Wheelhouse Weekly – December 27, 2016

December 28th 2016

Volume 21 . . . Number 52. . . Dec. 27, 2016


In This Issue:

Maritime Casualties:



News for MM&P Members:

Other News:


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MM&P wishes all readers of The Wheelhouse Weekly, on land and at sea, and their families and friends, a happy holiday season.

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The officers and crew of the MV MOKU PAHU received a moving send-off when the final load of sugar from Maui left Kahului Harbor earlier this month.

The departure of the MOKU PAHU–proudly crewed over the course of decades by MM&P licensed deck officers–marked the end of the era of sugar in the islands.

Hawaiian Commercial & Sugar Company began operations on Maui more than 140 years ago.

Over time, the operation grew into Hawaii’s largest farm, with 36,000 acres under cultivation.

In early 2016, parent company Alexander & Baldwin announced that the sugar plantation would transition to a new, diversified agriculture model, with sugar operations ceasing at the end of the year.

Longshore workers, harbor and dock personnel, tug captains, truck drivers, sugar refinery workers and even paddle boarders joined to salute the MOKU PAHU on Dec. 16 as she left on her final run.

“My heart swelled with pride and joy, and I am not too proud to admit that my eyes grew watery as we backed away from the berth and the entire harbor came to a stop to line up and salute the PAHU as she made her final departure out of the harbor,” wrote Captain Louis Terramorse Jr. and Chief Mate Robert Abbott in a letter to those who helped to fuel the ship, offload sugar and deliver food and other supplies over the years.

Also aboard the vessel on its final sugar run were Second Mate Kevin McCowan and Third Mate Daniel Baldi.

“I have been sailing now for 26 years and over 20 have been proudly served on board this Mighty MOKU PAHU as a part of the proud Hawaiian sugar trade,” Terramorse wrote.

“I have heard of a 21-gun salute but that was the first time I ever experienced a 21-horn and whistle salute. To see everyone on the dock and anywhere in the harbor just standing and seeing us off with all the drivers lined up in their vehicles blaring their horns…”

“My crew was honored and we all know this will be an event in our lives that we will never forget.”

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The Coast Guard’s National Maritime Center (NMC) reports that it is “continuing to experience a greater-than-average volume of applications for Merchant Mariner Credentials (MMC).”

The agency has released a bulletin outlining the actions it is taking in response.

The NMC says it is giving priority to applications with International Convention on Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping for Seafarers (STCW) endorsements.

NMC says that in accordance with Regulation I/2 of STCW, it is not able to extend the validity of these endorsements.

It says that given the backlog, applications containing MMCs with STCW endorsements “will be processed as quickly as possible.”

This includes credential applications with an endorsement that currently has a limitation of “Not valid after Dec. 31, 2016.”

For national endorsements, the Coast Guard says it is granting an extension for any mariner whose MMC expires on or after Dec. 1, 2016.

The extension is effective immediately and will be valid until Sept. 30, 2017.

The agency encourages mariners, employers and owner/operators to go to its website to print a copy of the letter explaining the extension.

A link to the letter is posted on the home page,

All mariners sailing exclusively under the authority of their national endorsement on inland or coastwise voyages are advised to carry a copy of this letter with their expired credentials and produce it upon the request of USCG personnel or other officials.

The agency says that expiration dates of new MMCs will be five years from the date of expiration of the previous MMC, in accordance with its current policy.

The agency says that the extension of validity of expired national credentials “provides the opportunity for a mariner to work under the authority of that credential during this period, so there is no loss of MMC validity associated with this decision.”

NMC reminds all professional mariners to continue to maintain a valid mariner medical certificate.

It adds that “nothing stated in this bulletin is intended to relieve mariners from their responsibility to submit timely applications… Mariners should continue to submit their renewal requests in time to receive a new MMC prior to the expiration date of their credentials.”

The bulletin says that mariners who have already submitted renewal applications do not need to resubmit their requests for renewal.

For additional information, the agency asks that you visit the NMC website, call 1-888-IASKNMC (427-5662), or e-mail

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A group of Chinese warships led by the LIAONING, China’s sole aircraft carrier, entered the top half of the South China Sea on Monday after passing south of Taiwan.

A spokesperson for the Ministry of Defense of Taiwan said the carrier, accompanied by five other vessels, had passed southeast of the Pratas Islands, which are controlled by Taiwan.

China has called the maneuver “a routine exercise.”

Earlier this month, Beijing expressed concern over a telephone call made by U.S. President-elect Donald Trump to the president of Taiwan.

China claims Taiwan as its own territory, ineligible for state-to-state relations. It also claims most of the South China Sea.

Neighboring countries, including Brunei, Malaysia, the Philippines, Taiwan and Vietnam, have territorial claims in the same area, through which about $5 trillion in international trade passes every year.

China has also expressed concerns recently about U.S. naval patrols near the islands it claims.

Earlier this month, a Chinese navy ship seized a U.S. underwater drone in the South China Sea, then later returned it.

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The new issue of The Master, Mate & Pilot will be in your mailbox soon. In the meantime, look for it online on

In this issue: winners of the 2016 MM&P election; U.S.-flag maritime industry salutes Masters, Mates & Pilots at AOTOS awards ceremony; big win for MM&P navy pilots in hard-fought legal case; MM&P joins other Nautilus Federation unions in establishing new legal support network for members.

To read the magazine online, go to and scroll down to “Latest News.”

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Two RO-ROs have sunk and a tanker has run aground in bad weather caused by Typhoon Nina.

The RO-RO STARLITE ATLANTIC sank in the Philippines off Batangas Bay on Dec. 26. Fifteen members of the crew were rescued; eight are still missing.

Also caught in the typhoon was the SHUTTLE RORO 5, which sank off the coast of Mabini, Batangas. All 25 crewmembers and passengers are said to have been rescued.

An oil tanker, MT OBAMA, ran aground off the island province of Marinduque.

The typhoon first made landfall in Catanduanes at 1830 on Dec. 25, with winds gusting to 235 kilometers an hour.

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The Antigua and Barbuda-flagged MV CABRERA ran aground on the northern coast of Andros Island, Greece, early in the morning hours of Dec. 24.

The Greek Coast Guard originally cited bad weather as the cause of the grounding, but the authorities now say the accident was the result of a navigational error.

The ship was en route from Larimna, Greece, to Tornio, Finland, with a cargo of iron.

All nine members of the crew were airlifted by a Greek Navy helicopter and transferred to local hospitals.

A sheen of oil measuring approximately 500 square meters was observed around the ship and along the coastline on Saturday, a spokesperson for the Coast Guard said.

Oil spill response was being hampered by weather in the area. The ship has since sunk.

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MM&P member John Metcalf, who served for years as an inspector for the International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF), received an official “thank you” from MM&P during a brief ceremony that was held at the union’s Boston Hall during the annual holiday party.

ITF inspectors check ships for problems relating to employment and living conditions, provide advice and assistance to seafarers, liaise with the Port State Control on safety matters and, when necessary, calculate owed wages and pressure shipowners to resolve the problems they uncover.

Working without any financial recompense, ITF inspectors are virtually “on call” 24/7 to assist seafarers in need.

During the ceremony, MM&P officials gave Metcalf, a retired member of the MM&P Offshore Group, a union-made MM&P clock in recognition of his contributions over the years to seafarers’ health, safety and welfare.

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Members employed or seeking employment aboard International Shipholding Corporation (ISH) vessels (Central Gulf Lines, Waterman Steamship Corporation, Sulphur Carriers) are urged to review posted notices in the hiring halls and in the Members’ Only section of

These notices were transmitted to contracted ISH vessels on Nov. 14, Nov. 22 and Dec. 27, 2016.

The same information has also been posted in the Members’ Only section of

To view the documents in the Members’ Only section of, go to, enter the Members’ Only site and, in the left-hand column, click on “Documents,” then on “Document Downloads” and then on “ISH Bankruptcy.”

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The Offshore Familiarization Course will be held in the New York/New Jersey Union Hall onTuesday, Jan. 10 and Wednesday, Jan. 11.

The course begins Tuesday at 0900. It begins Wednesday at 0930 and will be followed by the monthly membership meeting after the 1100 job call.

There is no sea-time requirement to take the course. All Offshore applicants, potential transferees from other membership groups and other interested Offshore members are encouraged to take the course as soon as possible.

If you would like to sign up for the Familiarization Course, please call the hall at 201-963-1900 or send an e-mail to

The hall is located at 570 Broad Street, Suite 701, Newark, NJ 07102.

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There will be an Offshore membership meeting in the MM&P New York/New Jersey Hall onWednesday, Jan. 11, immediately after the 1100 job call.

All Offshore members in the area are encouraged to attend the meeting.

The hall is located at 570 Broad Street, Suite 701, Newark, NJ 07102.

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There will be a membership meeting in the MM&P Los Angeles/Long Beach Hall on Wednesday, Jan. 11, immediately after job call.

All members in the area are encouraged to attend the meeting.

The LA/LB Hall is located at 533 N. Marine Ave., Suite A, Wilmington, CA 90744-5527. The phone number is: 310-834-7201.

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The MM&P Federal Credit Union, MM&P headquarters and all MM&P union halls will be closed on Friday, Dec. 30 and Monday, Jan. 2. The MM&P Plan Office will be closed on Jan. 2.

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IRAP participants should have already received their initial announcement letter mailed in September and their Transition Brochure mailed in November from Fidelity advising the participants how the Board of Trustees have decided to consolidate the IRAP investment programs into a single record keeper effective January 2017.

We will be posting this information on the union website in the Members’ Only section: click on Plan Documents and then on IRAP-Account Plan Changes Effective January 2017.

You must log in to view these documents.

We have also included Fidelity’s Transition Site link and Fidelity’s Transition Brainshark link which is an online workshop that may be accessed by the membership 24/7.

If you have any questions you can contact Fidelity at 1-866-84-UNION (1-866-848-6466).

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The U.S. Postal Service (USPS), under fire for years from corporate interest groups seeking to privatize it, could benefit from a change in pension funding requirements introduced by the outgoing Obama administration.

Without any taxpayer funding, the USPS serves 150 million households and businesses in the United States each day, providing affordable, universal mail service to all at a cost that is lower than that of mail service in most other industrialized countries.

The USPS is also America’s largest employer of unionized workers.

USPS leadership has for years argued that its mandatory payments into government retirement accounts are excessive because of the difference between the demographics of its own employees and those of the rest of the government.

Salary growth and workforce characteristics of the Postal Service differ significantly from those of other federal organizations since postal workers generally remain in a similar pay grade throughout their careers and generally die younger than the rest of the federal workforce.

Under the Obama administration’s change, the Postal Service could have its payments into the federal employee pension account calculated on salary and longevity assumptions regarding its own workforce–rather than those of the federal workforce as a whole.

While estimates have differed, postal reform advocates and the agency itself have said it has overpaid into the accounts to the tune of billions of dollars.

In recent years, the USPS has been attacked by well-funded private interests trying to dismantle it and privatize its most profitable business segments.

As part of this campaign, in 2006 Congress passed a law requiring the postal service to prepay future retiree health benefits 75 years in advance over a 10-year period–at a cost of approximately $5.5 billion per year. No other business or government agency is required to do this.

Without this burden, the USPS, which is entirely self-funded, would enjoy an operating surplus.

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MITAGS needs your current address! Have you moved recently? Did you remember to send MITAGS your new address for communications regarding courses? Please send your current contact information to or to the fax number below. New dedicated fax line for Admissions only: 1-443-568-1928. For all other MITAGS business, please continue to use: 410-859-5181.

For class availability or information on MITAGS courses and programs, contact Amanda Meadows, Admissions Coordinator, toll-free at 866-656-5568 or by e-mail:

Why not try our on-line calendar to register for class:

Please note the special addition to our on-campus schedule of MSC classes marked with an asterisk (*), which are not normally scheduled to be held at MITAGS.

AB – 4/17/17, 8/21/17, 10/16/17

AIS-1 – Automatic Identifications Systems Orientation: 5/23/17

ARPA-OIC – Automated Radar Plotting Aids: 1/24/17, 4/4/17, 8/8/17, 9/26/17

AZIPOD 2-Day – 3/6/17, 5/22/17, 10/16/17

BRM-35 – Bridge Resource Management: 1/30/17, 4/3/17, 6/19/17, 9/25/17, 11/13/17

BRMP –Bridge Resource Management for Pilots: 3/6/17, 5/22/17, 7/20/17, 11/14/17

BRMP-EMR –Bridge Resource Management for Pilots with Emergency Shiphandling: Contact Admissions

BRMP-Refresher – 3/8/17, 5/24/17, 7/17/17, 9/12/17, 10/18/17

BT – Basic Safety Training: 1/23/17, 4/10/17, 8/14/17, 10/9/17

BT-Revalidation (2-day) – 3/9/17, 5/4/17, 6/22/17, 8/21/17, 9/28/17, 11/8/17, 12/14/17

BT-Refresher (3-day) – 3/9/17, 5/4/17, 6/22/17, 8/20/17, 9/28/17, 11/8/17, 12/14/17

CHS-OIC – Cargo Handling Basic: 5/8/17, 10/30/17

[CMM – Chief Mate and Master Courses]

ADVNAV-CMM – Advanced Navigation (=ECDIS & VPEN): Contact Admissions

ADVSTB-CMM – Advanced Stability: 1/16/17, 4/10/17, 6/12/17, 7/31/17, 10/2/17, 12/11/17

ADVWX-CMM – Advanced Meteorology: 1/9/17, 3/13/17, 6/5/17, 8/7/17, 9/25/17, 12/4/17

CHS-CMM – Advanced Cargo Operations (2 weeks): 4/17/17, 10/9/17

ECDIS – Electronic Chart Display Information System: 1/23/17, 3/27/17, 6/26/17, 8/14/17,9/18/17

LMS – Leadership and Managerial Skills (Management Level – Formerly MCL-CMM) – 1/30/17,2/20/17, 5/22/17, 6/19/17, 8/21/17, 9/11/17

MPP-CMM – Marine Propulsion Plants: 4/3/17

SEC-APPS – Practical Defense Tactics: 3/13/17, 7/31/17, 11/6/17

SHMGT-CMM- Ship Management (2 weeks): 5/1/17, 10/30/17

SHS-ADV-I-CMM – Advanced Shiphandling (week 1): 1/16/17, 2/6/17, 3/6/17, 3/20/17, 4/10/17, 4/24/17, 5/8/17, 6/5/17, 7/17/17, 7/31/17, 8/14/17, 9/11/17, 10/2/17, 10/30/17, 12/4/17

SHS-ADV-II-CMM – Advanced Shiphandling (week 2): 1/23/17, 2/13/17, 3/13/17, 3/27/17, 4/17/17, 5/1/17, 5/15/17, 6/12/17, 7/24/17, 8/7/17, 8/21/17, 9/18/17, 10/9/17, 11/6/17, 12/11/17

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

VPEN-CMM – Voyage Planning & Electronic Navigation: 3/20/17, 10/23/17

WKP-CMM – Advanced Watchkeeping: 5/15/17, 11/13/17

CNAV-OIC – Celestial Navigation: 4/24/17, 11/6/17

CONT PLNG – Contingency Planning Workshop: Contact Admissions

CRISIS-COMMS – Crisis Communications: 3/2/17

CRSMGT – Crisis Management and Human Behavior – 7/11/17

CDMGT – Crowd Management – 7/10/17

DDE – Great Lakes: 1/30/17, 6/5/17

DPA – Contact Admissions

ECDIS-OIC – Contact Admissions

ECDIS for Pilots – 2/28/17, 5/24/17, 11/14/17

ERM – Engine Resource Management: 2/27/17, 7/10/17, 8/28/17, 10/16/17, 12/4/17

FF-BADV – Fire Fighting Combined Basic & Advanced: 1/23/17, 4/10/17, 8/14/17, 10/9/17

FF-ADV-REV – Advanced Fire Fighting Revalidation & Refresher: 3/7/17, 5/2/17, 6/20/17, 8/23/17, 9/26/17, 11/6/17, 12/12/17

FSM – Fatigue, Sleep, & Medications: 1/17/17, 4/4/17, 4/18/17, 9/12/17

GL-Pilot – Great Lakes Pilotage Familiarization: 1/6/17

GMDSS – Global Maritime Distress and Safety System: 3/6/17, 8/21/17

HAZ – Hazardous Materials (5 day): 6/26/17, 8/28/17, 11/27/17

LAP- 2/13/17, 9/11/17

LAP-Great Lakes – License Advancement Program – Great Lakes: 1/9/17

LAP-ORG3rd – License Advancement Program for Original 3rd Mate, Oceans, Any Gross
Ton License: 3/20/17, 6/5/17, 8/7/17, 12/4/17

LEG – Legal Aspects of Pilotage: 1/18/17, 3/7/17, 4/19/17, 9/13/17

LNG-TPIC – 12/4/17

LTS –Leadership and Teamworking Skills (Formerly MCL-OIC): 2/13/17, 4/3/17, 8/15/17, 9/25/17 (*2-Evening Session)

MEECE – Management of Electrical and Electronic Control: Contact Admissions

MED-PIC – Medical Person in Charge: 1/9/17, 3/20/17, 5/8/17, 7/10/17, 9/11/17, 10/23/17

MED-PIC-REF– Medical Person in Charge Refresher: 1/30/17, 4/24/17, 6/26/17, 8/28/17, 11/13/17, 12/4/17

MED-PRO – Medical Care Provider: 1/9/17, 3/20/17, 4/17/17, 5/8/17, 9/11/17, 10/23/17, 11/27/17

MED-DOT-DA – Dept. of Transportation Drug & Alcohol Testing: 1/14/17, 3/6/17, 5/1/17, 6/19/17, 7/16/17, 8/25/17, 9/25/17, 10/28/17, 12/11/17

MSA –Maritime Security Awareness: Contact Admissions

[MSC – Military Sealift Command Courses]

MSC-CBRD-1 – Military Sealift Command Chemical, Biological, Radiological Defense Orientation (Basic): 2/23/17, 6/9/17, 8/9/17, 10/2/17

MSC-DC – Military Sealift Command Damage Control: 2/21/17, 6/7/17, 8/7/17, 10/3/17

*MSC-ENVPRO – 2/26/17, 6/4/17, 8/6/17, 10/1/17

*MSC-FF-HELO – 6/5/17, 8/13/17, 10/16/17

MSC-SMA – Military Sealift Command Small Arms Qualification: 1/9/17, 2/27/17, 6/12/17, 7/17/17, 8/13/17, 10/9/17

*MSC-Security Watch Basic – 2/24/17, 6/10/17, 8/10/17, 10/5/17

*MSC-Security Watch Advanced – 1/13/17, 3/3/17, 6/16/17, 7/21/17, 8/12/17, 10/7/17

*MSC-Ship’s Reaction Force – 1/16/17, 6/17/17, 7/24/17, 8/18/17, 10/13/17

NSAP-MMP – Navigational Skills Assessment Program-MM&P – 1/25/17, 3/22/17, 5/9/17

ROR-1 – Radar Observer Renewal: 1/23/17, 8/17/17, 9/25/17

ROR-1N – Radar Observer Renewal Evening Classes: 1/11/17, 2/1/17, 2/8/17, 2/22/17, 3/8/17, 3/22/17, 4/5/17, 4/19/17, 5/3/17, 5/10/17, 5/17/17, 6/7/17, 6/21/17, 7/12/17, 7/26/17, 8/9/17, 8/23/17, 9/20/17, 10/4/17, 10/18/17, 11/1/17, 11/8/17, 11/15/17, 11/29/17, 12/6/17, 12/13/17

ROU-OIC – Radar Observer Program – Unlimited: 1/16/17, 7/31/17

SAR-OIC – Search & Rescue – 4/10/17, 10/16/17

SHS-BAS-OIC – Basic Shiphandling: 2/20/17, 5/15/17, 8/28/17, 10/23/17

SHS-EMR5 – Emergency Shiphandling-5 Day – 2/20/17, 5/1/17, 6/26/17, 9/25/17, 11/27/17

SMS – Contact Admissions

STB-OIC – Ship Construction and Basic Stability: 1/9/17, 8/7/17

TCNAV/CO – Terrestrial Navigation and Compasses: 1/30/17, 7/10/17

TPIC – Tankerman Person in Charge: 2/13/17, 8/7/17

TRAC-TUG-2: Contact Admissions

TTT – Contact Admissions

VPDSD – Vessel Personnel with Designated Security Duties: Contact Admissions

VSO – Vessel Security Officer:, 2/14/17, 4/17/17, 5/22/17

WKP-OIC – Watchkeeping (Operational Level): 2/20/17

WX-OIC –Meteorology (Operational Level): 3/20/17

Back to Stories Covered


Winter-Spring 2017

For registration, please contact our registrar, Mary McGhee, at 206.838.1126 or You can also view our schedule and enroll online at

January 2017

9-13 ECDIS
9-13 Engine Resource Management
9-13 Meteorology – Operational Level
16-20 Leadership & Managerial Skills
16-20 Basic Shiphandling
16-20 Medical Care Provider
16-27 Medical Person-In-Charge
21-23 Basic Training Refresher
23-24 ECDIS for Pilots
23-27 Train the Trainer
23-27 Basic Training
27th Leadership & Teamworking Skills
30th Vessel Personnel w/ Designated Security Duties
30-2 Advanced Firefighting
30-2 ARPA
30-17 Terrestrial & Coastal Navigation w/ Compasses

February 2017

3rd Radar Renewal
6-7 ECDIS for Pilots
6-10 Engine Resource Management
10th Vessel Personnel w/ Designated Security Duties
11-13 Basic Training Refresher
13-17 ECDIS
13-17 Basic Training
20-24 Leadership & Managerial Skills
20-24 Medical Care Provider
21-23 Integrated Electronic Navigation
27-2 Advanced Firefighting

March 2017

2nd Radar Renewal
4-6 Basic Training Refresher
6th Leadership & Teamworking Skills
6-10 Radar Observer Unlimited
6-10 Basic Training
13th Vessel Personnel w/ Designated Security Duties
13-16 Advanced Firefighting
13-17 ECDIS
13-17 Tankerman Person-In-Charge
13-17 Meteorology – Operational Level
18-20 Basic Training Refresher
20-24 Engine Resource Management
20-24 Basic Construction and Stability
21st Radar Renewal
21-23 Security Officer – Vessel, Company, and Facility
22-24 Integrated Electronic Navigation
27th Flashing Light
27-31 Leadership & Managerial Skills
28-31 ARPA

April 2017

3-4 ECDIS for Pilots
3-7 Search & Rescue / Emergency Procedures
3-14 GMDSS
8-10 Basic Training Refresher
10-14 Basic Training
10-14 Medical Care Provider
10-21 Medical Person-In-Charge
10-21 Watchkeeping – Operational Level
17th Vessel Personnel w/ Designated Security Duties
17-20 Advanced Firefighting
18th Radar Renewal
22-24 Basic Training Refresher
24-28 Voyage Planning and Electronic Navigation (VPEN)
24-5 GMDSS

May 2017

2-4 Rating Forming Part of a Navigational Watch
6-8 Basic Training Refresher
8-12 ECDIS
8-12 Basic Training
8-12 Marine Propulsion Plants
15th Vessel Personnel w/ Designated Security Duties
15-18 Advanced Firefighting
15-19 Able Seaman
15-26 Watchkeeping – Operational Level
15-26 Celestial Navigation
16-18 Integrated Electronic Navigation
20-22 Basic Training Refresher
23rd Radar Renewal
30th Leadership & Teamworking Skills
31-2 Security Officer – Vessel, Company, and Facility

June 2017

5-9 Medical Care Provider
5-9 Basic Shiphandling
5-16 Medical Person-In-Charge
10-12 Basic Training Refresher
12-16 Basic Training
12-16 Cargo Handling and Stowage – Operational Level
19th Vessel Personnel w/ Designated Security Duties
20th Radar Renewal
19-22 Advanced Firefighting
19-23 Advanced Watchkeeping
19-23 Leadership & Managerial Skills
24-26 Basic Training Refresher
26-30 Engine Resource Management
27-29 Integrated Electronic Navigation

Back to Stories Covered

The MM&P Wheelhouse Weekly is the official electronic newsletter of the International Organization of Masters, Mates, & Pilots, ILA, AFL-CIO, 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 © 2016. Articles can be reprinted without prior permission if credit is given to The MM&P WheelhouseWeekly. For subscriptions, address changes or messages to the editor or to MM&P headquarters, e-mail Back issues of The Weekly are posted on