Wheelhouse Weekly – February 28, 2002

February 28th 2002


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

Volume 6. . . . . Number 8. . . February 28, 2002





In accordance with Article IV, Section 2, of the International Constitution, MM&P members are hereby notified that a regular convention of the IOMM&P will be convened at 1000 hrs on Monday, July 15, 2002, at MITAGS, 5700 Hammonds Ferry Road, Linthicum Heights, MD 21090. Constitutional Amendments may also be considered at this Convention.

Members are also hereby notified that in accordance with Article IV, Section 6., Subsection (b), all proposed resolutions must be forwarded to the International Secretary-Treasurer at least 30 days prior to the opening day of the Convention for inclusion on the Agenda and determination by the Convention.

MM&P Wheelhouse Weekly



Mark Rohn, president of MM&P Great Lakes and Rivers Maritime Region-contracted Grand River Navigation made his first visit to MM&P’s MITAGS facility on Feb.26. His visit coincided with MM&P’s quarterly General Executive Board (GEB) meeting. Mr. Rohn was given an extensive tour of the training facilities and spent additional time with GL&R Vice President Capt. Bill Rabatsky, MM&P International President Capt. Tim Brown and Director of Special Projects Richard Plant. He met with other GEB members on Feb.27.

Grand River Navigation is a MATES program participant and numerous Grand River employees have already taken courses at MITAGS. A newly-designed confined space entry training program will be taught to about a dozen Grand River employees in a specially scheduled class on March 11.

Grand River signed its first collective bargaining agreement with the GL&R in September 2000. The company operates three self-unloading bulk carriers on the Great Lakes, primarily engaged in the aggregates trade. The vessels also haul coal and salt. GL&R maintains top-to-bottom contracts on these vessels.


MM&P Wheelhouse Weekly



The captain and three deckhands of the tugboat SWIFT were killed on Monday, Feb. 25 when the tug collided with the 520-foot bulk carrier A.V. KASTNER just west of the Chesapeake and Delaware Canal in Maryland’s Elk River.

Five other crewmembers from the 60-foot SWIFT, owned by the Norfolk Dredging Company, were rescued after the tug rolled and sank to the bottom of the 35-foot channel within a minute after the collision. There were no reported injuries on the bulker.

The C&D Canal, the nation’s third busiest, has been closed since the early morning accident which occurred in foggy conditions. It is expected to remain closed through the week as salvage crews conduct recovery operations. The closure means that vessels must now access the Port of Baltimore and the Chesapeake Bay via Cape Henry.

Reports indicate that both vessels were in radio contact prior to the collision and had agreed to pass port-to-port in the 450-foot wide channel.

The bulker was southbound under the control of a 29-year veteran pilot of MM&P’s Association of Maryland Pilots while the tug, part of a roughly 1000-foot flotilla of dredging equipment, was proceeding northbound. The flotilla included a lead tug, an equipment barge, a dredge barge with the SWIFT bringing up the rear.

An investigation into the accident is now underway by the USCG and other agencies.


MM&P Wheelhouse Weekly



The Congressional Information Bureau newsletter reports that key maritime officials testified on port security before a Senate Judiciary subcommittee earlier this week and said port security should begin long before containers and vessels reach the U.S.

During the Subcommittee on Technology, Terrorism and Government Information hearing, Maritime Administrator William Schubert said that the Transportation Dept. “does not need to be convinced that port security is a good idea.

“We have recognized it as a critical component of our maritime industry and our national security for many years,” Schubert said in written testimony. “Nevertheless, achieving appropriate levels of security in our seaports and seeking to educate our international partners as to the need and benefits of seaport security is no small undertaking.” He added, “DOT is aggressively pursuing all aspects of transportation security utilizing our own resources and tapping the best minds in the industry and labor.”

Schubert said, “insurance covering risks of terrorism is still in a state of flux and we expect this to continue for some time to come.” He said the costs of terrorism coverage for vessels and cargoes have gone up sharply.

He pointed out that war risk underwriters issued cancellation notices on war risk policies for vessels worldwide on September 19, just eight days after the September 11 attacks. Just one week later, the policies were reinstated with a 200-300 percent increase on most fleets excluding cruise vessels, which he said faced a 1,000 percent increase in their annual premiums.

Schubert said this month, the Container Working group established in Dec. 2001 provided recommendations to the Office of Homeland Security on ensuring the security of cargo container transportation.

Recommendations, he said, addressed improving the coordination of government and business efforts as they relate to container security; enhancing data collection; improving the physical security of containers; initiating activities on the international front; and considering all possible uses of advanced technologies to improve the profiling of containers and to increase the physical security of containers.

“Security must be established before the vessel carrying the container or cargo begins its international travel. Technology and information are also essential to container security. For that reason, we strongly support the accelerated implementation of the US Custom’s ACE and Integrated Trade Date System to bring it online as quickly as possible.”

Kim Petersen, executive director of the Maritime Security Council, concurred. “It would be a catastrophic mistake to consider U.S. borders and coastlines as our first line of defense against foreign-based foes,” Petersen said. He pointed out that the Council believes it “critical to push back the boundary of homeland security to foreign ports of origin.” He wants a foreign seaport assessment program similar to the Federal Aviation Administration’s foreign airport security assessment program to be developed.

MM&P Wheelhouse Weekly



The Department of Transportation (DOT) is considering establishing a nationwide transportation worker identification system under which workers in all transportation modes would carry “smart cards” to verify their identity and control their access to vessels and transportation facilities.

A DOT team, known as the Credentialing Direct Action Group, or CDAT, briefed industry representatives on the concept last month at DOT headquarters in Washington, D.C. The CDAG, briefed industry representatives from each of DOT’s operating agencies, including the USCG and MARAD, as well as the new Transportation Security Administration (TSA). Under the concept presented by CDAG, a transportation worker in any mode of transportation who required unescorted access to a vessel or transportation facility would obtain a Transportation Worker ID card (TWIC).

The Transportation Security Administration would establish procedures governing the TWIC, including the biometric information it would contain (e.g., a photograph, fingerprint, etc.” and would require a standard security check (at minimum, an FBI criminal records and National Driver Register check) as a condition of card issuance.

The CDAG outlined a range of possibilities for card issuing authorities, from state motor vehicle agencies (an approach that would potentially allow an individual’s driver license to serve as the TWIC) to the federal transportation agencies (such as the USCG).

Designated “Qualified Agencies” would have the ability to update the card by adding information relevant to that agency (for example, the USCG might have the authority to add license or merchant mariner’s document information to a TWIC issued by TSA or state motor vehicle administration). The CDAG described this approach as akin to using” one card to replace a whole wallet,” or a single card as the platform for multiple layers of encrypted information.

MM&P Wheelhouse Weekly



The MM&P Federal Credit Union has lowered its loan rates. Current loan rates are listed below. In addition, members are reminded that many employers offer payroll deduction for savings.

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

For more info about the Credit Union, contact Credit Union manager Kathy Klisavage at or by calling toll-free 1-800-382-7777.

Signature Loan

  • Maximum amount: $3,000.
  • Preferred Borrower APR: 11.24%.
  • Standard APR: 12.00%.

Debt Consolidation Loan

  • Maximum amount: $7,500.
  • Preferred Borrower APR: 8.25%.
  • Standard APR: 9.50%.

Share and CD Loans

  • Maximum amount: 95% of shares or CD.
  • APR: 3.00% over rate currently earned.

New Car/2nd Chance Auto Loan

  • Maximum amount $25,000.
  • 60 month – Preferred APR: 6.50%. Standard APR: 7.25%.
  • 48 month – Preferred APR: 5.75%. Standard APR: 6.50%.
  • 36 month – Preferred APR: 5.50%. Standard APR: 6.25%

Used Auto

  • Up to 48 months.
  • Maximum amount: $15,000.
  • Preferred Borrower APR: 7.25%.
  • Standard APR: 8.00%


The Fine Print

APR is Annual Percentage Rate. Preferred Borrower APR is available to Credit Union members who maintain a minimum share deposit of at least 10% of the original principal balance of the loan requested. Funds must remain on deposit until the loan is paid in full. Contact the Credit Union for full details.

$15,000 minimum purchase amount required for an auto loan in excess of 48 months.

New and used recreational vehicles, motorcycles or boats will have the same interest rates as new or used automobiles. Maximum term of any used vehicle is based on the age of the vehicle. Maximum loan amount is based on actual N.A.D.A. value of vehicle.

Rates and conditions are effective February 1, 2002, and are subject to change without notice.

MM&P Wheelhouse Weekly



Openings in Classes Through the End of June 2002

  • 3/11-15: FF-ADV, ARPA, COMP-APS
  • 3/15: ATER, ENVPRO
  • 3/23: CBRD-1, ROR
  • 3/25-29: HAZ, COMP-NET
  • 4/1-5: FF-ADV, COMP-ABSS
  • 4/8-12: BST, ARPA, TPIC
  • 4/8-19: GMDSS
  • 4/13: CBRD-1, ROR
  • 4/15-19: HAZ, BRM, ECDIS
  • 4/15-18: SMA
  • 4/19: ATER, ENV PRO
  • 5/6-10: BST, ARPA, MSC-COMMS
  • 5/6-9: SMA; 5/10: ATER, ENVPRO
  • 5/11: CBRD-1, ROR
  • 5/13-24: MED-PIC
  • 5/13-17: BST, ARPA, COMP-NET
  • 5/20: CBRD-1
  • 5/21: HAZMAT, EAP
  • 5/22-24: MED-DOT-DA
  • 6/3-28: SMC
  • 6/3: ROR
  • 6/3-14: GMDSS
  • 6/10-14: BST, SHS-BAS, BRM, COMP-NET, FRB
  • 6/10-13: SMA
  • 6/14: ATER, ENVPRO
  • 6/15: CBRD-1, ROR
  • 6/17-21: FF-ADV, BRM, ARPA, WX-HWA
  • 6/17: ROR
  • 6/24-28: SHS-EMR, BRM, VPM



Standard offerings for BRM and SHS-EMR are now five days. Three day versions are no longer scheduled.



Schedule through June 2002 is being maintained on the website. Hard copies of the January-June 2002 schedule have been mailed to the halls. Check the MITAGS website at: for up-to-date info. For additional course info, contact Mary Matlock at voice: 443-989-3226 or Email:


MM&P Wheelhouse Weekly



Openings in Classes Through the End of June 2002

  • 3/4-8: Radar, BRM, GMDSS, BST
  • 3/11-15: TPIC, Med 1st, BAFF, GMDSS Refresher
  • 3/18-22: ARPA, Med 1st, Med PIC
  • 3/25-29: ECDIS
  • 4/1-5: TPIC, Med 1st, Med PIC
  • 4/8-12: ARPA, BST
  • 4/15-19: NEW: Computer Basics (IC3 Ceritification)
  • 4/22-26: ECDIS, GMDSS, BAFF
  • 4/29-5/3: ARPA
  • 5/6-10: Radar, Med 1st, Med PIC, BST
  • 5/13-17: GMDSS
  • 5/20-24: BRM, BAFF, GMDSS Refresher
  • 5/27-31: ECDIS, Med 1st, Med PIC
  • 6/3-7: TPIC, BST
  • 6/10-14: ARPA, GMDSS
  • 6/17-21: Radar, GMDSS Refresher
  • 6/24-28: Computer Basics (IC3 Ceritification), ECDIS, BAFF



PMI is now offering two week “Medical Person in Charge” and one week “Medical First Aid Provider” course. To learn more about the STCW Requirements for Medical First Aid Provider and Medical Person in Charge, refer to PMI’s webpage at which will link you to the relevant policy letter.



Register online at


MM&P Wheelhouse Weekly



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MM&P Wheelhouse Weekly

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 contact John Peige at The Wheelhouse Weekly is sent via Email to MM&P-contracted vessels at sea, broadcast worldwide via FEC marine telex andis posted on our web page under “News” at:

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