Wheelhouse Weekly – Jan. 19, 2016

January 20th 2016

Volume 21 . . . Number 3. . . Jan. 19, 2016


In this issue:


Coast Guard News:

MM&P Members:


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Reliance on foreign-flag shipping for commercial or strategic purposes puts the United States in an extremely vulnerable position, according to an article published in the winter 2016 edition of the Naval War College Review.

The author of the article, Christopher J. McMahon, is the Maritime Administration’s Emory S. Land Chair of Merchant Marine Affairs at the U.S. Naval War College.

In the article, which is posted at, he examines the historic role of the U.S. Merchant Marine and its importance to America’s economic security and military readiness.

“In keeping with so many of our nation’s political, military, and maritime leaders throughout American history, this article contends that relying substantially on foreign-flag shipping for either strategic or commercial purposes places the United States in an extremely vulnerable position,” he writes.

“Our history has proved this repeatedly through the centuries. Once again today, it is in the interest of the United States to take serious and comprehensive steps to reverse the declining trend of the U.S. Merchant Marine.”

McMahon advocates a comprehensive national maritime policy, including “tax incentives and other innovative promotional programs (notably, not involving additional direct subsidies to the industry),” to enable America’s merchant marine, “to regain its position as a leader in maritime commerce.”

Among the great Americans he quotes is President Woodrow Wilson, who told Congress: “We have grossly erred in the way in which we have stunted and hindered the development of our merchant marine… It is necessary for many weighty reasons of national efficiency and development that we should have a great merchant marine… It is high time we repaired our mistakes and resumed our commercial independence on the sea.”

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The International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF) has condemned, “in the strongest possible terms,” a Jan. 13 dawn raid on the Australian-crewed MV PORTLAND.

Up to 30 security guards were reportedly used to eject five Australian crew members from the vessel and usher on a non-national crew, which then set sail for a breaking yard in Singapore.

The ejected crew were defending the PORTLAND’s status as an Australian-flagged and crewed ship dedicated to Australian coastal routes, and protesting against its owner, Alcoa, which plans to outsource its work to a flag-of-convenience (FOC) ship.

The raid came despite widespread protests by seafarers and their unions in Australia and around the world.

“They came for the PORTLAND like thieves in the night,” said ITF General Secretary Steve Cotton. “This raid and the flight of this respected vessel–with its 27-year history of serving Australian industry–raises grave questions, not just about the future of Australia as a maritime nation but also about the fitness of the crew who have been parachuted in to take this vessel away. The ITF will be investigating these matters fully, including the role of the Australian Maritime Safety Authority in this affair.”

ITF President Paddy Crumlin questioned the government’s decision to grant a license to Alcoa to use foreign ships on the PORTLAND’s domestic route. He also asked what procedures were followed in bringing the replacement crewmembers into Australia: “How did the foreign crew gain permission to enter the country and then sail the vessel? Where are the crew from? What security checks do they have? What visa are they on?”

At the end of 2015, the ITF’s cabotage task force laid out the economic and national case for retaining cabotage laws. Forty-seven countries have some form of cabotage law because it is good for their economies: a thriving maritime industry translates into good jobs which have beneficial effects on local communities.

Failing to protect cabotage, on the other hand, undermines national sovereignty and has serious security implications. It also has grave economic consequences on maritime regions and communities.

Alcoa was allowed to use a flag-of-convenience (FOC) vessel with a foreign crew after the Turnbull Government granted the company a temporary license on the exclusively domestic run moving cargo between Western Australia and a smelter in Portland. The MV PORTLAND, crewed by Australian mariners, had plied the route for 27 years.

Temporary licenses are intended for predominantly foreign trading ships that call into more than one Australian port for a temporary period.

“Australia currently has cabotage laws which state that ships trading through domestic ports are to be Australian flagged and crewed,” Crumlin said. “The Turnbull Government should never have issued this temporary license to Alcoa and they should cancel it immediately.”

“Australians have a right to work jobs in their own country and to be treated with respect by an employer profiting off the minerals that belong to the Australian people,” he added.

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The International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF) has called for an inquest into the death of a 26-year-old Filipino seafarer last month aboard a Panamanian-registered coal carrier.

Christian Borbon died Dec. 19 aboard the Japanese-owned, Panamanian registered BEAUFIX while the vessel was en route from China to Gladstone, Australia, to load Australian coal.

Borbon was diagnosed with tonsillitis in China. He left Shanghai on Dec. 13 and died six days later, said ITF National Coordinator Dean Summers.

“Nine of the surviving crew complained of similar symptoms but were told they would need to pay $500 each to see a doctor in the first port of Gladstone,” Summers said.

“These seafarers are paid so little they do not have $500 for a medical,” he said. Summers also noted that, by law, the shipping company is required to pay for seafarers’ medical care when they are on board ship.

Thanks to the intervention of the ITF, the men have now been seen by a doctor. The ITF says its inspections also found problems with the drinking water on board the ship. Summers said the owner, Nissen Kaiun, has since fixed the water equipment.

The body of the Filipino seafarer was taken to Rockhampton, Australia, for an autopsy. Under orders of the ship’s master, the crew had cleaned him, changed his clothes and wrapped his body in plastic and masking tape.

Australia is currently undertaking an inquest into the three fatalities that occurred on board another FOC vessel, the SAGE SAGITTARIUS–known as “the Death Ship”–between August and October 2012.

“As the body count increases from FOC shipping, our government continues to dismantle the Australian industry, replacing it with this de-registered, disgraceful form of shipping,” Summers said.

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Members of the Airline Pilots Association (ALPA), which along with MM&P is an affiliate of the AFL-CIO Transportation Trades Department (TTD), were on Capitol Hill last week to urge adoption by the United States of additional protective measures to keep intruders out of cockpits.

United Airlines pilots who met with members of Congress argued that the current “alternative”—a flight attendant with or without a serving cart acting as a human shield—is not an acceptable layer of security.

ALPA is asking legislators to mandate secondary barriers on passenger aircraft. Secondary barriers are lightweight devices that are easy to deploy and stow, installed between the passenger cabin and the cockpit door, that block access to the flight deck whenever the reinforced door is opened during flight.

After the 9/11 attacks, the U.S. Congress and Canada’s Parliament mandated that on certain types of airliners, airlines replace standard cockpit doors with hardened doors. However, practical experience using these doors soon revealed a critical vulnerability—the reinforced door must be periodically opened during flight for pilots’ operational and physiological needs, which means they may be compromised by one or more terrorists who could rush the flight deck.

To address this unintended security lapse, a secondary barrier was developed by airlines for use whenever the cockpit door is open during flight.

Government and industry studies have shown that secondary cockpit barriers are an effective, inexpensive way to protect aircraft during flight when the cockpit door must be opened.

ALPA represents more than 52,000 pilots at 30 airlines in the United States and Canada. ALPA and MM&P work together with TTD and its other 30 member unions to advocate for the millions of U.S. transportation industry workers they represent.

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The Coast Guard’s National Maritime Center (NMC) says that until further notice, it will continue to accept applications for medical certificates submitted via U.S. Coast Guard form CG-719K Rev (01-09) with an expiration date of June 30, 2012.

The Coast Guard notes that the form in question is not required; it is an alternative to the current version, form CG-719K Rev. (01-14) with an expiration date of Jan. 31, 2016.

The agency says that mariners and others with questions should contact the NMC Customer Service Center using its chat function, by e-mailing or by calling 1-888-IASKNMC (427-5662) with any questions regarding these forms.

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In case of winter storms and inclement weather, please call ahead before visiting MM&P headquarters or MM&P union halls.

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MITAGS needs your current address! Have you moved recently? Did you remember to send MITAGS your new address for communications regarding courses? Please send your current contact information to or to the fax number below. New dedicated fax line for Admissions only: 1-443-568-1928. For all other MITAGS business, please continue to use: 410-859-5181.

For class availability or information on MITAGS courses and programs, contact Elisabeth Cruz, Admissions Coordinator, toll-free at 866-656-5568 or by e-mail: Why not try our on-line calendar to register for class:

Please note the special addition to our on-campus schedule of MSC classes marked with an asterisk (*), which are not normally scheduled to be held at MITAGS.

AB – 4/18/16, 8/22/16, 10/17/16

AIS-1 – Automatic Identifications Systems Orientation: 5/27/16, 7/22/16

ARPA-OIC – Automated Radar Plotting Aids: 1/26/16, 4/5/16, 8/9/16, 9/27/16

AZIPOD 2-Day – 2/29/16, 5/25/16, 11/14/16

BRM-35 – Bridge Resource Management: 2/1/16, 4/4/16, 8/8/16, 10/31/16

BRMP –Bridge Resource Management for Pilots: 2/29/16, 05/23/2016, 7/18/16, 11/14/16

BRMP-EMR –Bridge Resource Management for Pilots with Emergency Shiphandling: 3/2/16,04/13/16

BT – Basic Safety Training: 1/25/16, 2/22/16, 04/11/16, 06/27/16, 8/15/16, 10/10/16

BT-Revalidation – 05/10/16, 8/22/16, 10/31/16

CHS-OIC – Cargo Handling Basic: 4/25/16, 11/14/16

[CMM – Chief Mate and Master Courses]

ADVNAV-CMM – Advanced Navigation (=ECDIS & VPEN): Contact Admissions

ADVSTB-CMM – Advanced Stability: 1/25/16, 3/28/16, 06/20/16, 8/1/16, 10/17/16

ADVWX-CMM – Advanced Meteorology: 3/7/16, 06/06/16, 8/8/16, 11/7/16

CHS-CMM – Advanced Cargo Operations (2 weeks): 04/04/16, 10/24/16

ECDIS – Electronic Chart Display Information System: 2/22/16, 3/21/16, 06/13/16, 7/25/16,8/15/16, 9/12/16, 10/10/16, 11/28/16, 12/19/16

LMS – Leadership and Managerial Skills (Management Level – Formerly MCL-CMM) 2/15/16,2/29/16, 3/14/16, 4/4/16, 4/11/16, 5/23/16, 6/27/16, 7/11/16, 7/25/16, 8/15/16,8/22/16, 9/12/16,10/3/16, 10/31/16, 11/14/16,11/28/16, 12/5/16, 12/12/16, 12/19/16

MPP-CMM – Marine Propulsion Plants: 05/02/16, 9/19/16

SEC-APPS – Practical Defense Tactics: 3/28/16, 6/20/16, 8/1/16, 10/31/16

SHMGT-CMM- Ship Management (2 weeks): 04/18/16, 10/3/16

SHS-ADV-I-CMM – Advanced Shiphandling (week 1): 2/8/16, 3/14/16, 04/18/16, 05/09/16,06/13/16, 7/18/16, 8/15/16, 9/12/16, 10/24/16, 11/7/16, 12/5/16

SHS-ADV-II-CMM – Advanced Shiphandling (week 2): 2/15/16, 3/21/16, 04/25/16, 05/16/16, 06/20/16, 7/25/16, 8/22/16, 9/19/16, 10/31/16, 11/14/16, 12/12/16

VPEN-CMM – Voyage Planning & Electronic Navigation: 2/29/16, 9/12/16

WKP-CMM – Advanced Watchkeeping: 05/09/16, 9/26/16

CNAV-OIC – Celestial Navigation: 05/02/16, 10/24/16

CONT PLNG – Contingency Planning Workshop: Contact Admissions

CRISIS-COMMS – Crisis Communications: 3/2/16, 7/19/16

DDE – Great Lakes: 2/1/16, 6/6/16

DPA – Contact Admissions

ECDIS-OIC – Contact Admissions

ECDIS-Pilots – 3/2/16, 05/25/16, 7/20/16, 11/14/16

ERM – Engine Resource Management: 2/8/16, 3/21/16, 4/18/16, 5/9/16, 7/18/16, 8/22/16, 9/26/16, 10/24/16, 11/14/16, 11/28/16, 12/5/16, 12/12/16, 12/19/16

FF-BADV – Fire Fighting Combined Basic & Advanced: 1/25/16, 2/22/16, 04/11/16, 06/27/16, 8/15/16, 10/10/16

FSM – Fatigue, Sleep, & Medications: 1/26/16, 04/19/16, 9/20/16

GL Pilot – Great Lakes Pilotage Familiarization: 1/22/16

GMDSS – Global Maritime Distress and Safety System: 3/7/16, 8/22/16

HAZ – Hazardous Materials (5 day): 6/27/16, 8/29/16, 12/5/16

LAP- 4/4/16, 9/19/16

LAP-Great Lakes – License Advancement Program – Great Lakes: 1/25/16

LAP-ORG3rd – License Advancement Program for Original 3rd Mate, Oceans, Any Gross
Ton License: 3/7/16, 06/06/16, 8/8/16, 12/5/16

LEG – Legal Aspects of Pilotage: 1/27/16, 3/1/16, 4/20/16, 5/23/16, 7/19/16, 9/21/16, 11/15/16

LNG-TPIC – 12/5/16

LTS –Leadership and Teamworking Skills (Formerly MCL-OIC): 4/4/16

MEECE – Management of Electrical and Electronic Control: 2/22/16, 3/28/16, 4/25/16, 5/16/16, 7/11/16, 8/29/16, 9/19/16, 10/17/16, 11/7/16, 11/28/16, 12/5/16, 12/12/16, 12/19/16

MED-PIC – Medical Person in Charge: 3/21/16, 05/16/16, 7/11/16, 11/7/16, 12/12/16

MED-PIC-REF– Medical Person in Charge Refresher: 2/1/15, 3/14/16, 05/02/16, 8/29/16, 10/3/16

MED-PRO – Medical Care Provider: 2/15/16, 3/21/16, 05/16/16, 11/7/16, 11/28/16, 12/12/16

MED-DOT-DA – Dept. of Transportation Drug & Alcohol Testing: 1/31/16, 3/19/16, 05/14/16, 8/28/16, 11/12/16, 12/17/16

MSA –Maritime Security Awareness: Contact Admissions

[MSC – Military Sealift Command Courses]

MSC-CBRD-1 – Military Sealift Command Chemical, Biological, Radiological Defense Orientation (Basic): 3/8/16, 6/10/16, 8/10/16, 10/17/16

MSC-DC – Military Sealift Command Damage Control: 3/5/16 (March is 4 evenings), 6/8/16, 8/8/16, 10/18/16

*MSC-ENVPRO –2/28/16, 6/5/16, 8/7/16, 10/16/16

*MSC-FF-HELO – 2/22/16, 6/6/16, 8/22/16, 10/31/16

MSC-SMA – Military Sealift Command Small Arms Qualification: 2/29/16, 6/13/16, 8/14/16, 10/23/16

*MSC-Security Watch Basic – 2/26/16, 6/11/16, 8/11/16, 10/20/16

*MSC-Security Watch Advanced – 3/4/16, 6/17/16, 8/13/16, 10/22/16

*MSC-Ship’s Reaction Force – 3/5/16, 6/18/16, 8/18/16, 10/27/16

NSAP-MMP – Navigational Skills Assessment Program-MM&P – 2/11/16, 5/23/16, 7/26/16, 10/25/16

ROR-1 – Radar Observer Renewal: 1/25/16, 5/9/16

ROR-1N – Radar Observer Renewal Evening Classes: 1/ 20/16, 1/27/16, 2/3/16, 2/10/16, 2/24/16, 3/9/16, 3/16/16, 04/06/16, 04/20/16, 05/04/16, 05/18/16, 06/08/16, 06/22/16, 7/13/16, 7/27/16, 8/10/16, 8/24/16, 9/21/16, 10/5/16, 10/19/16, 11/2/16, 11/9/16, 11/16/16, 11/30/16, 12/7/16, 12/14/16

ROU-OIC – Radar Observer Program – Unlimited: 2/1/16, 8/1/16

SAR-OIC – Search & Rescue – 04/18/16, 11/7/16

SHS-BAS-OIC – Basic Shiphandling: 2/15/16, 04/11/16, 06/27/16, 8/29/16, 10/17/16

SHS-EMR5 – Emergency Shiphandling-5 Day: 1/25/16, 3/7/16, 05/02/16, 8/1/16, 10/3/16, 11/28/16

SMS – Contact Admissions

STB-OIC – Ship Construction and Basic Stability: 2/8/16, 8/8/16

TCNAV/CO – Terrestrial Navigation and Compasses: 7/11/16

TPIC – Tankerman Person in Charge: 2/22/16, 8/8/16

TRAC-TUG-2: Contact Admissions

TTT – Contact Admissions

VPDSD – Vessel Personnel with Designated Security Duties: 4/28/16

VSO – Vessel Security Officer: 2/15/16, 04/25/16, 7/13/16, 9/7/16, 10/22/16

WKP-OIC – Watchkeeping (Operational Level): 3/21/16, 10/3/16

WX-OIC –Meteorology (Operational Level): 2/29/16, 9/19/16

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Please also see our schedule and enroll online at For registration contact our registrar, Jennifer Pitzen: 206.838.1126 or

January 2016

18-22 Leadership & Managerial Skills (waitlist only)
18-29 GMDSS
25-29 Radar Observer Unlimited
25-29 MEECE (waitlist only)
25-29 Leadership & Managerial Skills (waitlist only)
27-28 ISO 9001: 2015 Implementation Workshop

February 2016

1-4 ARPA
1-5 Leadership & Managerial Skills (waitlist only)
5th Flashing Light
8th Radar Renewal
8-12 Engine Resource Management (waitlist only)
15-19 Medical Care Provider
15-26 Medical Person-In-Charge
22-26 ECDIS (waitlist only)
22-26 Leadership & Managerial Skills (waitlist only)
22-26 Bridge Resource Management
22-26 MEECE (waitlist only)
29-4 Basic Meteorology

March 2016

7th Radar Renewal
7-11 Leadership & Managerial Skills (waitlist only)
14-18 MEECE (waitlist only)
15th Leadership & Teamworking Skills
16-17 Security Officer – Vessel, Company, and Facility
21-25 ECDIS (waitlist only)
21-25 Leadership & Managerial Skills (waitlist only)
21-25 Engine Resource Management (waitlist only)
28-8 Celestial Navigation
30-31 Leadership for Shoreside Managers

April 2016

4-8 Leadership & Managerial Skills (waitlist only)
4-8 Engine Resource Management (waitlist only)
11th Radar Renewal
11-22 GMDSS
18-22 Leadership & Managerial Skills (waitlist only)
18-22 Medical Care Provider
18-22 MEECE (waitlist only)
25-29 ECDIS
27-29 Bridge Resource Management & Emergency Shiphandling for Pilots

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The MM&P Wheelhouse Weekly is the official electronic newsletter of the International Organization of Masters, Mates, & Pilots, ILA, AFL-CIO, 700 Maritime Blvd. Suite B, Linthicum Heights, MD 21090-1953. Phone: 410-850-8700; Fax: 410-850-0973. All rights reserved. The MM&P Wheelhouse Weekly © 2015. Articles can be reprinted without prior permission if credit is given to The MM&P Wheelhouse Weekly. For address changes, send an e-mail to Back issues of The Weekly are posted on