Wheelhouse Weekly – February 26, 2004

February 26th 2004



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

Volume 8 . . . . . Number 9 . . . . February 26, 2004




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



The principal MM&P Offshore officials met with the governing District Executive Board (GEB) of the Marine Engineers’ Beneficial Association on Monday, Feb.23 at MM&P HQ. This was a follow-up to the meeting that took place at MEBA HQ in Washington, DC on Jan.14.

The purpose of the meeting was to discuss mutual areas of concern and how both unions might be able to more fully use their respective strengths to benefit both memberships.

A number of items were discussed including joint negotiations, the possibility of shared union halls and the strategies involved in bringing favorable contract results to the upcoming Horizon and USSM negotiations.

“We’ll keep the membership informed as progress is made in these discussions,” said MM&P International President Capt. Tim Brown.



All members shipping off-the-board and all company employees are reminded that they are responsible to insure that all of the company required courses they have completed are listed in the Union computer system.

In order to be dispatched/cleared, members must have certificates for any courses not listed in the computer in their possession and available for inspection by the dispatcher. Please double check that your documentation is in order prior to leaving your home to ship out of our Union halls. This can be done by checking your course history on the “Members Only” section of the MM&P website.



Earlier this week about 70 Horizon Lines senior deck and engine officers attended a company seminar at MITAGS. The seminar covered a wide range of topics concerning the current and future direction of the company, the effect of numerous new government operating and security regulations, and market competition.

The officers also participated in various break-out seminars and provided feedback to company officials on numerous areas of operation. Horizon plans to host another similar seminar April 25-28 directed to those deck and engineering officers who were at sea and unable to attend this session.



The MM&P was saddened to learn that Capt. Herb Froberg, 59, a long-time MM&P member and former Master with Lykes Lines and InterSea Operations, passed away earlier this week. His body was found on Thursday, February 26 in his apartment. An autopsy will be performed to determine the cause of death.

Capt. Froberg was a graduate of Massachusetts Maritime Academy, Class of 1965, and a member of the Masters, Mates and Pilots since 1970. At the time of his death he was serving the Masters, Mates and Pilots as the International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF) inspector in the Miami/Fort Lauderdale office. He had held this position since 1997. His brother, Robert, survives him. Funeral arrangements had not been completed as of press time.




Last Thursday, February 19, the MM&P-contracted Maersk Sealand containership SEALAND PRIDE ran into extremely rough seas about 200 nautical miles off New York. A number of containers were lost overboard or damaged on deck.

As the S/L PRIDE made way toward a port-of-call in Charleston, SC, it was discovered that one of the containers aboard the 3,918 TEU vessel was leaking pesticide. Initial reports said that as many as 8 of the 16 tanks containing the pesticide malathion inside one container could have ruptured.

Malathion is an insecticide that is used in agriculture, residential gardens, public recreation areas, and in public health pest control programs. When properly applied, malathion is used to kill mosquitoes without posing unreasonable risks to human health or the environment. It is considered to be one of the safest insecticides and has been used in large pest eradication programs in Florida, Texas, and California.

Maersk and USSM officials quickly moved to stop the leak and clean up the remaining pesticide. The company hired an environmental response team that will use breathing gear while cleaning up the leak. The PRIDE was en route from Germany to Houston and had a scheduled stop on Monday at the Wando Welch Terminal in Mount Pleasant, SC located on the outskirts of Charleston harbor.



Five crewmembers were killed when their 178-ft. offshore supply boat collided with the 534-ft. containership ZIM MEXICO III and sank blocking the main channel of the lower Mississippi River in the fog-shrouded early morning hours of Feb.21.

The supply boat LEE III was used to deliver people and supplies to offshore oilrigs. The supply boat sank in the Southwest Pass, about 80 miles southeast of New Orleans, which is the only channel deep enough for large oceangoing ships to transit.

About 100 cargo ships were stranded by the incident, unable to sail down river to the Gulf of Mexico or upriver to New Orleans and other inland ports. Several large cruise ships were also stranded. The cruises had been fully-booked during Mardi Gras celebrations and passengers and inbound cruise ships were either diverted to the port of Mobile, AL or other ports. Thousands of outbound passengers were stuck at a dock in New Orleans.

On Wednesday (2/25) the channel was cleared as salvage experts were finally able to move the sunken vessel out of the way. The last week has been a difficult one for river officials. Saturday’s collision came just a day after the river had been reopened following a collision Thursday (2/19) between a freighter and a tanker that spilled 22,000 gallons of oil.

Those crew members killed were: Lawrence Glass, 65, of Mobile, AL, and four Texas men: Joseph Brown, 44, of Vidor, Daniel Lopez, 31, of Port Arthur, Ramon Norwood, 27, of Galveston, and Baldemar Villerreal, 54, of Lake Jackson. The cause of the collision remains under investigation.



In the wake of United Airlines’ announcement last week that it is seeking to cut health benefits to its retirees, thousands of members from many different unions across the country are increasingly demonstrating in Solardity with the United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) in their fight to hold the line against health care cuts by Safeway.

Some headway may be taking place as after nearly two months without formal negotiating sessions, a Safeway-led coalition of grocers and the UFCW returned to the bargaining table recently. About 59,000 grocery workers fighting to save affordable family health care have been walking picket lines in central and southern California since mid-October.

These workers have been joined in the fight by many MM&P members, especially those located on the West Coast. Former VP of Pacific Ports Paul Nielsen has been on the picket line almost every day racking up between 350-400 hours of picketing. MM&P member Ernie Petersen has picketed in the neighborhood of 300 hours.

Member John Golden reports that, “I went to the Union rally for the grocery store workers, in San Pedro, CA, who are out on strike. The whole maritime community was there along with the ILWU and many other unions. I was counting heads from my spot amongst the crowd and lost count at about 520. I’m sure there was at least twice that many people there,” Golden said.

“The best and most moving thing that happened at the rally was when Dave Boatner (MM&P’s Agent-Pacific Ports) got up and gave $5000 to help the Grocery workers which was most graciously accepted by the Grocery Workers representative. She told us the money would go to the medical bills of one of the pickets that had his face broken by one of the Scabs and was still in the hospital recuperating, recalled Golden.”

“It was quite inspiring to see these hard-bitten Longshoremen and the Vietnam Vets with tears running down their faces awed by the kindness extended by the MM&P to this person. I could not count the number of people with tears coming out of their eyes as my sight was very blurred at that time.

“This sure made me feel proud to be a member the MM&P and to be associated with the caliber of men on the General Executive Board that authorized this money to be sent to help this guy,” concluded Golden.

According to published reports, these are some of the conditions Safeway has proposed:

  • Virtually eliminate all future pension benefits.
  • Force employees to either cut their health care by 40-percent, or make them pay over $350 per month to maintain their current benefits.
  • Each employee will also have to pay additional out-of-pocket expenses each year without a wage increase to help offset the heavy new financial burden.

Financial reports show that the giant supermarket companies are healthy and profitable. Amid great fanfare, Safeway chairman Steve Burd cut his annual salary to a mere $1.3 million. What wasn’t mentioned was the $44 million he made by exercising stock options, including $16.1 million in the past five months as part of an automatic stock selling program he adopted before the strike began.

NOTE: On Thursday evening, February 26, Safeway and UFCW officials reached tentative agreement on points needed to halt the strike and put in place a good contract for UFCW Safeway workers. Details to follow in the next edition of the Wheelhouse Weekly. For more immediate information, visit the AFL-CIO or the United Food and Commercial Workers on the web.



The Navigation Safety Advisory Committee (NAVSAC), sponsored by the USCG, will meet in Galveston on March 8-10. Items on the agenda include navigation and safety issues associated with containers overboard; obstructions in anchorages and fairways; ballast water management; and visibility from the wheelhouse of towing vessels.

The Towing Safety Advisory Committee (TSAC), sponsored by the USCG, will meet in Wash., DC on March 16-17. Items on the agenda include crew alertness, maritime security, and ammonium nitrate.




MITAGS will offer a four day MSC-Small Arms Training Program, valid for original qualification or requalification, from March 22-25. Originally, two SMA requalification programs were scheduled in this time slot.

MITAGS replaced the March requalification courses in order to accommodate the membership’s request for original certification, which is necessary for employment on the LMSR’s. The MSC-SMA-Requal course was added to the MITAGS curriculum to provide additional opportunities for the MM&P members to keep their certification current.

MITAGS’ schedule alternates original and requalification Small Arms courses throughout 2004.

Class Openings

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

~~~ ~~~ ~~~

  • ARPA – Automatic Radar Plotting Aids: 3/15, 4/26
  • AZIPOD – Azimuthing Podded Drive and Control: 3/13, 4/3


  • BRM – Bridge Resource Management: 3/15, 4/5
  • BST – Basic Safety Training: 3/1


CMM = Chief Mate and Master Courses

  • CMM-ADVSTAB – Advanced Stability: 4/26
  • CMM-CHS-2 – Cargo Handling & Stowage (week 2): 3/1
  • CMM-ECDIS – Elect. Chart Display and Info Systems: 3/15, 4/12
  • CMM-SHS-ADV-1 – Advanced Shiphandling (week1): 3/8, 3/22, 4/12
  • CMM-SHS-ADV-11 – Advanced Shiphandling (week 2): 3/29, 4/19
  • CMM-SHMGT-1 – Ship Management (week 1): 3/15
  • CMM-SHMGT-2 – Ship Management (week 2): 3/22
  • CMM-VPEN – Voyage Planning and Electronic Navigation: 4/19
  • CMM-WKP ­ Watchkeeping: 3/8


  • COMP-ABSS – Computer ABS Safenet Program: 3/8
  • COMP-OPSYS – (Basic) Computer Operating Systems: 4/19
  • COMP-DC – Computer Database Program: 3/22
  • CONT-PLNG – Contingency Planning Workshop: 3/11, 4/8
  • CSE-AAES – Confined Space Entry, Analysis on Spaces: 4/5


  • FF-ADV — Advanced Firefighting: 3/15
  • FRB – Fast Rescue Boat: 4/26


  • HAZ – Hazardous Materials (5-day): 4/5


  • MED-DOT-DA – Dept. of Trans. Drug & Alcohol Test: 3/27, 4/17
  • MEDIA-RSP – Media Response: 3/12, 4/9
  • MED-PRO – Medical Care Provider: 4/12
  • MED-PIC – Medican Care Person-In-Charge: 4/12
  • MED-SMC – Shipboard Medical Care: 3/1


MSC = Military Sealift Command Courses

  • MSC-CBRD-1 – Chemical Biological Radiological Defense: 2/27
  • MSC-COMMS – Strategic Sealift Communications: 2/23
  • MSC-DC – Damage Control: 3/26, 4/23
  • MSC-SMA-Small Arms Training: 4/19


  • ROR-1 — Radar Observer Renewal: 3/20, 4/3, 5/1


  • SEC-OFF PCS — Security Officer-Port, Company, Ship: 4/5
  • SHS-BAS – Basic Shiphandling: 4/26
  • SHS-EMR5 – Emergency Shiphandling: 4/12


  • T-PIC -Tankship or Barge Hazardous Liquids, Person-In-Charge: 3/8
  • TTT – Train the Trainer: 4/19

~~~ ~~~ ~~~

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

~~~ ~~~ ~~~

  • 3/1-2: Search & Rescue
  • 3/3-5: Emergency Procedures
  • 3/1-5: Radar Observer Unlimited
  • 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
  • 3/29-4/2/04: Medical Provider
  • 3/29-4/9/04: 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
 10,660.62 – 53.49 for the week  2,022.98  – 70.37 for the week

Fund Name & Trading Symbol


Year-to-Date Fund
Percentage Return

1 Year Fund
Percentage Return
 Vanguard 500 Index Fund (VFINX)


 Vanguard Extended Market Index Fund (VEXMX)


+ 3.19%
 Vanguard International Growth Fund (VWIGX)


+ 5.15 %
 Vanguard Morgan Growth Fund (VMRGX)


+ 1.95 %
 Vanguard Windsor II Fund (VWNFX)


+ 4.23 %
 Vanguard GNMA Fund (VFIIX)


+ 1.01 %
 Vanguard High Yield Corporate Fund (VWEHX)


+ 0.91 %
 Vanguard Total Bond Index (VBMFX)


+ 1.63 %
 Chase Growth Fund (CHASX)


+ 3.83 %
 Fidelity Asset Manager (FASMX)


+ 1.97 %
 Fidelity Growth and Income (FGRIX)


+ 2.47%
Fidelity Magellan Fund (FMAGX)


+ 2.25 %
 Spartan US Equity Index Fund (FUSEX)


+ 2.64%

~ 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.



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.



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:



MM&P-contracted LMS Ship Management recently reviewed the causes of injuries on board their vessels and found that accidental falls tend to be the cause of many of the crew’s injuries. In an effort to reduce the number of injuries caused by these falls, LMS is offering crewmembers that sail with them an incentive to purchase and wear proper shoe attire. The goal is for every crewmember to wear slip resistant footwear during their working hours aboard their vessels.

LMS will offer a reimbursement of up to $75 for the cost of the shoes to each crewmember who provides them with an original receipt for the purchase of slip resistant footwear. In order for the crewmember to obtain the reimbursement, they must wear the shoes while on duty. Upon presentation of the receipt, the crewmember will be reimbursed on their pay voucher. The receipt will be retained by the Master and will remain aboard the vessel.

LMS requests that crewmembers purchase one of the following recommended brands in order to be reimbursed:

  • WORX ™ by Red Wing* Slip Resistant Footwear
  • Caterpillar* (must have steel toe & slip resistant sole)
  • Wolverine (must have steel toe and slip resistant sole)
  • Dunham Sierra Work Boot EH
  • Steel Toe Voyager
  • Georgia Boot 6- or 8-inch Safety Toe Boot
  • Dr. Marten’s (with steel toe & slip resistant sole)

* Of the above, Red Wing and Caterpillar boots are produced by US union labor.

Red Wing has contracts with the United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) while Wolverine World Wide has contracts with UNITE!, the Union of Needletrades, Industrial and Textile Employees, for production of its Caterpillar brand (as well as its Hy-Test, Durashock and Bates Military labels). Some other Wolverine branded products including combat boots are manufactured under UFCW contract. Most Dr. Marten’s shoes and boots are produced in the UK.

To find US, union-made products, visit the AFL-CIO Union Label Service and Trades website at and click on Union Made Product Search.



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



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.