Wheelhouse Weekly – February 02, 2001

February 2nd 2001


Bridging the Information Gap With E-NewsYou Can Use

VOLUME5. . . . . NUMBER 5. . . February 2, 2001




Richard Plant, Director of Special Projects, reports that MM&P is
supplying three junior deck officers to the five-year old UK-flag vesselWAVE SENTINEL. This cable laying/repair vessel is operated by Global MarineSystems Limited, Chelmsford, England. The company has an office in FortLauderdale, FL.

The MM&P contract to supply deck officers to this vessel, basedin Baltimore, MD, will run for two years with the possibility of a one-yearextension. The contract includes MM&P offshore benefits. Richard Planthas been working with Global Marine in reaching this contract since Sept.2000.

Global Marine won a two-year cable repair contract by bidding againstother cable laying/repair companies. The WAVE SENTINEL will have UK andMM&P deck officers, UK and MEBA engineers and SIU crew. It is expected,by years end, that not only the three junior deck officer positions willbe manned by MM&P but the Chief Mate position as well.

Members interested in bidding on the 3rd mate relief job when neededfor cable repair operations will need to acquire a UK Certificate of EquivalentCompetency (CEC). Contact Richard Plant at for moreinfo. It is reported that it takes approximately one month to receive thiscertificate which requires a USCG license, STCW-95 certification and costsapproximately $80.

The WAVE SENTINEL arrived in Baltimore on Dec.15, 2000 and went directlyinto the Baltimore Marine Industries (BMI) Shipyard. She went on sea trialsfrom Dec. 29 through Jan. 2 with 3 MM&P deck officers aboard – 2 permanentmates and 1 relief mate out of the New York union hall. At 0700 Thursday,Feb. 1, 2001, the vessel departed Baltimore on her first cable repair job- destination, the Caribbean. Her duration of this first voyage will be3 to 4 weeks with a stop in the Bahamas.

Richard Plant is working diligently with Global Marine in hopes of expandingjob opportunities for MM&P deck officers to be utilized aboard otherGlobal Marine Systems Limited cable laying/repair vessels. Presently, GlobalMarine is interested in utilizing one additional Chief Mate aboard oneof their other vessels and to have a Chief Mate aboard the WAVE SENTINEL,or her replacement, by November of this year.

In November of this year, it is planned that the WAVE SENTINEL willbe replaced with a new build, presently under construction in Holland.The WAVE SENTINEL will then return to her responsibility of cable layingwherever assigned by the company. Congratulations to Richard Plant andto the MM&P officials who assisted on this latest contract acquisition.

MM&PWheelhouse Weekly


At the first Offshore Advisory Committee (OAC) and General Executive Board(GEB) meeting of the new year held in Jan. 2001, it was discussed thata Vessel Crewing Questionnaire be created.   While mariners areawaiting their vacation check to be processed they are requested to fillout this form.

The form is to be utilized to collect information about ALL MM&Pmariners regarding their level of qualifications acquired, desired andneeded. This will allow MM&P to adequately train, bid on and providemanpower for potential future jobs.

It is asked that all MM&P members cooperate in filling out thisform to allow an accurate database to be established. Forms are presentlybeing printed and will be provided to all union halls early in Feb.

Any questions regarding this form should be directed to Richard Plant,Director of Special Projects at rplant@bridgedeck.orgwho will be maintaining this database

MM&PWheelhouse Weekly


The MM&P is pleased to be able to step up to the plate and help outthe Marine Engineers Beneficial Association as they deal with a job actionin Port Everglades, FL. On Feb. 1, a MEBA bargaining unit of port engineersat GFC Crane Consulting in Port Everglades was locked out. Until the lockout,MEBA had been engaged in continuing negotiations for a successor contractwith GFC to the one which ran from 1995 until its expiration in August2000. GFC originally voluntarily recognized MEBA as the bargaining representativein 1993.

MM&P Offshore Gulf VP Capt. Robert Groh and Port Everglades RepresentativeDuane Koran have instituted an “open door” policy for MEBA at the MM&P’sPort Everglades Union Hall while they work to resolve this issue. MEBA’sefforts, which include informational pickets, are being coordinated outof the Port Everglades Hall by MEBA’s Jacksonville Representative, JohnHaarmann.

MM&PWheelhouse Weekly


The MM&P has filed Unfair Labor Practice charges with the RegionalDirector of Region 15 of the National Labor Relations Board charging GuidryBrothers Towing Company with unfair labor practices in trying to blockthe organizing efforts of Offshore Mariners United (OMU).

The AFL-CIO affiliated OMU is a federation of five long-standing Americanmaritime unions which include the MM&P. As previously reported in theWheelhouse Weekly, the OMU has been engaged in a campaign to help offshoremariners in the Gulf region in Louisiana win union representation and becomepart of the movement to improve living and working standards for area mariners.

Recently, a majority of the 95 workers in the potential bargaining unitat Guidry Brothers Towing signed pledge cards stating their desire to berepresented by the OMU. The company has refused and continues to refuseto recognize OMU as the collective bargaining agent.

The MM&P complaint to the NLRB details numerous occasions wherethe company or its agents have conducted anti-union activities that arein violation of the protections granted under the First Amendment of theUS Constitution and the National Labor Relations Act.

The MM&P has also filed a letter of complaint with the LaFourcheParish Sheriff’s department for detaining and issuing summons to severalpersons involved in this effort who were conducting peaceful, lawful organizingactivities.

MM&PWheelhouse Weekly


MITAGS is often the first glimpse into the rich seafaring heritage andmerchant mariner way-of-life for many members of the general public whoattend conferences and meetings at the facility. The memorabilia in theMITAGS maritime museum adequately covers past years, but it does littleto show the vitality of the merchant mariner today.

As a result, MITAGS is creating a binder of Sea Stories by activesailing members to be placed in the individual resident rooms in responseto the multitude of inquiries that we receive.

Sea Stories will be a collection of first-person accounts of criticalsituations at sea, Gulf War memoirs, humorous ports-of-call experiences,historic events you have witnessed, or exotic locations you have visitedor inhabited.

Members wishing to contribute their short stories, excerpts from journals,audio recordings, and biographies can send them to A. Scalone by Emailat:; fax:(410) 691-1009 or US Mail at MITAGS, 5700 Hammonds Ferry Road, LinthicumHts., MD  21090. Please include your contact info.

MM&PWheelhouse Weekly


Openings in classes over February and March are listed below.  Classeshave been added in HAZ and SMA. Schedule through Dec. 2001 is on the MITAGSwebsite.

  • 2/5-6: BRMP
  • 2/5-7: BRM-3
  • 2/10: ROR-1, CBRD-1
  • 2/12-15 SMA
  • 2/15: ROR-1
  • 2/12-16: COMP-NET, GMDSS, TPIC
  • 2/19-23: BST
  • 2/24: ROR-1
  • 2/26-3/2: BRM-3, HAZ, MED-SMC
  • 3/5-9: ARPA, BRM-3
  • 3/12-16: HAZ, SHS-EMR
  • 3/24: ROR-1
  • 3/26-30: FF-ADV, ARPA

MSC Classes

The next 4-day MSC Small Arms (SMA) courses at MITAGS will be Feb 12-15and Mar 12-15. Remember that to maintain currency in Small Arms, you musttake the course once a year. The Strategic Sealift Communications Coursewill be held at MITAGS April 2-6, 2001.

GMDSS License Renewal

There have been significant changes to the renewal process. Fee has increasedto $50. Forms have been revised. You cannot apply for renewal prior to90 days before expiration date. Check under GMDSS on the MITAGS websiteat: www.mitags.orgfor up-to-date forms and submission info.

CSE – Confined Space Entry

A program is being developed to cover requirements associated with CSE.As envisioned, training will be accomplished via seminar/s in the evening.

For additional MITAGS course info, please contact Mary Matlock at Voice:443-989-3226 or e-mail:

MM&PWheelhouse Weekly


Classes with availability through February are as follows:

  • 2/12-14 BRM-3 Day
  • 2/12-16 Train the Trainer
  • 2/26-3/2 ECDIS

Note: The ECDIS course will meet the EINS (ElectronicIntegrated Navigation Systems) Standards. Course topics include the developmentof skills in validity of sensor data (including radar overlay), potentialerrors of interpretation, selecting operational settings and alarms forroute monitoring, installation and correction of electronic charts, routeplanning and scheduling, navigational calculations, accessing ship’s logand data playback functions, ARPA, and AIS and trial maneuver functions.
Download their entire schedule at: latest PNMI press releases are at: further info contact Gregg Trunnell at voice: 206 239-9965; fax: 206-441-2995;Email:

MM&PWheelhouse Weekly


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MM&PWheelhouse Weekly

The MM&P Wheelhouse Weekly is the officialelectronic 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: further info contact John Peige at Wheelhouse Weekly is sent via Email to MM&P-contracted vesselsat sea, broadcast worldwide via FEC marine telex and is posted on our webpage under “News” at:
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