Wheelhouse Weekly – August 1, 2017

August 1st 2017

Volume 22… Number 31… Aug. 1, 2017


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The Senate Committee on Appropriations has approved legislation that provides full funding for the Maritime Security Program (MSP) for Fiscal Year 2018.

As is the case with the legislation that was previously approved by the House Committee on Appropriations, the Senate committee’s bill would fund MSP at its authorized level of $300 million, providing each vessel in the program with a $5 million stipend.

It is a testament to the value to our nation of MSP that–notwithstanding the partisan bickering that seems to dominate virtually all Congressional activities–FY ‘18 MSP funding has enjoyed strong bipartisan support in both the House and the Senate Appropriations Committees.

Special thanks are due to the leadership of the House and Senate subcommittees with jurisdiction over MSP funding: Senators Susan Collins (R-Maine) and Jack Reed (D-R.I.), and Congressmen Mario Diaz Balart (R-Fla.) and David Price (D-N.C.).

It is unclear at this point how or when the House of Representatives and the Senate will consider their respective funding bills.

We will keep you posted as the Congressional schedule becomes clearer.

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MM&P-contracted Matson has announced that it will introduce a new direct U.S.-flag service between Honolulu and the Republic of the Marshall Islands (RMI) that will shorten cargo transit times from the U.S. mainland by as many as eight days.

Starting in the first quarter of 2018, the new biweekly service will call at three ports in the RMI: Kwajalein, Ebeye and Majuro.

Matson said in an official statement that it has entered into an agreement to purchase a 707-TEU, U.S.-flagged containership to operate the new service.

The vessel, to be renamed KAMOKUIKI–‘small island or vessel’ in the Hawaiian language–was built in Germany in 2000 and brought under the U.S. flag in 2013.

Before it is delivered to Matson in late 2017, the ship will be fitted with two 45-ton cranes that can be joined to handle heavy lift cargoes.

The company says the vessel will be well suited to the island trade because of its small stature, two cranes, hydraulic folding hatch covers, and extreme maneuverability produced by a bow thruster and flap rudder, which allows docking without tugs.

The licensed deck officers aboard the new Matson vessel will be members of MM&P.

Matson has served the Marshall Islands since 1972. It currently serves Kwajalein, Ebeye and Majuro from the U.S. West Coast via Guam, where westbound containerized and bulk cargo is transshipped to the company’s Micronesia service.

The new service from Honolulu will deliver cargo from the U.S. West Coast to Kwajalein, Ebeye and Majuro with a transit time of approximately two weeks, depending on the West Coast port, compared to three weeks or more with the current service.

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The International Maritime Organization (IMO) has named two Houston Pilots–Captains Michael McGee and Michael Phillips–as the recipients of the 2017 Award for Exceptional Bravery at Sea.

Although nominations for the award are solicited annually from United Nations’ member states and international organizations, the award is only presented when the IMO determines that it is merited.

The International Maritime Pilots Association nominated McGee and Phillips for an incident that took place just after midnight on Sept. 6, 2016, aboard the 800-foot tank-ship AFRAMAX RIVER, a vessel that was so large it required two pilots.

McGee was conning the ship and undocking when it experienced engine failure and struck two mooring dolphins, rupturing a fuel tank and causing a spill of approximately 90,000 gallons of diesel fuel that ignited and burned.

The water and the vessel were engulfed with flames, the Coast Guard reported, but the pilots maintained their stations in the wheelhouse although they were surrounded by a 200-foot towering wall of burning fuel.

McGee was able to maneuver the burning ship away from surrounding ships, preventing the flames from spreading to the numerous tank vessels moored on both sides of the channel.

Phillips handled communications with the Coast Guard and coordinated firefighting efforts with tugs and fireboats via radio. The blaze continued for approximately 90 minutes.

One pilot’s face and hair were singed, the Coast Guard reported. The other pilot broke out and charged a firehose and extinguished a fire on the port bridge wing himself.

Once the fire was extinguished, McGee brought the vessel safely to dock.

“Captains McGee and Phillips exemplify the caliber of dedicated mariners that make up the membership of the Houston Pilots,” said Houston Pilots Presiding Officer Robert Shearon.

“We are very proud of them. All Texans can take pride in their commitment to ensuring safety on the Houston Ship Channel.”

The two have also been awarded the U.S. Coast Guard’s Meritorious Public Service Awards, which recognizes “unusual courage, a substantial contribution that produced tangible results and specific individual accomplishments that provide unique benefits to the public.”

The IMO awards will be presented Nov. 27 at a special ceremony.

The Houston Pilots are members of the MM&P Pilots Membership Group.

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Members of the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) who work at 29 ports in California, Oregon and Washington are expected to ratify a three-year extension of their contract, ILWU officials said Friday.

Early returns from ballots showed 67 percent of the rank-and-file voting in favor of the contract extension, the union said in a statement.

If the agreement is ratified as expected, the existing five-year contract that was originally scheduled to expire on July 1, 2019, would end on July 1, 2022.

The current contract was agreed to in February 2015 after nine months of tense negotiations between the ILWU and the Pacific Maritime Association, which represents major shippers and terminal operators along the West Coast.

The agreement was eventually reached with help from then U.S. Labor Secretary Thomas Perez and a federal mediator.

The contract covers 20,000 dockworkers at ports handling nearly half of all U.S. maritime trade and more than 70 percent of all imports from Asia.

The union said its Coast Balloting Commission would announce the official results of the ratification vote on Friday.

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The European Commission has proposed that an agreement to improve the working conditions of seafarers on European Union (EU)-flagged vessels be officially enshrined into EU law.

The goal is to ensure that seafarers aboard EU-flagged vessels are better protected against abandonment and are more quickly able to obtain compensation in cases of occupational injury or illness.

According to data collected by the International Labor Organization (ILO), since 2004, 192 merchant ships have been abandoned, of which 21 were EU-flagged vessels.

In 2016, five merchant vessels counting 58 seafarers were abandoned in EU ports.

“This proposal will strengthen seafarers’ protection and underpin fair competition in the maritime sector,” said EU Commissioner Marianne Thyssen.

“Improved working conditions will also make employment in the shipping sector more attractive to young Europeans.”

The global nature of the shipping industry–where different national laws apply depending on the state of the ship owner, the flag state of the vessel or the nationality of the crew–make it difficult to get speedy and satisfactory redress in case of abandonment, injury or death.

The commission is proposing improvements that will take effect in the event of abandonment, including when the ship owner fails to pay contractual wages for a period of at least two months, or when the ship owner has left the seafarer without the necessary maintenance and support to execute ship operations.

The proposal will also shorten compensation times, helping to avoid the long delays and red tape that seafarers and their families frequently encounter in case of abandonment, death or long-term disability.

In 2006, the ILO adopted the Maritime Labour Convention (MLC)—commonly referred to as “the seafarers’ bill of rights”–which aims to create a single, coherent instrument that embodies all the up-to-date standards applying to international maritime labor.

So far, the MLC has been ratified by 81 countries, including all EU Member States except Austria, Slovakia and the Czech Republic.

Although the MLC addresses some problems relating to liability and compensation in connection with crew claims for death, personal injury and abandonment, seafarers are still vulnerable to potential abandonment in foreign ports if ship owners fail to fulfil their responsibilities.

The new proposal that the European Commission is moving to put into law will add additional protections.

The proposal was originally developed by the European Transport Workers’ Federation (ETF) and the European Community Shipowners’ Associations.

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It’s time for back-to-school shopping, and that’s the perfect time to support American workers by purchasing union-made products.

Notebooks, composition books, backpacks, art supplies and desk organizers are made by men and women who work at ACCO Brand and affiliates including Five Star, Mead and Trapper Keeper.

Need to keep the schedules in one place? Try At-a-Glance, Day Runner and Day-Timer, all of which are produced by union members.

Let your imagination shine with Pacon Brand. It offers a huge selection of products for the budding artist, crafter and teacher in need of classroom decorations.

Boise Paper Products can be found at Flagship, Office Depot, FasCopy and W.B. Mason.

September sniffles often accompany the start of school, so keep them under control with Kleenex and Puffs!

Remember, America is at its best when we say and shop union YES! See more lists at

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There will be an Offshore membership meeting in the MM&P New York/New Jersey Hall on Wednesday, Aug. 9, at 1100, following job call.

All Offshore members and applicants are encouraged to attend the meeting.

The New York/New Jersey Hall is located at 570 Broad St., Suite 701, Newark, N.J., 07102.

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The Offshore Orientation Course will be held at the MM&P New York/New Jersey Hall on Aug. 8 and 9.

The course begins on Tuesday, Aug. 8, at 0900. The course begins on Wednesday, Aug. 9 at 0930.

Wednesday’s class will be followed by an Offshore membership meeting, which will take place following job call at 1100.

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.

If you would like to attend the course, please contact the New York/New Jersey Hall:; 201-963-1900.

The New York/New Jersey Hall is located at 570 Broad St., Suite 701, Newark, N.J., 07102.

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The annual Women on the Water (WOW) Conference will be held this year at the Great Lakes Maritime Academy (GLMA) in Traverse City, Mich., Oct. 26-28.

WOW is supported by the Maritime Administration. It brings cadets from the state maritime academies and the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy together with leaders in various sectors of the maritime industry.

The goal is to allow the cadets to learn about maritime careers directly from industry professionals.

The conference addresses current issues and provides industry contacts while helping cadets develop strategies for success going forward.

If you would like to be added to the list for the Women on the Water 2017 Conference, or if you have questions, please send an e-mail to the GLMA point of contact for the conference Judy Druskovich at

GLMA is located at 715 E. Front Street, Traverse City, MI 49686. The phone number is: (231) 995-1200

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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 Merchant Mariner Credential (MMC) processing, MMC problem resolution advice, STCW compliance and VA GI-Bill questions, contact MITAGS Student Services Coordinator Victor Tufts toll free at (877)725-1194 or by e-mail: Please include your Mariner Reference Number, date of birth and the last four digits of your social security number in all emails.

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: Contact Admissions

ARPA-OIC – Automated Radar Plotting Aids: 8/8/17, 9/26/17, 1/16/18

AZIPOD 2-Day – 10/16/17

BRM-35 – Bridge Resource Management: 9/25/17, 11/13/17, 2/26/18

BRMP –Bridge Resource Management for Pilots: 11/14/17, 1/16/18, 2/22/18, 3/29/18

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

BRMP-Refresher – 9/12/17, 10/18/17

BT – Basic Safety Training: 8/14/17, 10/9/17, 1/15/18

BT-Revalidation (2-day) – 8/21/17, 9/26/17, 11/8/17, 12/12/17

BT-Refresher (3-day) – 8/20/17, 9/25/17, 11/8/17, 12/11/17

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

[CMM – Chief Mate and Master Courses]

ADVSTB-CMM – Advanced Stability: 10/2/17, 12/11/17, 1/29/18

ADVWX-CMM – Advanced Meteorology: 8/7/17, 9/25/17, 12/4/17, 1/22/18, 3/12/18

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

CM-OPS 1 – Chief Mate Operations Course – Week 1: 8/28/17, 9/18/17

ECDIS – Electronic Chart Display Information System: 8/14/17, 9/18/17, 1/15/18, 3/26/18

LMS – Leadership and Managerial Skills (Management Level – Formerly MCL-CMM): 8/21/17, 9/11/17, 1/8/18, 2/19/18

MPP-CMM – Marine Propulsion Plants: 11/27/17, 3/5/18

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

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

SHS-ADV-I-CMM – Advanced Shiphandling (week 1): 8/14/17, 9/11/17, 10/2/17, 10/30/17, 12/4/17, 1/15/18, 2/5/18, 3/5/18, 3/19/18

SHS-ADV-II-CMM – Advanced Shiphandling (week 2): 8/7/17, 8/21/17, 9/18/17, 10/9/17, 11/6/17, 12/11/17, 1/22/18, 2/12/18, 3/12/18, 3/26/18

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

VPEN-CMM – Voyage Planning & Electronic Navigation: 10/23/17, 3/19/18

WKP-CMM – Advanced Watchkeeping: 11/13/17

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

CONT PLNG – Contingency Planning Workshop: Contact Admissions

CRISIS-COMMS – Crisis Communications: 2/19/18

CRSMGT – Crisis Management and Human Behavior – Contact Admissions

CDMGT – Crowd Management – Contact Admissions

CSE – Confined Space Entry: 1/15/18

CSE-AWR – Confined Space Entry Awareness: Contact Admissions

DDE – Great Lakes: 1/22/18

DPA – Contact Admissions

ECDIS for Pilots – 11/14/17, 2/20/18

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

FF-BADV – Fire Fighting Combined Basic & Advanced: 8/14/17, 10/9/17, 1/15/18

FF-ADV-REV – Advanced Fire Fighting Revalidation & Refresher: 8/23/17, 9/28/17, 11/6/17, 12/14/17

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

GL-Pilot – Great Lakes Pilotage Familiarization: 1/19/18

GMDSS – Global Maritime Distress and Safety System: 8/21/17, 3/5/18

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

IEN – Integrated Electronic Navigation – 11/28/17

LAP- 9/11/17, 2/26/18

LAP-Great Lakes – License Advancement Program – Great Lakes: 1/22/18

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

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

LNG-TPIC – 12/4/17

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

MEECE – Management of Electrical and Electronic Control Equipment (Assessments not included): 8/14/17, 10/23/17, 12/11/17

MED-PIC – Medical Person in Charge: 9/11/17, 10/23/17, 1/22/18, 3/19/18

MED-PIC-REF– Medical Person in Charge Refresher: 8/28/17, 11/13/17, 12/4/17, 1/8/18

MED-PRO – Medical Care Provider: 9/11/17, 10/23/17, 11/27/17, 1/22/18, 3/19/18

MED-DOT-DA – Dept. of Transportation Drug & Alcohol Testing: 8/9/17 (Evening), 8/25/17, 9/16/17, 9/30/17, 10/28/17, 12/16/17, 1/13/18, 1/27/18, 3/10/18

MSA –Maritime Security Awareness: Contact Admissions

[MSC – Military Sealift Command Courses]

MSC-CBRD-1 – Military Sealift Command Chemical, Biological, Radiological Defense Orientation (Basic): 8/9/17, 9/8/17, 10/2/17, 2/23/18

MSC-DC – Military Sealift Command Damage Control: 8/7/17, 9/6/17, 10/3/17, 2/21/18

*MSC-ENVPRO – 8/6/17, 10/1/17, 2/25/18

*MSC-FF-HELO – 8/13/17, 10/16/17

MSC-SMA – Military Sealift Command Small Arms Qualification: 8/13/17, 9/11/17, 10/9/17, 1/8/18, 2/26/18

*MSC-Security Watch Basic – 8/10/17, 9/10/17, 10/5/17, 2/24/18

*MSC-Security Watch Advanced – 8/12/17, 9/15/17, 10/7/17, 1/12/18, 3/2/18

*MSC-Ship’s Reaction Force – 8/18/17, 9/16/17, 10/13/17, 1/13/18, 3/3/18

NSAP-MMP – Navigational Skills Assessment Program-MM&P – 8/14/17, 8/23/17, 10/2/17, 1/22/18, 1/24/18

ROR-1 – Radar Observer Renewal: 8/17/17, 9/25/17, 1/15/18

ROR-1N – Radar Observer Renewal Evening Classes: 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, 1/10/18, 1/31/18, 2/7/18, 2/21/18, 3/7/18, 3/21/18

ROU-OIC – Radar Observer Program – Unlimited: 11/27/18, 1/8/18

SAR – Search & Rescue – (Now with OIC and CMM assessments): 10/16/17

SHS-BAS-OIC – Basic Shiphandling: 8/28/17, 10/23/17, 1/29/18

SHS-EMR5 – Emergency Shiphandling-5 Day – 8/7/17, 9/25/17, 10/23/17, 11/27/17, 2/19/18

SMS – Contact Admissions

STB-OIC – Ship Construction and Basic Stability: 8/7/17, 1/22/18

TCNAV/CO – Terrestrial Navigation and Compasses: 1/29/18

TPIC – Tankerman Person in Charge: 8/7/17, 2/12/18

TRAC-TUG-2: Contact Admissions

TTT – Contact Admissions

VPDSD – Vessel Personnel with Designated Security Duties: Contact Admissions

VSO – Vessel Security Officer: 2/14/18

WKP-OIC – Watchkeeping (Operational Level): 10/2/17, 2/19/18

WX-OIC –Meteorology (Operational Level): 9/11/17, 3/19/18

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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

August 2017

2-4 24-Hour HAZWOPER
5-6 Basic Training – Revalidation
5-7 Basic Training – Refresher
7-11 Basic Training
8th Radar Renewal
14th Vessel Personnel w/ Designated Security Duties (VPDSD)
14-17 Advanced Firefighting
14-18 Leadership & Managerial Skills
19-20 Basic Training – Revalidation
19-21 Basic Training – Refresher
21-25 Radar Observer Unlimited
21-25 Tankship Dangerous Liquids
21-25 Engine Resource Management
23-25 Security – Vessel, Company, & Facility
28-30 Search & Rescue
29-31 Integrated Electronic Navigation

September 2017

5-9 ARPA
6th HAZWOPER Refrehser
8th Vessel Personnel w/ Designated Security Duties (VPDSD)
9-10 Basic Training – Revalidation
9-11 Basic Training – Refresher
11-15 Basic Training
11-15 ECDIS
11-15 Cargo Handling & Stowage (Operational Level)
18-21 Advanced Firefighting
18-21 Medical Care Provider
18-29 Celestial Navigation
18-29 Medical Person-In-Charge
23rd Medical DOT
23-24 Basic Training – Revalidation
23-25 Basic Training – Refresher
23-6 GMDSS
25th Radar Renewal

October 2017

2-3 ECDIS for Pilots
2-6 Medical Care Provider
4th HAZWOPER Refresher
7-8 Basic Training – Revalidation
7-9 Basic Training – Refresher
9-13 Basic Training
9-13 Meteorology (Operational Level)
9-13 Engine Resource Management
10-12 Integrated Electronic Navigation
16th Vessel Personnel w/ Designated Security Duties (VPDSD)
16-17 ECDIS for Pilots
16-19 Advanced Firefighting
16-27 Watchkeeping (Operational Level)
21-22 Basic Training – Revalidation
21-23 Basic Training – Refresher
23rd Radar Renewal
23-27 Leadership & Managerial Skills
25-27 24-Hour HAZWOPER
30-10 GMDSS

November 2017

4-5 Basic Training – Revalidation
4-6 Basic Training – Refresher
6-10 Basic Training
6-10 ECDIS
9th HAZWOPER Refresher
13th Vessel Personnel w/ Designated Security Duties (VPDSD)
13-14 ECDIS for Pilots
13-16 Advanced Firefighting
13-17 Tankship Dangerous Liquids
17th Leadership & Teamworking Skills
17th Flashing Light Exam
18-19 Basic Training – Revalidation
18-20 Basic Training – Refresher
20th Radar Renewal
20-22 Security Officer – Vessel, Company, & Facility
27-29 24-Hour HAZWOPER
27-1 Radar Observer Unlimited
27-1 Basic Shiphandling

December 2017

2-3 Basic Training – Revalidation
2-4 Basic Training – Refresher
4th Flashing Light Exam
4-8 Basic Training
4-8 Leadership & Managerial Skills
4-8 Medical Care Provider
4-15 Medical Person-In-Charge
4-15 GMDSS
8th HAZWOPER Refresher
11th Radar Renewal
11th Vessel Personnel w/ Designated Security Duties (VPDSD)
11-15 Construction & Stability (Operational Level)
11-15 Engine Resource Management
16-17 Basic Training – Revalidation
16-18 Basic Training – Refresher
18-20 Search & Rescue
18-21 Advanced Firefighting
18-22 ECDIS
20-22 24-Hour HAZWOPER

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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