Wheelhouse Weekly – Jan. 27, 2015

January 28th 2015 ,

Volume 19 . . . Number 4 . . . Jan. 27, 2015


In this issue:



MM&P Members:

It’s No Surprise:

Upcoming Events:


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


Maritime unions, advocates of the U.S.-flag fleet in Congress and maritime industry groups have mobilized against Sen. John McCain’s most recent attack on the Jones Act. This time, the Arizona Republican is seeking to advance his decades-long battle by means of an amendment to a completely unrelated piece of legislation, the Keystone Pipeline Act. The amendment would eliminate the “build” requirement of the Jones Act, decimating the American shipbuilding and maintenance industries.

In a release to national media outlets, MM&P called the McCain amendment “a job killer of epic and irreversible proportions.” Among those actively opposing it are many members of Congress on both sides of the aisle, the Shipbuilders Council of America and the American Maritime Partnership. “In Washington sometimes up is down and offense is defense, but an amendment that seeks to eliminate highly skilled, steady middle-class jobs employing hundreds of thousands of our countrymen should never be called good for America,” said MM&P President Don Marcus. McCain’s amendment, if approved, would decimate the nation’s shipping industry, eliminating as many as 400,000 U.S. jobs spread over 26 states, lead to the closing of shipyards and related industries, reduce the nation’s GDP by an estimated $36 billion and erase $24 billion in American workers’ wages and benefits, according to figures compiled by the AFL-CIO’s Transportation Trades Department.

The groups that would most benefit if it were to pass are heavily subsidized foreign shipping competitors not subject to U.S. laws, regulations, environmental standards or taxes.

A bipartisan group of legislators, including Republicans Sens. Thad Cochran and Roger Wicker, and Democrats Bob Casey and Tammy Baldwin, have been vocal in their opposition to McCain’s amendment. “The Jones Act is an important law that promotes a robust domestic maritime industry that helps to ensure our national security, while also providing for 500,000 U.S. jobs and producing over $100 billion dollars in economic output,” said Congressman Adam Smith (D-Wash.). “Any attempt to repeal or weaken this law would be harmful to our national security and our economy.”

“One of the reasons our Navy is strong is because of the U.S.-shipyard industrial base,” wrote 32 members of the House of Representatives in a Jan. 20 letter to Senate leaders. “Shipbuilding and maintenance are essential to the safety and security of our nation.” Signing the letter were Reps. Joe Courtney (D-Conn.), Steven Palazzo (R-Miss.), John Garamendi (D-Calif.), Duncan Hunter (R-Calif.), Frank LoBiondo (R-N.J.), Mark Takai (D-Hawaii), Elizabeth Esty (D-Conn.), Daniel Lipinski (D-Ill.), Bradley Byrne (R-Alabama), Alan Lowenthal (D-Calif.), Derek Kilmer (D-Wash.), Scott DesJarlais (R-Tenn.), Elijah Cummings (D-Md.), Tulsi Gabbard (D-Hawaii), Chellie Pingree (D-Maine), Julia Brownley (D-Calif.), Richard Nugent (R-Fla.), Robert Wittman (R-Va.), Scott Rigell (R-Va.), Ted Poe (R-Texas), John J. Duncan (R-Tenn.), Peter King (R-N.Y.), Stephen Fincher (R-Tenn.), Scott Peters (D-Calif.), Charles Boustany (R-La.), James Langevin (D-R.I.), Randy Forbes (R-Va.), Jason Smith
(R-Mo.), Steve Israel (D-N.Y.), David Cicillene (D-R.I.), Stephen Lynch (D-Mass.) and Rick Larsen (D-Wash.).

The International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) has been vocal in expressing its members’ opposition to the McCain amendment. In a Jan. 16 letter to every member of the Senate, ILWU President Robert McEllrath called the amendment “dangerous.” He said that if approved, it would “displace hardworking American taxpayers with foreign workers not subject to American laws, regulations and taxes, and allow foreign shipbuilding interests to secure a foothold in the American market.” While U.S. mariners and shipyards are subject to strict Coast Guard regulations that ensure that safe practices are adhered to, “their foreign counterparts are not,” McEllrath said.

In an impassioned speech on the floor of the House, Rep. Derek Kilmer (D-Wash.) urged the Senate “not to unravel” the Jones Act. He said the McCain amendment, if passed, “would undermine our domestic maritime industry and workforce.”

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MITAGS-PMI will provide one-stop training, upgrade and certification services for Crowley licensed deck officers who are members of the MM&P United Inland Group. The new program has been made possible by the fact that long-time MM&P employer Crowley is now a member of the Maritime Advancement, Training, Education & Safety (MATES) training fund, established in 1968 by MM&P and its contracted employers. In addition to Crowley, major contributors to the MATES Program include Maersk Lines Ltd., APL Maritime, LMS Ship Management, Matson Lines and Grand River Navigation.

“MM&P is gratified that our forward-looking employer Crowley has decided to formally become a member of the MATES Program,” said MM&P President Don Marcus. “It has long been the goal of United Inland Group Vice President Mike Murray and MM&P to bring the highest quality training to our Inland Sector members. We thank Crowley for making the commitment to our professional workforce.” The new program assures compliance with all deck officer regulatory training requirements.

“We are pleased to welcome Crowley as the newest member company of MATES and look forward to satisfying its continuing education and training requirements,” said MITAGS-PMI Executive Director Glen Paine. “The MATES program has many benefits for Crowley, including consistency and quality of training and a significant reduction in costs.”

Jacksonville-based Crowley Maritime is a privately held family- and employee-owned company. It provides project solutions and energy and logistics services in domestic and international markets through six lines of business: Puerto Rico/Caribbean Liner Services, Latin America Liner Services, Logistics Services, Petroleum Services, Marine Services and Technical Services.

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MM&P and two other U.S. maritime officers’ unions have requested a meeting with Coast Guard officials to discuss how the agency will conform U.S. regulations to recent changes in the international requirements on what constitutes a safe manning level for each ship.

“A sea change has taken place in the requirements on how manning levels are to be determined,” the three officers’ unions wrote in a Jan. 22 letter to Coast Guard Rear Adm. Paul Thomas. “The international regulations are now in place to establish realistic manning levels for ships in international trade and level the playing field between ship owners who have used unrealistic manning levels to gain competitive advantage at the expense of responsible ship owners and maritime safety.”

The International Maritime Organization (IMO) and the world have long struggled with the problems of undermanned ships, excessive workloads, fatigue and the resulting human errors causing maritime casualties. New IMO guidelines make companies responsible for submitting safe manning proposals that take into account the operational requirements and circumstances specific to each vessel. The IMO action in resolution (A.104.27) includes a list of operational factors that influence workload, along with functions that must be performed by the crew in different operational circumstances. The resolution itself takes the form of guidance, but the IMO has also amended SOLAS V, Regulation 14-Manning, with mandatory language providing that administrations “shall establish appropriate minimum safe manning following a transparent procedure, taking into account the guidance in resolution (A.1047.27).”

The IMO resolution contains a list of operational factors that influence workload and the associated functions that must be performed by the crew, with the proviso that a standardized task evaluation be used to establish safe manning levels. The new standard is actual operational manning, rather than theoretical bare minimum manning as in the past. National administrations are then called on to approve a company’s submission depending on whether the manning levels proposed are in accordance with resolution A.1047.27. The amendment to SOLAS V means national administrations and companies are accountable for implementing the guidelines: they must either comply or present reasoned justifications for non-compliance.

Together, the three unions—MM&P, the Marine Engineers’ Beneficial Association (MEBA) and the American Maritime Officers (AMO)—represent the licensed deck and engineering officers on the vast majority of U.S.-flag ships covered by international regulations under the SOLAS Convention. The letter was signed by MM&P President Don Marcus, MEBA President Marshall Ainley and AMO President Paul Doell.

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The Coast Guard’s National Maritime Center (NMC) is reporting delays of more than 75 days in processing some applications for the Transportation Workers’ Identification Credential (TWIC). The agency says it is “working diligently to reduce the time it takes to process all TWIC applications.” It urges applicants to apply for a TWIC at least 10 weeks before the card will actually be required. Additionally, the agency reminds applicants who intend to pay for the card by check or money order that the fee has been reduced to $128 and that enrolment centers can accept only checks or money orders made out for the exact amount: no cash. The agency says the $1.75 reduction in price is attributed to lower FBI charges to process fingerprints.

In related news, starting on July 1, the agency says TWIC applicants who were born in the United States, and who claim U.S. citizenship, must provide documents to prove their citizenship. It says the change is being made to align TWIC policy with the policies of other U.S.-government document issuing agencies.

Finally, the agency says it is working to increase the space allocated on the card for the applicant’s last name. In the current format, if a person’s last name exceeds 14 characters, all characters after the 14th are not printed. In some cases, cardholders have been stopped at facility gates because the name on the card has been truncated so that it does not match their full name. The agency says the new format will allow for last names of up to 19 characters.

As a reminder, appointments at enrolment centers are no longer necessary: all TWIC services are available at enrollment centers to walk-ins as well as those with appointments, although those with appointments will be served first.

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There is only one month left to comment on the Coast Guard’s proposal to require maritime facilities to implement a system that provides seafarers with access between vessels and the facility gate “in a timely manner and at no cost.” The proposed regulation seeks to ensure that no terminal denies or makes it impractical for seafarers or other individuals to transit the facility. The proposed rule would implement an act of Congress that requires terminals to provide access to ships and maritime facility gates in a timely manner and at no cost to the seafarer. The proposed regulation, if approved, would constitute a major step forward for mariners in the United States.

It is expected that there will be substantial pushback from terminal owners and operators seeking to avoid responsibility for providing access to mariners. It is extremely important that those affected by lack of timely access provide comments to the USCG docket in support of the proposed regulations. Please submit your comments now.

The complete text of the Federal Register Notice can be found on the MM&P website,, or at the Federal eRulemaking Portal under docket number USCG-2013-1087. Comments must be submitted on or before Feb. 27, or reach the docket management facility by that date. You may submit comments identified by docket number USCG-2013-1087 using any one of the following methods: Federal eRulemaking Portal:; Fax: 202-493-2251; Mail: Docket Management Facility (M-30), U.S. Department of Transportation, West Building Ground Floor, Room W12-140, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE, Washington, DC 20590-0001.

“Shore leave is a basic human right for seafarers,” says MM&P Pilots Group Vice President George Quick, who has spent several years and a great deal of effort to bring the issue to the attention of the Coast Guard. “It is unconscionable that some U.S. terminal operators continue to ignore international treaty agreements and effectively restrict mariners to their vessels by imposing barriers to shore leave,” Quick said. “MM&P is immensely pleased that the Coast Guard is taking action to address the situation.”

“The whole point of our regulatory process is to be transparent,” said Andrew Tucci , chief of the Coast Guard’s Office of Port and Facility Compliance, at a Jan. 26 public meeting on the proposed rules. “We are trying very hard to preserve freedom and human dignity for seafarers while, of course, keeping our nation safe and secure. I very much appreciate your comments that help us to strengthen this regulation and achieve that goal of keeping our freedoms, preserve human dignity and meet the intent of the law.”

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The maritime officers’ union Nautilus has called for “a full and complete inquiry” into the Oct. 24 death of a seafarer aboard a rescue boat that fell into the water while being hoisted onto the Bermuda-registered cruise ship CORAL PRINCESS. A Filipino seafarer died and a British bosun was hospitalized with serious injuries when the starboard rescue boat was being recovered with the two men on board, after they had used it to perform maintenance work on the hull of the ship.

Nautilus Senior National Secretary Allan Graveson noted that the October incident came on the heels of another rescue boat accident in which five seafarers died and three were injured during a drill aboard the Maltese-flagged passenger vessel THOMSON MAJESTY. In an article that was published in the December 2014 issue of its monthly magazine, the union, which represents British, Dutch and Swiss ships’ officers, cites research showing that as many as 15 percent of all merchant mariner deaths involve lifeboat drills. In the CORAL PRINCESS case, the boat fell into the sea when the fall wire parted as it neared the davit head on deck 8 of the vessel. Nautilus officials say they are seeking “a full and complete investigation into the incident, with lessons learned made available to the industry.”

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Prosecutors in Italy will seek a sentence of 26 years and three months for Francesco Schettino, who was captain of the cruise ship COSTA CONCORDIA when it ran aground off Giglio Island on Jan. 13, 2013, causing 32 deaths. State Attorney Maria Navarro told the court the lengthy sentence was motivated partly by Schettino’s “unjustified and ignominious flight from the ship” and that there were “no attenuating circumstances” in the case. She said “only through Divine intervention” had more people not been killed. Another prosecutor, Stefano Pizza, hurled insults at the defendant, calling him “a careless idiot” and “a moron.” Navarro said Schettino should serve 14 years for manslaughter and causing injuries, nine for causing a shipwreck, three for abandoning ship and three months for lying to the authorities.

“I never expected anything better from these people,” Schettino told a reporter for the Italian business journal Il Sole 24 Ore after the hearing. “They built the entire trial on me and I knew I was going to be the only one crucified.” The trial is expected to go to the jury next month. In related news, the region of Tuscany and Giglio Island are seeking the equivalent of approximately $247 million in damages from Carnival Corp. subsidiary Costa Cruises for the impact of the disaster on local residents and the tourism industry.

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We are always on the lookout for photos of MM&P members and their vessels to post on and to publish in The Master, Mate & Pilot. Send your photos and news to Please remember to include complete caption information.

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Inspectors for the International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF) found serious violations of the Maritime Labor Convention (MLC) aboard one in three ships they inspected in the year after the MLC and its associated seafarers’ bill of rights came into effect. The findings, contained in a report presented to the ITF Fair Practices Committee at the end of last year, were reported by Nautilus, the union that represents British, Dutch and Swiss maritime officers. The ITF report found violations aboard 2,172 of the 7,482 vessels inspected between Aug. 20, 2013 and Aug. 19, 2014. The flags with most problems were St. Vincent (71 percent of ships inspected), Russia and Turkey (both 61 percent), Singapore (37 percent), Panama (28 percent) and Antigua and Barbuda (27 percent).

The most common violations were non-payment of wages, failure to produce employment agreements, abandonment/failure to repatriate, lack of appropriate medical care, substandard food and accommodations, low salaries, unfair dismissals and victimization. The article also cited the statistic, supplied by Port State Control (PSC) authorities, that one in five of all ship detentions in Europe over the past year was related to “deficiencies related to the MLC,” including non-payment of wages, inadequate manning levels and work-rest hour shortfalls.

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The Offshore Familiarization Course will be held at the MM&P New York/New Jersey Hall on Tuesday and Wednesday, Feb. 3-4, at 0930. If you are interested in participating in the course, please contact the hall: 201-963-1900. There is no sea-time requirement to take the course. All Offshore applicants, potential transferees from other membership groups and other interested Offshore members are encouraged to take the course as soon as possible.
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The Offshore Familiarization Course will be held at the MM&P San Francisco/Oakland Hall on Wednesday and Thursday, Feb. 4-5. If you are interested in participating in the course, please contact the hall: 415-777-5074. There is no sea-time requirement to take the course. All Offshore applicants, potential transferees from other membership groups and other interested Offshore members are encouraged to take the course as soon as possible.

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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 Kelly Michielli, 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 – 4/13/15, 8/17/15, 10/12/15

AIS-1 – Automatic Identifications Systems Orientation: 6/19/15, 7/13/15

ARPA-OIC – Automated Radar Plotting Aids: 3/31/15, 8/4/15, 9/22/15

AZIPOD 2-Day – 2/2/15, 4/6/15, 10/1/15

BRM-35 – Bridge Resource Management: 3/23/15, 5/18/15, 8/3/15, 10/19/15

BRMP –Bridge Resource Management for Pilots: 2/4/15, 3/2/15, 4/13/15, 6/17/15, 7/16/15, 11/9/15

BRMP-EMR –Bridge Resource Management for Pilots with Emergency Shiphandling: 3/4/15, 4/8/15, 9/28/15

BT – Basic Safety Training: 2/9/15, 4/6/15, 6/8/15, 8/10/15, 10/5/15

BT-Revalidation –8/4/15, 11/3/15

CHS-OIC – Cargo Handling Basic: 4/13/15, 10/26/15

[CMM – Chief Mate and Master Courses]

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

ADVSTB-CMM – Advanced Stability: 4/20/15, 6/15/15, 7/27/15, 9/28/15

ADVWX-CMM – Advanced Meteorology: 4/13/15, 6/1/15, 8/3/15, 10/19/15

CHS-CMM – Advanced Cargo Operations (2 weeks): 4/27/15, 10/5/15

ECDIS – Electronic Chart Display Information System: 4/6/15, 6/8/15, 8/17/15, 11/2/15, 12/7/15

LMS – Leadership and Managerial Skills (Management Level – Formerly MCL-CMM): 2/2/15, 2/16/15, 3/9/15, 3/30/15,6/22/15, 8/10/15, 10/26/15, 11/30/15

MPP-CMM – Marine Propulsion Plants: 3/2/15, 11/16/15

SHMGT-CMM- Ship Management (2 weeks): 3/9/15, 9/14/15

SHS-ADV-I-CMM – Advanced Shiphandling (week 1): 2/2/15, 3/9/15, 3/30/15, 4/13/15, 5/4/15, 6/1/15, 7/13/15, 8/10/15,8/24/15, 10/5/15, 11/9/15, 11/30/15

SHS-ADV-II-CMM – Advanced Shiphandling (week 2): 2/9/15, 3/16/15, 4/6/15, 4/20/15, 5/11/15, 6/8/15, 7/20/15, 8/17/15, 8/31/15, 10/12/15, 11/16/15, 12/7/15

VPEN-CMM – Voyage Planning & Electronic Navigation: 3/23/15

WKP-CMM – Advanced Watchkeeping: 5/11/15, 11/9/15

CNAV-OIC – Celestial Navigation: 4/27/15, 11/9/15

CONT PLNG – Contingency Planning Workshop: Contact Admissions

CRISIS-COMMS – Crisis Communications: 7/9/15

DDE – Great Lakes: 5/27/15

DPA – 3/19/15

ECDIS-OIC – 2/16/15

ECDIS-Pilots – 3/2/15, 6/15/15, 7/14/15, 11/12/15

ERM – Engine Resource Management: 2/23/15

FF-BADV – Fire Fighting Combined Basic & Advanced: 2/9/15, 4/6/15, 6/8/15, 8/10/15, 10/5/15

FSM – Fatigue, Sleep, & Medications: 4/14/15, 7/6/15, 9/15/15, 11/11/15

GL Pilot – Great Lakes Pilotage Familiarization: Contact Admissions

GMDSS – Global Maritime Distress and Safety System: 3/16/15, 8/24/15

HAZ – Hazardous Materials (5 day): 6/22/15, 8/31/15, 11/16/15

LAP- 4/6/15, 9/14/15

LAP-Great Lakes – License Advancement Program – Great Lakes: Contact Admissions

LAP-ORG3rd – License Advancement Program for Original 3rd Mate, Oceans, Any Gross
Ton License: 3/2/15, 6/1/15, 8/3/15, 11/30/15

LEG – Legal Aspects of Pilotage: 3/3/15, 4/15/15, 6/17/15, 7/16/15, 9/16/15, 11/10/15

LNG-TPIC – 12/7/15

LTS –Leadership and Teamworking Skills (Formerly MCL-OIC): 3/30/15, 9/21/15

MED-PIC – Medical Person in Charge: 3/16/15, 4/20/15, 6/15/15, 8/24/15, 12/7/15

MED-PIC-REF– Medical Person in Charge Refresher: 3/2/15, 5/11/15, 7/27/15, 9/28/15

MED-PRO – Medical Care Provider: 3/16/15, 4/20/15, 6/15/15, 8/24/15, 10/12/15, 12/7/15

MED-DOT-DA – Dept. of Transportation Drug & Alcohol Testing: 3/21/15, 4/25/15, 6/20/15, 7/25/15, 8/28/15, 11/5/15, 12/12/15

MSA –Maritime Security Awareness: Contact Admissions

[MSC – Military Sealift Command Courses]

MSC-CBRD-1 – Military Sealift Command Chemical, Biological, Radiological Defense Orientation (Basic): 2/26/15, 6/5/15, 8/19/15, 10/29/15

MSC-DC – Military Sealift Command Damage Control (4 Evenings): 2/23/15, 6/2/15, 8/17/15, 10/27/15

*MSC-ENVPRO – 2/15/15, 6/6/15, 8/16/15, 10/31/15

*MSC-FF-HELO – 2/10/15, 6/9/15, 8/3/15, 11/2/15

MSC-SMA – Military Sealift Command Small Arms Qualification: 2/16/15, 5/26/15, 8/8/15, 10/19/15

*MSC-Security Watch Basic – 2/20/15, 5/30/15, 8/6/15, 10/17/15

*MSC-Security Watch Advanced – 2/22/15, 6/1/15, 8/12/15, 10/23/15

*MSC-Ship’s Reaction Force – 2/23/15, 6/2/15, 8/13/15, 10/24/15

ROR-1 – Radar Observer Renewal: 3/30/15, 8/3/15, 9/21/15

ROR-1N – Radar Observer Renewal Evening Classes: 2/4/15, 2/18/15, 3/6/15, 3/18/15, 4/1/15, 4/15/15, 4/29/15, 5/6/15, 5/13/15, 6/3/15, 6/17/15, 7/8/15, 7/22/15, 8/5/15, 8/19/15, 9/2/15, 9/16/15, 9/30/15, 10/14/15, 10/28/15, 11/3/15, 11/11/15, 11/18/15, 12/2/15, 12/10/15

ROU-OIC – Radar Observer Program – Unlimited: 2/2/15, 3/23/15, 6/1/15, 7/27/15

SAR-OIC – Search & Rescue – 4/6/15, 10/19/15

SHS-BAS-OIC – Basic Shiphandling: 2/16/15, 5/11/15, 6/22/15, 11/2/15

SHS-EMR5 – Emergency Shiphandling-5 Day: 3/2/15, 4/27/15, 7/27/15, 9/28/15

SMS – 3/17/15

STB-OIC – Ship Construction and Basic Stability: 8/3/15

TCNAV/CO – Terrestrial Navigation and Compasses: 7/6/15

TPIC – Tankerman Person in Charge: 2/23/15, 8/3/15

TRAC-TUG-2: Contact Admissions

TTT – 3/23/15

VPDSD – Vessel Personnel with Designated Security Duties: 5/21/15

VSO – Vessel Security Officer: 2/4/15, 4/18/15, 5/18/15, 7/22/15, 9/9/15, 10/7/15, 10/17/15

WKP-OIC – Watchkeeping (Operational Level): 3/2/15, 9/28/15

WX-OIC –Meteorology (Operational Level): 2/23/15, 9/14/15

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

February 2015

2nd Flashing Light
3-7 ARPA
9-13 ECDIS
9-13 Leadership and Managerial Skills
9-13 Medical Care Provider
16-20 Rules of the Road
16-27 GMDSS
23-27 ECDIS
23-27 Leadership and Managerial Skills

March 2015

2-6 Leadership and Managerial Skills
2-6 Basic Construction and Stability
9th Radar Renewal
9-20 Celestial Navigation
16-20 Leadership and Managerial Skills
16-20 Medical Care Provider
16-27 GMDSS
16-27 Medical Person-In-Charge
23-27 ECDIS
30-3 Leadership and Managerial Skills

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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 new subscriptions or address changes, send an e-mail to Back issues of The Weekly are posted on