Wheelhouse Weekly – April 13, 2001

April 13th 2001


Bridging the Information Gap With E-News You Can Use

Volume 5. . . . . Number 15. . . April 13, 2001



MM&P HQ and Plan Offices Closed Friday, April 13 for Good Friday


The Captain and crew of the MM&P-contracted Navieras SS MAYAGUEZ were cited for exceptional service to the public for their participation in the rescue of five mariners in distress 70 miles off the coast of Cape Canaveral on Thursday, April 5.

On that day, the Coast Guard received a distress signal from the sailboat SPINNING JENNY OF LUNE. The USCG quickly dispatched an aircraft to locate the sailboat in distress. Upon location of the sailboat, the request from the Coast Guard for the crew of the MAYAGUEZ to respond to fellow mariners in distress was made.
The crew of the MAYAGUEZ quickly and diligently altered course to render assistance to the mariners, whom had now abandoned ship to a life raft. Due to the quick response and dedication, the five sailors were rescued from their sinking sailboat.

The crew of the MAYAGUEZ demonstrated extraordinary efforts and heroically pulled all five sailors on board and verified all persons were accounted for. Because of the crew’s determined efforts, outstanding initiative and adept seamanship skills, the rescue resulted in five lives saved. This unselfish action and valiant service reflects the highest appreciation in keeping with the highest Coast Guard standards.

The crew of the MAYAGUEZ’s commitment and decisive selfless actions, are most heartily commended and are in keeping with the highest traditions of public service and the US Coast Guard.”

The vessel was under the able command of MM&P member Capt. John H. Morin, Jr. Other MM&P members participating in the rescue were C/M Dan Corn, 2/M Kent Comeau, 3/M Charles Moy and 3/M Richard Wickenden.


MM&P Wheelhouse Weekly


It has been several years since the MM&P Offshore Membership Group Work Rules have been reviewed. International Secretary-Treasurer Capt. Glen Banks and the General Executive Board have recommended that a committee be established to study the Offshore Work Rules and make recommendations for changes as necessary to address changing times and industry conditions.

Offshore members interested in serving on this committee or those wishing to submit items for review and suggestions for rule changes should contact one of their Offshore area Vice Presidents. It is anticipated that a Work Rules Committee will be put in place by mid-summer.


MM&P Wheelhouse Weekly


Overall federal transportation spending would rise by 1.5 percent to $61.93 billion in the coming fiscal year under the White House budget proposal submitted to Congress. However, the proposed funding for MARAD is $161 million less than what Congress approved for fiscal 2001 because the Maritime Security Program is proposed to be transferred to the Defense Department.

The budget also would provide $5.1 billion for the Coast Guard, which is $545 million above current levels. The administration’s priority is to rebuild the service’s aging fleet of ships and aircraft. The administration also proposed $759 million for USCG anti-drug operations, a 19 percent increase.

The budget only contains a meager $4 million (for administrative costs only) for the Title XI ship building loan guarantee funding program while the administration continues to assess whether the program should continue.

Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott (R-MS), may push for White House reconsideration for more funds for the popular MARAD program. Senator John Breaux (D-LA) and Congressman Randy Cunningham (R-CA) have both called for reinstatement of Title XI funding. Industry advocates of the shipbuilding program have said they want continued funding of at least $100 million.

The Bush budget also slashes 14 percent from the proposed FY 2002 funding for the Army Corps of Engineers. Only ongoing projects would be funded. Under the proposal, the Corps research and planning, general construction and Mississippi flood control funding would all decline.

MM&P Wheelhouse Weekly


The AFL-CIO reports that the Bush administration has abruptly revoked 19 previously approved federal grants to unions, universities and labor-management groups for safety and health training programs for immigrant workers, small business employers and employees and workers in such high-risk jobs as construction. The grants totaled $4.8 million.

In a March 29 letter from the Department of Labor, the groups were told that because of “budgetary circumstances and an evaluation of the financial projections for this program,” the long-term grants would not be funded. “Sadly, workplace safety will suffer once again to fund tax breaks for the wealthy,” said Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA). “This action is particularly troubling in light of the [Bush administration’s previous] repeal of ergonomics protections for workplace safety.”

MM&P Wheelhouse Weekly


Effective April 1, the MM&P Federal Credit Union put in place two new products that many Credit Union members will find of interest. One provides special certificate of deposit rates, the other provides an advantageous loan rate. These new offerings are competitive with current national averages.

The promotional CD rates are good for new deposits only, in amounts between $5,000 and $7,000 and for terms ranging 13 to 18 months. Certificates with maturities of 13-15 months will earn 5.9 percent; 16-18 month certificates will earn 6.1 percent.

Credit Union members seeking to borrow funds will find a new Preferred Borrower Rate now in effect. This rate gives a 3/4-percent discount over standard rates to members who invest in the Credit Union by maintaining a share deposit of 10% of the original loan value for the duration of the loan. Preferred Borrower loan rates range from 7.25% for a 36 month new car loan to 13% for a Signature loan.

Terms are limited and are subject to change. Call or Email for all the details and to find out how the MM&P Federal Credit Union can help you. Kathy Klisavage may be reached toll-free at 1-800-382-7777; at 410-850-8700 x43, or by Email to Credit Union membership is open to all MM&P members and their families, and to all MM&P and MM&P-affiliated employees and their families.

MM&P Wheelhouse Weekly


The National Hurricane Center (NHC) has begun research and developmental activities which could lead to extending tropical cyclone forecasts from 3 days to 5 days in a few years. The NHC requests your input to this survey to establish the impact of such a change in service.

1. For your use, extending tropical cyclone forecasts from 3 to 5 days would be:

a. Essential b. Useful c. Inconsequential d. Detrimental.

2. How would you use 5-day forecasts?

3. NHC’s average track error for its 3-day forecast is currently around 270 miles (235 nautical miles). To be useful to you, average 5-day error (mark one):

a. Must be less than 300 miles b. Must be less than 400 miles c. Must be less than 500 miles d. Is not important, i.e. will use forecast regardless of average error e. Is not important, i.e. will not use forecast regardless of average error.

4. NHC’s average error for maximum wind speed in its three-day forecasts is around 22 mph (19.5 knots). To be useful to you, average 5-day error (mark one):

a. Must be less than 25 mph b. Must be less than 30 mph c. Must be less than 35 mph d. Is not important, will use forecast regardless of average error e. Is not important, will not use forecast regardless of average error.

5. Because average 4-day and 5-day forecast wind speed errors are likely to be large, traditional forecasts in 5 knot (~5 mph) increments might not be appropriate or skillful at those time periods. Would you consider forecasts indicating “Dissipated, Tropical Depression, Tropical Storm, or Hurricane” rather than exact wind speeds to be a useful alternative system for 4 and 5 day forecasts?

a. Yes b. No.

6. What other issues, if any, will guide whether and how you use the proposed extended forecasts?

7. Indicate your professional affiliation:

a. Emergency management b. Media c. Mariner d. Meteorologist e. Other.


9. (Optional) Your name, phone number

Please Email your responses to:

MM&P Wheelhouse Weekly


The fully operational WWII Victory Ship has broadcast an all hands alert for assistance. The vessel’s last reported position was at Berth 94, in San Pedro, CA. She was reported to be taking on volunteers in the deck, engine and steward departments and in the office and gift shop. This is your chance to go down to the sea in a great ship. Call 310-519-9545 for more info, as loose lips won’t sink this ship!

MM&P Wheelhouse Weekly


The American Merchant Marine and Navy Armed Guard veterans will hold their 15th annual convention, May 11-14, 2001, at the Harvey Hotel in Irving, Texas. The event’s keynote speaker will be Peter Sanford, president of the National Maritime Historical Society. In addition, tributes will be expressed by Walter Cronkite, Bob Hope and others. Merchant Mariners, Navy Armed Guard, Maritime enthusiasts and veterans of all services interested in attending the reunion event should contact A.J. Wichita at 972-231-5464 or via Email at Although the Merchant Marine has been an American institution since the formation of the United States as a country, serving in every war since the Revolutionary War, they did not receive veteran status until 1988.

MM&P Wheelhouse Weekly


  • Openings in classes through the end of June follow:
  • 4/21-22: MSC-DC
  • 4/23-27: BST
  • 5/14-18: TPIC, EINS, ROP
  • 5/14-17: SMA
  • 5/21-25: DCS, FF-ADV, BST
  • 6/4-8: BRM-3, WX-HWA, BST
  • 6/11-15: COMP-MAR
  • 6/11-14: SMA
  • 6/16: ROR-1
  • 6/18-22: BST, COMP-NET, FF-ADV
  • 6/25-29: ARPA, BST
Damage Control

Class scheduled at MITAGS for weekend of April 21-22. To sign-up for MSC courses contact Mike Wein at 443-989-3238 or Email

GMDSS Instructors

MITAGS is seeking recently retired or actively sailing members to serve part-time as GMDSS instructors.

Minimum requirements:

  • Two years experience on GMDSS equipment;
  • STCW-95 certificate; and a
  • Valid GMDSS FCC license.

Additional relevant communications and instructional training/experience highly desired.

Anticipate hiring decision within 30 days and first actual employment early summer. Send resumes to Mike Wein. Fax: 410-859-5181 and Email both acceptable.

Air Fares

Please make every effort to book your flight to MITAGS as soon as course dates are confirmed. Last minute arrangements all too often result in grossly inflated prices. Obviously, there will be occasions when late bookings are unavoidable, but do your best to keep costs down by planning ahead and contacting Omega at the earliest opportunity.

Schedule through Dec. 2001 is being maintained on the website. Hard copy schedule updates are also provided 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


The Pacific Northwest Maritime Institute has updated their blind pilotage labaratory. Students are now placed in a blind pilotage environment utilizing four seperate ownships each with the Navisailor 2400 ECDIS and ARPA Display. The school currently utilizes the Furuno 2110, Furuno 2800, Raytheon Mk34, Sperry Rascar, and the Decca Bridgemaster Arpa Displays.

Course openings are as follows:

  • ARPA: 4/23-27
  • BRM: 4/23-25
  • ECDIS: 4/30-5/4
    • (Note: Currently the ECDIS course satisfies the EINS Requirements.)

For more info on their new ECDIS Course or the PNMI, please visit their website 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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