Wheelhouse Weekly – April 04, 2002

April 4th 2002


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

Volume 6. . . . . Number 14. . . April 4, 2002






The Journal of Commerce reports that the Holt Group has entered into an agreement to sell the assets of its MM&P-contracted Navieras/NPR carrier subsidiary and its terminal in San Juan to competitor Sea Star Line for approximately $32 million.

In a filing with the US Bankruptcy Court in Wilmington, DE, Holt said the deal was “subject to various adjustments at closing and subject to the receipt of higher and better offers.” Those offers will be solicited in an auction that will be conducted at a later date to be determined by the court.

Sea Star Line is a joint venture between the Matson Navigation subsidiary of Alexander and Baldwin; the Totem Ocean Trailer Express subsidiary of Saltchuk Resources, and several Puerto Rico-based investors.

Sea Star said the deal, effective at the end of April, covers the purchase of ships, equipment, assignment of terminal leases, trade names and other assets related to NPR’s Puerto Rico service. A Sea Star statement said the deal would combine its “versatile ro-ro/lo-lo service with Navieras’ market-leading container service.”

Sea Star operates two vessels each week between Port Everglades and Jacksonville, Florida and San Juan. Navieras/NPR, which owns five ships, operates three in twice-weekly service between San Juan and Jacksonville, and weekly service between San Juan and Philadelphia.

MM&P International President Capt. Tim Brown commented, “I have spoken directly to Tom Holt Jr., President of NPR, who has told me that he is using his best efforts to insure that the crewing complement of all officer unions will remain in place after the transfer of assets to Sea Star.” MM&P will be closely following this situation and will keep all hands informed.

Chuck Raymond, chief executive of MM&P-contracted CSX Lines, another competitor in the Puerto Rico trade, said his company planned to attend the auction of assets and possibly bid on Navieras. “We are going to do that because we are operating similar assets in the trade and we see synergies,” he said.

Raymond said that because he did not know exactly what assets are being sold to Sea Star, he did not know if CSX Lines would be willing to offer a better price. “We don’t know until we know what the offer is and what is included in the sale,” he said.

“We have to find out from our attorneys whether market share is an issue for us.” Raymond estimated that CSX Lines controls about 26-27% of the market. Crowley Liner Services leads the way with about 28%, followed by Navieras with 23% to 24%, Sea Star with about 12% and Trailer Bridge with about 10%.

Navieras has about 200 employees and over 2,000 customers. Holt and 25 of its subsidiary companies sought protection from creditors in a bankruptcy filing in 2001.


MM&P Wheelhouse Weekly



The Chief Mate and First Assistant Engineer onboard the Ready Reserve Force (RRF) vessel M/V CAPE HORN were killed when the ship experienced a fire in the upper level of the engine room on the morning of March 31. The Chief Engineer was resuscitated. The dead crew members were identified as Chief Mate Timothy L. Bohan of Jensen Beach, FL, and 1st Assistant Engineer Philip Hellesto of Hayward, CA.

According to a report in The Honolulu Advertiser, the cause of death was due to asphyxiation. “The possibility is that it may have been as a result of a fire suppression system that used carbon dioxide,” said Susan Clark, a spokeswoman for the US Maritime Administration.

The suppression systems replace oxygen with carbon dioxide to smother a fire. Clark said the cause of death still is being investigated, but is assumed to be asphyxiation after the two crew members entered the engine room area where the fire occurred. “Apparently, they died after the fire was extinguished,” Clark said.

Unofficial reports indicate that after the fire was extinguished by the CO2 flooding system, 1A/E Hellesto donned a self-contained breathing apparatus (SCBA) to check out the machinery spaces. When he didn’t come back, Chief Mate Bohan, also wearing a SCBA, entered to search for Hellesto. Both men reportedly were found in the machinery space with their masks still on.

Officials said the fire was confined to the engine room, but left the vessel dead in the water under emergency diesel generator power as the main engines are in need of significant repair. A broken fuel line between the number 8 and 9 cylinder heads is thought to have sparked the blaze.

USCG officials said a distress call was received at 0530 hrs. The MM&P-contracted Matson vessel MOKIHANA, which was en route to Guam, responded and stood-by until the MM&P-crewed Military Sealift Command ship USNS SHASTA was in the vicinity to provide assistance. MM&P crew aboard the M/V MOKIHANA are Thomas Crawford, Master; Jeff Idema, Chief Mate; Marty Joseph, Second Mate; Gary Frame, Third Mate.

The SHASTA commenced small boat operations to transfer engineers/deck hands/explosive detection gear and other equipment to the CAPE HORN. Plans called for the SHASTA to take the CAPE HORN under tow until relieved by the tug HOKUKEA on April 4.

The 750-foot CAPE HORN was taking cargo from Washington state to Thailand for war games and was en route to Pearl Harbor when the fire broke out about 800 miles east of Honolulu. The California-based vessel’s crew consists of 28 merchant mariners and six Army cargo supervisors. The ship is now expected to arrive in Pearl Harbor about April 10.

The MM&P extends its deepest condolences to the shipmates and families of the two officers who perished aboard the CAPE HORN.

MM&P Wheelhouse Weekly



A general membership meeting with MM&P Plans Administrator Valerie Verrecchio will be held at the Los Angeles /Long Beach Hall on Wednesday, April 10, directly after job call.

In Seattle on Thursday, April 11, she will meet with Offshore members at 1230 hrs. On Friday, April 12, she will meet with the PMR membership at 1000 hrs.

At these meetings Ms. Verrecchio will provide info about MM&P Membership Group pensions. She will also answer any questions about the Health & Benefit Plan and other MM&P Plans.

Members and their families are encouraged to attend this meeting and educate themselves about the many benefits of being a member of the Masters Mates, & Pilots.

Don Marcus, Vice President, Pacific Ports will also be attending both meetings. For more info, contact Dave Boatner at the LA/LB Hall at 310-834-7201; Email: or Don Marcus at the Seattle Hall at 206-441-8700; Email:

Steve Demeroutis, Vice President-PMR, will be attending the PMR meeting. For more info, contact the PMR branch at 206-441-1070; Email: or Sheri Schermerhorn at

MM&P Wheelhouse Weekly



Here’s an update on some of the latest marine-oriented National Weather Service products forwarded to us by MITAGS heavy weather avoidance instructor Michael Carr. For a Shortcut to NWS marine radiofax products go to:

A new radiofax broadcast schedule for New Orleans which will include new 24, 48 and 72 hour surface forecasts for the Tropical Atlantic, Caribbean and Gulf of Mexico is planned to begin on or about May 29, 2002 at 1800z. The broadcast time of the on-air broadcast schedule will shift from 1315z to 2025z.

In addition, 24, 48 and 72 hour surface forecasts for the Eastern Tropical Pacific (and Gulf of Mexico) will be made available via the Internet and Email (but not broadcast).

Radiofax, also known as HF FAX, radiofacsimile or weatherfax, is a means of broadcasting graphic weather maps and other graphic images via HF radio. HF radiofax is also known as WEFAX, although this term is generally used to refer to the reception of weather charts and imagery via satellite. Maps are received using a dedicated radiofax receiver or a single sideband shortwave receiver connected to an external facsimile recorder or PC equipped with a radiofax interface and application software. See the Worldwide Radiofacsimile Webpage at: for listings of available equipment and software as well as information on radiofax services available worldwide.

The NWS Marine Prediction Center makes available a Radiofacsimile Charts User’s Guide online at:

The National Weather Service radiofax program prepares high seas weather maps for broadcast via four USCG (Boston, New Orleans, Pt. Reyes, CA and Kodiak, AK) and one DOD transmitter site (Honolulu). These broadcasts are prepared by the Marine Prediction Center at:, Tropical Prediction Center at:, Honolulu Forecast Office at: and Anchorage Forecast Office at: Limited satellite imagery, sea surface temperature maps and text forecasts are also available.

NWS radiofax products are also available via the Internet (HTTP, FTP or Email). Go to the Marine Charts Webpage at: to view these products and obtain detailed radiofax broadcast schedule information. Links to many NWS radiofax radiofax products (including .GIF as well as .TIF format charts) and user guides also may be found at the Marine Prediction Center homepage at: Although available, internet access is not presently technically feasible for most vessels and broadcast of graphic marine forecasts via HF radiofax remains among the most valued of NWS marine services.

The International Ice Patrol at: also broadcasts radiofax charts from Boston sharing the same transmitters. Visit the U.S. Coast Guard Maritime Telecommunications Information webpage at: for more information on USCG telecommunications.

All NWS marine forecasts rely heavily on the Voluntary Observing Ship (VOS) program at: for obtaining meteorological observations.

For further info on any of the above NWS products, contact Tim Rulon, NOAA, voice: 301-713-1677 x128; fax: 301-713-1598; Email:, or or consult their homepage at:

MM&P Wheelhouse Weekly



In accordance with Article IV, Section 2, of the International Constitution, a regular convention of the IOMM&P will be convened at 1000 hrs on Monday, July 15, 2002, at MITAGS, 5700 Hammonds Ferry Road, Linthicum Heights, MD 21090. Constitutional Amendments may also be considered at this Convention.

In accordance with Article IV, Section 6., Subsection (b), all proposed resolutions 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.

MM&P Wheelhouse Weekly



Openings in Classes Through the End of August 2002

  • 4/13: CBRD-1, ROR
  • 4/15-19: ECDIS
  • 4/19: ATER, ENV PRO
  • 4/29-5/3: MED FIRST, WX-HWA, BRM
  • 5/10: ATER, ENVPRO
  • 5/11: CBRD-1, ROR
  • 5/13-17: BST, ROP, COMP-NET
  • 5/20-24: FF-ADV, CSE-AAES
  • 5/20: CBRD-1
  • 5/21: HAZMAT, EAP
  • 5/22-24: MED-DOT-DA
  • 6/3-28: SMC
  • 6/3: ROR
  • 6/3-14: GMDSS
  • 6/10-14: BST, SHS-BAS, BRM, COMP-NET, FRB
  • 6/10-13: SMA
  • 6/14: ATER, ENVPRO
  • 6/15: CBRD-1, ROR
  • 6/17-21: FF-ADV, BRM, ARPA, WX-HWA
  • 6/17: ROR
  • 6/24-28: VPM
  • 7/29-8/2: MED FIRST, BRM, ROP
  • 7/29: ROR
  • 7/30: HAZMAT, EAP
  • 7/31-8/2: MED-DOT-DA
  • 8/5-8: SMA
  • 8/9: ATER, ENVPRO
  • 8/10: CBRD-1
  • 8/12-23: MED-PIC, GMDSS
  • 8/12: ROR
  • 8/13: HAZMAT, EAP
  • 8/14-16: MED-DOT-DA
  • 8/19-23: BST, SHS INT II, COMP-MAR
  • 8/26-30: FF-ADV, SHS-EMR, BRM, ARPA


  • ARPA: Automatic Radar Plotting Aids
  • ATER: Anti-Terrorism Awareness Training
  • BRM: Bridge Resource Management
  • BRMP: Bridge Resource Management For Pilots
  • BST: Basic Safety Training
  • CBRD: Chemical Biological Radiological Defense Training
  • COMP-ABSS: Computer Am Bureau Ship Management Software
  • COMP-APS: Computer Application Programs
  • COMP-MAR: Computer Mariner Application Program
  • COMP-NET: Computer Network Systems
  • CSE-AAES: Confine Space Entry-Atmos. Analy of Enc Spaces
  • EAP: Employee Assistance Program
  • ECDIS: Electronic Chart Display And Information Systems
  • ENVPRO: Environmental Protection
  • FF-ADV: Advanced Fire Fighting
  • GMDSS: Global Maritime Distress Safety System
  • HAZMAT: Hazardous Materials
  • MED-DOT-DA: Dept. of Trans. Drug and Alcohol Testing
  • MED-PIC: Medical Person-In-Charge
  • MSC-COMMS: Strategic Sealift Communications
  • ROR: Radio Operator Renewal
  • SMA: Small Arms
  • SHS-EMR: Emergency Shiphandling
  • SHS-INT: Intermediate Shiphandling
  • TPIC: Tankerman Person-In-Charge
  • VPM: Vessel Personnel Management
  • WX-HWA: Heavy Weather Avoidance

Only one student has registered for 5-day MED-FIRST scheduled for 4/29-5/3. Class will be cancelled if minimum of four not attained by April 11.



Eligible trust students now only require one week of class at MITAGS to have transportation covered. You can get more details on the transportation reimbursement policy, as well as other important policies, by going to the MITAGS web-site home page and clicking on “Training Policy & Procedures” or by clicking here to visit the page directly.



Schedule through December 2002 is being maintained on the website. Hard copies of the June-December 2002 schedule are being mailed to the halls. Check the MITAGS website at: for up-to-date info. For additional course info, contact Mary Matlock at voice: 443-989-3226 or Email:


MM&P Wheelhouse Weekly



Openings in Classes Through the End of June 2002

  • 4/15-19: NEW: Computer Basics (IC3 Ceritification)
  • 4/22-26: ECDIS, GMDSS, BAFF
  • 4/29-5/3: ARPA
  • 5/6-10: Radar, Med 1st, Med PIC, BST
  • 5/13-17: GMDSS
  • 5/20-24: BRM, BAFF, GMDSS Refresher
  • 5/27-31: ECDIS, Med 1st, Med PIC
  • 6/3-7: TPIC, BST
  • 6/10-14: ARPA, GMDSS
  • 6/17-21: Radar, GMDSS Refresher
  • 6/24-28: Computer Basics (IC3 Ceritification), ECDIS, BAFF



PMI is now offering two week “Medical Person in Charge” and one week “Medical First Aid Provider” course. To learn more about the STCW Requirements for Medical First Aid Provider and Medical Person in Charge, refer to PMI’s webpage at



Register online at


MM&P Wheelhouse Weekly



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MM&P Wheelhouse Weekly

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., Linthicum Heights, MD 21090-1941. Phone: 410-850-8700; Fax: 410-850-0973; Email: For further info contact John Peige at The Wheelhouse Weekly is sent via Email to MM&P-contracted vessels at sea, broadcast worldwide via FEC marine telex andis posted on our web page under “News” at:

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