Wheelhouse Weekly – February 05, 2004

February 5th 2004




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

Volume 8 . . . . . Number 6 . . . . February 5, 2004




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



The State of Alaska signed an agreement with the MM&P and the Marine Engineers’ Beneficial Association recognizing that “the parties mutually agree that the MMP (representing the licensed deck officers) and the MEBA (representing the licensed engineers) shall be the exclusive representative for purposes of collective bargaining” for Alaska’s Fairweather-class fast vehicle ferries.

Capt. Steve Demeroutis, Vice President of the MM&P’s newly expanded inland (Pacific Maritime Region) membership group, signed the agreement on behalf of the MM&P while MEBA signatories were Executive Vice President Bud Jacque and Seattle Branch Agent John McCurdy.

Capt. Demeroutis remarked that, “this collaborative approach by MM&P and MEBA enables us to best represent our respective memberships and to present a united front to the State of Alaska during upcoming negotiations.” He noted that, “Bud Jacque and I have worked together in solidarity for many years and informally have watched each other’s back when negotiating with the state to be sure both our memberships are protected. This agreement formalizes that working relationship.”



Grand River Navigation Company announced the acquisition of the RICHARD REISS from Oglebay Norton Company. The REISS will become the fourth vessel in the Grand River Fleet.

Originally built in 1943, the REISS was converted to self-unloader in 1964 and re-powered in 1976. Her specifics are:

Length: 620 ft. Beam: 60 ft. Capacity: 14,900 tons Horsepower: 2950 Unloading Boom: 250 ft.

The REISS is expected to be renamed but no name has been chosen at this time. This creates about 35 new jobs for the MM&P. The top-to-bottom MM&P crew enjoys MM&P health benefits and MITAGS training. Those interested in employment should contact Bill Rabatsky, MM&P Great Lakes rep, for details by calling 216-228-8111 or by email to



The Maritime Institute of Technology and Graduate Studies (MITAGS) seeks an individual who can apply his/her knowledge and experience in marine shipboard operations to help solve organizational problems through training and education.

Excellent written and verbal skills a must. Person must also have an outgoing personality and be a goal-oriented self-starter with the ability to work independently. Travel expected 25 percent of time to seek opportunities and present proposals.

Desired background:

  • bachelor’s degree, graduate degree a plus;
  • unlimited tonnage license (or military equivalent), and
  • a record of continuing education.
  • Extensive industry contacts preferred.

MITAGS is located near the BWI airport, convenient to Baltimore, Washington and Annapolis, MD. Excellent full Union benefits, competitive salary. See our web site, for more info. Resumes to Human Resources Fax: 443-989-3341; Email: EOE.



The subcommittee on Standards of Training and Watchkeeping met at the International Maritime Organization Headquarters in London from Jan.26-30. MM&P Pilot Vice President Capt. George Quick and Special Representative Capt. Joe Stone served as representatives at the meeting.

Increasingly, over the last several years, the USCG has been closely working with the IMO on developing standards that apply to all US merchant mariners once they are enacted by the IMO.

Some of the important issues discussed included:

  • Measures to prevent accidents with lifeboats;
  • Training of crew launching/recovering operations of fast rescue boats and means of rescue in adverse weather;
  • Measures to enhance maritime security: the training and certification requirements for ship security officers;
  • Education and training requirements for fatigue prevention, migration and management;
  • Unlawful practices associated with certificates of competency;
  • Requirements for knowledge, skills and training for officers on WIG craft;
  • Developments of requirements for training in ballast water management;
  • Developments of competences for ratings; and
  • Watchkeeping at anchor.

While the MM&P strongly supports new regulations designed to increase safety and protect maritime assets, it is also mindful that due vigilance must be maintained in order that the privacy rights of US seafarers are protected and safeguarded in the process.

Look for more details on these vital issues and how any new IMO standards that arise from these sessions effect US mariners in upcoming editions of the Wheelhouse Weekly.



While the MM&P is all for increased maritime security efforts, it is greatly concerned by new security measures that require the Master and possibly other deck officers to participate in the enforcement of these measures.

The National Labor Relations Act has very specific rules applicable to unions as it relates to the representation of those employees who may perform “guard” duties. The Union has concerns to the degree that any new duties assigned to MM&P members may be classified as guard duties.

In addition, the Union is concerned that the assignment of additional duties to MM&P members raises issues of compensation since these duties may be other than minimal. Finally, there are issues with regard to training time and costs as they relate to any new responsibilities. At this time, the Union has little knowledge of what security duties are encompassed in these new measures with regard to their shipboard assignment by MM&P-contracted companies.

In a letter to the companies, MM&P Secretary-Treasurer Glen Banks has advised that the Union needs to be informed as to the specifics of any new security duties, the amount of time required to both train for and perform these duties as well as other related issues.

Once this info has been obtained, the Union will closely examine how any new security duties might impact on MM&P members and what further steps might need to be taken from a collective bargaining perspective.



Since the devastating terrorist attacks of 9/11, the MM&P has supported a number of federal government initiatives which seek to improve US maritime security. The MM&P has called on Congress to drastically increase funding to much-needed maritime security programs at ports nationwide as it has already provided for aviation facilities.

The MM&P has been a strong advocate for measures like the US Seaport Multiyear Security Enhancement Act which is much-needed legislation that was introduced last week that seeks to create a port security grant program within the Homeland Security Department.

In introducing the bill, Rep. Juanita Millender-McDonald (D-CA) said that, “Our Nation’s 361 seaports handle 95 percent of our Nation’s overseas trade by volume and are considered a major terrorist target. Our Nation’s coastline is our longest border, which is a 95,000-mile coast that includes the Great Lakes and inland waterways.

“Maritime industries contribute $742 billion per year to the US gross national product. It is known that al Qaeda has strong ties to the shipping industry and that one of the aims of this terrorist network is to weaken the economic security of our country.”



At the beginning of this year, the USCG initiated an innovative program that will allow vessel owners/operators to apply for acceptance of vessels, permitting them to install and test experimental ballast water treatment systems.

This program will facilitate the development of effective ballast water treatment technology, which will create more options for vessels seeking alternatives to ballast water exchange.

Details of the program are published in the USCG Navigation and Vessel Inspection Circular (NVIC) 01-04. Applicants interested in receiving NVIC 01-04 and/or application documents for the Shipboard Technology Evaluation Program should send requests to:

USCG HQ (G-MSO-4) Room 1601 2100 2nd St. SW Washington, DC 20593

The NVIC is also located at: It is also on the Internet at:



Congressman Bob Filner (D-CA) has introduced legislation (HR 3729) which would provide a monthly monetary benefit to certain individuals who served in the US merchant marine (including the Army Transport Service and the Naval Transport Service) during World War II.

The measure was referred to the Committee on Veterans’ Affairs, and in addition to the Committee on Ways and Means, for a period to be determined by the Speaker, in each case for consideration of such provisions as fall within the jurisdiction of the committee concerned.



You walk the walk, but can you talk the talk? Thinking about a job aboard a ship under the operational control of MSC? Then you should know the MSC communication procedures!

MSC-COMMS, Strategic Sealift Communications course (offered Feb.23) is designed to give students a basic understanding of communication requirements, an introduction to Navy message writing, radiotelephone procedures, communications security and publications. Excellent practical exercises are included to improve interoperability between the merchant marine, US and allied military forces.


Class Openings

Between now and the end of March 2004, seats are available in the following courses:

~~~ ~~~ ~~~

  • ARPA — Automatic Radar Plotting Aids: 2/9, 3/15


  • BRM — Bridge Resource Management: 2/16, 3/15
  • BST — Basic Safety Training: 3/1


CMM = Chief Mate and Master Courses

  • CMM-ADVSTB — Advanced Stability, 2/16
  • CMM-CHS-1 — Cargo Handling & Stowage (week 1), 2/23
  • CMM-CHS-2 — Cargo Handling & Stowage (week 2), 3/1
  • CMM-ECDIS — Electronic Chart Display and Info Systems: 3/15
  • CMM-MPP — Marine Propulsion Plants: 2/9
  • CMM-SHS-ADV-1 — Advanced Shiphandling (week 1): 3/22
  • CMM-SHS-ADV-11 — Advanced Shiphandling (week 2): 2/9
  • CMM-SHMGT-1 — Ship Management (week 1), 3/15
  • CMM-SHMGT-2 — Ship Management (week 2), 3/22
  • CMM-WKP — Watchkeeping 3/8


  • COMP-ABSS — Computer ABS Safenet Program: 3/8
  • COMP-DC — Computer Database Program: 3/22
  • CONT-PLNG — Contingency Planning Workshop: 2/26, 3/11
  • CSE-AWR — Confined Space Entry Awareness (1-day): 3/22


  • FF-ADV — Advanced Firefighting: 3/15


  • MED-DOT-DA — Dept. of Trans Drug & Alcohol Test: 2/14, 3/27
  • MEDIA-RSP — Media Response: 2/27, 3/12
  • MED-PIC — Medical Person In Charge: 2/9
  • MED-PRO — Medical Care Provider: 2/9
  • MED-SMC — Shipboard Medical Care: 3/1


MSC = Military Sealift Command Courses

  • MSC-CBRD-1 — Chemical Biological Radiological Defense Training Orientation: 2/27
  • MSC-COMMS — Strategic Sealift Communications: 2/23
  • MSC-DC — Damage Control: 2/28, 3/23, 3/25
  • MSC-SMA-Requalify — Small Arms Requalification: 3/23, 3/25
    (must have passed all 3 weapons within the previous 2 years)


  • ROP-5 — Radar Observer Program (Original and Renewal): 2/23
  • ROR-1 — Radar Observer Renewal: 2/14, 3/20


  • SEC-OFF PCS — Security Officer-Port, Company, Ship: 2/23, 3/8
  • SHS-BAS — Basic Shiphandling: 3/15
  • SHS-EMR5 — Emergency Shiphandling: 3/8


  • T-PIC — Tankship or Barge Dangerous Liquids, Person-In-Charge: 3/8

~~~ ~~~ ~~~

Check the MITAGS website for up-to-date course descriptions associated with the course title abbreviations, and for schedule revisions.


Attendance Verification & Cancellation is Vital

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.


Schedules, Course Info & Registration

Courses are subject to change. Always check the MITAGS website for 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.



Course Schedule

~~~ ~~~ ~~~

  • 2/9-13: Electronic Nav.
  • 2/9-13: Basic Safety Training
  • 2/16-20: Basic and Advanced Firefighting
  • 2/16-27: Celestial Navigation
  • 2/16-20: ARPA
  • 2/23-25: Ship Security
  • 2/23-3/5: Ship Management
  • 2/23-27: Tankerman Person-In-Charge


  • 3/1-2:Search & Rescue
  • 3/3-5: Emergency Procedures
  • 3/1-5:Radar Observer Unlimit
  • 3/8-12: Ship Construction and Basic Stability
  • 3/8-12: Advanced Meteorology
  • 3/15-19:Basic Safety Train
  • 3/15-19: Basic Cargo Handling and Stowage
  • 3/15-19: ECDIS
  • 3/15-26: GMDSS
  • 3/22/26: Basic and Advanced Firefighting
  • 3/22-26: ARPA
  • 3/22: Radar Recertification
  • 3/22-24: Ship Security
  • 3/29-4/2: Medical Provider
  • 3/29-4/9: Medical Person-In-Charge

~~~ ~~~ ~~~

Contact DeeDee Lazik at 206-441-2880 or 888-893-7829 (toll free) for registration or visit the PMI website at



 D O W

 N A S D A Q


+ 2.40 for the week


 – 63.23 for the week
 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 (FAGX)


 Spartan US Equity Index Fund (FUSEX)


~ Reminders ~



The buildings remain where they have always stood, but they have now been assigned new addresses. Local authorities have determined that it was necessary to put in place new street numbering for the MM&P’s MITAGS facility and for the MM&P Health & Benefit Plan office. The longstanding address of 5700 Hammonds Ferry Rd., used for both MITAGS and the Plan, has been eliminated.

Effective immediately:

  • The mailing address for MITAGS has been changed to:
    • 692 Maritime Blvd
      Linthicum Heights, MD 21090


  • The new mailing address for the Plan Office is now:
    • 700 Maritime Blvd.
      Suite A
      Linthicum Heights, MD 21090-1996
    • This is the same street address as the Union headquarters since both offices are housed in the same building, but the Plan Office is denoted with a suite number.


  • The mailing address for the MM&P Federal Credit Union, located in the Plans Building Lobby, is now:
    • 700 Maritime Blvd.
      Linthicum Heights, MD 21090-1996

The change brings the MITAGS, Plans and MM&P FCU addresses into conformance with Postal and 911 emergency mapping since all the buildings are located on the same road of the campus.

Plan Administrator Valerie Verrecchio advises Plan participants that “it is important to remember when you send mail to the Plans that you clearly address it to ‘MM&P Plans’ and to include our new suite number. This is what the Post Office will use to differentiate mail between the Union and the Plan office. Otherwise, the Post Office may send it through the mail system at the Union and your claims processing could be delayed for a couple of days.”

There is no change to the Union HQ mailing address.



All Licensed Deck Officers who possess STCW-95 certificates containing Basic Safety Training (BST) completion dates close to or more than five years old need to carry copies of their USCG discharges with them so they can prove that they have the required sea service necessary to extend their BST qualification. For questions or further info, contact Mike Rodriguez at 410-850-8700 ext.23 or Email:



The USCG advises that if you began your service or training in the towing industry before May 21, 2001, you may receive a license for Master of Towing Vessels if, before May 21 2004, you complete the exam required by 46 CFR 10.903(a)(18)(i) and meet either of the following two requirements:

(1)Three years of service, including:

  • Two years on deck aboard a vessel 26-feet or more in length;
  • One year on deck aboard a towing vessel, with at least six months of training or duty in the wheelhouse of the towing vessel; and
  • Three months in each particular geographic area for which you are seeking authority.

~ OR ~

(2) Three years of service aboard towing vessels, including:

  • One year on deck, with at least six months of training or duty in the wheelhouse of the towing vessel; and
  • Three months in each particular geographic area for which you are seeking authority.

The deadline to complete testing and service is May 21, 2004. If you miss this deadline, then the requirement to work up through Apprentice Mate, Mate, and then Master will apply. Although the deadline is this May, applications submitted after January may not allow sufficient time for evaluation and testing.

For additional info, please contact Richard Wells at 504-240-7300, ext 232, or via Email at



In an increasing tight job market, many former private sector employees are considering a civil service mariner position with Military Sealift Command, a global Navy command that operates more than 100 civilian-crewed, non-combatant ships in support of the Department of Defense.

Civilian mariners who are licensed deck officers are MM&P bargaining unit members. MSC offers its civil service mariners many benefits including competitive pay, health insurance, lodging, meals and training.

It is a branch of the Navy, but its mariners are not military personnel. MSC is the largest single employer of US merchant mariners. MSC’s Naval Fleet Auxiliary Force ships provide underway replenishment of supplies, towing and salvage operations for the Navy’s combatant fleet.

Two NFAF ships also serve as afloat medical facilities normally kept in reduced operating status. MSC ships also conduct oceanographic and hydrographic surveys, underwater surveillance, missile flight data collection, submarine support and other specialized services through its Special Mission Program ships.

The command’s sealift ships provide ocean transportation of cargo for the Department of Defense. Through the Prepositioning Program, MSC maintains ships laden with combat equipment and supplies in strategic ocean areas around the world for US forces. These ships are ready to sail quickly to potential contingency sites.

The NFAF ships and two special mission ships are crewed by federal civil service mariners hired by MSC. Sealift ships, prepositioning ships and the remaining special mission ships are crewed by commercial mariners working for operating companies under contract to MSC.

Based on the fiscal year 2004 Congressional budget, MSC is expecting a 33 percent increase in the civil service mariner workforce from 4,044 in 2003 to 5,385 in 2008. About 1,340 civil service mariners will be needed to crew the additional eight ships that will join the MSC fleet in the next five years.

For more on employment info with the MSC, contact Randi Ciszewski, MM&P’s Government Fleets Representative, at



MITAGS Executive Director Glen Paine announced that MITAGS and PMI have implemented an innovative program, with reduced tuition and hotel costs, to assist professional mariners seeking license advancement to Chief Mate/Master (CMM).

The Institutes now offer one of the fastest, most versatile, and cost-effective routes for mariners to obtain their CMM licenses. The MITAGS/PMI program, which covers all USCG requirements, is only 12 weeks in duration.

Forty-one of the 53 required assessments may be completed during these courses. To flexibly meet their schedule, students can take the required courses at the PMI campus in Seattle, Washington and/or at the MITAGS campus in Baltimore, Maryland.

The MITAGS/PMI program can be completed in 60 days for under $14,000. Other programs take up to 71 days and charge $19,000 to complete the CMM requirements. Students taking ALL of the CMM courses at MITAGS and/or PMI will receive a 15 percent tuition discount from the normal pricing, which brings the total CMM tuition down to $13,303.

In addition to this cost reduction, those students taking ALL of the CMM courses at MITAGS/PMI will receive a substantial reduction in the room and board rates. If needed, MITAGS and PMI will also provide a convenient and flexible payment plan.

For more info regarding the CMM License Advancement, or any other course programs offered by MITAGS or PMI, please contact Capt. Craig Thomas (MITAGS) toll free at 866-656-5569 or via Email at You may also contact Gregg Trunnell at PMI in Seattle at 206-239-9965 or via Email at



Through a special arrangement with ShipCom, MM&P members at sea will now receive a significant discount on personal ship-to-shore radiotelephone calls. The rate is $2.50 per minute to any phone number in the US. This is a significant discount from the usual rate of $3.99 per minute. Calls may be placed collect, or billed to any major credit card.

To take advantage of this offer or for more info contact Station WLO on HF SSB channels 405, 607, 824, 1212, 16401, 1807, or 2237 or on HF radio telex channels (selcall 1090) 406, 606, 806, 810, 815, 1205, 1211, 1605, 1615, 1810 or 2215.

MM&P members must identify themselves as an MM&P member and provide the operator with the last 4 digits of their MM&P book number in order to get the discounted rate.

Any vessel equipped with HF radio telex may send and receive Internet email via the telex terminal. For more info contact WLO radio via telex or HF SSB voice.



The National WWII Memorial has a site on its webpage for individuals who served in any capacity during WWII to register to be included in the Memorial’s Registry. The main site is

If the individual clicks on WWII Registry, he/she can find out if he/she is already included as a result of one of the WWII databases and, if not, can follow the directions to register. Any American who contributed to the war effort is eligible for the Registry.



  • Do you want an easy way to grow your savings?
  • Do you want an easier way to make deposits to your Masters, Mates & Pilots Federal Credit Union account?

Consider establishing payroll or pension direct deposit.

Many employers allow you to directly deposit your pay into several different financial institutions. Trinity Management, Strong America and Moran Towing of Florida are among the MM&P-contracted companies that already provide for employees to deposit funds directly into the MM&P Federal Credit Union.

MM&P Health & Benefit Plans Pensioners and A&G Region Pensioners may have deductions made directly from their pension check to their Credit Union account. In addition, employees of MM&P, Plans, MITAGS and MIRAID are also eligible for payroll deduction directly into their Credit Union account.

Add to your savings by paying yourself first! Contact your payroll office to establish Credit Union direct deposit or to find out if this is available for you.


Who Can Be a Member?

MM&P Federal Credit Union membership is open to all MM&P members, to all MM&P, MITAGS, MIRAID and Plans staff, and to their immediate families.


Want to Know More?

For additional details or to get answers to your questions on all MM&P Federal Credit Union programs, contact Kathy Klisavage, Credit Union Manager, toll-free at 1-800-382-7777 or by Email at


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.