Wheelhouse Weekly, August 3, 2021

Volume 27… Number 31… August 3, 2021


In This Issue:


Mark Your Calendar:


Never miss an issue!
Click here to subscribe to the Wheelhouse Weekly mailing list.
Did you miss a week?
Back editions of the Wheelhouse Weekly are available in the archives section.


About 100,000 seafarers are stranded at sea beyond the duration of their contracts, the International Chamber of Shipping says, while another 100,000 are stuck on land, unable to board their ships.

The spread of the Delta variant of Covid-19 has led many nations to tighten border restrictions, in some cases even blocking access for medical treatment.

The United Nations, which has been pushing governments to recognize mariners as essential workers, calls the current situation a humanitarian crisis.

In normal times, around 50,000 seafarers rotate on and off ships each month, but the numbers are now a fraction of that.

In July, almost 9 percent of the world’s seafarers were stuck aboard their ships beyond their contract expiration, up from just over 7 percent two months earlier, according to a non-profit ship managers’ association.

Given that ships transport more than 90 percent of world trade, the breakdown in the crew change process poses a major threat to supply chains.

The newest phase of the crisis stems from restrictions imposed by major maritime nations across Asia including South Korea, Taiwan and China, which are home to many of the world’s busiest container ports.

Requirements range from mandatory testing for crews who come from or have visited certain countries, to outright bans on crew change and berthing.

International Transport Workers Federation General Secretary Stephen Cotton says mariners are being pushed to their physical and mental limits.

“There are estimates that 25 percent fewer seafarers are joining vessels than pre-pandemic,” he said, adding that an ITF survey conducted earlier this year showed almost half of respondents had considered leaving the industry.
Back to Stories Covered


A National Labor Relations Board official has found that Amazon illegally discouraged organizing at an Alabama warehouse during the recent, closely watched union election.

After an investigation and weeks of hearings in which both sides presented testimony, the NLRB official recommended that the results be thrown out and that a new election be held.

The recommendation will next be reviewed by the NLRB’s acting regional director.

The Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union has accused Amazon of engaging in unfair labor practices.

“Throughout the NLRB hearing, we heard compelling evidence of how Amazon tried to illegally interfere with and intimidate workers as they sought to exercise their right to form a union,” said RWDSU President Stuart Appelbaum in a statement.

“We support the hearing officer’s recommendation that the NLRB set aside the election results and direct a new election.”

The union says Amazon created an atmosphere of fear by removing workers from mandatory anti-union meetings if they asked questions and by telling employees they could lose their jobs if the union won.

The union also said that during the course of the election, Amazon increased pay and gave away free merchandise, and that a USPS mailbox that the company had installed on its property gave workers the impression that management was monitoring the vote.

The case has shone a spotlight on the urgent need to reform America’s labor laws by getting Congress to enact the Protecting the Right to Organize Act.

“Amazon spent millions of dollars intimidating and bullying these people just because they want a voice on the job,” said AFL-CIO Richard Trumka.

“Americans want to organize in unions and it should never be this hard.”

“When we get the PRO Act passed, it will change labor laws to prevent this type of buying people’s future away from them,” he said.

MM&P is fully engaged with the rest of the AFL-CIO affiliates in getting the PRO Act introduced and passed in the Senate, and signed into law.

The PRO Act has already been passed by the House of Representatives.
Back to Stories Covered


Sixteen shipping companies have been recognized for reducing vessel speeds to 10 knots or less in the San Francisco Bay Area and the Southern California region as part of a voluntary incentive program, “Protecting Blue Whales and Blue Skies.”

Among the companies recognized for their efforts in 2020 were CMA CGM, Hapag-Lloyd and Maersk.

Planning for the 2021 season is already underway.

To track performance, automatic identification system transponders transmit the speed, heading and location of ships between May 15 and Nov. 15.

Companies are recognized based on the percent of distance traveled by their vessels through specific vessel speed reduction zones at 10 knots or less and with an average speed of 12 knots or less.

The 10-knot target complements the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s request for all vessels 300 gross tons or larger to slow down during the months of peak endangered blue, humpback, and fin whale abundance.

The 10-knot target also allows ships to travel at an efficient operating load using less fuel and producing less pollution.

Ship strikes are a major threat to whales and in particular to endangered blue, fin and humpback whales in California waters.

From 2007 to 2020, observed and documented deaths totaled 49 endangered whales, which likely represents a small fraction of the total number of strikes that took place in that period.

The initial estimate of emission benefits for the program in 2020 are 748 tons of NOx and 24,258 metric tons of greenhouse gasses.

That amount is equivalent to the annual emissions of 5,276 passenger vehicles or the total produced by charging more than 2.9 billion smartphones.

The sponsors of the program said there was a 35 percent decrease in the risk of ship strikes for vessel transits in 2020 compared to what would have occurred had the vessels traveled at their normal speeds.

For more information, visit
Back to Stories Covered


Hundreds of union coal miners who have been on strike since April marched last week on the headquarters of hedge fund BlackRock, the largest shareholder in Warrior Met Coal of Brookwood, Alabama.

“We’re in New York City because we are following the money, and demanding that those who created that wealth—the miners—get their fair share of it,” United Mine Workers International President Cecil E. Roberts told journalists.

Joining the Alabama families in chants of “Warrior Met has no soul—no contract, no coal” were miners from other states, representatives of AFL-CIO unions and supporters from outside the labor movement, including actress Susan Sarandon, who referred to Warrior Met as “a horrible smear on the vision of the United States.”

The Brookwood miners are fighting to recover concessions they made five years ago to help Warrior Met avoid bankruptcy, when they took a $6/hour wage cut, shouldered a larger share of their health care costs, agreed to work Sundays and overtime without premium pay and gave up eight paid holidays.

The UMWA says that even as the miners accepted cuts in wages and benefits, upper level managers received bonuses.

In the intervening five years, Warrior Met has reported $1.1 billion in savings and $4.3 billion in profits.

The miners are asking for a contract that rewards them for helping the company get back on firm financial footing.

But management has refused to budge: a month into the strike, it offered the miners a $1.50/hour raise over five years and replaced them with scabs.
Back to Stories Covered


A Japanese-owned oil tanker operated by a company with ties to Israel was attacked by drones on July 29. The explosion killed two people.

At the time of the attack, the MT MERCER STREET was in the northern Indian Ocean, travelling from Dar es Salaam to Fujairah with no cargo on board.

The incident appears to be the latest in the series of violent encounters between Iran, Israel and their proxies.

The victims included a British security contractor and a Romanian member of the crew.

Iran did not claim or deny responsibility, but state-owned media described the attack on the Liberia-flagged ship as a response to a recent Israeli strike on a military airport in Syria.
Back to Stories Covered


The National Hurricane Center, which maintains a continuous watch on tropical cyclones and areas of disturbed weather in the North Atlantic and eastern North Pacific Basins, will host two webinars this week on weather forecasting and wind and wave prediction.

The webinars, which are offered free of charge to a maximum of 250 participants, will take place on Aug. 4 and Aug. 5 using GoToMeeting video conferencing.

The first webinar, “Hurricane Analysis and Prediction,” will be offered on Wednesday, Aug. 4, from noon to 1300 EDT, by Dr. Mike Brennan, chief, Hurricane Specialist Unit, National Hurricane Center.


The second webinar, “Wind and Wave Prediction for the Blue Water Mariner,” will be offered on Thursday, Aug. 5, from noon to 1300 EDT, by Dr. Chris Landsea, chief, Tropical Analysis and Forecast Branch, National Hurricane Center.


For more information:
Back to Stories Covered


MM&P Atlantic Ports Vice President Tom Larkin has scheduled a virtual Offshore East Coast Ports membership meeting on Thursday, Aug. 5, immediately after the Offshore Familiarization Course ends.

All Offshore members and applicants are welcome to participate in the meeting.

To register for the meeting, you will need to log in to either the MM&P app or the Members’ Only section of the MM&P website.

You can download the MM&P app at

Once you are on the Members’ Only site, click on Offshore Membership Meeting Registration located under the Documents tab.

For assistance, please send an email to
Back to Stories Covered


Beginning on June 1, 2021, anyone attending a MITAGS course, seminar or simulation exercise will be required to provide documentation of vaccination to Admissions prior to the start of class in order to be permitted to attend.

If you are not vaccinated, you will be required to provide a negative COVID-19 test conducted 72 hours prior to arrival on campus.

Any individual not able to provide either documentation of vaccination or a negative COVID test from within 72 hours before arrival will be requested to leave the campus immediately.

Scans, photocopies, or electronic images of your COVID-19 vaccination cards (records) or certification by a medical provider are acceptable.

We appreciate your cooperation during these very trying times.
Back to Stories Covered


\\Classes are 5-day unless otherwise noted\\

Class dates followed by an * are full

AB – Able Seaman – Not currently scheduled
AIS-1 – Automatic Identifications Systems Orientation (1-Day): Not currently scheduled

ARPA-OIC (4-Day) – Automated Radar Plotting Aids: 9/21/21

AZIPOD (2-Day) – 9/27/21

BRM-35 – Bridge Resource Management 35-Hour: 10/25/21

BRMP –Bridge Resource Management for Pilots (2-Day): 9/14/21, 11/9/21
Online: Not currently scheduled

BRMP-EMR –Bridge Resource Management for Pilots with Emergency Shiphandling – (Now also included in BRMP-Refresher) (3-Day): 9/8/21, 9/29/21

BRMP-Refresher (Now including Emergency Shiphandling for Pilots) (3-Day) – Not currently scheduled

BT – Basic Safety Training: 10/11/21

BT-Revalidation (2-day) (Must have 1 year of sea service in last 5 years) – 8/16/21, 9/21/21, 10/25/21, 12/13/21

BT-Refresher (3-day) – 9/20/21, 12/13/21

CHS-OIC – Cargo Handling Basic: Not currently scheduled

[CMM – Chief Mate and Master Courses]

ADVSTB-CMM – Advanced Stability: 10/18/21

ADVWX-CMM – Advanced Meteorology: 10/11/21, 12/6/21

CHS-CMM – Advanced Cargo Operations (10 Days): 10/25/21

CM-OPS 1 – Chief Mate Operations – Week 1: 8/23/21, 11/29/21

CM-OPS 2 Maersk – Chief Mate Operations II Maersk Specific: 8/30/21, 12/6/21

CM-OPS 2 APL – Chief Mate Operations II APL Specific – Not currently scheduled

ECDIS – Electronic Chart Display Information Systems: 10/4/21, 11/29/21

LMS – Leadership and Managerial Skills (Management Level – Formerly MCL-CMM): 8/16/21, 11/8/21, 12/13/21

MPP-CMM – Marine Propulsion Plants: 9/13/21
(DCS-1 available on request – contact Admissions)

SEC-APPS – Practical Defense Tactics: Not Currently Scheduled

SHMGT-CMM- Ship Management: 9/20/21

SHS-ADV-I-CMM – Advanced Shiphandling (week 1): 8/9/21*, 9/13/21, 9/27/21, 10/11/21, 11/1/21*, 11/29/21

SHS-ADV-II-CMM – Advanced Shiphandling (week 2): 8/16/21*, 9/20/21, 10/4/21, 10/18/21, 11/8/21*, 12/6/21

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

VPEN-CMM – Voyage Planning & Electronic Navigation: 9/27/21

WKP-CMM – Advanced Watchkeeping: Not currently scheduled

WX-HW-ATL – Heavy Weather Avoidance Routing: Atlantic Ocean (2-day) – Contact Admissions

WX-HW-IND – Heavy Weather Avoidance Routing: Indian Ocean (2-day) – Contact Admissions

WX-HW-PAC – Heavy Weather Avoidance Routing: Pacific Ocean (2-day) – Contact Admissions

CIW-DPA/IA – Continual Improvement Workshop: Designated Person Ashore & Internal Auditor (3-Day) ** This course is NOT covered by the MATES Program **
Online: 10/6/21

CIW-SMS – Continual Improvement Workshop: Successful Safety Management (2-Day) – Online: 12/9/21

CNAV-OIC (15-Day) – Celestial Navigation: 11/1/21

CRISIS-COMMS – Crisis Communications (1-Day): Not currently scheduled

CRSMGT – Crisis Management and Human Behavior (1-Day) – 8/27/21

CDMGT – Crowd Management (1-Day) – 8/26/21

CSE – Confined Space Entry (3-Day): 8/23/21

CSE-AWR – Confined Space Entry Awareness (2-Day): Not currently scheduled

CY-MAR – Cyber-Skilled Mariner (5-Day) **NOT covered by the MATES Program ** – Not currently scheduled

Cyber-MAR-ONL – Cyber Skilled Mariner, Management of Information & Systems Security (Online Seminar) **NOT covered by the MATES Program ** – Not Currently Scheduled

DDE – Great Lakes (20-Day): Not currently scheduled

ECDIS for Pilots (2-Day) – 8/11/21, 11/11/21

ERM – Engine Resource Management: 8/30/21, 12/6/21

ADV-FF – Advanced Fire-Fighting (4-day) – Not currently scheduled

FF-BADV – Fire Fighting Combined Basic & Advanced: 10/11/21

FF-ADV-Rev (1-day) (Must have 1 year of sea service in last 5 years) – Advanced Fire Fighting Revalidation: 8/18/21, 9/23/21, 10/27/21, 12/16/21

FF-ADV-REF (2-day) – Advanced Fire Fighting Refresher: 9/16/21, 12/11/21

FSM – Fatigue, Sleep, & Medications (1-Day): 9/14/21
Online: Not currently scheduled

GL-Pilot – Great Lakes Pilotage Familiarization (2-Day): Not currently scheduled

GMDSS – Global Maritime Distress and Safety System (10-Day): Not currently scheduled

HAZ – Hazardous Materials (5 day): 8/30/21, 11/15/21

IEN – Integrated Electronic Navigation (3-Day) – Not currently scheduled

LAP – License Advancement Program for Mate to Master (20-Day): 10/18/21

LAP-Great Lakes – License Advancement Program – Great Lakes (15-Day): Not currently scheduled

LAP-ORG3rd – License Advancement Program for Original 3rd Mate, Oceans, Any Gross
Ton License (15-Day): Not currently scheduled

LEG – Legal Aspects of Pilotage (1-Day): 9/15/21, 11/9/21

LNG-TPIC (10-Day) – Not currently scheduled

LTS –Leadership and Teamworking Skills (Formerly MCL-OIC) (1-Day): 9/20/21

MEECE – Management of Electrical and Electronic Control Equipment (Assessments not included): 8/23/21, 11/29/21

MED-PIC – Medical Person in Charge (10-Day): 9/27/21*, 11/29/21, 1/17/22

MED-PIC-REF– Medical Person in Charge Refresher: 8/30/21, 11/15/21, 1/10/22

MED-PRO – Medical Care Provider: 9/27/21*, 1/17/22

MED-DOT-DA – Dept. of Transportation Drug & Alcohol Testing (1-Day): 8/19/21, 9/24/21, 10/2/21, 10/28/21, 11/14/21, 12/4/21, 12/17/21

[MSC – Military Sealift Command Courses]

MSC-CBRD-1 – Military Sealift Command Chemical, Biological, Radiological Defense Orientation (Basic) (1-Day): 9/16/21, 10/31/21

MSC-DC – Military Sealift Command Damage Control (2-day): 9/14/21, 10/29/21

MSC-ENVPRO (1-Day) – 11/9/21

MSC-FF-HELO (2-Day) – 10/25/21*

MSC-SMA – Military Sealift Command Small Arms Qualifications (4-Day): 8/9/21, 9/20/21, 11/1/21, 1/10/22, 3/14/22

MSC-Security Watch Basic (1-Day/ 8-hour) – 8/7/21, 9/17/21, 11/1/21 (Evening)

MSC-Security Watch Advanced (1-Day) – 8/8/21, 9/18/21, 11/5/21, 1/14/22, 3/18/22

MSC-Ship’s Reaction Force (3-Day) – 8/13/21, 9/24/21, 11/6/21, 1/15/22, 3/19/22

NDMS-ENAV – Navigational Decision Making Series – Best Practice in eNav (3-Day) – 11/8/21

NSAP-MMP – Navigational Skills Assessment Program-MM&P (2-Day) – 8/30/21, 9/1/21, 11/15/21*, 11/17/21, 12/13/21, 12/15/21, 2/1/22, 3/28/22

PSC – Personal Survival Craft (5-Day) – Contact Admissions

PSC-REF – Personal Survival Craft Refresher (2-Day) – 9/18/21, 12/16/21

RFPNW – Ratings Forming Part of a Navigational Watch (3-day) – Not currently scheduled

ROR-1 – Radar Observer Renewal (1-Day): 9/20/21

ROR-1N – Radar Observer Renewal Evening Classes (1-Night): 9/14/21, 9/20/21, 12/15/21

ROU-OIC – Radar Observer Program – Unlimited: 8/23/21

SAR – Search & Rescue – (Now with OIC and CMM assessments) (3-Day): 12/6/21

SHS-BAS-OIC – Basic Shiphandling: 8/23/21, 10/25/21

SHS-EMR5 – Emergency Shiphandling (5 Day) – 8/30/21, 11/15/21, 12/13/21

STB-OIC – Ship Construction and Basic Stability: 8/30/21

TCNAV/CO – Terrestrial Navigation and Compasses (15-Day): Not currently scheduled

TPIC – Tankerman Person in Charge: Not currently scheduled

TRAC-TUG-2 (2-Day): 11/9/21

TTT – ** This course is NOT covered by the MATES Program ** Not currently scheduled

VPDSD – Vessel Personnel with Designated Security Duties (1-Day): Not currently scheduled

VSO – Vessel Security Officer (3-Day): 9/8/21

WKP-OIC – Watchkeeping (Operational Level) (10-Day): 10/11/21

WX-OIC –Meteorology (Operational Level): 9/13/21
Back to Stories Covered


Schedule of Courses – Please also see our schedule and enroll online at For Registration Contact our Admissions Department: 206.441.2880 or

August 2021

9-13 Cargo Handling & Stowage
16-20 Basic Training
16-27 Watchkeeping (Operational Level)
23-24 Basic Training Revalidation
25th Advanced Firefighting Revalidation
30-3 Meteorology (Operational Level)

September 2021

7-8 Advanced Firefighting Refresher
8th Advanced Firefighting Revalidation
9-10 Basic Training Revalidation
9-10 & 13 Basic Training Refresher
13th Flashing Light
13-17 Basic Training
13-17 Advanced Shiphandling I
13-24 GMDSS
14th Leadership & Teamworking Skills
20-23 Advanced Firefighting
20-24 Advanced Shiphandling II
20-24 Able Seaman
27-1 ECDIS

October 2021

4-8 Medical Care Provider
4-15 Medical Person-In-Charge
11-15 Ship Constructions & Basic Stability
18-5 Celestial Navigation
25-26 Basic Training Revalidation
27th Advanced Firefighting Revalidation

November 2021

1-5 Basic Training
8-11 Advanced Firefighting
8-12 Basic Shiphandling
8-12 Leadership & Managerial Skills
15-17 Security Officer – Vessel, Company and Facility
15-18 ARPA
17-18 Basic Training Revalidation
19th Advanced Firefighting Revalidation
22-24 Search & Rescue

December 2021

29-10 GMDSS
6-7 Basic Training Revalidation
8th Advanced Firefighting Revalidation
Back to Stories Covered

The MM&P Wheelhouse Weekly is the official electronic newsletter of the International Organization of Masters, Mates & Pilots, 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©2021. Articles can be reprinted without prior permission if credit is given to The MM&P Wheelhouse Weekly. For subscriptions, address changes or messages to the editor or to MM&P headquarters, e-mail Back issues of The Weekly are posted on

Maritime Union

Maritime Union

Maritime Union

Latest posts by Maritime Union (see all)