Wheelhouse Weekly – December 16, 2004

December 16th 2004



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

Volume 8 . . . . . Number 51 . . . . December 16, 2004





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


Friday, December 24:

Monday, December 27:



MM&P members elected incumbent International President Tim Brown to a fifth term of office in the MM&P’s 2004 elections. The election, conducted by a 90-day mail ballot, concluded on Monday, December 13 with the ballots counted that same day. All other incumbent MM&P officials were returned to serve another term of office.

International Secretary-Treasurer Glen Banks ran for reelection without opposition for his second consecutive term. From the Offshore Membership Group, Pacific Ports VP Don Marcus, Atlantic Ports VP Rich May and Gulf VP Bob Groh each won their bids for a second term. Pilot Membership Group VP George Quick and United Inland Membership Group VP Steve Demeroutis faced no opposition in this year’s election.

George Quick has 22 years of service as the Pilots’ VP under his belt going into his new term. Steve Demeroutis was first elected to office as VP of the Pacific Maritime Region Membership Group (PMR) in the Union’s 1992 balloting and to subsequent terms since. The United Inland Membership Group was created when the former Great Lakes & Rivers Maritime Region and the Atlantic & Gulf Maritime Region membership groups merged into the PMR.

The election was conducted for the MM&P by the impartial balloting agency True Ballot, Inc., based in Bethesda, MD. On December 13, the balloting agent, and a contingent including representatives from the MM&P International Ballot Committee, an arbitrator, headquarters mailroom staff and observers went to the United States Post Office in Linthicum, MD to collect ballots being held in the MM&P’s 2004 elections. The USPS served as the repository for the 90-day mail ballot election. The process of registering and counting ballots began at MITAGS shortly after 11:00 AM.

IBC members made determinations on all questionable ballots and they and other observers watched as return mailing envelopes were opened and separated from the secret ballot envelopes and as the ballot opening and counting process began.

The balloting agent uses computers and high-speed scanners to register ballots, check the membership database, scan votes and tally results. The equipment also flags any ballots with stray or extra marks, or ballots that cannot be clearly read. All such ballots are projected onto a large screen so observers were able to watch as the IBC determined how the ballot in question was to be treated.

The count was concluded shortly after 1400 on December 13. Under the MM&P International Constitution, election results may be certified 30 days from the date of the completion of the ballot count to allow for any written challenges to be filed. Uncertified results in the MM&P 2004 election follow below.



All results are listed by Membership Group, Office and Vote Order

International Officers

 Timothy A. Brown


 James F. Hill


 Glen P. Banks



Offshore Membership Group

 Vice President Atlantic Ports
 Richard W. May


 David C. Ryan


Vice President Gulf Ports
 Robert H. Groh


 Fred H. Schick


Vice President Pacific Ports
 Donald J. Marcus


 David C. Haa


Convention Delegate (Top 18 are Elected)
 Glen M. Paine


 Richard M. Plant


 William J. Mahoney


 Peter S. Smith


 David H. Boatner


 Michael K. Welch


 William D. Good, Jr.


 Mark D. Remijan


 Steven E. Werse


 Timothy M. Carey


 Thomas D. McDorr


 Peter H. Bailey


 Lawrence T. Lyons


 John P. Kelley


 Paul F. McQuarrie


 William C. Mack


 David C. Haa


 D. Scott Putty


 Walter K. Allison


 David C. Ryan


 Fred H. Schick


 James F. Hill


 James K. (Jack) Boak


 Gregory S. Walsh


 Jeffrey S. Hill


 Carolyn Y. Casado


 Mark J. Nemergut


 John F. Schmidt


 John H. Bloomingdale


 Ryan E. Evans


 David A. Mociun


 Alternate Convention Delegate
(To be called in vote order if needed.)
 Kenneth T. Ryan


 Michael J. Rodriguez


 Thomas P. Sullivan


 George M. Darley


 Robert T. Kimball


 Peter W. Mitchell


 Kenneth J. Halsall


 D. Wayne Farthing


 Paul T. Schulman


 John E. Forsberg, Jr.



Pilot Membership Group

 Vice President
 George A. Quick


East Coast Regional Representative
 Timothy J. Ferrie


 Gulf Coast Regional Representative
 Richard D. Moore


 West Coast Regional Representative
 Kenneth J. Carlson, Jr.


 East Coast Alternate Convention Delegate
 Peter G. Rooss


 Gulf Coast Alternate Convention Delegate
 No Candidate  
 West Coast Alternate Convention Delegate
 Alan J. Widme



 United Inland Membership Group

 Vice President
 Steven J. Demeroutis


 UIG – Pacific Maritime Convention Delegate
(Top 5 Elected)
 Darrell R. Kimmerly


 Raymond W. Shipway


 Lee S. Andersen


 John J. Schaeffner


 Michael A. Santini


 Ronald Leighton, III


 Ezra L. Hunter, Jr.


 UIG – Great Lakes & Rivers Convention Delegate
 William J. Rabatsky


 UIG – Atlantic & Gulf Convention Delegate
 Luis Ramirez


 Theresa L. Swan





MM&P has worked with Horizon Lines to get the first round of crew assignments for the T-AGS Oceanographic Vessels. The next two ships to be crewed will be in Sasebo, Japan on Dec.22 followed by the last two vessels in Norfolk, VA in mid-January.

MM&P and Horizon Lines will soon start on the crewing of the RELIEF CREW that will commence in early to mid-February. Resumes are needed from those mariners interested in ALL positions aboard the T-AGS vessels and their resumes should be sent to MM&P’s Director of Special Projects Richard Plant at

Plant advises that the following is the response he gets from Horizon lines regarding billets aboard T-AGS vessels:

“This message (‘get the training’) should be part of your standard response to all the individuals who are asking you what their status is and what their chances are of obtaining employment aboard one of the T-AGS ships.”

Those MM&P members interested in employment aboard the T-AGS Oceanographic Vessels must acquire the proper training needed. All inquiries regarding T-AGS employment opportunities should be sent to Richard Plant at the above Email address.

Plant also advises that, “Mariners who have obtained training at schools OTHER than MITAGS or PMI should verify with MITAGS and PMI the equivalency in the course so that the MITAGS and Union Port Shipping databases can be updated and properly maintained. This is especially important for Hawsepipers and Applicants from Maritime Academies and Schools. Some MM&P Collective Bargaining Agreements and Memorandums Of Understanding that MM&P and the Shipping Companies have agreed to stipulate that LDO positions require that certain courses be taken. Please verify your records to see that you are in compliance with these requirements and that you have the proper equivalency where appropriate.”



Media reports suggesting that the world’s largest retailer, Wal-Mart, is interested in acquiring MM&P-contracted APL, the liner operating subsidiary of Singapore’s Neptune Orient Lines, have been denied by both companies.

The Arkansas News Bureau reported last week that Wal-Mart is planning to expand its supply line control by purchasing one of the major shipping lines that carries its goods from the Asia Pacific region. The report said sources within Wal-Mart mentioned APL as the focus of those maritime intentions. Wal-Mart is headquartered in Arkansas.

Reportedly, a spokesman for APL has said that such acquisition is “totally off base,” and added that Wal-Mart is a major and greatly appreciated customer. Wal-Mart had named APL its Ocean Carrier of the Year in 2002.

Sources inside Wal-Mart praised APL, but said there were no plans to buy the company. Such a move would not be new for Wal-Mart, which already operates a massive land-based network consisting of more than 60 distribution centers, 36 transport terminals in 28 US states, more than 5,600 tractor trailers and about 7,000 drivers.



Marine Engineers’ Beneficial Association (MEBA) members have elected Ron Davis for a second term, the first re-election of a MEBA President in two decades. All 14 candidates on Davis’ ticket won office in the 90-day referendum election.

Joining Davis on the Union’s governing body ­ the District Executive Committee (DEC) ­ is Secretary-Treasurer Cecil McIntyre, Atlantic Coast Vice President Don Keefe, Executive VP Bud Jacque and Gulf Coast VP John McCurdy.

MM&P extends best wishes to MEBA’s officers for a successful term of office and looks forward to maintaining our cooperative working relationship on matters of mutual interest.



The MM&P is pleased to report that earlier this week deck officer Gilbert (Bert) Thurston, 44, was found not guilty of criminal negligence in a maritime-related court case that had wide ranging implications for the EPA, OSHA and who knows what other government agencies.

MM&P member, Charles Viebrock, a seasoned tanker Master, testified on Thurston’s behalf. MM&P International President Capt. Tim Brown is pleased to report that MM&P and the Council of American Master Mariners contributed to Thurston’s defense and he has expressed much thanks for our efforts. Complete details on this case will be carried as they become available and an article involving the case will be carried in “Sidelights”, the CAMM publication.



The 17 surviving members of the crew of the SELENDANG AYU will flew home earlier this week after days of interviews with government officials investigating the grounding and break up of the bulker. Six seafarers died after the USCG rescue helicopter taking them from the stricken vessel crashed into the sea off Unalaska Island, AK, in the Aleutian Islands chain on Dec.9.

The investigation of the fatal incident has been transferred from the USCG to the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), which investigates accidents where six or more people die. Two good weather days on Dec.13-14 allowed for both a memorial service for the lost seafarers and for the deployment of anti-pollution booms to contain oil from a ruptured tank containing 133 tons of fuel oil.

Officials at the site report that some oil has been seen in the water and on nearby beaches, but far less than the full contents of the tank. It is presumed that the cold temperatures have retarded the flow. One beach, originally thought to have been ‘oiled’ was later found to be covered with soybeans from the ship’s cargo hold.



The Subcommittee on Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping of the Shipping Coordinating Committee, sponsored by the US Department of State, will meet in Wash., DC on Dec.21. The purpose of the meeting is to prepare for the upcoming IMO meeting. Topics on the agenda include maritime security; unlawful practices associated with certificates of competency; measures to prevent accidents with lifeboats; and fatigue prevention, mitigation, and management.



  • Boston – 12/20
  • Miami/Port Everglades – 12/21 (1100-1400 at the hall)

Contact the Union Halls directly for additional info.



A note from the MM&P Plan’s EAP Provider at LifeWorks that may help all those members and their spouses, families and loved ones at home (and working!) during the holidays: Make your holidays shine this year, with help from LifeWorks.

Feeling overwhelmed by the holidays? If thoughts of shopping, cooking, family visits and travel leave you feeling stressed out, take a minute to get in touch with LifeWorks. You’ll find professional, caring consultants on the phone who can help you refocus, put things in perspective, and find new ways to make the holidays a happy time for you and your family. Call any time and you’ll get lots of ideas, advice and resources to help you handle a wide range of issues, from managing your time to managing your budget.

You can also go to anytime to use a quick online tool, “How Resilient Are You?” or to read or download articles including the following:

  • Blending Traditions During the Holidays
  • Shopping Tips to Save Time and Money
  • Enjoying the Holidays with Your Children
  • The Holiday Season and Your Older Relative
  • 10 Ways to Bounce Back

Make this year’s holiday season the best ever. Call LifeWorks at 877-234-5151 anytime to speak with a LifeWorks consultant. To read or download articles, visit the LifeWorks web site at (user id: mmp; password: 5100) and click on “This Month’s Feature”. You can also order free materials or email a consultant.


December 31st Deadline to Obtain Tickets…


Raffle tickets for a chance on winning a beautiful original painting of the SEAWANHAKA by MM&P member, Maryland Pilot and artist Capt. Brian Hope commissioned by the MM&P are available at $25 each, 5 for $100. Proceeds will benefit the Masters, Mates & Pilots Political Contribution Fund. (The fire aboard the SEAWANHAKA and the scapegoating of Capt. Charles Smith are the beginnings of the MM&P.)

Ticket purchases should be made payable to the MM&P PCF with a notation for the raffle in the memo line, and mailed to the MM&P PCF, 700 Maritime Blvd., Linthicum Heights, MD 21090. Tickets can also be obtained by members making PCF contributions through the Members Only section of the MM&P website, noting that the contribution is for the raffle. Tickets are also available through MM&P port offices.

Time is running out. Cutoff for ticket purchases is Dec.31, 2004. Drawing for the prize will take place at noon on Jan.7, 2005 at MITAGS.

The fine print:
Raffle tickets are available only to those individuals who are otherwise eligible to make a contribution to the MM&P PCF. Contributions in exchange for raffle tickets or for a signed and numbered print do not qualify for any other PCF contribution incentive premiums. All contributions to the MM&P PCF, including contributions in exchange for raffle tickets, are voluntary contributions for political purposes and no physical force, job discrimination, financial reprisals or thereat thereof has been or will be used to secure such contributions. PCF contributions are not deductible for tax purposes.



Now is a great time to start thinking about the holidays and the Masters, Mates & Pilots Federal Credit Union is offering a special Holiday Signature Loan to give you some extra shopping cash or to pay off those higher-rate credit card balances.

From November 12004 through January 31, 2005, eligible MM&P FCU members may borrow up to $1,500 for 10 months at a Standard Rate of 8.75 percent or a Preferred Borrower Rate of 8.00 percent. Special terms and conditions apply and funds for this promotion may be limited.



Is it time to replace that car you’re driving? Vehicle loan rates are looking great at MM&P FCU.

Drive away in a new or used vehicle for a standard loan rate of:

  • 4.75 percent for terms up to 24 months.

Standard loan rates for longer-term loans are:

  • 5.00 percent for 25-48 months;
  • 5.75 percent for 49-60 months ($20,000 minimum); and
  • 6.25 percent for terms extending from 61-72 months ($25,000 minimum).

You can lower your loan rate even more — by 0.75 percent — by becoming a Preferred Borrower.

Are you paying a higher rate on your current vehicle loan at another institution? Consider refinancing your outside loan at the MM&P FCU and taking advantage of our lower loan rates.

MM&P FCU will finance up to 100 percent of your new vehicle loan, and up to 90 percent of NADA Book Value on a used vehicle. Maximum vehicle loan amount is $30,000.



MM&P FCU members can reduce the interest rate they pay on any new loan even further by becoming a preferred borrower. What is a preferred borrower? That’s a member who deposits at least 10 percent of the original loan amount into their MM&P FCU savings account and keeps those funds on deposit until the loan is paid in full. By doing this you save twice – first, your deposit works for you by earning our regular dividend savings rate, and second, you save money by reducing the interest rate on your loan by 0.75 percent.


Contact the MM&P FCU for full details on all loan programs by email to or call 1-800-382-7777 toll-free.



Loan percentage rates for all loans are APR, or Annual Percentage Rate. Savings percentage rates are APY, or Annual Percentage Yield. Loan and Dividend rates are subject to change without notice. Loan approval is subject to income requirements and credit review.




COMP-OPSYS (Computer Operating Systems), designed for members with little or no computer experience, will be offered January 17-21, 2005. Don’t miss the opportunity to attend this seldom-offered course.



Between now and the end of March 2005 seats are available in the following courses:

  • ARPA – Automatic Radar Plotting Aids: 1/03, 2/07, 3/14
  • AZIPOD – Azipod Propulsion System: 1/03


  • BRM – Bridge Resource Management: 1/24, 2/14
  • BRMP – Bridge Resource Management for Pilots: 2/07
  • BST – Basic Safety Training: 1/31, 3/07

CMM – Chief Mate and Master Courses

  • CMM-ADVSTB – Advanced Stability: 2/14
  • CMM-ADVWX – Advanced Meteorology: 1/31
  • CMM-CHS I- Cargo Handling & Stowage (week 1): 3/28
  • CMM-CHS II- Cargo Handling & Stowage (week 2): 3/21
  • CMM-ECDIS – Electronic Chart Display and Info Systems: 1/10, 2/07, 3/21
  • CMM-MMP – Marine Propulsion Plants: 1/17, 2/21
  • CMM-SHMGT-I – Ship Management (week 1): 1/10, 2/07, 2/28
  • CMM-SHMGT-II – Ship Management (week 2): 3/07
  • CMM-SHS-ADV-I – Advanced Shiphandling (week 1): 1/24, 1/31, 2/14, 3/14, 3/28
  • CMM-SHS-ADV-II- Advanced Shiphandling (week 2): 1/31, 3/21
  • CMM-VPEN – Voyage Planning and Electronic Navigation: 1/24
  • CMM-WKP- Advanced Watchkeeping: 1/03, 3/14


  • COMP-OPSYS – Computer Operating Systems: 1/17
  • COMP-NET – Computer Networking: 2/28
  • COMP-DB – Computer Databases: 3/28
  • CONT-PLNG – Contingency Planning: 1/21, 2/11, 3/04, 3/16
  • CSE-AAES – Confined Space Entry, Atmospheric Analysis of Enclosed Spaces (2 day): 3/14


  • FF-BADV – (Combined) Basic and Advanced Firefighting: 1/26, 3/07


  • GMDSS – Global Marine Distress & Safety System: 1/24


  • HAZ – Hazardous Materials [5-day]: 1/03, 3/28


  • LEG – Legal Aspects of Pilotage: 2/08


  • MEDIA-RSP – Media Response: 1/20, 2/10, 3/03, 3/17
  • MED-DOT-DA – Dept. of Trans Drug & Alcohol Testing: 1/15, 2/12, 3/19
  • MED-PIC – Medical Person-In-Charge: 1/10, 2/07, 3/14
  • MED-PRO – Medical Care Provider: 1/10, 2/07, 3/14

MSC – Military Sealift Command

  • MSC-CBRD-1 – Chemical Biological Radiological Defense Training Orientation: 1/29, 2/06, 3/03
  • MSC-DC – Damage Control: 1/24, 2/02
  • MSC-SMA – Small Arms Training (4-day): 1/31
  • MSC-SMA-R – Small Arms Re-Qualification (2-day): 2/04
    (must have proof of passing all 3 weapons within 2 years)


  • ROP-5 – Radar Observer Original and Renewal (5-day): 1/17, 3/28
  • ROR-1 – Radar Observer Renewal: 1/03, 2/07, 3/14


  • SEC-FSO – Facility Security Officer: 2/08
  • SEC-OFF-PCS – Security Officer: Port, Company, Ship: 1/17, 2/28
  • SHS-BAS – Basic Shiphandling: 1/10
  • SHS-EMR5 – Emergency Shiphandling (5-day): 1/17, 3/28


  • TPIC – Tankerman Person-In-Charge: 1/24
  • TRAC-TUG – Water Tractor and Azimuth Stern Drive Tugs: 1/06


If you are scheduled for a course, call, write, or Email admissions to advise whether or not you will attend. Many classes are in demand and maintain a Standby List. “No Shows” are missed training opportunities for other members.


Courses are subject to change. Check the MITAGS website for up-to-date course descriptions associated with all course title abbreviations, and for schedule revisions and updated course availability. You can also check future schedules, review detailed course descriptions and register on-line or contact Admissions at or by calling toll-free, 1-866-656-5568.



All the courses below will be conducted at the new Pacific Maritime Institute facility located in Seattle at 1727 Alaskan Way South, Pier 34. The new facility features a state-of-the art Ship Simulator that has to be experienced. PMI phone numbers remain the same. Come see the new facility at PMI’s “Maritime Technology and Career Center”.


  • Holidays: We will not be running classes from December 27-January 2, 2005 in observance of Christmas and New Years Day. The school will still be open that week.
  • 12/20-24: Radar Observer Unlimited
  • 12/20-23: Ship/Company Security Officer

January 2005

  • 1/03-21: Terrestrial and Coastal Navigation/Compasses
  • 1/03-07: ARPA
  • 1/04: Radar Recertification
  • 1/10-11: Search and Rescue
  • 1/10-12: Ship/Company Security Officer
  • 1/10-14: ECDIS
  • 1/10-14: Basic Safety Training
  • 1/12-14: Emergency Procedures
  • 1/13-14: Basic Firefighting
  • 1/17-21: Able Bodied Seaman
  • 1/18-19: MAXIMO
  • 1/17-28: GMDSS
  • 1/24-25: Ratings Forming Part of a Navigational Watch
  • 1/24-28: Radar Observer Unlimited
  • 1/24-27: Personal Survival Craft/Lifeboatman
  • 1/24-27: Fast Rescue Boat
  • 1/24/28: Tankerman Person-In-Charge
  • 1/24-28: Medical Care Provider
  • 1/24-2/04: Medical Person-In-Charge
  • 1/24-2/04: GMDSS
  • 1/24-28: Emergency Shiphandling
  • 1/31: Radar Recertification
  • 1/31-2/04: ARPA
  • 1/31-2/04: Electronic Navigation
  • 1/31-2/11: Advanced Shiphandling


February 2005

  • 2/07-11: Electronic Navigation
  • 2/07-18: GMDSS
  • 2/14: Radar Recertification
  • 2/14-18: Basic Safety Training
  • 2/14-18: ARPA
  • 2/14-18: Emergency Shiphandling
  • 2/14-25: Celestial Navigation
  • 2/14-25: 100 Ton Course
  • 2/21-25: Personal Survival Craft/Lifeboatman
  • 2/21-25: Basic Shiphandling
  • 2/21-24: Fast Rescue Boat
  • 2/28-3/4: Basic and Advanced Firefighting
  • 2/28-3/4: Basic Meteorology
  • 2/28-3/2: Ship/Company Security Officer
  • 2/28-3/11: GMDSS


March 2005

  • 3/07-11: Construction and Stability
  • 3/14-18: Basic Safety Training
  • 3/17-18: Basic Firefighting
  • 3/14-18: Cargo Handling and Stowage
  • 3/14-18: ARPA
  • 3/14-18: Tankerman Person-In-Charge
  • 3/21-25: Able Bodied Seaman
  • 3/21-24: Personal Survival Craft/Lifeboatman
  • 3/21-25: Medical Care Provider
  • 3/21-4/01: Medical Person-In-Charge
  • 3/21-25: ECDIS
  • 3/21-24: Fast Rescue Boat
  • 3/28-29: Ratings Forming Part of a Navigational Watch
  • 3/28-29: Search and Rescue
  • 3/30-4/01: Emergency Procedures
  • 3/28-4/01: ARPA
  • 3/28: Radar Recertification
  • 3/28-4/01: Emergency Shiphandling

For registration and more info call DeeDee Lazik or Jennifer Fowler at 888-893-7829, check the PMI website at or Email PMI at



 D O W    N A S D A Q
 10,691.45 +197.22 for the week  2,162.66  +36.44 for the week

Fund Name & Trading Symbol

 Vanguard 500 Index Fund (VFINX)

 Vanguard Extended Market Index Fund (VEXMX)

 Vanguard International Growth Fund (VWIGX)

 Vanguard Morgan Growth Fund (VMRGX)

 Vanguard Windsor II Fund (VWNFX)

 Vanguard GNMA Fund (VFIIX)

 Vanguard High Yield Corporate Fund (VWEHX)

 Vanguard Total Bond Index (VBMFX)

 Chase Growth Fund (CHASX)

 Fidelity Asset Manager (FASMX)

 Fidelity Growth and Income (FGRIX)

 Fidelity Magellan Fund (FMAGX)

 Spartan US Equity Index Fund (FUSEX)


~ Reminders ~




All MM&P members are reminded that to sail aboard the T-AGS ships that MM&P-contracted Horizon Lines will be operating, you must have the required training certification and your certificates must be current in accordance with Military Sealift Command requirements. Members are also required to have had a MSC pre-employment physical and to possess Ship Security Clearance (see below).

The MSC Contract calls for all training certificates required for manning of these vessels to be no older than 5 years and that all STCW-95 courses be renewed every 5 years, or annually, as applicable.

Five-year renewable courses include, but are not limited to:

  • Advanced Fire Fighting
  • Basic Safety Training, and
  • Damage Control

Small Arms certificates must be less than 1 year old.

Members interested in applying for one of the positions onboard the T-AGS vessels are advised to make sure your certificates are up to date. If not, contact Mary Matlock or Diane Ford at MITAGS Admissions, email:, and schedule to take the course(s) needed.

Those MM&P members interested in obtaining more information and facts about the T-AGS Oceanographic Vessels are asked to email the Director of Special Projects requesting the “facts sheet”. It will be provided by return email in an Adobe Acrobat PDF format.

Members interested in employment on the T-AGS ships are asked to provide a 1-2 page resume. Please list the desired position you are seeking along with the certificates of training you possess and their dates. Upon receipt it will be forwarded to Horizon Lines and a confirmation sent back to the member. Vessel turnover commences Oct.17, 2004 and will continue until Jan.3, 2005. Crew rotations will start beginning as early as January 2005 and will continue through as late as June 2005. Positions for all ratings remain open.

The point of contact for sending a resume for employment on the Horizon Lines T-AGS Oceanographic Vessels is Richard Plant, MM&P’s Director of Special Projects. Send resumes in an email or as a Word file attachment to him at:, by fax to 410-850-0973 or by mail to:

Richard Plant, Director of Special Projects
700 Maritime Blvd.
Linthicum Heights, MD 21090


Members who want to sail for Horizon Lines on the T-AGS Oceanographic Survey vessels the company is set to begin operating for MSC must have Ship Security Clearance before going aboard.

Special software must be downloaded from the US Government’s Defense Security Service to complete the Security Clearance application. You must have an Internet connection and a Windows-based computer to retrieve the application and run the program.

Go to to download the software titled “EPSQ SUBJECT2_2”.

After the software is installed and the program is launched, select “Create” from the menu bar at the top of the screen. You will be required to enter your Social Security Number and a case-sensitive password. A window titled “Type of Form” will appear.

All Deck Officers should select the first button titled “Request for Security Clearance (SF86)” and then click “OK” to go to the next screen, “Type of Investigation”.

From the “Type of Investigation” screen:

  • Masters and Radio Officers should select the first button, “Single Scope Background Investigation (SSBI)”.
  • All other Deck Officers (C/M, 2/M, 3/M) should click on the second button, “National Agency Check (NAC or NACLC)”.

After selecting the appropriate investigation type, click on “OK” to begin filling in the forms.

When complete and all information has been validated, click on “Communications” from the menu bar at the top of the screen and select “Transmit to Security Officer”. Save the file to the hard drive on your computer using your last name (surname) as the file name. Send this file as an email attachment to Mike Bohlman at Horizon Lines, His phone number is 908-259-2803. You will need to provide Mike Bohlman with your name and the case-sensitive password you assigned to the file in order for Horizon Lines to open the file and process your Security Clearance.


Horizon Lines requests all mariners seeking employment aboard the T-AGS Oceanographic vessels to take their MSC Physical at specially-designated facilities only after being advised to do so by the Company. This is to assure that all requirements of the MSC Physical are properly met.

On Dec.6, MM&P members will begin manning the third of seven T-AGS ships operated by Horizon. The USNS SUMNER will be crewed-up in Portland, OR. MM&P wishes the crew a safe voyage and happy holidays.




On Sept.30, Merck & Co. voluntarily withdrew Vioxx, a popular anti-inflammatory medication, from the market. As a result, individuals who are currently taking the drug have been asked to contact their health care professionals to discuss discontinuing use of Vioxx and possible alternative treatments.

MM&P Plans Administrator Valerie Verrecchio reports that, “We have gotten a number of calls from members who want to know what to do with their remaining supply of Vioxx and whether the Plan or NMHC will refund their co-pay for the unused portion.

“Unfortunately, neither NMHC nor the Plan was aware of the Merck decision prior to the public announcement on Sept.30. As of that date, all deliveries of Vioxx to our members was suspended in accordance with Merck’s announcement. Orders that had already been processed and were in transit could not be stopped.

“In regard to refunds, Merck has set up a website at where members can obtain information on how to recover refunds from Merck for the unused portion of medication. Members can also call following toll free number for information: 1-888-368-4699.

“We are sorry for any inc onvenience this may have caused to members currently taking this medication, however, the matter is out of the control of the Plans.”


MM&P Plans Administrator Valerie Verrecchio reports, “Good news! NMHC mail has finally gotten their website upgraded and functioning properly. I went in and tested it myself and found it to be quite user friendly.”

To use NMHC’s upgraded service, go to the NMHC Mail website at and click on “MEMBER LOGIN” at the bottom of the screen.

First-time and Registered users may bypass the welcome screen and go directly to the log-in page at

  • First-time users should then click on the link marked “NEW USER: REGISTER HERE”.
    This will take you to a page titled “MEMBER REGISTRATION” where you will need to enter demographic information and submit it by clicking on the
  • “CREATE ACCOUNT” button.

After creating your account, NMHC will email you a password to gain entry into your records. With your first sign-in, the NMHC system will prompt you to change the NMHC password to one of your own choosing.

Once you are registered at NMHC, you can check the status of open orders by logging-in to the system through the “MEMBER LOGIN” page and going into the “MAIL ORDER” menu. You can look up all prescriptions and get the price our members will pay for any medication. You can also view an order history of all of your medication transactions (both retail and mail) for the last 24 months, locate 24-hour pharmacies in your zip code region as well as access other helpful member education information.

“We hope this welcome improvement will assist our members. Although you cannot order refills on line if you don’t provide a credit or debit card number, you can phone in your refill. Once you register on the website, you will still have access to all of the other information including checking the status of your order once it is phoned in,” said Ms. Verrecchio.


The U.S. Coast Guard has announced an initiative to identify and collect the oral histories of its World War II veterans. Coast Guard WWII veterans, including SPARS and merchant mariners, are encouraged to record their histories online with the Library of Congress Veterans History Project at

Those veterans needing assistance in recording their stories can receive help from their local Coast Guard Auxiliary public affairs contact by leaving a message at 1-877-875-6296, a toll-free call.



LMS Ship Management, the company that manages vessels for Central Gulf, Sulphur Carriers and Waterman Steamship, wants to remind MM&P members that they offer their crewmembers a $75 reimbursement on the cost of purchasing certain slip-resistant shoes and boots for use aboard ship.

This offer has been in place for some time and LMS reports that “we have been pleased with the participation to date, but feel a reminder may be in order.” Their goal is for every crewmember to wear slip resistant footwear during working hours aboard their vessels.

The $75 reimbursement is available to each crewmember who provides LMS with an original receipt for the purchase of slip resistant footwear. In order for the crewmember to obtain the reimbursement, they must wear the shoes while on duty. Upon presentation of the receipt, the crewmember will be reimbursed on their pay voucher. The receipt will be retained by the Master and will remain aboard the vessel.


Vessels in the LMS footwear reimbursement program are:

  • Green Cove
  • Green Dale
  • Green Lake
  • Green Point
  • Atlantic Forest
  • Sulphur Enterprise
  • Energy Enterprise
  • SGT Matej C. Kocak
  • MAJ Stephen W. Pless, and
  • PFC Eugene A. Obregon


LMS notes that in order to receive reimbursement, crewmembers must purchase one of the following recommended brands:

  • WORX by Red Wing Slip Resistant Footwear
  • Caterpillar (must have steel toe & slip resistant sole)
  • Wolverine (must have steel toe and slip resistant sole)
  • Dunham Sierra Work Boot EH
  • Steel Toe Voyager
  • Georgia Boot 6- or 8-inch Safety Toe Boot
  • Dr. Marten’s (must have steel toe & slip resistant sole)


Of the boots listed above, Red Wing, Caterpillar and Wolverine boots are produced by US union labor.

Redwing’s Union-made products are: Red Wing shoes and boots, Red Wing motorcycle boots and Craftsman (Sears).

Wolverine World Wide manufactures boots under the Caterpillar brand using US union labor. (Other union made safety-shoe brands by Wolverine are the company’s Hy-Test, Durashock and Bates Military labels. The company’s Wolverine brand combat boots are also produced using US union labor.)

Most Dr. Marten’s shoes and boots are produced in the UK.

To find US, union-made products, visit the AFL-CIO Union Label Service and Trades website at and click on “Union Made Product Search”. To shop for union-made products online, go to



The Union Label recently went digital with a new website offering shoppers an array of union-made gifts, from clothing and chocolates to computers, games and greeting cards.

The website,, launches on the eve of the fall and winter holidays, when shoppers will spend an estimated $1 trillion on gifts, food, drinks and other seasonal items, explained Matt Bates, Secretary-Treasurer of the AFL-CIO Union Label & Service Trades Department. The all-union shopping site, however, will be a year-round operation because that is what consumers demand, he added.

“Shoppers spent $56 billion in Internet sales last year, and on-line spending is doubling every two to three years. Everyday we receive Email and calls from people who want to support good jobs by buying union-made goods and services. The website will reach millions of people, 24 hours a day, with a quick convenient way to shop union,” Bates said.

“The public is ready for this. People have seen millions of good jobs disappear and they are looking for ways to take a stand and make a difference,” he added.

The AFL-CIO will target the peak of the holiday shopping season by promoting “Buy Union Week” Nov. 26 through Dec. 5. The newly-launched, all-union shopping site will be a cornerstone of that campaign. MM&P has a link to the Shop Union Site on this website under “Links and Other Sources”.


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 or to subscribe 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.