Wheelhouse Weekly – April 01, 2014

April 1st 2014


– Bridging the Information Gap With E-News You Can Use –

Volume 18 . . . Number 13 . . . April 1, 2014


Did you miss a week? Back editions of the Wheelhouse Weekly are available in the archives section.


A ruling by a federal judge has cleared the way for MM&P-contracted Patriot Contract Services to assume management of the eight Watson Class LMSRs. Although a complete turnover schedule has not yet been finalized, the process begins immediately and will continue for roughly the next two months. The ships are: USNS WATSON, USNS SISLER, USNS DAHL, USNS RED CLOUD, USNS CHARLTON, USNS WATKINS, USNS POMEROY and USNS SODERMAN.

“Patriot is very pleased with the Court’s decision and looks forward to applying the expertise of its crews and shore-side staff to the management of these critical MSC assets,” the company said in an official statement.

“These are good jobs with excellent prospects for career and license advancement,” said MM&P President Don Marcus. Please check the MITAGS website,, for information on training cycles for the MSC courses required to qualify for these positions. To find out more and apply for jobs aboard the ships, contact MM&P Government Crewing Coordinator Robert Chiesa at The MSC resume form is posted on the MM&P home page,


The newest addition to the Washington State Ferry (WSF) fleet, MV TOKITAE, was christened March 20 at Vigor Industrial Shipyard in Seattle. One of three vessels that will replace WSF’s 1950s-era Evergreen-class ferries, TOKITAE can carry 1,500 passengers and 144-cars. It is scheduled to enter service this summer on the Mukilteo-Clinton route across Puget Sound. The second vessel in the class, MV SAMISH, is under construction at Vigor. Licensed deck officers who belong to the MM&P United Inland Group-Pacific Maritime Region crew all the ferries in the Washington State Ferry system.


A three-judge appellate panel in Cincinnati has ruled in favor of International Longshoremen’s Association (ILA) Local 1982 in the union’s long-running dispute with Midwest Terminals of Toledo International (MTTI). At the center of the case is a grievance filed by the union over a section of the ILA Master Agreement which governs the welfare contribution for each hour of wages paid. The company argued that the grievance should be handled in accordance with the agreement it had with Toledo-based Local 1982. But the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit, overturning an earlier district court ruling that favored MTTI, found in favor of the Local. The decision, which was written by Judge Danny Julian Boggs, an appointee of President Ronald Reagan, ruled with the union, which argued that the grievance actually related to the company’s failure to follow the provisions of the master agreement.

The court’s decision means that MTTI may be liable for several hundreds of thousands of dollars in back payments of welfare contributions in favor of union employees. “We’re happy that the Court resolved this matter in a way that honors the Master Agreement between Great Lakes maritime industry employers and their workers,” said ILA Great Lakes District Council President John D. Baker Jr. in an official statement. “I’m particularly happy for the Longshoremen of Local 1982 who stood up to ensure that justice was done in this case. We are looking forward to receiving MTTI’s payments to the welfare fund designed to benefit the longshoremen who make MTTI and all the other businesses on the Great Lakes work. We hope that all sides will move forward in a way that respects the agreements that define and outline our working relationships.”


In accordance with Article IV, Section 2, of the International Constitution, members are hereby notified that a Regular Convention of the MM&P will be convened at 10:00 a.m. on Tuesday, July 15, 2014. The Convention will be held at the Maritime Institute of Technology and Graduate Studies, 692 Maritime Blvd., Linthicum Heights, MD 21090.

Members are also hereby notified that, in accordance with Article IV, Section 6, Subsection c), all proposed resolutions for the Convention must be forwarded to the International Secretary-Treasurer at least 30 days prior to the opening day of the Convention for inclusion on the agenda and determination by the Convention.


The MM&P Tampa Hall has a new address: 4333 S 50th St., Tampa, FL 33619. The phone number and fax number will remain the same.


As most readers are already aware, the Coast Guard is phasing in medical certificates for all U.S. mariners. The agency’s priority is to issue certificates to mariners who require STCW certification. This group of professionals should automatically receive their medical certificates by April 1, 2014. Mariners who hold domestic licenses (which the Coast Guard is now referring to as “national licenses”) will be issued medical certificates as part of the regular license renewal process.

If you sail in the foreign trades and have not received your medical certificate by April 1, you should contact the National Maritime Center,

The medical certificate is a separate document that every mariner will be required to carry along with his or her Merchant Mariner Credential (MMC). When you receive your certificate, you should read it, sign it and place it in the plastic sleeve on the back of your MMC. Do not glue the medical certificate to the MMC because its expiration date will be different. 

Medical certificates will have three different periods of validity because of the variety of regulations that apply:

– An STCW expiration date (two-year duration) which applies when the mariner is sailing on a vessel covered by STCW;

– A national expiration date (five-year duration) which applies when the mariner is sailing domestically on a vessel not covered by STCW;

– A pilot expiration date (two-year duration) which applies when the mariner is sailing as a pilot.

Please note: Although mariners holding a first class pilot endorsement are required under 46 CFR § 11.709 to have a thorough physical examination each year–the results of which must be recorded on form CG-719-K–the Coast Guard requires that, for purposes of the medical certificate, the results be submitted every other year only.
Transition Period

The initial expiration date of the medical certificate will depend on the proximity of the five-year renewal date for the mariner’s license. Most mariners will have at least six months.  Mariners can sail with this medical certificate until it expires. Mariners sailing with a national endorsement only will have to transition to a five-year medical certificate when their credentials expire, or no later than Jan. 24, 2019.

How to Renew?

To renew your medical certificate, you must fill out the Coast Guard physical form (719k or 719k/e) and submit it to the local Coast Guard Regional Exam Center (REC) for renewal. (Note for pilots and mariners sailing on ships covered by STCW: This means that at least once, you will have to apply for the renewal of your medical certificate separately from the renewal of your MMC because the medical certificate is only valid for two years.)
If the Certificate Expires While You Are at Sea

Mariners can sail for up to 90 days with a medical certificate that has expired. (Note: The National Maritime Center will renew a mariner’s MMC as long as his or her medical certificate is valid after the issuance date of the credential. It should be noted that this means that the mariner must keep track of the expiration dates of his or her medical certificate.

Medical Waivers

If the mariner has a medical condition that requires a waiver, it will be noted on the certificate. The mariner will also receive a “waiver letter” that specifies what the mariner must do to remain in compliance with the waiver. The mariner must carry the waiver when sailing. Mariners will no longer have to sign and return the waiver letter: signing the medical certificate automatically denotes agreement with the terms of the waiver letter. It is important to note, in any case, that issuance of a waiver may shorten the validity of the medical certificate. For example, if the waiver states that the holder of the document must have an annual physical, the expiration date of the medical certificate will be a year. 


The Maritime Administration (MARAD) is reminding all 2007-13 USMMA graduates and State Maritime Academy cadets who graduated from the Student Incentive Payment (SIP) program that they must submit their annual service obligation report no later than March 31. Those who fail to comply with their service obligations may be inducted into the armed forces or required to repay either the cost of their USMMA education or the amount of SIP payments they received while enrolled at a State Maritime Academy. Submitting an annual report is part of each graduate’s service obligation.

All graduates must report, even those on active military duty. Graduates should log onto the Maritime Service Compliance System (MSCS) website at to submit their annual report electronically. MARAD has established a dedicated phone number for service obligation questions and issues. Graduates can call (202) 366-7618 to get answers to questions about their service obligation, employment determination requests, deferrals and waivers. Graduates can also e-mail  If graduates have difficulty logging onto MSCS they can contact the MARAD Helpdesk at (202) 385-4357.


The National Transportation Safety Board is seeking a full-time permanent marine accident investigator to work in Washington, D.C. The salary range is $75,621 to $138,136. To apply for this position, you must provide a complete application package by 11:59 PM (EST), Monday, April 7, 2014. For more information:


The annual National Maritime Day Observance and Memorial Service will be held at the American Merchant Marine Veterans Memorial and Walls of Honor, located on Harbor Boulevard at the foot of 6th Street, San Pedro, Calif., on Thursday, May 22. The ceremony begins at 11:00 a.m. It will be the 25th anniversary of the construction of the American Merchant Marine Veterans Memorial and the observance of National Maritime Day in San Pedro.

National Maritime Day honors the American merchant mariners who have served their country in peace and war since the American Revolution. The observance will include speakers representing state and local organizations and the American maritime industry. A memorial service will be conducted by local clergy and veterans groups. A luncheon at Ports O’Call Restaurant at Berth 76, San Pedro, will follow the observance at 12:30. For more information, contact John Pitts at 562-716-2899 or


The United Nations’ high court has ordered Japan to halt its annual whale hunting campaign in the Southern Ocean around Antarctica. In a 12-4 ruling, the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in The Hague found Japan had violated its international obligations by catching and killing Minke whales and by issuing permits for hunting humpback and fin whales in the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary. The court rejected Japan’s claim that its whale hunting is actually a scientific research program. The ruling came in a case originally brought against Japan by Australia in 2010, which accused the Japanese of using a loophole to justify violating the 1986 whaling ban. The court’s ruling drew immediate praise from environmental groups including the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society, which annually sends its ships to the Southern Sanctuary to impede Japan’s whaling fleet. “With today’s ruling, the ICJ has taken a fair and just stance on the right side of history by protecting the whales of the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary and the vital marine ecosystem of Antarctica, a decision that impacts the international community and future generations,” said a spokesman for Sea Shepherd.


If you are interested in attending the Offshore Familiarization Course, please contact your MM&P Vice President to request that one be scheduled in your area. An Offshore Orientation Course is now scheduled for Los Angeles/Long Beach on Oct. 8-9. If you are interested in participating in the course, please contact the Los Angeles/Long Beach Hall: 310-834-7201 or 310-834-6667 (fax). There is no sea-time requirement to take the course. All Offshore applicants, potential transferees from other membership groups and other interested Offshore members are encouraged to take the course as soon as possible.


The 2006 Maritime Labor Convention (MLC) entered into force on Aug. 20. It has been described as the fourth pillar of international shipping regulations along with SOLAS, MARPOL and STCW.  The International Labor Organization consolidated a number of previous conventions in MLC 2006. It establishes minimum standards on conditions of employment, accommodations, health and safety, medical care, crew welfare, recruitment, working conditions and social security protection. MLC will be strictly enforced during port state control inspections, including the potential for more detailed inspections and possible detention where hazardous conditions may exist if ships are not to be in compliance. Visit for more information or to register for the MLC course.


MITAGS needs your current address! Have you moved recently? Did you remember to send MITAGS your new address for communications regarding courses? Please send your current contact information to or to the fax number below.

New dedicated fax line for Admissions only: 1-443-568-1928. For all other MITAGS business, please continue to use: 410-859-5181.

For class availability or information on MITAGS courses and programs, contact Kelly Michielli, Admissions Coordinator, toll-free at 866-656-5568 or by e-mail: Why not try our on-line calendar to register for class:

Please note the special addition to our on-campus schedule of MSC classes marked with an asterisk (*), which are not normally scheduled to be held at MITAGS.

AB –8/11/14, 10/13/14

AIS-1 – Automatic Identifications Systems Orientation: 5/6/14

ARPA-OIC – Automated Radar Plotting Aids: 8/5/14, 9/23/14, 11/18/14

AZIPOD 2-Day – 5/7/14, 5/19/14, 7/10/14, 10/9/14

BRM-35 – Bridge Resource Management: 6/2/14, 8/25/14, 10/13/14

BRMP –Bridge Resource Management for Pilots: 4/14/14, 5/22/14, 8/20/14, 9/22/14, 11/20/14

BRMP-EMR –Bridge Resource Management for Pilots with Emergency Shiphandling:  4/29/14, 7/7/14, 10/6/14

BST – Basic Safety Training: 4/7/14, 6/9/14, 8/11/14, 10/6/14

CHS-OIC – Cargo Handling Basic: 4/14/14, 10/27/14

[CMM – Chief Mate and Master Courses]

ADVNAV-CMM – Advanced Navigation (=ECDIS & VPEN): 6/2/14, 8/4/14, 11/10/14

ADVSTB-CMM – Advanced Stability: 4/28/14, 6/23/14, 9/22/14

ADVWX-CMM – Advanced Meteorology: 6/16/14, 9/8/14

CHS-CMM – Advanced Cargo Operations (2 weeks): 5/5/14, 7/7/14, 9/29/14

ECDIS – Electronic Chart Display Information System: 5/5/14, 6/2/14, 7/14/14, 8/4/14, 10/20/14, 11/10/14

MCL-CMM – Management, Communication, & Leadership (Management Level): 5/19/14, 9/15/14

MPP-CMM – Marine Propulsion Plants:  7/21/14, 10/27/14

SHMGT-CMM- Ship Management (2 weeks): 4/7/14, 8/18/14, 10/13/14

SHS-ADV-I-CMM – Advanced Shiphandling (week 1): 4/7/14, 4/28/14, 6/9/14, 8/4/14, 9/8/14, 9/22/14, 10/20/14, 11/3/14, 12/1/14

SHS-ADV-I-CMM – Advanced Shiphandling (week 2): 4/14/14, 5/5/14, 6/16/14, 8/11/14, 9/15/14, 9/29/14, 10/27/14, 11/10/14, 12/8/14

VPEN-CMM – Voyage Planning & Electronic Navigation: 6/9/14, 8/11/14, 11/17/14

WKP-CMM – Advanced Watchkeeping: 4/21/14, 7/28/14, 11/3/14

CNAV-OIC – Celestial Navigation: 4/28/14, 11/3/14

CONT PLNG – Contingency Planning Workshop: Contact Admissions

CRISIS-COMMS – Crisis Communications:  10/7/14

DDE – Great Lakes: Contact Admissions

DPA – Contact Admissions

ECDIS-OIC –9/8/14

ECDIS-Pilots – 5/19/14

FF-BADV – Fire Fighting Combined Basic & Advanced: 4/7/14, 6/9/14, 8/11/14, 10/6/14

FSM – Fatigue, Sleep & Medications:  5/21/14, 11/19/14

GL Pilot – Great Lakes Pilotage Familiarization: Contact Admissions

GMDSS – Global Maritime Distress and Safety System: 8/18/14

HAZ – Hazardous Materials (5 day): 6/23/14, 9/15/14, 11/17/14

LAP- 3/10/14, 9/8/14

LAP-Great Lakes – License Advancement Program – Great Lakes

LAP-ORG3rd – License Advancement Program for Original 3rd Mate, Oceans, Any Gross Ton License: 6/2/14

LEG – Legal Aspects of Pilotage: 5/21/14, 7/8/14, 10/7/14, 11/20/14

LNG-TPIC – 4/7/14

MCL-OIC –Management, Communications, and Leadership OICNW level: 9/5/14, 10/7/14

MED-PIC – Medical Person in Charge: 4/21/14, 6/16/14, 9/8/14, 11/3/14, 12/1/14

MED-PIC-REF– Medical Person in Charge Refresher: 5/12/14, 8/4/14, 10/13/14

MED-PRO – Medical Care Provider: 4/21/14, 6/16/14, 9/8/14, 10/20/14, 11/3/14, 12/1/14

MED-DOT-DA – Dept. of Transportation Drug & Alcohol Testing: 4/26/14, 6/21/14, 8/3/14, 9/13/14, 10/12/14, 11/8/14, 12/6/14

MSA –Maritime Security Awareness: 5/5/14 (PM), 8/4/14 (PM), 10/6/14 (PM)

[MSC – Military Sealift Command Courses]

MSC-CBRD-1 – Military Sealift Command Chemical, Biological, Radiological Defense Orientation (Basic): 6/6/14, 8/22/14, 10/3/14

MSC-DC – Military Sealift Command Damage Control (4 Evenings): 6/2/14, 8/18/14, 9/29/14

MSC-ENV – Contact Admissions

MSC-FF-HELO – Contact Admissions

MSC-SMA – Military Sealift Command Small Arms Qualification:  6/2/14, 8/18/14, 9/29/14, 11/10/14

*MSC-Security Watch Basic – Contact Admissions

*MSC-Security Watch Advanced – Contact Admissions

*MSC-Ship’s Reaction Force – Contact Admissions

ROR-1 – Radar Observer Renewal: 8/4/14, 9/22/14, 11/17/14

ROR-1N – Radar Observer Renewal Evening Classes: 4/2/14, 4/16/14, 4/30/14, 5/7/14, 5/14/14, 6/5/14, 6/18/14, 7/9/14, 7/24/14, 8/6/14, 8/20/14, 9/10/14, 9/17/14, 10/1/14, 10/15/14, 10/29/14, 11/12/14, 12/3/14, 12/10/14

ROU-OIC – Radar Observer Program – Unlimited: 4/7/14, 7/28/14, 11/10/14

SAR-OIC – Search & Rescue – 4/7/14, 10/13/14

SHS-BAS-OIC – Basic Shiphandling:  5/12/14, 6/16/14, 8/18/14, 11/17/14

SHS-EMR5 – Emergency Shiphandling-5 Day: 7/14/14, 10/6/14

SMS – Contact Admissions

STB-OIC – Ship Construction and Basic Stability: 8/4/14

TCNAV/CO – Terrestrial Navigation and Compasses: 7/7/14

TPIC – Tankerman Person in Charge:  8/25/14

TTT – Train the Trainer: 4/7/14

VPDSD – Vessel Personnel with Designated Security Duties: 5/6/14, 8/5/14, 10/7/14

VSO – Vessel Security Officer: 5/7/14, 8/6/14, 9/2/14, 10/8/14

WKP-OIC – Watchkeeping (Operational Level) : 9/29/14

WX-OIC –Meteorology (Operational Level): 9/15/14

…And remember: If you can’t make the class, make the call.  Be courteous, don’t be a “no show.”

Check the MITAGS website at for course descriptions associated with the course title abbreviations, and schedule revisions.


Please also see our schedule online at For registration, call our registrar, Jennifer Pitzen, at (206) 838-1126.

April 2014

7-9          Bridge Resource Management for Pilots w/Emergency Shiphandling
7-11       ECDIS
14th       Radar Renewal
14-25     GMDSS
21-22     ECDIS for Pilots
21-25     Marine Pilot Exam Preparation
15-18     ARPA
28-30     Vessel Security Officer
28-2       ECDIS
28-2       Medical Care Provider
28-9       Medical Person-In-Charge

May 2014

5th         Radar Renewal
12-16     ECDIS
12-16     Tankerman Person-In-Charge
19-21     Vessel Security Officer
19-23     Train the Trainer

June 2014

2-6          Basic Meteorology
9th         Radar Renewal
9-20       GMDSS
9-27       Terrestrial and Coastal Navigation
11-13     Vessel Security Officer
16-20     ECDIS

July 2014

7-11       Radar Observer Unlimited
7-18       GMDSS
14th       Radar Renewal
14th       Flashing Light
15-18     ARPA
21-25     Bridge Resource Management
28-1       ECDIS
28-1       Medical Care Provider

The MM&P Wheelhouse Weekly is the official electronic newsletter of the International Organization of Masters, Mates, and Pilots, ILA, AFL-CIO, 700 Maritime Blvd. Suite B, Linthicum Heights, MD 21090-1953. Phone: 410-850-8700; Fax: 410-850-0973; Email: For further info or to subscribe contact Lisa Rosenthal at The Wheelhouse Weekly is sent via Email to MM&P-contracted vessels at sea and is posted on our web page.

© 2014, International Organization of Masters, Mates & Pilots. All the material contained in this publication is protected by copyright. For permission to reprint text from the Weekly, contact the MM&P Communications Department: For changes of address, contact Lisa Rosenthal at