Wheelhouse Weekly – August 20, 2013

August 20th 2013


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

Volume 17 . . . Number 34. . . Aug. 20, 2013


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


All MM&P port offices, the MM&P Health & Benefit Plans, the MM&P Federal Credit Union and MM&P headquarters will be closed on Monday, Sept. 2, for Labor Day.


The officers and crew of MAERSK UTAH participated in a search-and-rescue operation that lasted through the night of Aug. 9-10 and ended in the rescue of 83 Syrian refugees. Aboard the vessel at the time were MM&P members Master Robert H. Sienel, Chief Mate Joe Single, Second Mate Bryan Phillips and Third Mate Thomas Komenda. “It was a long night but the reward at the end was very satisfying,” Sienel said. 

MAERSK UTAH was about 70 nautical miles (nm) off Cape Passero, Sicily, when officers received a call from the Italian Maritime Rescue Coordination Center in Rome regarding a boat in distress. The UTAH altered course and increased speed to reach the search area prior nightfall. “At 2016, with daylight rapidly failing and wind increasing to a force 5, the small craft was visually spotted about 5 nm away,” according to the captain’s report. “The UTAH approached the craft and stopped alongside at 2033. At this time it became clear that the boat, approximately 15 meters long, was carrying many people of various ages, gender and physical condition.”

MAERSK UTAH was quickly maneuvered to a position where she could provide a lee for the craft as the wind and sea state continued to increase. The 300-meter-long container ship sheltered the refugees’ small boat for five hours while Italian Coast Guard rescue assets were dispatched from Sicily. The UTAH was instructed not to attempt to rescue any refugees from the boat unless lives were in direct danger. At about 0128, the first Coast Guard vessel was spotted and guided to the boat with the assistance of the UTAH’s searchlights. But rescue operations could not start because of the state of the sea and the small size of the Italian Coast Guard vessel. The UTAH was then instructed to provide shelter for both boats and await the arrival of a larger rescue craft. The larger vessel arrived on the scene at 0354 and the transfer of the refugees began. At 1000, the MAERSK UTAH was released to continue its voyage to Algeciras, Spain. Italian newspapers reported that 83 refugees had been saved during the course of the operation.


The Maritime Labor Convention (MLC), which confers on all seafarers flying under any flag a set of basic rights, is set to go into effect today. It incorporates the standards of 68 International Labor Organization (ILO) conventions into one document, providing essential protections for seafarers worldwide. The MLC’s standards address everything from wages and hours of work to food and workplace accommodations.

Under the convention, each member state exercises its jurisdiction and control over ships that fly its flag by establishing a system for ensuring compliance, including regular inspections, reporting, monitoring and legal proceedings.

Besides protecting a country’s own seafarers and national fleets, ratification and implementation of the MLC raise standards on ships from countries that have not ratified the convention. Countries that have ratified the convention will in fact require that all ships entering their ports adhere to MLC standards. Ships from countries that have not ratified the MLC–including the United States–may encounter lengthy port state control inspections in countries that have ratified the convention. Each member state will also ensure that ships flying its flag carry a maritime labor certificate and a declaration of maritime labor compliance as required by the convention.

Additionally, a ship to which the convention applies may be inspected by a member other than the flag state when the ship is in one of its ports to determine whether the vessel complies with convention requirements. That requirement could mean that U.S.-flag ships may be inspected and detained if the MLC is not ratified by the United States.

To date, there are 48 MLC member nations that account for over three-quarters of world tonnage. They include Australia, Canada, Greece, Singapore, Spain and the United Kingdom.

Preparing for the eventuality that the United States would not ratify the MLC, the Coast Guard published a notice in February that established a set of procedures for the inspection of U.S. vessels related to voluntary compliance with the convention. By establishing that it has independently complied with the MLC’s standards, a U.S. vessel could obtain a Statement of Voluntary Compliance-Maritime Labor Convention. That document could make the ship less likely to be inspected in foreign ports that are signatories to the MLC.


The Chamber of Shipping of America (CSA) seeks nominations for the Tenth Annual Environmental Achievement Awards. The deadline for submitting vessel entries is Friday, Sept. 27. “This is a great opportunity for owners and operators to recognize the accomplishments of their mariners and shore-side staff,” says CSA President Joseph Cox. “While the public hear of instances when there are environmental problems, we want them to know that this industry has an excellent record of environmental accomplishment.”

All shipowners and vessel operators are eligible, whether or not they are CSA members. To be eligible, for at least a two-year period a vessel must have: no reportable spills (a report of a “potential spill” is not disqualifying); no U.S. Coast Guard citations for violations of MARPOL; no port state citations for violations of MARPOL; and, no violations of state/local pollution regulations.

The awards will be presented on Nov. 13, in Washington, D.C. Visit for details. Last year, 1,280 vessels owned or operated by 70 companies received awards totaling 8,989 years of environmental excellence.


MM&P Member Carolyn J. Kurtz has been appointed to the Board of Pilot Commissioners by Florida Governor Rick Scott. Kurtz, 48, of Tampa, is a harbor pilot with the Tampa Bay Pilots Association. She fills a vacant seat and is appointed for a term beginning July 22 and ending Oct. 31, 2013.


Port Relief Officer (PRO) work is now available for MM&P members in the New York/New Jersey area. Over the course of the summer, Offshore job openings have also been frequent. If you are interested in doing PRO work, please contact Jay Tripaldi in the MM&P New York/New Jersey Hall: 201-963-1900. You can also send an e-mail to: The hall is located at 35 Journal Square, Suite 912, Jersey City, NJ 07306-4103.


There are new jobs available for MM&P members aboard a tanker that will soon be operated by Patriot Contract Services for Military Sealift Command (MSC). MM&P members with tanker experience, including former employees of AHL, are encouraged to apply for these jobs. To apply, please send an e-mail to MM&P Gulf Ports Vice President Wayne Farthing,, or call the MM&P Houston Hall at 281-464-9650.


Gmail has implemented a new tab-based layout which automatically separates incoming e-mails into five categories: primary, social, promotion, updates and forums. The Wheelhouse Weekly and all other MM&P communications, unless sent directly to you by an individual MM&P officer or employee, will appear in the “Promotion” section of your inbox. They can be accessed by clicking on the “Promotion” tab. 

If you want to receive the Wheelhouse Weekly and other MM&P e-mail in your Primary Gmail inbox, drag the e-mail from the Promotions tab to the Primary tab, then click “Yes” when asked if you want to do that for all MM&P e-mail.


The 2006 Maritime Labor Convention (MLC) will enter into force on Aug. 20, 2013.  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:

AB – Able Seaman: 10/14/13

AIS-1 – Automatic Identification Systems Orientation: 9/30/13, 11/21/13

ARPA – Automated Radar Plotting Aids: 9/24/13, 10/29/13

AZIPOD (2-DAY) for Pilots: 10/3/13

BRM – Bridge Resource Management: 8/26/13, 12/16/13

BRMP – Bridge Resource Management for Pilots:  9/23/13, 11/19/13

BST – Basic Safety Training: 10/7/13

CHS-BAS – Cargo Handling Basic: 10/21/13

CONSTB – Ship Construction and Basic Stability: 1/27/14

[CMM – Chief Mate and Master Courses]

CMM-ADVWX – Advanced Meteorology: 9/23/13

CMM-ADVNAV – Advanced Navigation (=ECDIS & VPEN): 9/9/13

CMM-ADVSTB – Advanced Stability:  10/28/13

CMM-ADVWX – 11/18/13

CMM-CHS – Advanced Cargo Operations (2 weeks): 11/4/13

CMM-ECDIS – Electronic Chart Display Information System: 9/9/13, 10/28/13, 12/16/13

CMM-MPP – Marine Propulsion Plants: 8/26/13, 10/21/13

CMM-SHMGT – Ship Management (2 weeks): 10/7/13

CMM-SHS-ADV-I – Advanced Shiphandling (week 1): 9/9/13, 9/23/13, 10/21/13, 11/4/13, 12/2/13

CMM-SHS-ADV-I I – Advanced Shiphandling (week 2): 9/16/13, 9/30/13, 10/28/13, 11/11/13, 12/9/13

CMM-VPEN – 9/16/13

CMM-WKP – Advanced Watchkeeping: 9/30/13, 12/16/13

CNAV – 9/30/13, 11/4/13

CONT PLNG – 11/5/13

ECDIS-ENAV – 10/1/13

ECDIS-OICNW – 10/14/13

ECDIS Pilots – 10/1/13

ENVIRO-Regs Permit – Environmental Regulations Permit: 8/26/13, 11/4/13

EP – 10/30/13

FSM – Fatigue, Sleep and Medications:  9/18/13

FF-BADV – Combined Basic and Advanced Fire Fighting: 10/7/13

GMDSS – Global Maritime Distress and Safety System: 3/17/14

HAZ – Hazardous Materials (5 day): 9/16/13, 12/2/13

LAP – License Advancement Program for C/Mate & Master: 9/23/13

LAP-ORG3rd – License Advancement Program for Original 3rd Mate, Oceans, Any Gross Ton License: 12/2/13

LEG – Legal Aspects of Pilotage: 9/25/13, 10/8/13, 11/19/13

MCL – Management, Communications and Leadership

MCL OICNW –Management, Communications, and Leadership OICNW level: 9/6/13

MEDIA-RSP – Media Response Workshop:  11/6/13

MED-PIC – Medical Person in Charge: 9/9/13, 10/14/13, 12/2/13

MED-PIC -R– Medical Person in Charge Refresher: 11/11/13

MED-PRO – Medical Care Provider: 9/9/13, 10/14/13, 10/28/13, 12/2/13

MED-DOT-DA – Dept. of Transportation Drug & Alcohol Testing: 9/14/13, 10/12/13, 10/19/13, 12/7/13

MSC -SMA – Military Sealift Command Small Arms Qualification:  9/30/13, 11/11/13

MSC-DC – Military Sealift Command Damage Control (4 Evenings): 9/30/13 PM

MSC-CBRD-1 – Military Sealift Command Chemical, Biological, Radiological Defense Orientation (Basic): 8/23/13, 10/4/13

ROR-1 – Radar Observer Renewal: 9/23/13, 10/28/13

ROR-1N – Radar Observer Renewal Evening Classes: 8/28/13, 9/11/13, 9/18/13, 10/2/13, 10/9/13, 10/16/13, 10/30/13, 11/13/13, 12/4/13, 12/11/13

ROP-5 – Radar Observer Original and Renewal: 10/21/13

SAR – 10/28/13

SEC-VSO – Vessel Security Officer: 9/3/13, 10/14/13, 11/6/13

SHS-BAS – Basic Shiphandling:  10/7/13, 11/18/13

SHS-EMR5 – Emergency Shiphandling: 10/14/13

SHS-ESH-BRMP3 – Emergency Shiphandling and Bridge Resource Management for Pilots: 3/5/14

SEC-MSA – 9/16/13 PM, 10/17/13 PM, 11/12PM, 12/10/13 PM

SEC-VPDSD – 9/17/13, 10/18/13, 11/13/13, 12/11/13

SEC-VSO – 10/14/13, 11/6

TCNAV/CO – Terrestrial Navigation and Compasses: 1/6/14

TPIC – Tankerman Person in Charge:  8/26/13

WKP-BAS – 11/4/13

WX-BAS – Basic Meteorology: 9/16/13

…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.

August 2013

23rd       Radar Renewal
26-30     Basic Cargo Handling and Stowage

September 2013

3-6          ARPA
9th         Radar Renewal
9th         Medical DOT
9-13       Tankerman Person-In-Charge
9-13       Basic Shiphandling
9-20       GMDSS
11-12     Designated Person Ashore
16-20     Train the Trainer
19-21     Z-Drive/Tractor Tug Training
23-27     ECDIS

October 2013

1-2          Vessel Security Officer
7-11       Radar Observer Unlimited
7-18       GMDSS
14th       Radar Renewal
15-18     ARPA
21-25     Basic Construction and Stability
21-25     Medical Care Provider
21-1       Medical Person-in-Charge
23rd       RFPNW Assessments
28-1       Emergency Procedures/Search and Rescue
28-1       ECDIS

November 2013

4th         Med DOT
11th       Radar Renewal
11-22     GMDSS
18-20     Vessel Security Officer
18-22     ECDIS

December 2013

2-6          Tankerman Person-in-Charge
2-6          Medical Care Provider
2-13       Medical Person-in-Charge
2-13       GMDSS
9-13       ECDIS
11th       Med DOT

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.

© 2013, 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