Wheelhouse Weekly – January 15, 2004

January 15th 2004


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

Volume 8 . . . . . Number 3 . . . . January 15, 2004




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



The January NY/NJ general membership meeting will take place on Wednesday, January 21. It was postponed one week due to a scheduling conflict with the Trust Meetings in Baltimore.



* On January 14, a meeting was held between the MM&P and the Marine Engineers’ Beneficial Association to discuss upcoming contract negotiations and other items of mutual interest to both unions. It was decided to form a joint negotiating committee for future contract meetings. The membership of both unions will be kept informed as discussions continue.

* This same article will appear in the MEBA Telex Times on Friday, January 16.



Congratulations and best wishes to members of the Alaska Marine Pilots, Houston Pilots and the Tampa Bay Pilots who have stepped up to serve as officers of their Pilot Associations for 2004.

At the Alaska Marine Pilots, Capt. Stephan Moreno is President. Capt. David Grobschmit is serving the pilots as Vice President and Capt. Michael Anthony is Secretary-Treasurer.

The Houston Pilots have selected Capt. Mike Morris as their Presiding Officer. He succeeds Capt. Paul Brown. Capt. George C. “Chris” Reeser was elected 1st Vice President with Capt. Robert Thompson stepping into the role of 2nd Vice President/Boatkeeper.

And in Florida, the Tampa Bay Pilots tapped Capt. Stephen Cropper to serve another term as Chairman.



After more than 38 years of service, C. Bradley Mulholland retired from MM&P-contracted Matson Navigation Company effective Jan.1. He served as vice chairman of the board. He also retired from his position as executive vice president of Alexander & Baldwin, Matson’s parent company, and from positions on the boards of both companies.

Mulholland joined Matson in 1965 and served in a variety of increasingly responsible positions throughout the company, ultimately being named president and chief operating officer of Matson in 1990, and then president and chief executive officer in 1992. He became vice-chairman of the board in 2002.

“We thank Brad for his many years of devoted service to Matson and his contributions to the organization over an extended period,” said A&B President and CEO Allen Doane. “We wish him the best in his retirement.”

Mulholland started as an assistant booking clerk in Southern California and, over the years, held such varied positions as district sales manager, regional sales manager, vice president sales, vice president of Matson Agencies, senior vice president in freight operations and president of Matson Terminals.



A federal judge ruled Jan. 7 that the Defense Department could again legally administer anthrax immunizations to troops. That same day, DoD personnel chief Dr. David S.C. Chu noted in a department-wide memorandum that military commanders “should immediately resume the anthrax vaccination program.”

The department’s anthrax vaccine immunization program (AVIP) had been in hiatus since Dec. 23rd, after an injunction granted by the US District Court for the District of Columbia caused DoD to suspend the program.

The department, Chu wrote in the memo, “remains convinced that the AVIP complies with all legal requirements, and there is now no judicial restraint” on administration of the vaccine.

Senior DoD leaders, including Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Air Force Gen. Richard Myers, maintain that the anthrax vaccine is a safe and necessary prophylactic for US troops deployed in the war against terrorism where enemies may employ biological, chemical or nuclear weapons of mass destruction. Both Rumsfeld and Myers have received anthrax shots.

On Dec.30th, the Food and Drug Administration announced that the anthrax vaccine does protect against the inhaled form of the bacteria. In a statement, the drug agency described its conclusion that “the licensed anthrax vaccine, Anthrax Vaccine Adsorbed, is safe and effective for the prevention of anthrax disease regardless of the route of exposure.”

Its language was clearly directed at Judge Emmet Sullivan of the US District Court for DC, who issued the Dec.23rd injunction to halt the Pentagon’s use of what he described as “an investigational drug.”

The judge wrote that the vaccine had been approved by the drug agency to protect against skin exposure to anthrax but not against airborne anthrax, the most likely route through which bacteria would be used to threaten American forces on the battlefield.

In its statement, the FDA said the new “final rule and order” made clear that it “does not regard the approved anthrax vaccine as investigational for protection against inhalation anthrax.” The new determination, the statement said, was “relevant and should be considered in any further litigation in this matter.”

Critics challenging the Pentagon’s mandatory anthrax vaccine program say the timing of the FDA’s announcement was driven by politics, not science. They claim that the alleged final rule is nothing more than after-the-fact gamesmanship to overrule the court’s findings.

The FDA countered by saying that numerous public studies undertaken by government laboratories and independent researchers confirm the safety and effectiveness of the vaccine against inhaled anthrax.



Electronic seal technology is maturing and may be applied to container security, according to a study released last week by the Cargo Handling Cooperative Program (CHCP).

Electronic seals, or e-seals, have been proposed as a way to improve security and track cargo movements worldwide. However, e-seals would likely have to be standardized in order to be widely used, and the study did not find any one type suitable for use as a standard.

The CHCP, a partnership between the Maritime Administration and private industry, compared five electronic security seals proposed for use on intermodal freight containers. The study found that the technology will continue to improve, and that it is critical to allow for growth in performance in application to the industry.

“There’s an urgent need for effective technology in this area,” said US Secretary of Transportation Norman Mineta. “By testing e-seals in the laboratory, at terminal gates, on the road, and in a simulated rail environment, we are making significant steps toward ensuring the safety of cargo containers throughout the nation.”

The e-seals have container info and can show if the seal has been subjected to tampering. The tested seals can be “read” by direct contact or on a specific radio frequency, which varies with the type of seal. For a system using e-seals to be efficient, seals would likely have to be “read” by one kind of reader, using one standard radio frequency.

“For e-seals to be useful, there will have to be an accepted international standard,” said Maritime Administrator Capt. William Schubert. “Any real-life solution must also provide real improvements in security and efficiency without unduly burdening operators. These results show that the intermodal freight community needs to take into consideration design and operations issues before any single e-seal solution can be standardized.”

The work of the cooperative was supported by the Space and Naval Warfare Systems Center of San Diego, California, and the Center for Commercial Deployment of Transportation Technologies (CCDoTT) at the California State University, Long Beach. The report is available online at



In the continuing saga of the British company that brought four rusting US ships to northeast England to be scrapped, a court in the UK has ruled that the company does not have the proper permit for the job.

High Court Judge Sir Jeremy Sullivan backed a legal challenge by three local residents, dealing another blow to Able UK Ltd.’s plan to scrap the ships at its yard near Hartlepool, at the mouth of the River Tees. The ships are part of a fleet of 13 obsolete US reserve “ghost fleet” vessels to be scrapped in Britain. A US court order has prevented the remaining nine from being transported from Virginia to Britain.

The three residents said dismantling the vessels could expose residents and sensitive wildlife sites to pollution. The environmental group Friends of the Earth says the ships contain hundreds of tons of toxins, including PCBs (polychlorinated biphenyls which are suspected of causing cancer) and asbestos.

The residents’ lawyer argued that the company’s permit to dismantle “marine structures” does not allow it to scrap the ships. Lawyers for the company argued that the license’s reference to “maritime structures” should include all manmade objects made for use at sea, including ships.

After a daylong hearing, Judge Sullivan sided with the residents. “In ordinary language, a ship is no more a marine structure than a car is a highway structure, a narrow boat is a canal structure or a steam locomotive is a railway structure,” the judge said.



The Lloyd’s List publication “Fairplay” reports that a collision between the P&O Nedlloyd containership VESPUCCI and the yacht WAHKUNA in the UK earlier this year was partly caused by over-confidence by the ship’s captain on the accuracy of his automatic radar plotting aid.

The UK’s Marine Accident Investigation Branch also blamed the yacht skipper’s misunderstanding of collision regulations applicable in fog. The incident, which occurred in the English Channel, resulted in damage to the yacht and its crew spending more than five hours in a life raft.

The investigation also found that the containership’s master accepted a too short passing distance of 1.5 n-miles considering the weather conditions and both vessels were accused of failing to keep an effective radar lookout. The MAIB has asked the UK’s Maritime & Coastguard Agency to implement its earlier recommendation from another collision regarding the rules of the road in determining safe speed and close quarter situations.



On Jan.4, two men were overcome in a confined space and could not be revived after being exposed to toxic fumes on a bulk carrier in international waters. How would you deal with what is lurking in there?

CSE-AAES=Confined Space Entry, Atmospheric Analysis of Enclosed Spaces (offered Feb.2) is designed for mariners who have a need to enter a vessel’s confined or enclosed spaces. The course presents the construction, operational features, limitations and calibration of oxygen analyzers, portable gas detection instruments and colorimetric tubes.

A training simulator is used along with various other training devices so that the attendee gets as close as possible to realistic training in testing, entering, working in and handling emergencies in a confined or enclosed space.

Class Openings

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

~~~ ~~~ ~~~

  • ARPA — Automatic Radar Plotting Aids: 1/5, 2/9


  • BRM — Bridge Resource Management: 2/16
  • BST — Basic Safety Training: 1/19


CMM = Chief Mate and Master Courses

  • CMM-ADVSTB — Advanced Stability, 2/16
  • CMM-ADVWX — Advanced Meteorology: 1/26
  • CMM-CHS-1 — Cargo Handling & Stowage (week 1), 2/23
  • CMM-MPP — Marine Propulsion Plants: 1/19, 2/9
  • CMM-SHS-ADV-1 — Advanced Shiphandling (week 1), 2/23
  • CMM-SHS-ADV-2 — Advanced Shiphandling (week 2), 2/9


  • COMP-NET — Computer Networks: 2/2
  • CONT-PLNG — Contingency Planning Workshop: 2/5, 2/26
  • CSE-AAES — Confined Space Entry (Atmospheric Analysis of Enclosed Spaces): 2/2


  • FF-ADV — Advanced Firefighting: 1/26


  • GMDSS — Global Marine Distress & Safety Systems: 1/19


  • HAZ — Hazardous Materials: 2/2


  • MED-DOT-DA — Dept. of Transportation Drug & Alcohol Testing: 2/14
  • MEDIA-RSP — Media Response: 2/6, 2/27
  • MED-PIC — Medical Person In Charge: 2/9
  • MED-PRO — Medical Care Provider: 2/9


MSC = Military Sealift Command Courses

  • MSC-CBRD-1 — Chemical Biological Radiological Defense Training Orientation: 1/26, 2/27
  • MSC-COMMS — Strategic Sealift Communications: 2/23
  • MSC-DC — Damage Control: 1/22, 1/27, 1/29, 2/28
  • MSC-SMA-Requalification: 1/27, 1/29
    (must have passed all 3 weapons within the previous 2 years)


  • ROP-5 — Radar Observer Program (Original and Renewal): 2/23
  • ROR-1 — Radar Observer Renewal: 1/26, 2/14


  • SEC-OFF PCS — Security Officer-Port, Company, Ship: 2/2, 2/23

~~~ ~~~ ~~~

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

~~~ ~~~ ~~~

  • 1/19-23: Basic and Advanced Firefighting
  • 1/19/23: Voyage Planning & Electronic Navigation
  • 1/19-23: Radar Observer Unlimited
  • 1/19-30: Medical Person-In-Charge
  • 1/19-21: Ship Security Officer
  • 1/26-28: Compasses


  • 2/2-6/04: ARPA
  • 2/2-6: Advanced Stability
  • 2/2: Radar recertification
  • 2/2-13: GMDSS
  • 2/9-13: Electronic Navigation
  • 2/9-17: Able Bodied Seaman
  • 2/9-13: Basic Safety Training
  • 2/9-13: Tankerman Person-In-Charge
  • 2/16-20: Basic and Advanced Firefighting
  • 2/16-27: Celestial Navigation
  • 2/16-20: Advanced Watchkeeping
  • 2/16-20: ARPA
  • 2/23-25: Ship Security
  • 2/23-3/5: Ship Management

~~~ ~~~ ~~~

Contact DeeDee Lazik at 206-441-2880 or 888-893-7829 (toll free) for registration.



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~ Reminders ~




The US Dept. of Homeland Security (DHS) raised the Homeland Security Advisory System (HSAS) from elevated (yellow) to threat condition high (orange) on Dec. 21. This condition signifies a high risk of terrorist attack.

The US Maritime Administration issued an advisory on Dec.30 that US merchant vessels and cruise ships should be on a heightened state of security, should closely monitor the National Geospatial Intelligence Agency’s (NGA) broadcast warnings ( and should review the emergency communication procedures for assistance in NGA publication 117, chapter 8, available for download in PDF at

Public and private owners of maritime vessels and facilities are requested to:

  1. review all vessel security plans,
  2. monitor restricted areas,
  3. control access to the vessel,
  4. monitor deck areas and areas surrounding the vessel,
  5. implement security lookouts and/or security patrols to ensure continuous monitoring,
  6. perform waterside boat patrols and monitoring,
  7. use divers to inspect the underwater pier structures associated with vessel berthing and
  8. loading/unloading operations, including piers, docks, moles, pol dolphins, etc, prior to
  9. vessel arrival and upon vessel’s arrival, and in other situations where deemed appropriate,
  10. control the embarkation of persons, and
  11. supervise handling of cargo, ship stores, and fuel.

Maritime industry operators are urged to maintain high levels of security and implement appropriate protective measures that correspond to threat condition orange.

The US Intelligence Community ( also believes that Al-Qaeda continues to develop plans to use aircraft as a weapon in suicide attacks in the US, and continues to study countries to determine those that have the least stringent aviation security measures.

In addition, the acquisition, production, or theft of chemical, biological, radiological, or nuclear materials and subsequent dissemination is thought to be a top Al-Qaeda objective.

DHS encourages recipients of this advisory to report info concerning suspicious or criminal activity to local law enforcement, local FBI Joint Terrorism Task Force or the Homeland Security Operations Center (HSOC). The HSOC may be contacted at phone: 202-282-8101.

The transportation industry can also report info concerning suspicious activity to their local FBI office through the FBI website or to the National Infrastructure Protection Center (NIPC) at its website

All US-flag operators are requested to forward this advisory to their ships by the most expedient means. This advisory will subsequently be published in the “Weekly Notice to Mariners” and MARAD internet web site:

For further info regarding this advisory contact the Maritime Administration’s Office of Ship Operations by Email at




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.



Give the Gift of Good Jobs: Holiday shoppers have a new way to support good jobs as well as please family and friends, AFL-CIO President John Sweeney said in announcing AFL-CIO support for “Buy Union Week,” which ran from Nov.29 – Dec.7.

“Shoppers can take the sweat(shop) out of holiday shopping and can give the gift of good jobs – the gift our country needs most of all,” he said. Although the push was on for holiday shopping, these web sites are active all year around.

Consumers can visit new Internet web sites that specialize in selling union-made clothing and other items, Sweeney said. One site – – serves as a “virtual mall” populated by such union companies as No Sweat Apparel; SweatX; Union Jean and Apparel; Union Threads and Unionwear. Shoppers can also visit the AFL-CIO’s The Union Shop at, and Justice Clothing [].

“You can fill 10 shopping carts with union-made gifts through these companies. You could shop all day at any mall in the US and have problems filling even one cart with US union-made goods. That’s an indication of how bad the economy is for US workers, but here is a chance for us to start turning things around,” Sweeney said.



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:



In an increasing tight job market, many former private sector employees are considering a civil service mariner position with Military Sealift Command, a global Navy command that operates more than 100 civilian-crewed, non-combatant ships in support of the Department of Defense.

Civilian mariners who are licensed deck officers are MM&P bargaining unit members. MSC offers its civil service mariners many benefits including competitive pay, health insurance, lodging, meals and training.

It is a branch of the Navy, but its mariners are not military personnel. MSC is the largest single employer of US merchant mariners. MSC’s Naval Fleet Auxiliary Force ships provide underway replenishment of supplies, towing and salvage operations for the Navy’s combatant fleet.

Two NFAF ships also serve as afloat medical facilities normally kept in reduced operating status. MSC ships also conduct oceanographic and hydrographic surveys, underwater surveillance, missile flight data collection, submarine support and other specialized services through its Special Mission Program ships.

The command’s sealift ships provide ocean transportation of cargo for the Department of Defense. Through the Prepositioning Program, MSC maintains ships laden with combat equipment and supplies in strategic ocean areas around the world for US forces. These ships are ready to sail quickly to potential contingency sites.

The NFAF ships and two special mission ships are crewed by federal civil service mariners hired by MSC. Sealift ships, prepositioning ships and the remaining special mission ships are crewed by commercial mariners working for operating companies under contract to MSC.

Based on the fiscal year 2004 Congressional budget, MSC is expecting a 33 percent increase in the civil service mariner workforce from 4,044 in 2003 to 5,385 in 2008. About 1,340 civil service mariners will be needed to crew the additional eight ships that will join the MSC fleet in the next five years. For more on employment info with the MSC, visit or call 877-JOBS-MSC.



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



The Robert J. Pfeiffer Memorial Fund has been established at California Maritime Academy Foundation with the input and guidance from Brad Mulholland, Jeff Hull, and Capt. Lynn Korwatch.

It is anticipated that many seagoing personnel as well as Matson employees will wish to donate to this fund in honor of Mr. Pfeiffer. Donations may be sent to:

California Maritime Foundation Attn: Robert Pfeiffer Memorial Fund 200 Maritime Academy Dr. Vallejo, CA 94590

or contact Mr. Chris Walker at 707-654-1245 or Email at

All donations are tax deductible and all contributors will receive a letter of thanks acknowledging their donation. Names and donation amounts will also be passed on to the Pfeiffer family.



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.

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