25/23, 12/11/23

SHS-EMR5 – Emergency Shiphandling (5 Day): 04/24/23, 06/19/23, 08/28/23, 10/16/23, 12/18/23

STB-OIC – Ship Construction and Basic Stability: 09/11/23

TCNAV/CO – Terrestrial Navigation and Compasses (15-Day): 07/31/23

TPIC – Tankerman Person in Charge: 07/10/23

TRAC-TUG-2 (2-Day): Not currently scheduled

TTT – ** This course is NOT covered by the MATES Program **: Not currently scheduled

VPDSD – Vessel Personnel with Designated Security Duties (1-Day): Not Currently Scheduled

VSO – Vessel Security Officer (3-Day): 05/31/23, 06/26/23

WKP-OIC – Watchkeeping (Operational Level) (10-Day): 04/17/23, 10/09/23,

WX-OIC –Meteorology (Operational Level): 03/27/23, 07/10/23
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2023 Winter/Spring

Schedule of Courses – Please also see our schedule and enroll online at www.mitags.org

For registration contact our admissions department: 866.656.5568 or admissions@mitags.org
March 2023
15th Advanced Firefighting Revalidation

20-3 ARPA

20-4 Basic Training (original)

27-9 Search & Rescue

27-9 Security Officer–Vessel, Company & Facility

30th Flashing Light Exam

31 Leadership & Teamworking Skills

27-31 Able Seaman

27-31 Basic Training (original)

April 2023


10-11 Basic Training Revalidation

10-21 Watchkeeping (Operational Level)

12th Advanced Firefighting Revalidation

24-5 GMDSS

24-12 Celestial Navigation

May 2023

1-4 Advanced Firefighting

15-26 GMDSS

18-19 Advanced Firefighting Refresher

20-21 Basic Training Revalidation

20-2 Basic Training Refresher

22 Advanced Firefighting Revalidation

22-6 Basic Training (original)

23 Radar Renewal

30-1 Security Officer – Vessel, Company & Facility

June 2023

12-3 Basic Training Revalidation

14 Advanced Firefighting Revalidation

19-23 Basic Training (original)

26-30 Tankerman Person-In-Charge
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The MM&P Wheelhouse Weekly is the official electronic newsletter of the International Organization of Masters, Mates & Pilots, 700 Maritime Blvd. Suite B, Linthicum Heights, MD 21090-1953. Phone: 410-850-8700; Fax: 410-850-0973. All rights reserved. The MM&P Wheelhouse Weekly©2021. Articles can be reprinted without prior permission if credit is given to The MM&P Wheelhouse Weekly.

For subscriptions, address changes or messages to the editor or to MM&P headquarters, e-mail communications@bridgedeck.org. Back issues of The Weekly are posted on www.bridgedeck.org