News

Wheelhouse Weekly – December 1st, 2020

December 2nd 2020

Volume 25… Number 48… Dec. 1, 2020

STORIES COVERED

In This Issue:

Also:

Job Opportunity:

Mark Your Calendar:

Plus:

News From the MM&P Plans Office:

MM&P Eligible Voters & All Ports:

And:


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MM&P, TRANSPORTATION LABOR, MOURN THE PASSING OF TTD PRESIDENT LARRY WILLIS

Larry Willis, president of the AFL-CIO Transportation Trades Department, died Sunday as the result of injuries sustained in a Nov. 21 accident, when his bicycle was struck by a car. He was 53 years old.

“MM&P, the labor movement and working people have lost a true friend and advocate,” said MM&P President Don Marcus.

“Larry’s tragic loss leaves a hole in the labor community and in our hearts. He will be terribly missed.”

“He was not motivated by fame or fortune—his end goal was always about doing the most good for the greatest number of people,” said TTD Secretary-Treasurer Greg Regan.

“Though his time with us has been cut short, Larry’s legacy will live on in the legislation he helped shape, the policy makers he reached through thoughtful, sophisticated arguments, the colleagues and staff he influenced and mentored, and the working people he dedicated his life to.”

Under Willis’s leadership, TTD played an active role in the annual effort to secure full funding for the Maritime Security Program. He was a fierce defender of cargo preference laws and the Jones Act.

“When we need sealift capacity in times of war and times of national emergency, those flag-of-convenience vessels with foreign crews—I promise you—will not be there,” he testified earlier this year at a Senate hearing on the Jones Act.

“The collective hearts of America’s labor movement, particularly transportation unions, are broken by the tragic death of our brother, TTD President Larry Willis,” said AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka.

“Larry was respected across the aisle and throughout our movement.”

“His passing is a reminder that we cannot take a single day for granted, and the AFL-CIO will honor his memory by fighting for the issues he championed and the people he loved.”

“Our thoughts and prayers are with Larry’s wife and daughter, along with the entire TTD family, during this difficult time.”

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“COVID-19’S IMPACT ON MARINERS COULD LEAD TO MANY QUITTING THE INDUSTRY,” NAUTILUS WARNS

Ninety percent of British mariners have been affected by the pandemic and one in two is now considering leaving maritime, according to Nautilus International.

Nautilus International and MM&P are both members of the Nautilus Federation, a group of 22 unions representing maritime and shipping professionals worldwide.

The federation is calling on governments and employers to work together to facilitate as many crew changes as possible throughout December to “deliver seafarers home for Christmas.”

Some crewmembers, in fact, now face a second Christmas away from home.

Today, the unions have launched a petition that calls on governments and the United Nations to work together to ensure that seafarers are designated as key workers in every country, and to allow crew changes to take place.

An estimated 400,000 are now stranded on ships in a crew change crisis that threatens trade and maritime safety.

Research by Nautilus shows that nearly 90 percent of British seafarers have been negatively affected by the crew change crisis: some have lost their jobs, some have had their pay cut or their working conditions worsened, some are stranded at sea and others are stranded at home, unable to join their vessels.

Since the beginning of the pandemic, Nautilus Federation affiliates have been inundated with requests from their members for support and advice.

“Being a seafarer for 42 years did not prepare me for the mental stress of having a Covid-19 susceptible partner back home completely isolated and alone for five months,” said one. “I was only expected to be away for eight weeks.”

“I was stuck at home for over seven months with no salary,” said another. “I had to borrow money from my family and sell personal belongings to survive.”

“My husband is currently at sea, having done twice his contracted time,” said the wife of one Nautilus member.

“He is now suffering with anxiety and I am extremely worried about him. He has no way of getting help via telephone, decent nutritional meals, a care package or human contact.”

“Our members work hard to supply food, medicines—and presents—to UK households,” said Nautilus International General Secretary Mark Dickinson.

“They often do so without much acknowledgement or public recognition.”

“This year, the coronavirus pandemic has given rise to unprecedented levels of stress, fatigue and safety concerns due to countries closing their borders and preventing them from seeing loved ones.”

“Now many seafarers are left re-considering their very future in the industry.”

“Normally at this time of year we remind people that seafarers deliver them Christmas. This year we are calling on everyone to deliver seafarers home for Christmas.”

The Nautilus Federation is a group of 22 likeminded trade unions in shipping and inland waterways transport that have come together to improve and expand the services they offer to their members.

All Nautilus Federation affiliates are also affiliated with or recognized by the International Transport Workers’ Federation.

Please sign the “Crew Change for Christmas” petition, which can be found here: https://www.megaphone.org.uk/petitions/crew-change-for-christmas

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NEW STUDY FINDS WIDESPREAD DISCREPANCIES IN MLC HOURS OF WORK REPORTING

A study conducted by World Maritime University has found widespread discrepancies in the reporting of hours of work and rest as required under the Maritime Labor Convention.

The results of the study were reported earlier this month in Maritime Executive.

The authors of the study said interviews with about 80 stakeholders—mariners, ship operators, port state control officials and employers—confirm existing literature and suggest that “recording malpractices are widespread.”

The vast majority of respondents, 85 percent, said the underlying cause of misreporting is a shortage of manpower.

The researchers said the manpower shortage was primarily caused by three factors: understaffing by ship operators, under-regulation by flag states and insufficient port state enforcement.

A significant percentage of those interviewed said that the International Maritime Organization’s “principles of minimum safe manning” were infrequently used in decision-making.

According to the study, to navigate the mismatch between manning and workload, mariners reported having developed a “culture of adjustment.”

Many said they do the work as required, then adjust their MLC hours of rest paperwork as needed to demonstrate compliance.

Inconsistencies often go undetected, the researchers said, because port state control inspectors have so many other high-priority items to check.

“For seafarers, the sole objective of recording work/rest hours is to confirm compliance to avoid disruptions to vessel operations and not to confirm actual working time onboard,” they wrote.

“They seem unable to prioritize their allegiance: ship interests or regulations. They are trapped in cognitive dissonance, where deviance is normalized.”

Respondents said the problem permeates recordkeeping, extending to logbook entries, drills, maintenance records and oil record book entries.

If left unaddressed, the researchers warned, a culture of inaccurate reporting and incomplete enforcement “will be increasingly detrimental to the shipping industry and international maritime governance.”

To address the problem, they suggested the implementation of new, legally binding minimum manning provisions at the ILO and IMO level, along with a revision of the current MLC hour limits.

The team reported that they had heard “stark criticism” from most stakeholders regarding the thresholds specified in the existing hours of work regulations.

They aren’t “based on any scientific evidence,” commented a representative of one employer group. “It’s a social agreement between Parties at IMO. It has nothing to do with human physiology.”

“It’s a useless instrument really, if I have to be that black and white about it,” the person added.

The WMU study is posted at https://commons.wmu.se/lib_reports/66/

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US ATTORNEY’S OFFICE CHARGES 31 IN TEST-FIXING SCAM AT LOUISIANA REC

The US Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Louisiana has indicted 31 people as part of an investigation into a test-score-fixing scheme at the US Coast Guard regional exam center in New Orleans.

One of those under indictment was employed by the Coast Guard as a credentialing specialist at the New Orleans REC.

In that capacity, the person was authorized to enter scores for mariners’ license exams in the Coast Guard’s computer system.

According to the indictment, for over seven years, the individual engaged in a scheme to defraud the United States, taking bribes to fix exam scores which enabled license applicants to bypass the required testing.

“This resulted in the applicants illegally obtaining a range of licenses for officer-level positions, including the most important positions on vessels, such as master, chief mate, and chief engineer,” the government alleges.

That individual has been charged with using “a network of intermediaries” to connect with people willing to pay to have false exam scores entered into the agency’s system.

According to the indictment, two former Coast Guard employees acted as intermediaries, as did four other individuals who worked in the maritime industry.

The Justice Department has also charged 24 current and former merchant mariners with unlawfully receiving officer-level licenses.

“As alleged in the indictment, each of these individuals received false scores… with some receiving false scores on multiple occasions,” the Attorney’s Office said in its Nov. 20 release.

The charge for the perpetrators of the scam is conspiracy to defraud the United States.

The others have been charged with receiving, possessing, and intending to unlawfully use mariner licenses to which they were not lawfully entitled.

If convicted, each defendant faces a sentence of up to five years’ imprisonment, a $250,000 fine, three years of supervised release and a mandatory $100 special assessment.

The United States Attorney’s Office reiterated that the indictment is merely a charge and that the defendants’ guilt must be proven beyond a reasonable doubt.

This case is being investigated by the Coast Guard Investigative Service. Assistant US Attorney Chandra Menon is in charge of the prosecution.

For more details, see the press release posted at: https://tinyurl.com/MandevilleRecScam

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HOUTHIS APPROVE UN PLAN TO EVALUATE CONDITION OF LEAKING OIL TANKER OFF YEMENI COAST

A United Nations plan to assess the state of a decaying oil tanker off the coast of Yemen has finally received approval from Houthi authorities.

The tanker, FSO SAFER, has been moored for years off the Yemeni coast and according to the UN, it has deteriorated to the point that it is now at risk of exploding.

The 1974-built tanker was purchased by the Yemeni government in the 1980s to store oil for export.

It has had no crew aboard for several years because of the conflict raging in the area.

Documents obtained by The Associated Press show that seawater has entered the engine compartment, causing damage to pipelines. Drone footage shows that sections of the vessel are covered with rust.

The inert gas that prevents flammable material from accumulating in its 34 tanks has leaked out, the UN says.

If it ruptures or explodes, all parties agree, its cargo of 1.1 million barrels of crude oil will cause massive environmental damage to Red Sea marine life and disrupt ship traffic.

The UN has been trying for years to remove the oil from FSO SAFER and bring it into port, but the Iranian-backed Houthis and the Saudi-led coalition have blocked all attempts.

Since 2015, maintenance of the ship has come to a complete halt.

Because of the proximity of the tanker to the contested port of Hodeida, fears have grown that a stray shell or bullet could hit it, causing a massive explosion or oil leak into the Red Sea.

Over the past two years, the Yemeni government in exile, the UN and western diplomats have been sounding the alarm and putting pressure on the Houthis to secure the tanker—but until this week, to no avail.

Now that the Houthis have approved the UN plan, staff and equipment could arrive at the tanker by late January or early February, according to a UN spokesperson.

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WASHINGTON STATE PILOT EXAM FOR GRAYS HARBOR AND PUGET SOUND DISTRICTS

On Monday, April 5, 2021, in Seattle, the Washington State Board of Pilotage Commissioners will administer to qualified applicants a written examination to be followed by a simulator evaluation for those eligible.

Applicants who meet or exceed the cut score set by the Board on the written examination and simulator evaluation will be placed on a waiting list to be called into a pilot training program as needed.

Successful completion of a pilot training program is required to qualify for issuance of a state pilot license for the applicable pilotage district.

Applications to sit for the exam will be available on www.pilotage.wa.gov, or by written or e-mail request to:

Board of Pilotage Commissioners
2901 Third Avenue, Suite 500
Seattle, WA 98121

Fax: 206-515-3906

E-mail: PilotageInfo@wsdot.wa.gov

Any inquiries regarding the application contents or process must be made in writing.

The complete application must be postmarked to the Board at 2901 Third Avenue, Suite 500, Seattle, WA 98121, by March 1, 2021 unless prior written permission to file an application at a later time is obtained from the Board.

Due to Covid-19 policies and procedures, the Board Office is not open to the public so you may not deliver your application in person this year.

For more information, go to: https://pilotage.wa.gov/exam-information.html

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TWO MM&P CAPTAINS WILL PARTICIPATE IN DEC. 3 WEBINAR ON JAMMING AND SPOOFING IN THE MARITIME ENVIRONMENT

The Department of Transportation is sponsoring a free virtual workshop on GPS jamming and spoofing in the maritime environment.

The event will start at 1:00 pm New York Time on Dec. 3.

Among the panelists will be MM&P members Captain William Westrem (APL PRESIDENT EISENHOWER) and Captain Richard G. Hoey (MAERSK MONTANA).

You must register to attend the event. To find out more and to register, go to:
https://tinyurl.com/maritimejammingandspoofing

Many thanks to Dennis Bryant and Bryant’s Maritime Newsletter for bringing this to our attention (https://brymarconsulting.com/)

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UNION-MADE HOLIDAY GIFT IDEAS: SHIRTS, MASKS, GIFT BASKETS AND MORE

Give a unique gift this holiday season with Labor 411’s union-made gift baskets, masks, shirts, and more.

Union-made gift baskets include the chocolate collection, the wine and cheese collection and the bourbon collection.

Labor 411’s store offers a variety of products made in the United States by union members.

Show your union pride by shopping union!

For a limited time, all orders of $150 or more get free shipping.

Labor 411 believes that by making the choice to spend money on products and services that are made in our country by workers who are treated fairly and paid living wages, we are helping to protect the middle class, strengthen our national economy and build a stronger America.

Note: Labor 411 is an independent organization that offers union-made products and services. Labor 411 is not part of MM&P. The Wheelhouse Weekly is simply providing this information as a service to our members.

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LAST DAY FOR PROCESSING VACATION AND PRO PAYMENTS

The Plan Office received approval to close the year-end Internal Revenue Service and company reports and to process Vacation and PRO payments for 2020 no later than Friday, December 18, 2020 at 3:00 p.m. EST.

All requests for 2020 Vacation and PRO payments received after this date and time will be held until Monday, January 4, 2021 for processing and will therefore be taxable in 2021.

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NOTICE OF EXTENDED BALLOTING PERIOD

The following is a notice to all MM&P Eligible Voters from the International Ballot Committee.

The MM&P Voting Instructions that accompanied your ballot indicated that, in order to be counted, ballots must be received by 9:00 a.m. Eastern Standard Time on Wednesday, December 16, 2020.

Due to a delay relating to the date on which the ballots were mailed, the balloting period has been extended.

Accordingly, in order to be counted, your ballot must be received by 9:00 a.m. Eastern Standard Time on Monday, December 28, 2020.

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MITAGS-EAST ACADEMIC NOTES

Please be advised that as of the June MATES Trustees meeting, the number of sea days required to receive covered training at MITAGS will now be 42 days instead of 30.

This temporary change has been necessitated by the COVID-19 pandemic with regards to permissible class size, available staffing and cost saving measures. The measure will remain in place through the end of 2020 and be reviewed prior to the end of this year.

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

Class dates followed by an * are full

AB – Able Seaman – 1/25/21, 4/12/21

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

ARPA-OIC (4-Day) – Automated Radar Plotting Aids: Not currently scheduled

AZIPOD (2-Day) – Not currently scheduled

BRM-35 – Bridge Resource Management: Not currently scheduled

BRMP –Bridge Resource Management for Pilots (2-Day): 1/26/21, 3/8/21, 4/13/21, 4/29/21, 5/17/21
Online: 2/2/21, 4/20/21

BRMP-EMR –Bridge Resource Management for Pilots with Emergency Shiphandling – (Now also included in BRMP-Refresher) (3-Day): 3/10/21, 4/26/21

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

BT – Basic Safety Training: 1/18/21

BT-Revalidation (2-day) (Must have 1 year of sea service in last 5 years) – 12/15/20, 2/9/21, 4/27/21, 6/22/21

BT-Refresher (3-day) – 12/14/20, 2/9/21, 4/27/21

CHS-OIC – Cargo Handling Basic: 10/26/20

[CMM – Chief Mate and Master Courses]

ADVSTB-CMM – Advanced Stability: 1/18/21, 3/8/21, 5/3/21, 6/21/21

ADVWX-CMM – Advanced Meteorology: 12/7/20, 1/25/21, 4/26/21, 6/14/21

CHS-CMM – Advanced Cargo Operations (10 Days): 3/15/21

CM-OPS 1 – Chief Mate Operations – Week 1: 2/1/21, 6/7/21

CM-OPS 2 Maersk – Chief Mate Operations II Maersk Specific: 2/8/21, 6/14/21

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

ECDIS – Electronic Chart Display Information Systems: 1/25/21, 6/7/21

LMS – Leadership and Managerial Skills (Management Level – Formerly MCL-CMM): 2/1/21, 5/10/21

MPP-CMM – Marine Propulsion Plants: 4/12/21
(DCS-1 available on request – contact Admissions)

SEC-APPS – Practical Defense Tactics: Not Currently Scheduled

SHMGT-CMM- Ship Management: 2/22/21

SHS-ADV-I-CMM – Advanced Shiphandling (week 1): 1/30/20, 1/11/21, 2/1/21, 2/22/21, 3/15/21, 4/19/21, 5/10/21, 6/7/21

SHS-ADV-II-CMM – Advanced Shiphandling (week 2): 12/7/20, 1/18/21, 2/8/21, 3/1/21, 3/22/21, 4/26/21, 5/17/21, 6/14/21

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

VPEN-CMM – Voyage Planning & Electronic Navigation: 4/19/21

WKP-CMM – Advanced Watchkeeping: 3/1/21

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: Not currently scheduled

CIW-SMS – Continual Improvement Workshop: Successful Safety Management (2-Day) – Not currently scheduled

CNAV-OIC (15-Day) – Celestial Navigation: Not currently scheduled

CRISIS-COMMS – Crisis Communications (1-Day): 3/10/21

CRSMGT – Crisis Management and Human Behavior (1-Day) – 2/26/21

CDMGT – Crowd Management (1-Day) – 2/25/21

CSE – Confined Space Entry (3-Day): Not currently scheduled

CSE-AWR – Confined Space Entry Awareness (2-Day): 5/20/21

CY-MAR – Cyber-Skilled Mariner ** This course is NOT covered by the MATES Program ** – Not currently scheduled

DDE – Great Lakes (20-Day): 2/22/21, 4/19/21

ECDIS for Pilots (2-Day) – 12/3/20

ERM – Engine Resource Management: 12/7/20, 4/19/21

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

FF-BADV – Fire Fighting Combined Basic & Advanced: 1/18/21

FF-ADV-Rev (1-day) (Must have 1 year of sea service in last 5 years) – Advanced Fire Fighting Revalidation: 12/17/20, 2/8/21, 4/26/21, 6/21/21

FF-ADV-REF (2-day) – Advanced Fire Fighting Refresher: 12/12/20, 2/12/21, 4/30/21

FSM – Fatigue, Sleep, & Medications (1-Day): 1/26/21, 4/13/21
Online: Not currently scheduled

GL-Pilot – Great Lakes Pilotage Familiarization (2-Day): 3/13/21

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

HAZ – Hazardous Materials (5 day): 4/12/21

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

LAP – License Advancement Program for Mate to Master (20-Day): 1/11/21

LAP-Great Lakes – License Advancement Program – Great Lakes (15-Day): 3/8/21

LAP-ORG3rd – License Advancement Program for Original 3rd Mate, Oceans, Any Gross
Ton License (15-Day): 4/12/21

LEG – Legal Aspects of Pilotage (1-Day): 1/27/21, 3/9/21, 4/14/21, 4/29/21

LNG-TPIC (10-Day) – 1/11/21

LTS –Leadership and Teamworking Skills (Formerly MCL-OIC) (1-Day): Not currently scheduled

MEECE – Management of Electrical and Electronic Control Equipment (Assessments not included): 4/12/21

MED-PIC – Medical Person in Charge (10-Day): 1/25/21*, 4/12/21

MED-PIC-REF– Medical Person in Charge Refresher: 1/11/21

MED-PRO – Medical Care Provider: 1/25/21*

MED-DOT-DA – Dept. of Transportation Drug & Alcohol Testing (1-Day): 12/18/20, 1/16/21, 1/30/21, 4/17/21, 5/15/21, 6/24/21

[MSC – Military Sealift Command Courses]

MSC-CBRD-1 – Military Sealift Command Chemical, Biological, Radiological Defense Orientation (Basic) (1-Day): 2/24/21, 5/17/21, 6/11/21

MSC-DC – Military Sealift Command Damage Control (2-day): 2/25/21, 5/18/21, 6/9/21

MSC-ENVPRO (1-Day) – 2/28/21, 6/13/21

MSC-FF-HELO (2-Day) – 6/21/21

MSC-SMA – Military Sealift Command Small Arms Qualifications (4-Day): 1/11/21, 3/1/21, 5/10/21, 6/14/21

MSC-Security Watch Basic (1-Day/ 8-hour) – 3/1/21 (Evening), 5/9/21 (Evening), 6/12/21 (Evening)

MSC-Security Watch Advanced (1-Day) – 1/15/21, 3/5/21, 5/9/21, 6/12/21

MSC-Ship’s Reaction Force (3-Day) – 1/16/21, 3/6/21, 5/14/21, 6/18/21

NDMS-ENAV – Navigational Decision Making Series – Best Practice in eNav (3-Day) – Not currently scheduled

NSAP-MMP – Navigational Skills Assessment Program-MM&P (2-Day) –12/14/20*, 12/16/20*, 1/18/21, 3/15/21*, 4/20/21, 4/22/21, 6/22/21, 6/24/21

PSC – Personal Survival Craft (5-Day) – 2/1/21

PSC-REF – Personal Survival Craft Refresher (2-Day) – 12/10/20

RFPNW – Ratings Forming Part of a Navigational Watch (3-day) – 1/13/21

ROR-1 – Radar Observer Renewal (1-Day): Not currently scheduled

ROR-1N – Radar Observer Renewal Evening Classes (1-Night): 12/14/20, 1/26/21, 4/13/21, 4/30/21

ROU-OIC – Radar Observer Program – Unlimited: 5/24/21

SAR – Search & Rescue – (Now with OIC and CMM assessments) (3-Day): Not currently scheduled

SHS-BAS-OIC – Basic Shiphandling: 5/3/21

SHS-EMR5 – Emergency Shiphandling (5 Day) – 12/14/20*, 1/25/21*, 4/12/21*, 6/14/21

STB-OIC – Ship Construction and Basic Stability: 5/17/21

TCNAV/CO – Terrestrial Navigation and Compasses (15-Day): 6/7/21

TPIC – Tankerman Person in Charge: 3/8/21, 4/26/21

TRAC-TUG-2 (2-Day): 3/8/21

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

VPDSD – Vessel Personnel with Designated Security Duties (1-Day): 2/27/21, 6/15/21

VSO – Vessel Security Officer (3-Day): 2/22/21, 6/16/21

WKP-OIC – Watchkeeping (Operational Level) (10-Day): Not currently scheduled

WX-OIC –Meteorology (Operational Level): Not currently scheduled

MITAGS-WEST ACADEMIC NOTES

Schedule of Courses – Please also see our schedule and enroll online at www.mitags.org. For Registration Contact our Admissions Department: 206.441.2880 or admissions@mates.org

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MITAGS-WEST ACADEMIC NOTES

Schedule of Courses – Please also see our schedule and enroll online at www.mitags.org. For Registration Contact our Admissions Department: 206.441.2880 or admissions@mates.org.

December 2020

4, 7-8 Basic Training Refresher
7-8 Basic Training Revalidation
7-11 Medical Care Provider
7-18 Medical Person-In-Charge
9th Advanced Firefighting Revalidation
10-11 Advanced Firefighting Refresher

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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 © 2020. 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 communications@bridgedeck.org. Back issues of The Weekly are posted on www.bridgedeck.org