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Wheelhouse Weekly – February 12, 2013

February 12th 2013

 

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

Volume 17 . . . Number 7. . . Feb. 12, 2013

(Look in the archives for this weeks Special Edition.)

–>

STORIES COVERED

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


MM&P CLOSED FEB. 18 FOR PRESIDENTS’ DAY

All MM&P union halls, the MM&P Health & Benefit Plan Office, the MM&P Federal Credit Union and MM&P headquarters will be closed on Monday, Feb. 18, for Presidents’ Day.


MM&P HAILS FORMATION OF NEW CONGRESSIONAL MARITIME CAUCUS

The International Longshoremen’s Association (ILA) has reached an agreement with East and Gulf Coast ports represented by the U.S. Maritime Alliance (USMX). The agreement was announced over the weekend by federal mediators after hard-fought negotiations that were extended several times. Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service (FMCS) Director George Cohen said the agreement, which awaits approval by both groups, was a clear demonstration of the importance of labor unions.

“As the negotiations have been conducted under the auspices of the FMCS, commencing last September and continuing to date, I can report that the tentative agreement reflects the culmination of good faith negotiations in which the parties successfully accommodated strongly held competing positions because of their commitment to problem solving,” Cohen said in an official statement. “Again, collective bargaining has proven its worth by avoiding a potential work stoppage that would have had a severe negative impact on the nation’s economy,” he added.

“We urge the parties to quickly complete any outstanding negotiations, including local negotiations at each of the individual 14 ports, and quickly ratify the new labor agreement,” said a spokesperson for the National Retail Federation who was interviewed by The New York Times. The spokesperson added that the tentative agreement, if ratified, “will bring much-needed certainty and predictability to the supply chain for retailers, manufacturers, farmers and other industries that rely on the ports to move the nation’s commerce and trade.”

“MM&P congratulates the ILA negotiating team on reaching a tentative agreement,” said MM&P International President Don Marcus. “Once this agreement is finalized and ratified, it should ensure good terms of employment and labor peace on East and Gulf Coast docks for six years.”

MM&P is the marine affiliate of the ILA and is linked to both the ILA and the ILWU in the Maritime Labor Alliance, which was formed last year to protect the jurisdictional rights of union members. The Maritime Labor Alliance also includes the American Radio Association (ARA), the Inland Boatmen’s Union (IBU) and the Marine Engineers’ Beneficial Association (MEBA).


OCTOBER 2012 CROWLEY TUG RESCUE FEATURED ON TV NEWS

Members of MM&P’s United Inland Group who rescued a man floating in the Pacific on Oct. 31 of last year have been featured in a news broadcast shown on NBC TV. The crew of the tugboat GUARD practices man overboard drills every month, reported journalist Garvin Thomas. Based on what happened a mile west of the Golden Gate Bridge last fall, practice made perfect.

Crewmembers aboard the tug have been hailed as heroes for rescuing a man they spotted drifting in the water as they were waiting to escort a ship. MM&P members aboard the GUARD at the time were Captain Perry Overton, Training Captain James Christian and Chief Mate Ryan Stirewalt.

Overton spotted a dark shape floating in the water roughly 100 yards off the tugboat’s stern, the journalist reported. He didn’t think too much of it at first. From logs, to seals, to crab buoys, there are always things floating in the water out there. But when the larger ship radioed it was running late, Overton decided to double back and check out what was in the water. It was a man.

He was bobbing up and down, treading water, remembers Overton. The tide was ebbing� He was definitely going out to sea. The crew brought the tug in close and threw the man a life ring. Because he was so hypothermic, he didn’t respond to yells, Overton said. Every five or six seconds, he would disappear under the water. Because the man was unable to respond, Chief Engineer Keith Madding donned a survival suit and entered the frigid water to help him up the emergency ladder. Once aboard, the crew removed the man’s wet clothing and wrapped him in warm blankets. All he had on was a t-shirt, a pair of sweats and Converse All-Stars, Overton said.

These guys are heroes and without a doubt saved that man’s life, said Shannon Jay of the National Park Service, who assisted the San Francisco Police Department in investigating the incident. The crew of the Guard has been nominated by the National Park Service for a Citizen’s Award for Bravery, an honor granted to private citizens for heroic acts or unusual bravery in the face of danger.


COAST GUARD CANCELS FORM UPDATE PLAN BECAUSE OF TECHNICAL PROBLEMS

The Coast Guard says it is cancelling its forms update plan for now and is aiming instead to update its forms in conjunction with pending STCW regulatory changes. The agency said the following information bulletins are cancelled: implementation of updated Mariner Credentialing Program (MCP) forms dated Feb. 1 and implementation of updated Mariner Credentialing Program (MCP) forms dated Jan. 18. It says credential applicants should continue to use the current version of all forms linked on the NMC website. HORIZON LINES TO PURCHASE THREE SHIPS IT NOW OPERATESHorizon Lines said last week that it has entered into an agreement to purchase the three ships it operates between Tacoma, Wash., and the three Alaska ports of Anchorage, Kodiak and Dutch Harbor. The company said a newly formed subsidiary, Horizon Lines Alaska Vessels LLC, acquired the three ships–the HORIZON ANCHORAGE, the HORIZON KODIAK and the HORIZON TACOMA–for about $91.8 million. The ships each have capacity of 1,668 TEUs and had been on charters that were due to expire in January 2015.


COAST GUARD CANCELS FORM UPDATE PLAN BECAUSE OF TECHNICAL PROBLEMS

The Coast Guard says it is cancelling its forms update plan for now and is aiming instead to update its forms in conjunction with pending STCW regulatory changes. The agency said the following information bulletins are cancelled: implementation of updated Mariner Credentialing Program (MCP) forms dated Feb. 1 and implementation of updated Mariner Credentialing Program (MCP) forms dated Jan. 18. It says credential applicants should continue to use the current version of all forms linked on the NMC website.


HORIZON LINES TO PURCHASE THREE SHIPS IT NOW OPERATES

Horizon Lines said last week that it has entered into an agreement to purchase the three ships it operates between Tacoma, Wash., and the three Alaska ports of Anchorage, Kodiak and Dutch Harbor. The company said a newly formed subsidiary, Horizon Lines Alaska Vessels LLC, acquired the three ships–the HORIZON ANCHORAGE, the HORIZON KODIAK and the HORIZON TACOMA–for about $91.8 million. The ships each have capacity of 1,668 TEUs and had been on charters that were due to expire in January 2015.


AFL-CIO TRANSPORTATION TRADES PRESIDENT CALLS FOR HMT MONEY TO BE USED FOR DREDGING

“Let’s finally end accounting gimmickry and boost maritime jobs,” says Ed Wytkind, president of the AFL-CIO Transportation Trades Department (TTD). “Imagine that the government was sitting on a pile of money–billions, actually– that had been collected for a purpose that is critical to maintaining our nation’s standing in the global economy,” Wytkind writes in his online blog. “Now consider that, if this money were put to the use for which it was collected, it would create middle-class jobs and foster commerce. You’d think the nation’s lawmakers, who read the same jobs reports we do, would have put that money right to work, wouldn’t you? If you did, you’d be wrong.”

“In reality, you don’t have to imagine the scenario I just laid out; incredibly, this is the fate of much of the revenue collected through the Harbor Maintenance Tax: money collected from shippers for the purpose of maintaining and improving the nation’s ports and navigation channels. The dollars collected through the tax go to the Harbor Maintenance Trust Fund (HMTF), which finances the work of dredging and taking care of the ports’ infrastructure needs. Yet, even as many of our ports lack the necessary depths to properly accommodate the next generation of container ships that move freight, the HMTF has, year after year, racked up surpluses–at least in theory. In truth, about half the money collected through the Harbor Maintenance Tax has been used for other purposes. The trust fund’s current on-paper surplus weighs in at $7 billion.”

TTD is supporting legislation introduced last week in both the House and Senate that would require the resources of the HMTF to be spent on port upkeep, dredging and other harbor maintenance projects. “As if the current inadequate level of maintenance wasn’t enough of a problem, U.S. ports now face the prospect of mega-vessels traveling through what will soon be the newly expanded Panama Canal that will bring super-sized container ships to our ports, or even worse, see them diverted to foreign ports. If we are serious about being the world’s economic power we certainly can’t permit technology and innovation to leave our freight transportation system and economy behind,” Wytkind writes.

“Whether the HMTF has been diverted to other purposes or simply stuffed under Uncle Sam’s mattress, it’s time to put those dollars to work, to make sure we do right by an industry and workforce that play a critical role in our economy. It is time for lawmakers to end HMTF accounting gimmickry that is harming our economy and stifling maritime commerce,” Wytkind writes. MM&P is one of the 32 transportation sector unions that belong to TTD.


FIVE MARINERS DIE IN CRUISE SHIP LIFEBOAT SAFETY DRILL

Five members of the crew of the Maltese-flagged THOMSON MAJESTY died in a 20-meter plunge into the sea after a winch cable broke during a safety drill on Sunday. Three other crewmembers were injured in the disaster, which took place while the ship was docked in Santa Cruz on the island of La Palma with 1,498 passengers on board. Thomson Majesty, the ship’s operator, runs cruises between the Canary Islands and Madeira.


CARNIVAL CRUISE SHIP ADRIFT IN GULF OF MEXICO

Vacationers aboard a Carnival cruise ship stranded in the Gulf of Mexico after an engine room fire are reporting a shortage of water, no air conditioning and a lack of food. A spokesman for Carnival said the company’s original plan to tow the CARNIVAL TRIUMPH to Progresso, Mexico, had to be abandoned because the ship had drifted about 90 miles north in strong currents. Instead, the ship will be taken to Mobile, Ala., where it is expected to arrive Thursday. There are more than 4,200 people on board the ship, where conditions are reportedly getting worse by the hour. Passengers are sleeping in hallways or in tents on the deck because only emergency lights are working and sanitary facilities are severely compromised.


MM&P OFFICIALS AT PACIFIC PORTS MEMBERSHIP MEETINGS

The MM&P International President, Secretary-Treasurer and the Pacific Ports Vice President will be present at membership meetings in the MM&P union halls in Seattle on Tuesday, March 5, in Los Angeles on Wednesday, March 6 and in Oakland on Thursday, March 7. In addition, there will be a meeting at the Honolulu Hall on Tuesday, March 12. All meetings will be held immediately after job call.


OFFSHORE FAMILIARIZATION COURSE SCHEDULE

The Offshore Familiarization Course will be offered at the New York/New Jersey Hall on March 12-13 and at the Los Angeles Hall on April 10-11 and Oct. 9-10. For more information or to sign-up, please contact the hall at which the course is being offered.


MEMBERSHIP MEETING ON FEB. 13 AT NEW YORK/NEW JERSEY HALL

There will be a meeting for MM&P members at the MM&P New York/New Jersey Hall on Wednesday, Feb. 13. All members in the vicinity are urged to attend the meeting.


MM&P GENERAL EXECUTIVE BOARD MEETING SCHEDULE

The MM&P General Executive Board (GEB) will meet on March 19-20, June 25-26, Sept. 17-18 and Dec. 10-11. All meetings will be held at MM&P headquarters in Linthicum Heights, MD.


NAVY’S FIRST JOINT HIGH-SPEED VESSEL MAKES PORT CALL IN ST. PETERSBURG

The Navy’s first Joint High-Speed Vessel, USNS SPEARHEAD (JHSV 1) made a port call in St. Petersburg on Sunday. The ship was scheduled to depart today. The port call was primarily a working visit and an opportunity for senior officials and military personnel from U.S. Central Command and U.S. Special Operations Command to visit the ship and receive short briefings on SPEARHEAD’s capabilities. Members of the MM&P Federal Employees Membership Group (FEMG) and other civil service mariners navigate and operate the ship.


CELL PHONES FOR SOLDIERS

Cell Phones for Soldiers Inc. is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization dedicated to providing cost-free communication services to active duty military members and veterans. Since 2004, the group has provided 181 million minutes of free talk time to military men and women stationed far away from their families. Cell Phones for Soldiers mails approximately 12,000 calling cards each week and in eight years of operation, has recycled more than 10.8 million cell phones, reducing the impact on landfills. Used mobile phones from all service providers are accepted. Each $5 contribution or donated device valued at $5 will provide troops with 2.5 hours of free talk time. Cell Phones for Soldiers was founded by Robbie and Brittany Bergquist of Norwell, Mass., when they were 12 and 13 years old. To find out more, go to: cellphonesforsoldiers.com/about.php


/ MITAGS ACADEMIC NOTES /

Between now and the end of June, the following courses are scheduled at MITAGS. (Please keep in mind, however, that the schedule may be subject to change.)

For class availability or information on courses and programs, contact MITAGS Admissions Coordinator Kelly Michielli toll free at 866-656-5568 or e-mail her at admissions@mitags.org. Or, try our on-line calendar to register for class: mitags-pmi.org/courses/calendar

ARPA – Automated Radar Plotting Aids: 3/26/2013, 4/2/2013

AZIPOD (2-DAY) for Pilots: 3/20/2013


BRM – Bridge Resource Management: 3/18/13, 5/12/13

BRMP – Bridge Resource Management for Pilots: 3/7/13, 5/23/13

BST – Basic Safety Training: 4/8/13, 6/24/13


[CMM – Chief Mate and Master Courses]

CMM-ADVWX – Advanced Meteorology: 4/1/13, 6/17/13

CMM-ADVNAV – Advanced Navigation (=ECDIS & VPEN): 3/18/13, 6/3/13

CMM-ADVSTB – Advanced Stability: 2/18/13, 4/28/13

CMM-CHS – Advanced Cargo Operations (2 weeks): 2/25/13, 5/6/13

CMM-MPP – Marine Propulsion Plants: 3/11/13, 5/20/13

CMM-SHMGT – Ship Management (2 weeks): 4/15/13

CMM-SHS-ADV-I – Advanced Shiphandling (week 1): 2/18/13, 3/4/13, 4/1/13, 4/15/13, 5/6/13, 6/24/13

CMM-SHS-ADV-I I – Advanced Shiphandling (week 2): 2/25/13, 3/11/13, 4/8/13, 4/22/13, 5/13/13, 6/17/13

CMM-WKP – Advanced Watchkeeping: 4/8/13, 6/24/13

CONT PLNG – Contingency Planning: 5/9/13

ENVIRO-Regs Permit – Environmental Regulations Permit: 3/5/2013, 5/23/13

ECDIS-ENAV for Pilots (2 day): 6/13/13

FSM – Fatigue, Sleep and Medications: 3/7/13, 5/23/13

FF-BADV – Combined Basic and Advanced Fire Fighting: 4/8/13, 6/24/13

FL – Flashing Light: 4/1/13, 4/10/13


HAZ – Hazardous Materials (5 day): 6/24/13


LAP – License Advancement Program for C/Mate & Master: 4/1/13

LEG – Legal Aspects of Pilotage: 3/6/13, 5/23/13


MCL – Management, Communications and Leadership, 3/25/13

MEDIA RSP – Media Response Workshop: 3/8/2013

MED-PIC – Medical Person in Charge: 2/18/13, 3/18/13, 4/22/13, 6/10/13

MED-PIC -R– Medical Person in Charge Refresher: 5/13/13

MED-PRO – Medical Care Provider: 2/18/13, 3/18/13, 4/22/13, 6/10/13

MED-DOT-DA – Dept. of Transportation Drug & Alcohol Testing: 2/23/13, 3/23/13, 4/13/13, 4/27/13, 6/15/13, 6/29/13


MSC -SMA – Military Sealift Command Small Arms Qualification: 3/11/13, 6/3/13

MSC-DC – Military Sealift Command Damage Control (4 Evenings): 3/11/13, 6/3/13

MSC-CBRD-1 – Military Sealift Command Chemical, Biological, Radiological Defense Orientation (Basic): 3/15/13, 6/7/13


ROR-1 – Radar Observer Renewal Evening Classes:2/20/2013, 3/6/2013, 3/20/2013, 4/3/13, 4/10/134/17/13, 5/1/13, 5/15/13, 5/22/13, 6/5/13, 6/19/13, 6/26/13

ROR-1 – Radar Observer Renewal: 3/25/13, 4/1/13

ROP-5 – Radar Observer Original and Renewal: 4/8/13


SHS-BAS – Basic Shiphandling: 3/25/13, 4/29/13, 6/24/13 SEC-VSO – Vessel Security Officer: 3/4/13, 5/6/13

SHS-ESH-BRMP3 – Emergency Shiphandling and Bridge Resource Management for Pilots: 3/4/13, 5/20/13

TPIC – Tankerman Person in Charge: 2/25/13

… Remember: If you can’t make the class, make the call. Be courteous, don’t be a “no show.”


Check the MITAGS website at http://mitags-pmi.org for course descriptions associated with the course title abbreviations.


PMI ACADEMIC NOTES

Please also see our schedule online at http://mitags-pmi.org/courses/calendar. For registration, call our registrar, Jennifer Pitzen, at (206) 838-1126.

February 2013

18-22 ECDIS

20-21 Environmental Regulations / Vessel General Permit

25-1 Medical Care Provider

25-8 Medical Person-In-Charge

25-8 GMDSS

March 2013

4-15 Celestial Navigation

11th Radar Renewal

12-15 ARPA

18-19 ECDIS for Pilots

18-22 Able Bodied Seaman

20th Fatigue, Sleep, and Medications

21-22 Azipod for Pilots

25-29 ECDIS

27-29 Vessel Security Officer

Up-to-date information on the mutual funds open to participants in the MM&P IRAP and 401(k) Plans can be found by viewing The Wheelhouse Weekly online at www.bridgedeck.org.


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