Wheelhouse Weekly – August 31, 2001

August 31st 2001


Bridging the Information Gap With E-News You Can Use

Volume 5. . . . . Number 35. . . August 31, 2001





Offshore members who have signed up for access to the Members Only section of MM&P’s website at can now view shipping information online. The information is updated daily and provides shipping lists, assignment lists and open registration information by port.

The lists provide information for all Off-the-Board, Applicants, Permit, Unlicensed, Company Employees and Company Referrals by registration number and port.

Within the next month, Offshore members should also be able to access their own employment and training course histories.

All members from all membership groups who log-in can view their member information, print out change of address forms, view their dues payment histories, make dues payments and PCF contributions.

MM&P Wheelhouse Weekly



On Wed., Aug.29, MM&P and MEBA officials and staff met with Robert Little, the reporter from the Baltimore Sun who authored the two-part series of articles on the state of the U.S. merchant marine published Aug. 5 and 6 under the headline, “Merchant Marine’s Demise Endangers War Readiness”. MM&P had followed up with a letter to the editor which published Aug.18 applauding the article and pointing out several issues important to maintaining and rebuilding the U.S. maritime industry. The articles and letter were featured in the Aug.10 Wheelhouse Weekly.

Present at the meeting were MM&P President Capt. Tim Brown and Sec-Treas Glen Banks; MEBA President Larry O’Toole and Sec-Treas Bob McFeeters. Pat Morris, Leg. Dir. for MEBA was at the meeting. Also there from the MM&P were: Capt. George Quick, Pilot Group VP; Glen Paine, MITAGS Exec. Director; Richard Plant, Dir. of Special Projects; Joe Stone, Special Rep.; Mike Rodriguez, Exec. Asst. to the President; and Karl Schwartz, Communications Dir.

The meeting provided the opportunity for the unions to identify additional items of concern. It was noted that among the top problems the U.S. maritime industry faces are tax concerns. Ten-year ship depreciation schedules keep U.S. companies at a disadvantage to their foreign competitors who can depreciate their ships in one to three years. Ad valorem duties also put U.S. ship operators at a disadvantage. These duties require a payment equal to 50-percent of the cost of a repair if the repair to a U.S.-flag ship is performed in a foreign yard.

Income tax exclusions on all or most of foreign mariners’ wages give foreign crews and foreign companies an advantage over U.S. mariners and companies who pay taxes on all wages.

Another area which MM&P President Tim Brown noted is a nearly insurmountable problem is competition by commercial U.S. companies against state-owned shipping companies of other countries, where profitability is less of an issue than is being a maritime power.

Both MM&P President Tim Brown and MEBA President Larry O’Toole stressed the need for U.S. shipping companies to be in a position to attain a good return on their investments. They noted that good jobs will follow profitable companies.

MM&P Wheelhouse Weekly



Rear Adm. David L. Brewer III, USN, took the helm as the commander of the U.S. Navy’s Military Sealift Command, relieving Vice Adm. Gordon S. Holder, USN, during a ceremony Aug. 30 at the Washington Navy Yard in Washington, DC. Gen. Charles T. (Tony) Robertson Jr., USAF, Commander in Chief, U.S. Transportation Command, was the principal speaker. Adm. William J. Fallon, USN, Vice Chief of Naval Operations also delivered remarks.

Representing MM&P at the change of command were Int. President Capt. Tim Brown, Int. Secretary-Treasurer Capt. Glen Banks, Exec. Assistant to the President Mike Rodriguez, Special Rep. Capt. Joe Stone, and Dir. of Special Projects Richard Plant.

The Marine Engineers were also well represented at the ceremonies by Larry O’Toole, George Clements, Dan Fuller, Mark Gallagher, Lee Kincaid, Paul Krupa and Henry Phillips.

Vice Adm. Holder took command at MSC in Feb. 1999. He was promoted to his current rank in March 2000. In September, he will report to his new assignment as the Director for Logistics on the Joint Staff at the Pentagon.

Adm. Brewer comes to MSC from Pensacola, FL, where he reported as the Vice Chief of Naval Education and Training in March 1999. In December 1993, he was promoted to rear admiral (lower half). His initial tour as flag officer was as the commander of U.S. Naval Forces Marianas/Commander in Chief, U.S. Pacific Command Representative Guam/Commonwealth of the Northern Marianas Islands/Federated States of Micronesia/Republic of Palau. His next assignment was as the commander of Amphibious Group Three, where he was promoted to rear admiral (upper half) in July 1997.

For more information about MSC, visit


MM&P Wheelhouse Weekly



 MITAGS Heavy Weather Avoidance Instructor Michael Carr reports that the National Hurricane Centers Tropical Forecast Branch is now producing and disseminating a new product graphic product titled “Tropical Cyclone Hazard Area”. This color chart incorporates the 1-2-3 & 34 knot wind radius rule that MITAGS has been promoting in its weather training.

This info should be of great interest to all mariners in the Atlantic Basin. The new graphic supports the excellent work of Eric Holweg in his handbook Mariner’s Guide For Hurricane Awareness in the North Atlantic Basin.

Here is a description of the Tropical Cyclone Hazard Area Product:

“Graphic shows current cyclone forecast track and hazard area for each system depicted as shaded region in the graphic. Hazard area is determined by adding 100-200-300 nautical miles to the 24-48-72 hour forecast position and maximum 34 knot wind radii respectively. The values used in determining hazard areas are based on the latest 10-year average error in forecast tracks issued by the NHC.”

TPC does not warrant that avoiding these hazard areas will eliminate the risk of harm from tropical cyclones. Users operating in the vicinity of these systems are advised to continually monitor the latest Forecast/Advisories from the NHC and proceed at their own risk. The hazard area will not be depicted from tropical cyclones that transition to extratropical status.

Atlantic, Caribbean, and Gulf of Mexico Products produced for valid times of: 0300 UTC 0900 UTC 1500 UTC 2100 UTC Eastern Pacific products valid for times of: 0300 UTC 1500 UTC. Specific URLs for Atlantic Charts:

MM&P Wheelhouse Weekly



It is very important for all members to remember that merely having completed all required courses does not satisfy the STCW-95 requirement. You will need to have the certificate in hand in order to sail on February 1, 2002.

Processing times at Coast Guard Regional Examining Centers are already long and the workload will only increase between now and the first of the year. MITAGS will continue to make every effort to expand capacity to accommodate demand but it is still possible that you may end up with all requirements complete except for one: the STCW-95 certificate itself! Don’t delay!

STCW-95 Courses

Additional capacity has been created in BRM, BST, and ARPA, primarily between now and the end of October. One of the consequences of significantly increasing the student population is a coincident increase in the likelihood that MITAGS will have to rely at times on off-campus housing. In those cases, MITAGS contracts with local quality hotels for rooms. MITAGS makes all reservations, provides meals, and shuttles students to/from campus.

Original Third Mate Program

The trial program conducted this past spring at MITAGS was not effective. Upon evaluation, MITAGS has decided that the best way to proceed is with a program supporting the STCW-95 requirements for “Officer in Charge of a Navigational Watch”, the likely framework for future deck license applicants. MITAGS staff members are working closely with the Coast Guard to develop the structure necessary to support implementation of the “OIC” requirements and, once procedures have been finalized, the original license program will be revisited. MITAGS does not envision scheduling a specific program for original third mates until mid-2002 at the earliest.

Openings in classes through the end of this year

  • 9/10-12: BRMP
  • 9/10-14: BST
  • 9/17-20: SMA
  • 9/17-21: TPIC, BST, BRM
  • 9/24-28: BRM; FF-ADV
  • 10/1-5: FF-ADV, ECDIS
  • 10/1-12: GMDSS
  • 10/8-12: ARPA, BRM, BST
  • 10/22-25: SMA
  • 10/22-26: SHS-INT II, COMP-NET, BST, BRM
  • 10/29-11/2: BRM, WX-HWA
  • 11/5-7: BRMP
  • 11/5-9: ROP
  • 11/12-16: FF-ADV, BST, BRM, VPM
  • 11/12-15: SMA
  • 11/26-12/7: GMDSS
  • 11/26-30: BST, BRM, TPIC, HAZ
  • 12/3-7: ECDIS, BRM, FF-ADV
  • 12/10-21: MED-PIC, GMDSS
  • 12/10-14: BRM, COMP-NET, DCS
  • 12/17-21: BST, FF-ADV, ARPA, COMP-MAR
  • 12/17-20: SMA

Schedule through June 2002 is being maintained on the MITAGS web-site at Hard copies of the Jan-June 2002 schedule are being mailed to the halls. For additional course info, contact Mary Matlock at voice: 443-989-3226 or Email:


MM&P Wheelhouse Weekly



Openings in classes through December

  • 9/10-14: BRM, GMDSS
  • 9/17-21: ARPA, FF, AFF
  • 9/24-28: BRM, GMDSS
  • 10/8-12: ARPA, BRM
  • 10/15-19: ARPA
  • 10/22-26: ECDIS
  • 10/29-11/2: BRM
  • 11/5-99: ARPA
  • 12/3-7: ARPA
  • 12/10-14: ARPA, GMDSS, BRM
  • 12/17-21:ARPA, BRM

For more info on courses or PMI, visit their website at

MM&P Wheelhouse Weekly



November 1-2 has been set for the Offshore Membership Group Shipping Rules Committee to meet at MM&P HQ. Members wishing to provide input or who have interest in committee service should contact their area Offshore Membership Group vice president. Atlantic: Richard May at; Gulf: Robert Groh at; and Pacific: Donald Marcus at


MM&P Wheelhouse Weekly



The members-only MM&P bulletin board is operational. To be able to sign-on, members should send an Email to John Gorman, MM&P Comptroller, who is administering the board. His Email address is:

The following info is required for bulletin board access:

  • Member’s Full Name
  • SS Number
  • Date of Birth
  • Email Address


MM&P Wheelhouse Weekly



MM&P’s Port Everglades union hall is relocating effective Sept.1. The new address is:

540 East McNab Road, Suite B Pompano Beach, FL 33060-9354

Office phone number: 954-946-7883; fax number: 954-946-8283.

Also effective Sept. 1, the MM&P Great Lakes & Rivers Membership Group new office address is:

1250 Old River Rd. Cleveland, OH 44113

The new phone number is 216-776-1667 and the new fax number is 216-776-1668. For further  info, contact GL&R’s Vice President Bill Rabatsky at Email:

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 and is posted on our web page under “News” at:

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