Wheelhouse Weekly – January 19, 2007

January 19th 2007


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

Volume 11 . . . . . Number 3. . . . January 19, 2007




T-AGS Oceanographic Survey Ships Info

Required Coursework

Security Clearances

MSC Physicals

MM&P Health & Benefit Plan News

Notice to Members who are taking Vioxx

NMHC Mail-Order Prescriptions Website Updated & Improved

WWII USCG Veterans Outreach

Company Gives Bucks Back for buying Safe Shoes

Website Offers Union-Made Goods and Services

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



MM&P has received a notice from the post office advising that they will no
longer deliver mail if it is addressed improperly. All mail must have:
1 – individual name (if going to person)
2 – business name
3 – street address and suite number. MM&P HQ is Suite B, Plans is Suite A
4 – city, state and zip+4 and this item must all be on the same line

The example post office provided is:
700 Maritime Boulevard Suite B
Linthicum Heights, Maryland 21090-1941

The correct mailing address for MITAGS is:
692 Maritime Boulevard
Linthicum Heights, MD 21090-1999


Fire aboard a ship can be a merchant mariner’s worse nightmare. The following is a first-person account of a fire that occurred around 0100 on the MM&P-contracted MAERSK MARYLAND after the ship had just finished tying up at the Port of Gioia Tauro, Italy last October 25. The report was written by the MM&P member Chief Mate Steven R. Moneymaker and highlights the prompt professional actions that were taken by the vessel’s officers and crew to quickly contain the fire.

“The vessel had just finished tying up. The forward gang and myself were walking back from the bow, roughly midship, when the Captain announced over the radio there was a fire alarm on B deck. I ran aft toward the emergency gear locker gathering men on the way. The Third Mate from the stern was already on his way to investigate. When I reached the EGL (emergency gear locker), I immediately told the men present to quickly donn fire suits and SCBAs (self-contained breathing apparatus). At this time, we had no idea if this was a false alarm or not. The men were quickly changing into their fire-fighting gear when the Third Mate radioed he was on B deck and the smell of smoke was in the air.

“As more of the crew arrived I instructed them to assist the men with their fire supression equipment. I grabbed the flame-retardant jumpsuit and an SCBA. The Third Mate radioed he had located the fire in the GVA’s room and was going in with an extinguisher. I asked him which side he was staging on. He replied port. I told him I was on the way and the men were suiting up in case he could not extinguish the fire. I told the Second Mate when the men were suited up to send them up to B deck port side by the lifeboat. The Third Mate came over the air saying the fire was on the desk and he had discharged a dry chemical extinguisher on it. He said there was there was heavy black smoke all through out the passageway. I sent the remaining men at the EGL to start rigging fire hoses. I headed for B deck leaving the Second Mate in charge.

“On B deck I saw the Chief Engineer who told me that he had secured ventilation. I asked him about the power to the area. He said it could not be turned off locally, but was being done in the engine room. During this time, I had been in constant contact with the Captain and the Third Mate. The Captain asked if we needed the fire pump, I responded yes. The Third Mate radioed he had hit the fire with a second dry chemical extinguisher. The men in their fire protective suits and SCBAs made it to B deck, the fire hose was rigged. All were in position in case the Third Mate was not able to put the fire out.

“The Third Mate emerged from the B deck passageway. I asked him if the fire was out. He said no, but he wanted to try one more extinguisher. He checked his air and went back in. I told the hose team to get ready, if the Third Mate was unsuccessful we were going in. I sent men for spare SCBA bottles. The Captain asked if we needed assistance from shoreside. I responded I did not know, but it would not hurt to have them standing by. The Captain also asked if all men were accounted for. We promptly took a head count and all personnel were accounted for. I relayed that information to the Captain and he informed me that shoreside fire department units were on the way.

“The Third Mate radioed the fire was out but that conditions were still very hot inside. I sent a crewmember with a radio to C Deck to check for any fire extension or excessive heat on that deck. The Third Mate came back out on B deck and I checked his air. He went back in and verified the fire was out and requested that ventilation procedures begin. I asked him if the was a chance of reflash. He replied the heat had dropped significantly and felt it was safe to ventilate the area. I told him to go ahead. I opened the port side door and the Third Mate opened the starboard. The thick black smoke quickly dissipated.

“I was able to enter the space at this time for an assessment. Going in low, I could see the fire was centered on the desk and spread up the bulkhead. The space was warm but not hot. The electrical outlet above the desk was completely melted. Electronic equipment on the desk was melted. Wires to the outlet were melted to the metal. The fire had been contained to the top of the desk and the adjoining bulkhead. A reflash watch was set.

“By this time, the Gioia Tauro Fire Department was at the gangway and the Third Mate went to bring them aboard. In the meantime, the crew was mustered in the crew lounge. Fire equipment was restowed. The Gioia Tauro Fire Department came to B Deck and investigated the fire. They kept pointing to the electrical wires on the bulkhead as they only spoke in Italian. From what I could gather, they believe the fire started in the wiring or electrical box just above the desk. The adjoining cabins suffered little damage. The acidic smell of the dry chemical extinguishing agent permeated the entire deck as the white powder was everywhere. A major clean-up ensued the next day.

“It is my opinion the entire crew responded well. No one shirked his responsibility. All were on-hand and quick to respond to all commands. The Third Mate, Victor Manoli, was exceptional in his response. The weekly fire drills paid great dividends. The fire could have easily escalated. The necessary fire suppression back up was in place and ready to go in case of further fire extension. All crewmembers were prepared to do their duty.”



MM&P-contracted Horizon Lines as provided its financial forecast for 2007. “2007 is shaping up to be another excellent year for Horizon Lines,” said Chuck Raymond, Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer. “We continue to see solid market conditions in each of our trade lanes. Additionally, our TP1 vessel deliveries remain on schedule and the performance of our new ships is exceeding our expectations. Our Horizon Edge program is already delivering benefits and we expect a minimum of $13 million in cost savings throughout the year. As a result, we look forward to achieving our financial goals in 2007 with EPS growth accelerating from first quarter levels. Operating revenue, EBITDA and EPS for the full year and first quarter of 2007 are all expected to significantly improve over comparable measures in 2006.” More info on the financial presentation is available on the Horizon Lines Web site at


MIRAID’s President Jim Patti reports that the House of Representatives Committee on Homeland Security is in the process of organizing its Subcommittees for the 110th Congress. The Committee, under the leadership of Chairman Congressman Bennie Thompson (D-MS) and Ranking Republican Congressman Peter King (R-NY), has decided to create a new Border, Maritime and Global Terrorism Subcommittee. A Chairman for this Subcommittee will be selected within the next week. Congressman Mark Souder (R-IN) will serve as the Subcommittee’s Ranking Republican. The Committee has also created a new Transportation Security and Infrastructure Protection Subcommittee. This Subcommittee’s Chairman will also be named next week. Congressman Dan Lungren (R-CA) will be the Subcommittee’s Ranking Republican.


Congressman Gene Taylor (D-MS) is the new Chairman of the Subcommittee on Seapower and Expeditionary Forces of the House Armed Services Committee. This Subcommittee will have primary jurisdiction in the House of Representatives over the national security programs affecting the merchant marine, including the Maritime Security Program.

Congressman Elijah Cummings (D-MD) is the new Chairman of the Subcommittee on Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation of the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure. This Subcommittee has primary jurisdiction in the House of Representatives over commercial and regulatory maritime programs.

Congressman Steve LaTourette (R-OH) is the new Ranking Republican on the House Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation Subcommittee, replacing Congressman Frank LoBiondo.

The Democratic majority in the House of Representatives has changed the name of the House Committee on Education and the Workforce to the Committee on Education and Labor.

Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) and Congressman John Olver (D-MA) will again serve as Chairman of their respective Chamber’s Appropriations Subcommittee on Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies. This Subcommittee has jurisdiction over appropriations for the Maritime Administration and its programs, including the Maritime Security Program and the Title XI ship construction guarantee program.

Senator Christopher “Kit” Bond (R-MO) and Congressman Joe Knollenberg (R-MI) will again serve as the Ranking Republican on their respective Chamber’s Appropriations Subcommittee on Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies.

There are four new Members of the Senate Commerce Committee, which includes jurisdiction over issues and programs affecting the US-flag merchant marine. The new Democrats are Senator Tom Carper (DE), Clair McCaskill (MO) and Amy Klobuchar (MN); the new Republican member of the Committee is Senator John Thune (SD). Two members of the Committee – Republicans Conrad Burns (MT) and George Allen (VA) were defeated on November 7th.


The US Coast Guard announced it has received formal approval from the Department of Homeland Security to issue solicitations and award contracts to establish initial operating capability for the two-way, maritime data communications system known as the nationwide automatic identification system. “The nationwide automatic identification system will greatly aid the essential process of identifying, tracking, and communicating with vessels approaching our maritime borders and is a centerpiece in establishing effective maritime domain awareness,” said Rear Adm. John P. Currier, the Coast Guard’s assistant commandant for acquisitions.

“This is an important milestone for the project as it marks the approval to begin contracting for the initial deployment of this powerful capability,” said Capt. Kurtis Guth, automatic identification system project manager. “The nationwide automatic identification system will provide numerous key operational benefits to the Coast Guard, including improved maritime security, navigational safety, and vessel traffic planning. The speed, course and location data collected by this system from vessels carrying international automatic identification system equipment will be used to form an overarching view of maritime traffic within or near the US and its territorial waters.”

The nationwide automatic identification system is being developed in three acquisition increments primarily to accelerate deployment of mission critical capabilities. The Coast Guard partnered with the Naval Sea Logistics Center under the first increment to establish receive-only automatic identification system coverage in approximately 60 critical US ports and coastal areas during the current fiscal year. The second increment will involve a full and open competition contract for the design, supply and implementation of a fully integrated system to provide nationwide reception and transmission capabilities. The third and final increment will involve contracts to provide long-range automatic identification system coverage out to 2,000 nautical miles from US shores. For more info on the project log on to:, and for more info on automatic identification system technology, standards and carriage requirements log on to:


Late last week, a US Coast Guard helicopter crew airlifted the ill master of a foreign flag merchant vessel located approximately 40 miles southeast of Nantucket to Cape Cod Hospital. The incident began when the USCG received a call from the M/V TAPIOLA, a 749-foot Singapore flagged Ro/Ro at 1020 hrs, reporting their master was experiencing acute abdominal distress. After the master’s condition continued to deteriorate, a USCG Air Station Cape Cod based HH 60 helicopter was launched to medevac the mariner.

The helicopter arrived on-scene at 1515 hrs, hoisted the master into the chopper and delivered him to Cape Cod Hospital at 1559 hrs. An order was issued by the USCG that the TAPIOLA remain anchored until the vessel’s master is replaced and the ship is in full compliance with it’s safe manning certificate. At the time of the medevac, visibility was reported to be low, at one to two miles. Seas were 6 to 10 feet and winds were 20 to 25 knots.


The Captain on the Norwegian flag cargo ship SUNNA, which grounded on the UK island of Swona in the Pentland Firth at 0440 on the January 2, has been fined over $5,000 for not maintaining an adequate lookout. An investigation into the incident found that it is a basic but critical role for seamen to be employed as lookouts especially in dangerous waters as was the case here. Investigators found that had the Captain used the crew in this role, the grounding would not have occurred. The investigation found that the Captain’s priority, to keep the ship looking good, was his down fall. During a court hearing on the incident, the Captain was told that he was foolishly misguided to try and impress his owner at the expense of the safety of the ship.

The Chief Officer on watch at the time admitted that he had fallen asleep shortly after altering course to transit a dangerous channel en route to Iceland from Humberside. An investigation by the UK’s Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) revealed that although the ship only had a crew of seven, the Captain had instructed that the seaman were to be used as day workers and not stand a watch. The STCW code requires that during the hours of darkness there is a lookout on the bridge with no other duty but to keep a lookout.


An article in the respected international maritime newsletter “Fairplay” published by Lloyd’s of London reports that a new study has found that fatigue-inducing working conditions may be leading many young seafarers to leave the sea at an early stage. The study also found that the relatively short careers of many seafarers may reflect a reduced ability to cope with fatigue later in their careers. These suggestions form part of a call to take a holistic view of fatigue, proposed in a new report from Cardiff University’s Centre for Occupational and Health Psychology.

Despite many examples of work-related death, injury and ill-health among seafarers pointing to fatigue as a cause, the issue is not being properly tackled, the report states. “Manning levels need to be addressed in a realistic way that prevents economic advantage accruing to those who operate with bare minimums.” Levels should take into consideration the need for maintenance, recovery time, redundancy and the additional burden of paperwork.

“It is essential that existing guidelines are enforced with mandatory provisions and that effective measures are taken to overcome the problem of false record-keeping … as long as seafarers feel compelled to falsify records of their hours of work, the problem will be hard to address,” the report concludes. The International Transport Workers Federation (ITF)-commissioned report, “Adequate Manning and Seafarers’ Fatigue – the International Perspective”, is to be presented to the International Maritime Organization’s Standards of Training and Watchkeeping sub-committee annual meeting on January 23.


According to a press statement, the US Coast Guard, the Washington Department of Ecology and the Alaska Tanker Company (ATC) are cooperatively
investigating the cause of anchor failures on two Alaska trade oil tankers. In late December, the ALASKAN FRONTIER and ALASKAN NAVIGATOR lost anchors in heavy weather while transiting from Valdez, AK, to Long Beach, CA. There were no injuries to the crew or harm to the environment in either incident.

A subsequent inspection of the remaining anchor on each vessel revealed a material defect in the anchors. ATC has taken the vessels out of service until replacement anchors can be installed. ATC is working with the ship’s manufacturer, NASSCO, to understand the anchor failure. Both the FRONTIER and NAVIGATOR have off-loaded their cargoes and are empty vessels. Four anchors have been identified for replacement and are being air freighted to Seattle and will be fitted to both ships. The ships were delivered between 2004-2006 at a cost of about $250 million each.



A Coast Guard boarding team turned over custody of a Dominican Republic stowaway to Customs and Border Protection agents last week. The man jumped off from the cargo vessel CARIBBEAN CARRIER as it was entering San Juan Harbor. USCG controllers launched a 25-foot response boat after being notified by the crew of the CARIBBEAN CARRIER that a stowaway aboard their vessel had jumped off the ship while it was transiting into San Juan Harbor.

The response boat crew arrived on scene and recovered the person from the water as he was trying to swim to shore. Meanwhile, the CARIBBEAN CARRIER moored at Pier 16 where it was boarded by a team of law enforcement officers including USCG Ports Waterways and Coastal Security personnel and CBP agents. The boarding team conducted a thorough inspection of the vessel to ensure there was no other stowaway aboard the vessel. After the CBP agents concluded their inspection of the ship they turned over the stowaway to Immigrations and Customs Enforcement agents for processing.



The current issue of the MarEx maritime newsletter reports that Massachusetts State Senators Jarret Barrios and Bruce Tarr have announced that they intend to introduce new maritime legislation in the Bay State last week. In a letter addressed to their fellow legislators, the Senators invited their colleagues to co-sponsor “an important piece of legislation regarding Massachusetts Port Safety.”

The proposed bill, entitled “An Act Relative to Massachusetts Port Safety,” will, according to Barrios and Tarr, “help make Massachusetts harbors safer
places for the citizens of the Commonwealth.” Key facets of the bill would have the local Pilots Commission, the Captain of the Port of Boston and operators of harbor equipment “formulate regulations to be followed in Massachusetts ports.” The bill also would codify regulations for the safe carriage of hazardous materials and environmental precautions. The requirements for escort vessels and specification of what that escort equipment will entail will clearly be a matter for discussion, and included in those regulations. The proposed bill also revisits the already divisive issue of docking pilots and their eventual certification in Boston harbor. If enacted as proposed, the bill could affect the ability of local harbor pilots to perform docking maneuvers and would almost certainly increase docking costs for shippers.



The MarEx newsletter also reports in its current issue that the Metal Trades Department (MTD) of the AFL-CIO has sued the US Coast Guard over what they say is the USCG’s controversial rulings that violate the 80-year-old Jones Act by allowing US shipbuilders to mass produce so-called “kit ships”.

The suit was filed in the US District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, and charges that a ruling issued on May 24, 2006 and affirmed on November 15, 2006 by the Coast Guard’s National Vessel Documentation Center, ignores the requirements of the Jones Act that stipulate that ships moving between US ports must be “built in” the US. According to the MTD press release, “the Documentation Center’s rulings effectively authorized plans by Aker Shipyards Philadelphia (APSI) and NASSCO, a division of General Dynamics, to produce a series of tankers that are assembled from thousands of parts and modules imported from Korea.” Ron Ault, MTD President said, “If these ill-considered, illogical and unacceptable regulations remain in place, America will lose its shipbuilding industry completely.”

MTD asserts that both Aker and NASSCO entered into partnerships with two of Korea’s giant shipbuilding companies – Hyundai Mipo and Daewoo Shipbuilding, respectively. The terms of those contracts provide proprietary Korean designs for new tankers, along with stipulations that require the US partners to exclusively use bow and stern assemblies, piping, winches, even entire engine rooms and crew quarters supplied by the Korean partners. On September 19, 2006, Aker launched the first in a series of what MTD calls “10 kit ships” that it plans to lease through one of its subsidiaries.

Regarding agreements to import parts from the Korean sources, MYTD President Ron Ault said, “Aker and NASSCO got into this process willingly, but the remaining yards will be forced to follow or die,” Ault said. MTD estimates that 55,000 skilled shipbuilding workers it represents are directly imperiled and another 250,000 jobs which revolve around pipe and chain manufacturers, specialty steel mills, valve producers, and manufacturers making propulsion equipment and specialty fittings would also be affected.

Formed in 1908, the Metal Trades Department is a constitutional department of the AFL-CIO. It acts as an umbrella organization, negotiating collective bargaining agreements under the National Labor Relations Act in multi-union private sector shipbuilding industrial, mining and petrochemical operations throughout the US.



Tom Bethel, the new president of the American Maritime Officers has delivered the following message regarding the federal criminal case which led to the convictions of Michael McKay, el al.:

The federal criminal case that dogged American Maritime Officers for six difficult years is winding down. The case led to the indictment, trial and convictions of Mike McKay and Bobby McKay on felony charges in US District Court for the Southern District of Florida. They will go before the judge for sentencing in March 2007.

Tom Kelly and Jerry Joseph were also snagged. A year ago, each of them pleaded guilty to a single felony count and agreed to testify for the prosecution at the trial of Mike McKay and Bobby McKay in exchange for possible leniency during sentencing. Joseph was sentenced recently to three years’ probation, fined and ordered to make restitution to AMO Plans. Kelly is to be sentenced Friday, January 19, 2007. Former AMO Plans and AMO employee Jim Lynch will be tried on felony charges in the federal court in Fort Lauderdale later this month.

No other AMO officials, representatives or employees, past or present, were found to have engaged in illegal, improper or inappropriate actions. No other AMO officials, representatives or employees, past or present, are now suspected of illegal, improper or inappropriate behavior. In addition, the Departments of Justice and Labor, which conducted the investigation, have found that American Maritime Officers as a union has operated in full compliance with all federal laws and regulations.


CLASS OPENINGS: Between now and the end of April 2007, seats are available in the following courses:

AIS – Automatic Identification System: 3/23
ARPA – Automatic Radar Plotting Aids: 2/6, 3/6, 4/3

BRM Bridge Resource Management: 2/19, 3/26, 4/23
BRMP – Bridge Resource Management for Pilots: 5/3
BST – Basic Safety Training: 3/12, 4/9

[CMM – Chief Mate and Master Courses]
CMM-ADVWX – Advanced Meteorology: 4/2
CMM-ADVSTB – 1/29, 4/9
CMM-CHS I – Advanced Cargo Handling (week 1): 2/12, 4/23
CMM-CHS II – Advanced Cargo Handling (week 2): 2/5, 4/16
CMM-ECDIS – Electronic Chart and Display Information System: 3/19
CMM-MPP – Marine Propulsion Plants: 2/19
CMM-SHMGT-I – Ship Management II (week 1): 2/26, 4/30
CMM-SHMGT-II – Ship Management II (week 2): 3/5
Available on a “Stand-By Basis Only”: CMM-SHS-ADV-I – Advanced Shiphandling (week 1): 2/5, 3/12, 4/9
Advanced Shiphandling (week 2): 3/19
Available on a “Stand-By Basis Only”: CMM-SHS-ADV-II – Advanced Shiphandling (week 2): 2/12, 4/16
CMM-VPEN – Voyage Planning and Electronic Navigation: 3/26
CMM-WKP – Advanced Watchkeeping: 3/12

CONT-PLNG – Contingency Planning: 1/26

CSE-AASE – Confined Space Entry: 4/25

FF-BADV – Combined Basic and Advanced Fire Fighting: 3/12, 4/9

HAZ-Hazardous Materials (5-day): 2/12, 4/16

MEDIA-RSP – Media Response: 1/25, 3/22

MED-DOT-DA – Dept. of Trans Drug & Alcohol Testing: 2/17, 3/3, 4/21
MED-PIC – Medical Person In Charge: 2/26, 4/16
MED-PRO – Medical Care Provider: 2/12, 2/26, 4/16

[MSC – Military Sealift Command]
MSC-CBRD-1 (Chemical Biological Radiological Defense Orientation): 3/30
MSC-DC (Damage Control): 3/22, 4/23
MSC-SMA – Small Arms Training: 3/26
MSC-SMA-R – Small Arms Re-Qualification (2-day): 3/30 (must have proof of passing all 3 weapons within 2 years)

ROP-5 – Radar Observer Original and Renewal (5-day): 3/26
ROR-1 – Radar Observer Renewal: 2/5, 3/5, 4/2, 4/30

SEC-OFF-VCF – Security Officer, Vessel, Company & Facility: 1/22, 3/19
SHS-BAS – Basic Shiphandling: 2/19, 3/26, 4/23
SHS-EMR- Emergency Shiphandling: 1/29, 2/12, 2/26, 4/2, 4/30
SHS-EMR- BRMP-3- Emergency Shiphandling & Bridge Resource Management for Pilots: 3/19
TPIC-DL – Tanker Person-In-Charge, Dangerous Liquids: 2/12

Check the MITAGS website at for course descriptions associated with the course title abbreviations, and schedule revisions. For class availability or info on MITAGS courses and programs, contact admissions toll-free at 866-656-5568 or Email:


Winter – Spring 2007

Due to the high demand for this program, PMI has now scheduled another that is already close to full enrollment for its 2007-start date. See the PMI Web site at for more info on this new development.


SCHEDULE OF COURSES – (Course schedule also posted online at

January 2007
22-26 TPIC
22-26 SHS EMR-5
29-2 ROP
29-2 MED PRO
29-9 MED PIC
29-9 GMDSS

February 2007
6-9 LFBT
12-16 BST
12-16 ENAV
12-16 MED PRO
12-14 SEC VCF
19-23 ECDIS
19-23 SHS BAS
19-2 CNAV
26-2 FF ADV
26-2 ARPA
26-9 SHS ADV

March 2007
5-6 SAR
6-9 LFBT
7-9 EP
12-16 BST
12-16 AB
12-16 STB BAS
12-16 ARPA
19-23 CHS BAS
19-23 SHS EMR-5

April 2007
2-6 WX BAS
2-6 TPIC
9-11 SEC VCF
9-13 FF BADV
9-13 SHS BAS
9-13 ARPA
9-13 ECDIS
9-20 GMDSS
16-27 WKP BAS
23-25 BRM
24-27 LFBT
30-4 AB
30-4 FF ADV
30-4 SHS BAS

May 2007
7-11 SHS BAS
7-18 GMDSS
7-18 CNAV
14-18 ARPA
14-18 SHS EMR-5
14-25 GMDSS
16-18 FF ADV
21-25 BST
21-25 ENAV
21-25 CHS BAS

For registration call Jennifer Fowler 888-893-7829


High quality clothing embroidered with the NEW PMI log!.
We can ship these items also! Acceptable forms of payment are check, credit card, money order, and exact cash.
MEN’S WEAR: Button Down Long Sleeve Dress Shirt; Polo Shirt; Fleece Pullover; Hooded Sweatshirt; Windbreaker.
WOMEN’S WEAR: Button-Down Blouse; Sport Polo; Snap-Front Shirt 3/4 Sleeve; Fleece Pullover; Fleece Front Zip
ALSO: Navy and Stone Caps; 15oz. Cobalt Blue Ceramic Mug.
Call Laura Bendixen at 888-893-7829 or email her at for prices and ordering.



 D O W  N A S D A Q  S & P 500
12,565.18 +50.20 for the week 2,451.31 -33.54 for the week 1,430.50 +6.68 for the week
Fund Name & Trading Symbol
 Vanguard 500 Index Fund (VFINX)
 Vanguard Extended Market Index Fund (VEXMX)
 Vanguard International Growth Fund (VWIGX)
 Vanguard Morgan Growth Fund (VMRGX)
 Vanguard Windsor II Fund (VWNFX)
 Vanguard GNMA Fund (VFIIX)
 Vanguard High Yield Corporate Fund (VWEHX)
 Vanguard Total Bond Index (VBMFX)
 Chase Growth Fund (CHASX)
 Fidelity Asset Manager (FASMX)
 Fidelity Growth and Income (FGRIX)
 Fidelity Magellan Fund (FMAGX)
 Fidelity Small Company Instl (FMACX)
 Fidelity Value Fund (FDVLX)
 Spartan US Equity Index Fund (FUSEX)
 Domini Social Equity Fund (DSEFX)


~ Reminders ~




All MM&P members are reminded that to sail aboard the T-AGS ships that MM&P-contracted Horizon Lines will be operating, you must have the required training certification and your certificates must be current in accordance with Military Sealift Command requirements. Members are also required to have had a MSC pre-employment physical and to possess Ship Security Clearance (see below).

The MSC Contract calls for all training certificates required for manning of these vessels to be no older than 5 years and that all STCW-95 courses be renewed every 5 years, or annually, as applicable.

Five-year renewable courses include, but are not limited to:

  • Advanced Fire Fighting
  • Basic Safety Training, and
  • Damage Control

Small Arms certificates must be less than 1 year old and MUST NOT expire during your tour of duty.

Members interested in applying for one of the positions onboard the T-AGS vessels are advised to make sure your certificates are up to date. If not, contact Mary Matlock or Diane Ford at MITAGS Admissions, email:, and schedule to take the course(s) needed.

Those MM&P members interested in obtaining more information and facts about the T-AGS Oceanographic Vessels are asked to email the Director of Special Projects requesting the “facts sheet”. It will be provided by return email in an Adobe Acrobat PDF format.

Members interested in employment on the T-AGS ships are asked to provide a 1-2 page resume. Please list the desired position you are seeking along with the certificates of training you possess and their dates. Upon receipt it will be forwarded to Horizon Lines and a confirmation sent back to the member. Vessel turnover commenced Oct.17, 2004. Positions for all ratings remain open.

The point of contact for sending a resume for employment on the Horizon Lines T-AGS Oceanographic Vessels is Richard Plant, MM&P’s Director of Special Projects. Send resumes in an email or as a Word file attachment to him at:, by fax to 410-850-0973 or by mail to:

Richard Plant, Director of Special Projects

700 Maritime Blvd.
Linthicum Heights, MD 21090


Members who want to sail for Horizon Lines on the T-AGS Oceanographic Survey vessels the company is set to begin operating for MSC must have Ship Security Clearance before going aboard.

Special software must be downloaded from the US Government’s Defense Security Service to complete the Security Clearance application. You must have an Internet connection and a Windows-based computer to retrieve the application and run the program.

Go to to download the software titled “EPSQ SUBJECT2_2”.

After the software is installed and the program is launched, select “Create” from the menu bar at the top of the screen. You will be required to enter your Social Security Number and a case-sensitive password. A window titled “Type of Form” will appear.

All Deck Officers should select the first button titled “Request for Security Clearance (SF86)” and then click “OK” to go to the next screen, “Type of Investigation”.

From the “Type of Investigation” screen:

  • Masters and Radio Officers should select the first button, “Single Scope Background Investigation (SSBI)”.
  • All other Deck Officers (C/M, 2/M, 3/M) should click on the second button, “National Agency Check (NAC or NACLC)”.

After selecting the appropriate investigation type, click on “OK” to begin filling in the forms.



Horizon Lines requests all mariners seeking employment aboard the T-AGS Oceanographic vessels to take their MSC Physical at specially-designated facilities only after being advised to do so by the Company. This is to assure that all requirements of the MSC Physical are properly met.




Is it time to replace that car you’re driving? Vehicle loan rates are looking great at MM&P FCU.

Drive away in a new or used vehicle for a standard loan rate of:

4.75 percent for terms up to 24 months.
Standard loan rates for longer-term loans are:

5.00 percent for 25-48 months;
5.75 percent for 49-60 months ($20,000 minimum); and
6.25 percent for terms extending from 61-72 months ($25,000 minimum).
You can lower your loan rate even more — by 0.75 percent — by becoming a Preferred Borrower.

Are you paying a higher rate on your current vehicle loan at another institution? Consider refinancing your outside loan at the MM&P FCU and taking advantage of our lower loan rates.

MM&P FCU will finance up to 100 percent of your new vehicle loan, and up to 90 percent of NADA Book Value on a used vehicle. Maximum vehicle loan amount is $30,000.

MM&P FCU members can reduce the interest rate they pay on any new loan even further by becoming a preferred borrower. What is a preferred borrower? That’s a member who deposits at least 10 percent of the original loan amount into their MM&P FCU savings account and keeps those funds on deposit until the loan is paid in full. By doing this you save twice – first, your deposit works for you by earning our regular dividend savings rate, and second, you save money by reducing the interest rate on your loan by 0.75 percent.

Contact the MM&P FCU for full details on all loan programs by email to or call 1-800-382-7777 toll-free.





On Sept.30, Merck & Co. voluntarily withdrew Vioxx, a popular anti-inflammatory medication, from the market. As a result, individuals who are currently taking the drug have been asked to contact their health care professionals to discuss discontinuing use of Vioxx and possible alternative treatments.

MM&P Plans Administrator Valerie Verrecchio reports that, “We have gotten a number of calls from members who want to know what to do with their remaining supply of Vioxx and whether the Plan or NMHC will refund their co-pay for the unused portion.

“Unfortunately, neither NMHC nor the Plan was aware of the Merck decision prior to the public announcement on Sept.30. As of that date, all deliveries of Vioxx to our members was suspended in accordance with Merck’s announcement. Orders that had already been processed and were in transit could not be stopped.

“In regard to refunds, Merck has set up a website at where members can obtain information on how to recover refunds from Merck for the unused portion of medication. Members can also call following toll free number for information: 1-888-368-4699.

“We are sorry for any inc onvenience this may have caused to members currently taking this medication, however, the matter is out of the control of the Plans.”


MM&P Plans Administrator Valerie Verrecchio reports, “Good news! NMHC mail has finally gotten their website upgraded and functioning properly. I went in and tested it myself and found it to be quite user friendly.”

To use NMHC’s upgraded service, go to the NMHC Mail website at and click on “MEMBER LOGIN” at the bottom of the screen.

First-time and Registered users may bypass the welcome screen and go directly to the log-in page at

  • First-time users should then click on the link marked “NEW USER: REGISTER HERE”.
    This will take you to a page titled “MEMBER REGISTRATION” where you will need to enter demographic information and submit it by clicking on the
  • “CREATE ACCOUNT” button.

After creating your account, NMHC will email you a password to gain entry into your records. With your first sign-in, the NMHC system will prompt you to change the NMHC password to one of your own choosing.

Once you are registered at NMHC, you can check the status of open orders by logging-in to the system through the “MEMBER LOGIN” page and going into the “MAIL ORDER” menu. You can look up all prescriptions and get the price our members will pay for any medication. You can also view an order history of all of your medication transactions (both retail and mail) for the last 24 months, locate 24-hour pharmacies in your zip code region as well as access other helpful member education information.

“We hope this welcome improvement will assist our members. Although you cannot order refills on line if you don’t provide a credit or debit card number, you can phone in your refill. Once you register on the website, you will still have access to all of the other information including checking the status of your order once it is phoned in,” said Ms. Verrecchio.


The U.S. Coast Guard has announced an initiative to identify and collect the oral histories of its World War II veterans. Coast Guard WWII veterans, including SPARS and merchant mariners, are encouraged to record their histories online with the Library of Congress Veterans History Project at

Those veterans needing assistance in recording their stories can receive help from their local Coast Guard Auxiliary public affairs contact by leaving a message at 1-877-875-6296, a toll-free call.



LMS Ship Management, the company that manages vessels for Central Gulf, Sulphur Carriers and Waterman Steamship, wants to remind MM&P members that they offer their crewmembers a $75 reimbursement on the cost of purchasing certain slip-resistant shoes and boots for use aboard ship.

This offer has been in place for some time and LMS reports that “we have been pleased with the participation to date, but feel a reminder may be in order.” Their goal is for every crewmember to wear slip resistant footwear during working hours aboard their vessels.

The $75 reimbursement is available to each crewmember who provides LMS 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.

Vessels in the LMS footwear reimbursement program are:

  • Green Cove
  • Green Dale
  • Green Lake
  • Green Point
  • Atlantic Forest
  • Sulphur Enterprise
  • Energy Enterprise
  • SGT Matej C. Kocak
  • MAJ Stephen W. Pless, and
  • PFC Eugene A. Obregon

LMS notes that in order to receive reimbursement, crewmembers must purchase one of the following recommended brands:

  • 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 (must have steel toe & slip resistant sole)


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

Redwing’s Union-made products are: Red Wing shoes and boots, Red Wing motorcycle boots and Craftsman (Sears).

Wolverine World Wide manufactures boots under the Caterpillar brand using US union labor. (Other union made safety-shoe brands by Wolverine are the company’s Hy-Test, Durashock and Bates Military labels. The company’s Wolverine brand combat boots are also produced using US union labor.)

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”. To shop for union-made products online, go to



The Union Label recently went digital with a new website offering shoppers an array of union-made gifts, from clothing and chocolates to computers, games and greeting cards.

The website,, launches on the eve of the fall and winter holidays, when shoppers will spend an estimated $1 trillion on gifts, food, drinks and other seasonal items, explained Matt Bates, Secretary-Treasurer of the AFL-CIO Union Label & Service Trades Department. The all-union shopping site, however, will be a year-round operation because that is what consumers demand, he added.

“Shoppers spent $56 billion in Internet sales last year, and on-line spending is doubling every two to three years. Everyday we receive Email and calls from people who want to support good jobs by buying union-made goods and services. The website will reach millions of people, 24 hours a day, with a quick convenient way to shop union,” Bates said.

“The public is ready for this. People have seen millions of good jobs disappear and they are looking for ways to take a stand and make a difference,” he added.

The AFL-CIO will target the peak of the holiday shopping season by promoting “Buy Union Week” Nov. 26 through Dec. 5. The newly-launched, all-union shopping site will be a cornerstone of that campaign. MM&P has a link to the Shop Union Site on this website under “Links and Other Sources”.

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 and is posted on our web page.

C 2006, International Organization of Masters, Mates & Pilots. All the material contained in this publication is protected by copyright. For permission to reprint text from the Weekly, contact the MM&P Communications Department: For changes of address, contact John Peige at