Wheelhouse Weekly – January 21, 2014

January 21st 2014


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

Volume 18 . . . Number 3 . . . Jan. 21, 2014


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


MM&P licensed deck officers will soon assume the conn of a newly reflagged shallow draft tanker operated by Patriot Contract Services. The vessel, previously named the BOMAR ERIS, will be rechristened as the SLNC PAX. The transition to MM&P and MEBA officers had been slowed by a protest that has now been resolved. The Department of Defense/Military Sealift Command has time-chartered the vessel to support missions of the Defense Logistics Agency-Energy.


Officials of MM&P and MIRAID who attended the Maritime Administration symposium in Washington, D.C., last week called for strong affirmations–“at the highest levels of government”–that the U.S. Merchant Marine and the U.S.-flag fleet are national assets that must be strengthened and expanded.

Among the speakers at the event were MM&P International President Don Marcus, Rep. John Garamendi, Rep. Duncan Hunter, Acting U.S. Maritime Administrator Paul “Chip” Jaenichen and the Honorable Helen Delich Bentley.

The three-day symposium, which began Jan. 14, included more than 250 industry stakeholders representing labor, carriers, shippers, training institutions and government. Jaenichen called it “the first step in a year-long effort to develop a structured, systematic and interconnected strategy that will strengthen and expand our nation’s maritime transportation system.”


The International Maritime Organization (IMO) has adopted revised guidelines covering the process for establishing manning levels in a “Principles of Minimum Safe Manning” resolution (A.1047 (27)) that became effective Jan. 1. In a companion move, the IMO amended the SOLAS Convention in Chapter V, Regulation 14, to require flag States to take the principles in the resolution into account in a transparent procedure when issuing Safe Manning Documents.

The new approach focuses on the actual operational manning levels needed to safely operate the ship under all conditions rather than just the minimum number of crew needed to navigate the ship from point A to point B. To establish minimum manning levels, among the many factors that now need to be taken into account–in addition to watchkeeping–are type of ship and its trading area, degree of automation, degree of shore-side support, who does the maintenance, frequency of port calls, mooring and unmooring, length and nature of voyages, onboard training activities, implementation of ship’s security plan, planning, monitoring, loading, stowage, securing and care of cargo, administrative tasks, and the personnel required to meet peak workload situations and conditions within applicable work hour limits and/or rest requirements.

The company now has a responsibility to make an assessment of the tasks, duties and responsibilities required of the ship’s complement and propose to the flag State administration how it will man and operate the ship within the new principles of minimum safe manning and ensure that the hours of work/rest are implemented. If there is a change in trading area, construction, machinery, equipment, operation and maintenance or management of the ship which may affect safe manning, the company is required to submit a new manning proposal. If a ship persistently fails to be in compliance with the rest hour requirements, its Safe Manning Document may be withdrawn.

The new IMO regulations provide a framework to determine manning levels based on an analysis of required operational functions and factors, task capabilities and workload assessment to determine if workload will remain within the minimum hours of work/rest provided by national or international regulations.

It remains to be seen how the U.S. Coast Guard, as the administration for U.S.-flag ships, will conform U.S. regulations to implement the new international requirements. A copy of IMO Resolution A.1047 (27) and the text of the amended SOLAS Chapter V, Regulations 14-Manning will be posted on the MM&P website.


The movie that tells the story of the 2009 hijacking of the MV MAERSK ALABAMA has been nominated for an Academy Award. The film, inspired by the book “A Captain’s Duty,” by Captain Richard Phillips, describes what happened when the vessel was seized by Somali pirates while delivering food aid to Africa. Acting newcomer Barkhad Abdi, who played one of the pirates, has been nominated for Best Supporting Actor for his role in the film.

“Captain Richard Phillips and his crew are real-life heroes, and we are proud to see a movie based on their real-life experiences recognized as a finalist for ‘Best Picture’ at the upcoming Academy Awards,” said MM&P President Don Marcus in an official statement. Phillips has been a member of the Masters, Mates & Pilots throughout his seafaring career.

“The film is not only dramatic and entertaining, it also provides a realistic snapshot for the public to see the crucial–and sometimes dangerous–work accomplished by U.S. mariners,” Marcus said. “Our nation’s economic and military security is dependent on the U.S. Merchant Marine. This movie is more than entertainment. It is a public service.”


The International Transport Workers Federation (ITF) is urging Panama to meet its responsibilities to the crewmembers of the DONALD DUCKLING, a cargo ship which was abandoned in Tyne, U.K., in mid-November.

After an inspection of the bulk carrier by the British Maritime & Coastguard Agency (MCA) on Nov. 18 uncovered 12 deficiencies, including problems with the main pipes and the steering gear, the operator abandoned the vessel, leaving the 18 seafarers on board without water, fuel or food. The news was reported in the most recent issue of Nautilus Telegraph, the publication of Nautilus International, the British, Dutch and Swiss officers union.

“The seven Romanian and 11 Filipino seafarers are owed wages totaling approximately $92,000 for October and November,” says ITF Inspector Tom Molloy. “The owners of the vessel do not respond to us, nor do the crewing agents through which these mariners were hired. They have made no effort to effect any repairs, provide fuel for heat and light, food or water, or to pay owed wages and repatriate the crew.”

Earlier in the year, the 16-year- old ship was detained for 121 days in Gibraltar after 21 deficiencies were found by port state control officers there. Local authorities said that the crew members had been forced to fish from the vessel for food and burn loose wood on deck to cook because the galley equipment didn’t work.

Some crewmembers with family illnesses were refused permission to return home and the DONALD DUCKLING’s former chief engineer was sacked after requesting spare parts to rectify problems previously identified in state control inspections.

“The ship is called the DONALD DUCKLING and it certainly is a shocking example of a Mickey Mouse operation, that undermines operators who run to decent standards,” Molloy said.


More than 200 people drowned last Tuesday in a ferry accident on the Nile as they tried to flee fighting in the town of Malakal in South Sudan. A spokesperson for the French Army told Agence France Press that the boat was seriously overloaded. Thousands of refugees attempt to cross the Nile daily to escape the clashes between rebel and government forces. The United Nations estimates that over 1,000 people have died since the most recent violence erupted on Dec. 15. More than 350,000 people have been displaced by the fighting between the South Sudanese government and rebel forces, according to the United Nations.


The National Maritime Center has announced a “virtual meeting” on the STCW Final Rule that will take place Jan. 23 from 10:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. The webinar is entitled “Implementation of the Amendments to the International Convention on Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping for Seafarers, 1978 (STCW), as Amended, and Changes to National Endorsements.”

To join the webinar, go to and choose the “Enter as Guest” option. Access to the internet site for the visual part of the meeting will not be restricted. If joining by teleconference, call 888-790-2035 and enter the pass code 2251051#. The audio feed for the teleconference is limited to the first 250 participants. Those who want to view and listen to the webinar should both log in online and teleconference in. People who have difficulty logging in or encounter other technical difficulties should call 202-372-8019.

The presentations will be available for download shortly after the meeting on the National Maritime Center website on the “Video Library” page.

The Coast Guard says it will not answer specific questions during the webinar. However, the agency says that during the virtual meeting it will accept questions via internet chat or e-mail: The agency says it will try later to incorporate answers to some of the questions into the Frequently Asked Questions section of its website.

The agency said it will host a public meeting on the STCW Final Rule on Feb. 11 in Washington, D.C. To participate in the public meeting, please send an e-mail to or call 202-372-1239.


The Council of American Master Mariners (CAMM) New York Metro Chapter will meet at 1200 hours on Jan. 29 in the Special Events Room at SUNY Maritime College. The Special Events Room is adjacent to Messdeck. The cost of the buffet lunch to be served at the meeting is $11, payable at the door. Guests are welcome. If you plan to attend the meeting, please RSVP to: or 631-375 5830 or Capt. Sandberg, Box 581, Center Moriches, NY, 11934.


If you are interested in attending the Offshore Familiarization Course, please contact your MM&P Vice President to request that one be scheduled in your area. An Offshore Orientation Course is now scheduled for Los Angeles/Long Beach on March 12-13 and Oct. 8-9. If you are interested in participating in the course, please contact the Los Angeles/Long Beach Hall: 310-834-7201 or 310-834-6667 (fax). 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.


The 2006 Maritime Labor Convention (MLC) entered into force on Aug. 20. It has been described as the fourth pillar of international shipping regulations along with SOLAS, MARPOL and STCW.  The International Labor Organization consolidated a number of previous conventions in MLC 2006. It establishes minimum standards on conditions of employment, accommodations, health and safety, medical care, crew welfare, recruitment, working conditions and social security protection. MLC will be strictly enforced during port state control inspections, including the potential for more detailed inspections and possible detention where hazardous conditions may exist if ships are not to be in compliance. Visit for more information or to register for the MLC course.


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 – 4/14/14

AIS-1 – Automatic Identifications Systems Orientation: 5/6/14

ARPA – Automated Radar Plotting Aids: 1/21/14, 4/1/14

AZIPOD 2-Day – 2/6/14, 5/7/14

BRM – Bridge Resource Management: 1/27/14, 3/24/14, 6/2/14

BRMP –Bridge Resource Management for Pilots: 2/4/14, 3/3/14

BST – Basic Safety Training: 1/20/14, 2/10/14, 4/7/14, 6/9/14

CHS-BAS – Cargo Handling Basic: 4/14/14

CONSTB – Ship Construction and Basic Stability: 1/27/14

[CMM – Chief Mate and Master Courses]

CMM-ADVNAV – Advanced Navigation (=ECDIS & VPEN): 2/24/14

CMM-ADVSTB – Advanced Stability: 2/3/14, 4/28/14, 6/23/14

CMM-ADVWX – Advanced Meteorology: 3/10/14, 6/16/14

CMM-CHS – Advanced Cargo Operations (2 weeks): 2/10/14, 5/5/14

CMM-ECDIS – Electronic Chart Display Information System: 1/27/14, 2/24/14, 5/5/14, 6/2/14

CMM-LDRSHP – Management, Communication, & Leadership (Management Level): 3/17/14

CMM-MPP – Marine Propulsion Plants:  1/20/14, 3/31/14

CMM-SHMGT – Ship Management (2 weeks): 4/7/14

CMM-SHS-ADV-I – Advanced Shiphandling (week 1): 2/17/14, 3/10/14, 4/7/14, 4/28/14, 6/9/14

CMM-SHS-ADV-I I – Advanced Shiphandling (week 2): 2/24/14, 3/17/14, 4/14/14, 5/5/14, 6/16/14

CMM-VPEN – Voyage Planning & Electronic Navigation: 3/3/14, 6/9/14

CMM-WKP – Advanced Watchkeeping: 1/27/14, 4/21/14

CNAV – Celestial Navigation: 4/28/14

CONSTB – 1/27/14

CONT PLNG – Contingency Planning Workshop:

DDE – Great Lakes: 1/27/14


ECDIS-Pilots – 3/5/14

ENVIRO-Regs Permit – Environmental Regulations Permit:

FF-BADV – Fire Fighting Combined Basic & Advanced: 1/20/14, 2/10/14, 4/7/14, 6/9/14

FSM – Fatigue, Sleep & Medications:  2/3/14

GL Pilot – Great Lakes Pilotage Familiarization: 1/24/14

GMDSS – Global Maritime Distress and Safety System: 3/17/14

HAZ – Hazardous Materials (5 day): 6/23/14

LAP- 3/10/14

LAP-Great Lakes – License Advancement Program – Great Lakes:  1/27/14

LAP-ORG3rd – License Advancement Program for Original 3rd Mate, Oceans, Any Gross
Ton License: 6/2/14

LEG – Legal Aspects of Pilotage: 1/22/14, 3/5/14

LNG-TPIC – 4/7/14

MCL – Management, Communications and Leadership

MCL OICNW –Management, Communications, and Leadership OICNW level: 9/5/14, 10/7/14

MEDIA-RSP – Media Response Workshop:  2/7/14

MED-PIC – Medical Person in Charge: 2/17/14, 4/21/14, 6/16/14

MED-PIC -R– Medical Person in Charge Refresher: 1/27/14, 5/12/14

MED-PRO – Medical Care Provider: 2/17/14, 3/17/14, 4/21/14, 6/16/14

MED-DOT-DA – Dept. of Transportation Drug & Alcohol Testing: 1/25/14, 2/22/14, 3/22/14, 4/26/14, 6/21/14

MSC-CBRD-1 – Military Sealift Command Chemical, Biological, Radiological Defense Orientation (Basic): 3/14/14

MSC-DC – Military Sealift Command Damage Control (4 Evenings): 3/10/14

MSC -SMA – Military Sealift Command Small Arms Qualification:  3/10/14



*MSC-Ship’s Reaction Force –

ROP-5 – Radar Observer Program – Unlimited: 2/3/14, 4/7/14

ROR-1 – Radar Observer Renewal: 1/20/14, 3/31/14

ROR-1N – Radar Observer Renewal Evening Classes: 1/22/14, 2/5/14, 2/19/14, 3/6/14, 3/20/14, 4/2/14, 4/16/14, 4/30/14, 5/7/14, 5/14/14, 6/5/14, 6/18/14

SAR – Search & Rescue

SEC-MSA –Maritime Security Awareness: 5/5/14 (PM)

SEC-VPDSD – Vessel Personnel with Designated Security Duties: 5/6/14

SEC-VSO – Vessel Security Officer: 2/4/14, 5/7/14

SHS-BAS – Basic Shiphandling:  2/10/14, 6/16/14

SHS-EMR5 – Emergency Shiphandling-5 Day: 1/20/14, 3/3/14

SHS-ESH-BRMP3 – Emergency Shiphandling and Bridge Resource Management for Pilots: 3/5/14, 4/29/14

TCNAV/CO – Terrestrial Navigation and Compasses: 7/7/14

TPIC – Tankerman Person in Charge:  2/24/14

TTT – Train the Trainer: 4/7/14

WKP-BAS – Basic Watchkeeping: 3/3/14

WX-BAS – Basic Meteorology: 2/24/13

…And remember: If you can’t make the class, make the call.  Be courteous, don’t be a “no show.”

Check the MITAGS website at for course descriptions associated with the course title abbreviations, and schedule revisions.


Please also see our schedule online at For registration, call our registrar, Jennifer Pitzen, at (206) 838-1126.

January 2014

27-31   Radar Observer Unlimited
27-31   Medical Care Provider
27-7    Medical Person-In-Charge

February 2014

3rd     Radar Renewal
3rd     Flashing Light
3-7     Basic Watchkeeping (Rules of the Road)
4-7     ARPA
10-14   ECDIS
10-14   Bridge Resource Management w/ Simulation
10-21   GMDSS
17-21   ECDIS
17-21   Bridge Resource Management w/ Simulation
24-28   Medical Care Provider
26-28   Vessel Security Officer

March 2014

3-14    Celestial Navigation
10-21   GMDSS
17th    Radar Renewal

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. Suite B, Linthicum Heights, MD 21090-1953. Phone: 410-850-8700; Fax: 410-850-0973; Email: For further info or to subscribe contact Lisa Rosenthal at The Wheelhouse Weekly is sent via Email to MM&P-contracted vessels at sea and is posted on our web page.

© 2014, 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 Lisa Rosenthal at