Wheelhouse Weekly – April 25, 2017

April 26th 2017

Volume 22…Number 17…April 25, 2017


In This Issue:



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North Korea held live-fire drills in an area around the coastal town of Wonsan Tuesday as it celebrated the anniversary of the founding of its military.

This followed an editorial in North Korea’s official government newspaper Sunday threatening to attack a U.S. aircraft carrier.

The provocations came as South Korean and Japanese naval ships joined the USS CARL VINSON carrier group for exercises in the western Pacific and as the nuclear-powered submarine USS MICHIGAN arrived at Busan in what was described by the U.S. as a routine stop to load supplies.

“Our revolutionary forces are combat-ready to sink a U.S. nuclear-powered aircraft carrier with a single strike,” according to the editorial published in the newspaper of North Korea’s ruling Workers’ Party.

The newspaper referred to the USS CARL VINSON as a “gross animal” and said a strike on it would be “an actual example to show our military’s force.”

North Korea has conducted five nuclear tests, two of them last year. It has also carried out a series of ballistic missile tests in violation of United Nations sanctions.

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Professional Mariner Magazine has given its prestigious Plimsoll Award to MITAGS-PMI and to two members of the MM&P Pilot Membership Group.

MITAGS received the 2017 Plimsoll Award for its Navigation Skills Assessment Program (NSAP), a risk-mitigation initiative that helps mariners and operators identify critical safety gaps and implement solutions to close them.

The Houston pilots, Michael McGee and Michael Phillips, received a Plimsoll Award for their courage in fighting a fire that had broken out aboard a crude oil tanker they were piloting in the Houston Ship Channel.

“It really was one of the finest examples of state pilots protecting the waterway and citizens at their own risk,” according to Professional Mariner Magazine.

The NSAP program at MITAGS uses custom simulation scenarios and assessment criteria based on a company’s skill requirements and area of operation, specifically focusing on the core skills required of licensed deck officers as defined by international standards and industry best practices.

A report is produced at the end of each session and the facilitator debriefs the participants, summarizing their performance and providing an opportunity for feedback and discussion of lessons learned.

Observations and recommendations may include further training or implementation of additional company procedures to close knowledge or skill gaps.

“NSAP has provided a safe and supportive environment (for mariners) to demonstrate their maritime and leadership skills and discuss with a respected peer how they can better themselves both professionally and for the safety of their crew, their vessel, and the industry as a whole,” according to Professional Mariner.

The Plimsoll Award is given to individuals who display extraordinary service in preventing casualties or protecting property and the environment.

Organizations can receive an award for making a difference in the industry in reducing the risk of accidents and loss of life.

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AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka said he is encouraged by an Executive Order signed by President Donald Trump last week that could signal changes to a temporary visa program used to replace American workers with cheap foreign labor.

The order could also be used to increase the amount of American products purchased to fulfill federal contracts.

The Executive Order asks cabinet secretaries to suggest reforms to eliminate fraud and abuse of the H-1B program that awards visas to highly skilled foreign workers.

It also directs federal agencies to assess the enforcement of existing guidelines that prioritize the use of American firms and goods and to submit findings within 150 days.

“Although short on specifics,” Trumka said, “the order addresses critically important issues. The labor movement consistently has called for reform of temporary work visa programs that make U.S. and foreign workers more vulnerable to discrimination, displacement and exploitation. A serious look at the impact of these ‘captive-work’ programs on rights, wages and working conditions is long overdue.”

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The new edition of MM&P’s bimonthly magazine, The Master, Mate & Pilot, has been posted on

In this issue:

— photos of our members aboard APL BELGIUM, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ Dredge MV RACCOON, SLNC CORSICA and USNS SISLER;

— Blue & Gold Fleet christens first in a series of new ferries;

— maritime unions and shipping companies lobby on Capitol Hill for the U.S.-flag fleet;

— awards for heroism to three MM&P pilots;

— Rep. John Garamendi introduces bipartisan bill to ensure a portion of energy exports are carried on U.S.-flag ships;

— Republicans in Congress introduce national right-to-work legislation aimed at eliminating labor unions;

— MM&P members call on President Trump to “bring back jobs in the American Merchant Marine” and to “make ‘Ship American’ part of the new Washington order.”

The Master, Mate & Pilot will be in your mailbox soon. In the meantime, why not read it online? Go to and scroll down to “Latest News.”

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The American Maritime Partnership (AMP) has once again underlined its strong support for proposals by U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) that would strengthen Jones Act requirements for offshore oil and gas operators.

Masters, Mates & Pilots and MIRAID are both members of AMP, a coalition that represents the domestic maritime industry.

AMP last week submitted written comments in favor of a CBP proposal that would reverse a policy permitting the use of foreign-flag vessels for subsea construction, inspection and maintenance activities.

AMP says that the CBP’s efforts to close loopholes exploited by foreign shipping interests to skirt the Jones Act could translate into thousands of U.S. jobs.

“The men and women of the American maritime industry commend the CBP’s efforts to rightfully restore over 3,200 American jobs to the American economy and close loopholes that gave preference to foreign workers and foreign shipbuilding,” said AMP Chair Tom Allegretti.

“Correct enforcement of U.S. coastwise laws is vitally important to national security interests and the maintenance of our domestic maritime industry,” he said.

“Previous rulings have created an uneven playing field for U.S. companies to compete against foreign vessels, which are deploying cheap foreign labor, while not paying fair taxes.”

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The Coast Guard has issued information clarifying one aspect of its Navigation and Vessel Inspection Circular (NVIC) 03-16 for the credentialing of officers of towing vessels.

Specifically, the policy set forth in NVIC 03-16 indicates that after Jan. 1, 2016, mariners should have begun using the new Towing Officer Assessment Record (TOAR).

Since the NVIC itself was not published until June 23, 2016, the agency has issued the following clarification about which TOAR to use:

. mariners who are beginning training and assessment toward an officer of towing vessels endorsement should use the TOARs contained in NVIC 03-16;

. the National Maritime Center will continue to accept the previous versions of the TOAR contained in NVIC 04-01 until March 24, 2019, regardless of the date started.

This means that mariners should plan to ensure that previous versions of TOARs are completed and that the application for endorsement is made before March 24, 2019.

The agency says that the appropriate TOAR can be found on the NMC website or in the enclosures to NVIC 03-16.

For questions, visit the NMC website or contact the NMC Customer Service Center by e-mail at, by chat, or by calling 1-888-IASKNMC (427-5662).

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An explosion in the forward storeroom of the Marshall Islands-flag bulk carrier TAMAR on Monday has killed two members of the crew and severely injured several others.

The cause of the explosion, which took place when the ship was 1,300 miles offshore Cape Cod, has not been ascertained. The vessel’s last port of call before the accident was Baltimore.

Rescuers with the New York Air National Guard’s 106th Rescue Wing arrived on board the ship at about 2100 Monday with advanced life-saving equipment. They will remain with injured members of the crew until they can be evacuated by the Portuguese Coast Guard.

Also involved in the rescue were physician assistants aboard two ships operated by the Canadian Coast Guard.

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The crew of a product tanker managed to escape a group of pirates on April 22, when the vessel was approximately six nautical miles off the coast of the Mudug region of Somalia.

The ship, the Sierra Leone-flagged COSTINA, transmitted a distress signal and undertook evasive maneuvers.

The pirates continued to pursue it and shoot at it for several hours until a Spanish Navy vessel arrived on the scene.

One crewmember was reportedly injured in the attack.

In related news, Somali forces secured the release of 11 crewmembers of an Indian cargo dhow, AL KAUSAR, and captured 10 pirates who were holding them hostage.

The hijacking of the AL KAUSAR is part of a sudden string of attacks by Somali pirates after years without a reported incident.

Authorities in the U.S. have issued a maritime advisory that warns vessels to keep a distance of at least 200 nautical miles from the coast of Somalia.

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Join the Economic Policy Institute (EPI) and the National Employment Law Project (NELP) for a Workers’ Memorial Day panel on April 28 at 1100. The event is free and will be livestreamed.

Over 4,800 workers are killed on the job every year in the United States. That means 13 workers lose their lives on the job every day. Tens of thousands more die of occupational disease each year and almost 3 million more suffer a serious job-related injury.

The Workers’ Memorial Day panel includes experts in safety and health, as well as workers who have been injured on the job.

The panelists will remember those who have lost their lives on the job and discuss the importance of strong government enforcement and safety standards to prevent work-related injuries and fatalities.

This event is free, open to the public and will be livestreamed.

To register to attend in person in Washington, D.C., or to view the livestream, go to:

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MM&P Atlantic Ports Vice President Don Josberger will hold a union meeting at the Boston Hall at 1200 on Tuesday, May 9.

All Offshore members in the area are encouraged to attend the meeting.

The Boston Hall is located in Marine Industrial Park, 12 Channel St., Suite 606-A, Boston, MA 02210. The phone number of the hall is 617-671-0769.

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The American Merchant Marine Veterans Memorial Committee invites you to the National Maritime Day Observance and Memorial Service in San Pedro, Calif. on, Monday, May 22.

Maritime Day honors the merchant mariners who serve our country in peace and war.

The service begins at 1100 at the American Merchant Marine Veterans Memorial at the foot of Sixth Street.

You are also invited to join us after the memorial service for a luncheon at 1200 at the nearby Ports O’Call Restaurant, Berth 76, San Pedro ($45 per person; tables are available).

To support National Maritime Day activities in San Pedro, a commemorative program is produced. Proceeds from the sale of advertising in the commemorative program also go to maintain the memorial itself.

Parking is available at the Ports O’Call Restaurant and shuttle service between the memorial and the restaurant will be provided by San Pedro Trolley.

If you would like more information about attending the event or about advertising, please contact Jerry Aspland, Vice President:; telephone/fax: 714-968-4409.

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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 Amanda Meadows, 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 – 8/21/17, 10/16/17

AIS-1 – Automatic Identifications Systems Orientation: 5/23/17

ARPA-OIC – Automated Radar Plotting Aids: 8/8/17, 9/26/17

AZIPOD 2-Day – 5/22/17, 10/16/17

BRM-35 – Bridge Resource Management: 6/19/17, 9/25/17, 11/13/17

BRMP –Bridge Resource Management for Pilots: 5/22/17, 7/20/17, 11/14/17

BRMP-EMR –Bridge Resource Management for Pilots with Emergency Shiphandling: Contact Admissions

BRMP-Refresher – 5/24/17, 7/17/17, 9/12/17, 10/18/17

BT – Basic Safety Training: 8/14/17, 10/9/17

BT-Revalidation (2-day) – 5/4/17, 6/22/17, 8/21/17, 9/28/17, 11/8/17, 12/14/17

BT-Refresher (3-day) – 5/4/17, 6/22/17, 8/20/17, 9/28/17, 11/8/17, 12/14/17

CHS-OIC – Cargo Handling Basic: 5/8/17, 10/30/17

[CMM – Chief Mate and Master Courses]

ADVNAV-CMM – Advanced Navigation (=ECDIS & VPEN): Contact Admissions

ADVSTB-CMM – Advanced Stability: 6/12/17, 7/31/17, 10/2/17, 12/11/17

ADVWX-CMM – Advanced Meteorology: 6/5/17, 8/7/17, 9/25/17, 12/4/17

CHS-CMM – Advanced Cargo Operations (2 weeks): 10/9/17

ECDIS – Electronic Chart Display Information System: 6/26/17, 8/14/17, 9/18/17

LMS – Leadership and Managerial Skills (Management Level – Formerly MCL-CMM) 5/22/17,6/19/17, 8/21/17, 9/11/17

MPP-CMM – Marine Propulsion Plants: 11/27/17

SEC-APPS – Practical Defense Tactics: 7/31/17, 11/6/17

SHMGT-CMM- Ship Management (2 weeks): 5/1/17, 10/30/17

SHS-ADV-I-CMM – Advanced Shiphandling (week 1): 5/8/17, 6/5/17, 7/17/17, 7/31/17, 8/14/17,9/11/17, 10/2/17, 10/30/17, 12/4/17

SHS-ADV-II-CMM – Advanced Shiphandling (week 2): 5/1/17, 5/15/17, 6/12/17, 7/24/17, 8/7/17,8/21/17, 9/18/17, 10/9/17, 11/6/17, 12/11/17

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

VPEN-CMM – Voyage Planning & Electronic Navigation: 10/23/17

WKP-CMM – Advanced Watchkeeping: 5/15/17, 11/13/17

CNAV-OIC – Celestial Navigation: 11/6/17

CONT PLNG – Contingency Planning Workshop: Contact Admissions

CRISIS-COMMS – Crisis Communications: Contact Admissions

CRSMGT – Crisis Management and Human Behavior – 7/11/17

CDMGT – Crowd Management – 7/10/17

DDE – Great Lakes: 6/5/17

DPA – Contact Admissions

ECDIS-OIC – Contact Admissions

ECDIS for Pilots – 5/24/17, 11/14/17

ERM – Engine Resource Management: 7/10/17, 8/28/17, 10/16/17, 12/4/17

FF-BADV – Fire Fighting Combined Basic & Advanced: 8/14/17, 10/9/17

FF-ADV-REV – Advanced Fire Fighting Revalidation & Refresher: 5/2/17, 6/20/17, 8/23/17, 9/26/17, 11/6/17, 12/12/17

FSM – Fatigue, Sleep, & Medications: 9/12/17

GL-Pilot – Great Lakes Pilotage Familiarization: Contact Admissions

GMDSS – Global Maritime Distress and Safety System: 8/21/17

HAZ – Hazardous Materials (5 day): 6/26/17, 8/28/17, 11/27/17

LAP- 9/11/17

LAP-Great Lakes – License Advancement Program – Great Lakes: Contact Admissions

LAP-ORG3rd – License Advancement Program for Original 3rd Mate, Oceans, Any Gross
Ton License: 6/5/17, 8/7/17, 12/4/17

LEG – Legal Aspects of Pilotage: 9/13/17

LNG-TPIC – 12/4/17

LTS –Leadership and Teamworking Skills (Formerly MCL-OIC): 8/15/17, 9/25/17 (*2-Evening Session)

MEECE – Management of Electrical and Electronic Control: Contact Admissions

MED-PIC – Medical Person in Charge: 5/8/17, 7/10/17, 9/11/17, 10/23/17

MED-PIC-REF– Medical Person in Charge Refresher: 6/26/17, 8/28/17, 11/13/17, 12/4/17

MED-PRO – Medical Care Provider: 5/8/17, 9/11/17, 10/23/17, 11/27/17

MED-DOT-DA – Dept. of Transportation Drug & Alcohol Testing: 5/1/17, 6/12/17 (Evening), 6/19/17, 7/16/17, 8/25/17, 9/25/17, 10/28/17, 12/11/17

MSA –Maritime Security Awareness: Contact Admissions

[MSC – Military Sealift Command Courses]

MSC-CBRD-1 – Military Sealift Command Chemical, Biological, Radiological Defense Orientation (Basic): 5/25/17, 6/9/17, 8/9/17, 10/2/17

MSC-DC – Military Sealift Command Damage Control: 5/23/17, 6/7/17, 8/7/17, 10/3/17

*MSC-ENVPRO – 6/4/17, 8/6/17, 10/1/17

*MSC-FF-HELO – 6/5/17, 8/13/17, 10/16/17

MSC-SMA – Military Sealift Command Small Arms Qualification: 5/15/17, 6/12/17, 7/17/17, 8/13/17, 10/9/17

*MSC-Security Watch Basic – 5/14/17, 6/10/17, 8/10/17, 10/5/17

*MSC-Security Watch Advanced – 5/19/17, 6/16/17, 7/21/17, 8/12/17, 10/7/17

*MSC-Ship’s Reaction Force – 5/20/17, 6/17/17, 7/24/17, 8/18/17, 10/13/17

NSAP-MMP – Navigational Skills Assessment Program-MM&P – 5/9/17, 6/13/17, 8/14/17, 10/2/17

ROR-1 – Radar Observer Renewal: 8/17/17, 9/25/17

ROR-1N – Radar Observer Renewal Evening Classes: 5/3/17, 5/10/17, 5/17/17, 6/7/17, 6/21/17, 7/12/17, 7/26/17, 8/9/17, 8/23/17, 9/20/17, 10/4/17, 10/18/17, 11/1/17, 11/8/17, 11/15/17, 11/29/17, 12/6/17, 12/13/17

ROU-OIC – Radar Observer Program – Unlimited: 7/31/17

SAR-OIC – Search & Rescue – 10/16/17

SHS-BAS-OIC – Basic Shiphandling: 5/15/17, 8/28/17, 10/23/17

SHS-EMR5 – Emergency Shiphandling-5 Day – 5/1/17, 6/26/17, 9/25/17, 11/27/17

SMS – Contact Admissions

STB-OIC – Ship Construction and Basic Stability: 8/7/17

TCNAV/CO – Terrestrial Navigation and Compasses: 7/10/17

TPIC – Tankerman Person in Charge: 5/8/17, 8/7/17

TRAC-TUG-2: Contact Admissions

TTT – Contact Admissions

VPDSD – Vessel Personnel with Designated Security Duties: 5/25/17

VSO – Vessel Security Officer: 5/22/17, 7/13/17, 9/6/17

WKP-OIC – Watchkeeping (Operational Level): 10/2/17

WX-OIC –Meteorology (Operational Level): 9/11/17

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Winter-Spring 2017

For registration, please contact our registrar, Mary McGhee, at 206.838.1126 or You can also view our schedule and enroll online at

May 2017

2-4 Rating Forming Part of a Navigational Watch
6-8 Basic Training Refresher
8-12 ECDIS
8-12 Basic Training
8-12 Marine Propulsion Plants
15th Vessel Personnel w/ Designated Security Duties
15-18 Advanced Firefighting
15-19 Able Seaman
15-26 Watchkeeping – Operational Level
15-26 Celestial Navigation
16-18 Integrated Electronic Navigation
20-22 Basic Training Refresher
23rd Radar Renewal
30th Leadership & Teamworking Skills
31-2 Security Officer – Vessel, Company, and Facility

June 2017

5-9 Medical Care Provider
5-9 Basic Shiphandling
5-16 Medical Person-In-Charge
10-12 Basic Training Refresher
12-16 Basic Training
12-16 Cargo Handling and Stowage – Operational Level
19th Vessel Personnel w/ Designated Security Duties
20th Radar Renewal
19-22 Advanced Firefighting
19-23 Advanced Watchkeeping
19-23 Leadership & Managerial Skills
24-26 Basic Training Refresher
26-30 Engine Resource Management
27-29 Integrated Electronic Navigation

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The MM&P Wheelhouse Weekly is the official electronic newsletter of the International Organization of Masters, Mates, & Pilots, ILA, AFL-CIO, 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 © 2017. Articles can be reprinted without prior permission if credit is given to The MM&P WheelhouseWeekly. For subscriptions, address changes or messages to the editor or to MM&P headquarters, e-mail Back issues of The Weekly are posted on