Wheelhouse Weekly – January 21st, 2020

January 21st 2020

Volume 25… Number 3… Jan. 21, 2020


In This Issue:

Alaska Marine Highway System:




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Matson’s new con/ro LURLINE made her maiden port call in Honolulu on Friday.

Aboard the vessel at the time were MM&P licensed deck officers Captain Paul T. Schulman, Captain John H. Bloomingdale, Chief Mate Matthew F. Merrill, Second Mate Todd M. Mara and Third Mate Bert D. Burris.

LURLINE is fast, with a top speed of 23 knots. The high speed will give shippers increased predictability.

With LURLINE and her soon-to-be-delivered sister ship on a 14-day rotation, customers can count on having a Matson vessel at the pier on the same day every week.

Both new Kanaloa-class vessels have an enclosed garage with room for about 500 vehicles, plus additional space for breakbulk and 3,500 TEU in container capacity.

The two are the largest con/ro’s ever built in the United States.

They have double-hull fuel tanks, freshwater ballast systems and the first Tier 3 dual-fuel engines for a West Coast container ship.

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The National Maritime Center has announced changes to exam procedures at all Regional Examination Centers.

Starting on Monday, April 6, 2020, all examinations will have to be scheduled at least two business days in advance; walk-in services for exams will no longer be offered.

After receiving a letter from the NMC indicating that the mariner has been approved to test, he or she can schedule an appointment to take the exam in one of three ways:

— Using the Schedule Exam/REC Appointment link on the Examinations page of the NMC Website:

— Calling the NMC Contact Center at 1-888-IASKNMC (427-5662).

— Contacting the NMC Contact Center by chat:

All RECs will have two exam periods daily: a 3 ½-hour morning session and a 3 ½-hour afternoon session with a minimum half-hour break between sessions.

Specific times are listed on the REC web page:

NMC says that mariners who finish a module early may take additional modules during an examination period but will not be given additional time to complete the extra modules.

Requests for additional modules during a specific exam period must be coordinated with the REC staff at the time of examination.

The agency said there will be no changes to the First Class Pilot examination process.

The agency also said it recommends that appointments be made for all other services.

Facility access requirements are on the REC web page:

For questions, please visit the Examinations web page or the Frequently Asked Questions web page, or contact the NMC Customer Service Center by e-mailing, by using the NMC online chat system, or by calling 1-888-IASKNMC (427-5662).

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A whistleblower investigation by the Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration has found that Bouchard Transportation and three of its officers violated the whistleblower protection provisions of the Seaman’s Protection Act when they retaliated against a seaman who had cooperated with the Coast Guard.

OSHA investigators concluded that the company and three of its officers–Morton S. Bouchard III, Brendan Bouchard and Kevin Donohue—had retaliated against the seaman for activity that is protected under the whistleblower act.

On Oct. 20, 2017, the BUSTER BOUCHARD/B. No. 255 exploded off Port Aransas, Texas, killing two Bouchard employees.

The brother of one of the victims, who also worked for the company, claimed he was fired for cooperating with investigators and reporting other safety concerns to the Coast Guard.

The activities protected under the Seaman’s Protection Act include reporting alleged violations of maritime safety laws and regulations, cooperating with Coast Guard safety investigations and furnishing information to investigators about facts related to any marine casualty resulting in death.

OSHA found that the seaman engaged in protected activity starting several days after his brother’s death.

Three months later, he was fired by the company without explanation.

In a preliminary judgment, OSHA has ordered that Bouchard compensate him as follows:

— back pay with interest plus compensatory damages for losses to his 401(k);

— an additional two years of lost wages in lieu of reinstatement;

— no less than $50,000 for emotional distress, pain and suffering, loss of reputation, and mental anguish resulting from Bouchard’s adverse employment action; and

— no less than $200,000 in punitive damages for the company and its three officials’ “reckless disregard for the law and callous indifference for seamen’s rights under the Seaman’s Protection Act and egregious conduct.”

OSHA also ordered the employer to refrain from making any adverse statements with respect to the seaman’s termination and/or any of the facts at issue in this case; and to train its managers and employees about seamen’s rights under the Seaman’s Protection Act and provide proof of the training to the government.

“This case revealed troubling safety violations in the wake of a seaman’s death and it exemplifies how a culture of intimidation can have disastrous results for seamen,” said OSHA Regional Administrator Richard Mendelson.

“Employers and vessel owners must know and respect that the Seaman’s Protection Act safeguards seamen’s cooperation with USCG and other safety investigations and the reporting of safety concerns.”

OSHA enforces the whistleblower provisions of the Seaman’s Protection Act and 22 other statutes protecting employees who report violations of various airline, commercial motor carrier, consumer product, environmental, financial reform, food safety, motor vehicle safety, healthcare reform, nuclear, pipeline, public transportation agency, railroad, maritime and securities laws.

Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act, employers are responsible for providing safe and healthful workplaces for their employees.

OSHA’s role is to help ensure these conditions for America’s working men and women by setting and enforcing standards, and providing training, education and assistance.

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Italy’s highest appellate court has ruled in favor of Captain Carola Rackete, who defied official orders and docked her ship in the port of Lampedusa on the night of June 29, 2019, to offload 40 rescued migrants.

In the process, her ship damaged an Italian police patrol boat that had been trapped against the quay.

Matteo Salvini, then the country’s interior minister, asserted that the captain had intentionally rammed the patrol boat, a charge she denied.

Rackete’s vessel was seized, and she was charged with resisting orders and “violence against warships.”

But within days, a regional court ordered her release after concluding that she was “doing her duty saving human lives.”

Italy’s highest appellate court, la Corte di Cassazione, upheld that decision Friday.

“This is an important verdict for all sea rescue activists,” Rackete said in a statement after the verdict was announced.

“No one should be prosecuted for aiding people in need.”

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Alaska’s Republican Governor has slashed funding for the state ferry system and says he wants to privatize it.

But a new study funded by the Alaska Department of Transportation concludes that private companies would not want to take over the service because they could not make money on most of the existing routes.

The study, conducted by Northern Economics, analyzed 11 budget-cutting options, including privatization, carving up the system into local operations, selling or leasing the ferries and terminals and renegotiating labor contracts.

It concluded that the only services that could be offered at break-even were those in Lynn Canal (between Juneau and Haines-Skagway) and Metlakatla-Ketchikan.

Gov. Mike Dunleavy’s original budget proposal called for taking away three-quarters of the ferry system’s budget.

Legislators refused to go that far but voted in favor of reducing the budget by more than a third.

Dunleavy agreed, and then vetoed a later attempt by legislators to put more money for the ferry system back into the budget.

The governor’s proposed budget for the fiscal year that starts July 1, 2020, includes a small increase in funding, but it calls for the ideas in the report to be implemented as early as fiscal year 2021.

The authors of the study found that Alaska’s stated goal of maintaining service while reducing funding to $24 million (less than 20 percent of what it was before Dunleavy took office) would be impossible–even if fares were increased by 25 percent and spending for personnel were slashed.

“Reducing the AMHS operating subsidy to $24 million will be extremely difficult if there is also a desire to provide minimum levels of service to existing AMHS communities,” they wrote.

Even if the state were to give the ferries and terminals away to a private company, the researchers said, “No business owner would accept all AMHS assets with the intent to provide service as the system currently operates, since it would not be possible to do so and earn even a modest rate of return to account for the risk.”

Northern Economics, which conducted the study, found that “the only buyer that might be willing to accept the assets would do so with the intent of reselling them for a profit (such as for scrap) rather than providing ferry service to AMHS communities.”

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The authorities have issued an advisory regarding the threat of piracy, armed robbery and terrorism to ships transiting the Sulu and Celebes seas.

In 2019, there were at least 12 reported boardings, attempted boardings, attacks, hijackings and kidnappings in the area.

The kidnappings are said to be linked to the Abu Sayyaf terrorist group.

The authorities advise US-flagged ships transiting the area to remain vigilant and adhere to the counter-piracy annex of their approved vessel security plan.

This advisory and all previous advisories are posted at:

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The owner of the oil tanker MT DUKE said last week that pirates had released 19 members of the ship’s crew who were taken hostage on Dec. 15.

One man, an able seaman, is said to have died shortly after being abducted.

The company, UK-based Union Maritime, said it will conduct an investigation into the cause of his death.

The other members of the crew are reportedly doing “as well as can be expected, given what they have experienced,” the company said in a statement, and will be returned home to their families after a debriefing.

The Marshall Islands-flagged tanker was attacked as it sailed from Luanda, Angola, to Lomé, Togo.

Six pirates boarded the vessel about 115 nautical miles southeast of Lomé, kidnapping the 20-person crew, all of whom were Indian nationals.

They left aboard a single mariner, reportedly a national of Nigeria.

The incident was the largest kidnapping in West Africa last year.

It followed the abduction of 19 people from the Hong Kong-flagged supertanker NAVE CONSTELLATION on Dec. 4 while it transited the Gulf of Guinea en route from Bonny Offshore Terminal to India.

They were freed on Dec. 21.

According to the International Chamber of Commerce’s International Maritime Bureau annual piracy report, from 2018 to 2019, the number of people kidnapped in the Gulf of Guinea has increased by more than 50 percent.

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Some things just naturally go together: ham and cheese, peanut butter and jelly, cake and ice cream…. And the list goes on.

As the action heats up for the NFL playoffs, nothing pairs with football like an ice-cold beer made by companies that treat their workers with respect and give them a voice on the job.

Labor 411 has more than 250 union-made beers to choose from. For the complete list, visit

In the meantime, here are some of our favorite union-made brews:

Beck’s (IAM)

Budweiser (IBT, IAM)

Busch (IAM, IBT)

Coors (IBT)

Dundee (IBT)

Goose Island (IBT)

Henry Weinhard’s Private Reserve (IUOE, IBT)

Killian’s (IUOE, IBT)

Land Shark Lager (IAM, IUOE, IBT)

Leffe Blond (IAM)

Lionshead (IUOE)

Michelob (IAM, IUOE, IBT)

Miller Genuine Draft (UAW, IAM, IUOE, IBT)

Moosehead (IBT)

O’Doul’s (non-alcoholic) (IAM, IUOE, IBT)

Pabst (UAW)

Red Tail Ale (IBT)

Sam Adams Boston Lager (IBT, IUOE, SEIU)

Schlitz (UAW)

Stella Artois (IAM)

For a complete listing of union-made brews, go to: and put Beer in the search bar.

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MITAGS is interested in receiving photo submissions from MM&P members for use on the official MITAGS social media platforms.

The goal is to document members’ voyages and promote the maritime industry. As suggestions, photos can be of events and sights onboard, crewmembers at work or scenic locations.

If you are interested in sharing photos, please send them with caption information to MITAGS Marketing Manager Lindsay Moran, at

Be sure to tell us whether you would like to be credited for the photo.

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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 Amanda Meadows, Admissions Coordinator, toll-free at 866-656-5568 or by e-mail:

Why not try our on-line calendar to register for class:

For Merchant Mariner Credential (MMC) processing, MMC problem resolution advice, STCW compliance and VA GI-Bill questions, contact MITAGS-PMI Student/Instructional Services Manager Jennifer Pitzen at 206-739-0720 (direct line); (888) 893-7829 (toll free); or by e-mail:

Please include your Mariner Reference Number, date of birth and the last four digits of your social security number in all emails.

Classes are 5-day unless otherwise noted

Class dates followed by an * are full

AB – Able Seaman – 4/13/20, 8/17/20, 10/5/20

AIS-1 – Automatic Identifications Systems Orientation (1-Day): 9/4/20

ARPA-OIC (4-Day) – Automated Radar Plotting Aids: 3/31/20

AZIPOD (2-Day) – 3/9/20, 4/30/20

BRM-35 – Bridge Resource Management: 2/24/20, 5/11/20, 8/3/20, 9/28/20

BRMP –Bridge Resource Management for Pilots (2-Day): 3/9/20, 3/31/20, 4/30/20, 5/18/20, 7/13/20, 9/15/20

BRMP-EMR –Bridge Resource Management for Pilots with Emergency Shiphandling – (Now also included in BRMP-Refresher) (3-Day): 3/11/20, 4/27/20, 7/15/20, 10/7/20

BRMP-Refresher (Now including Emergency Shiphandling for Pilots) (3-Day) – Not currently scheduled

BT – Basic Safety Training: 2/24/20, 4/20/20, 8/10/20, 10/12/20

BT-Revalidation (2-day) (Must have 1 year of sea service in last 5 years) – 2/4/20, 3/4/20, 4/2/20, 4/28/20, 6/15/20, 7/28/20, 8/31/20, 9/23/20, 10/28/20, 12/15/20

BT-Refresher (3-day) – 3/4/20, 4/27/20, 7/27/20, 9/23/20, 12/14/20

CHS-OIC – Cargo Handling Basic: 4/6/20

[CMM – Chief Mate and Master Courses]

ADVSTB-CMM – Advanced Stability: 2/3/20, 4/13/20, 6/8/20, 7/27/20, 10/5/20, 11/30/20

ADVWX-CMM – Advanced Meteorology: 1/27/20, 4/6/20, 6/15/20, 8/3/20

CHS-CMM – Advanced Cargo Operations (10 Days): 2/10/20

CM-OPS 1 – Chief Mate Operations – Week 1: 3/16/20*, 6/1/20, 8/24/20

CM-OPS 2 Maersk – Chief Mate Operations II Maersk Specific: 3/23/20, 6/8/20, 8/31/20

CM-OPS 2 APL – Chief Mate Operations II APL Specific – 3/9/20*

ECDIS – Electronic Chart Display Information Systems: 3/9/20, 6/1/20, 8/17/20, 11/9/20

LMS – Leadership and Managerial Skills (Management Level – Formerly MCL-CMM): 3/2/20, 4/20/20, 6/22/20, 8/10/20, 11/16/20, 12/14/20

MPP-CMM – Marine Propulsion Plants: 9/14/20 (DCS-1 available on request – contact Admissions)

SEC-APPS – Practical Defense Tactics: Not Currently Scheduled

SHMGT-CMM- Ship Management: 9/21/20

SHS-ADV-I-CMM – Advanced Shiphandling (week 1): 2/10/20*, 3/2/20*, 3/16/20, 4/13/20, 4/27/20, 6/1/20, 6/15/20, 7/20/20, 8/10/20, 9/14/20, 9/28/20, 10/12/20, 11/2/20, 1/30/20

SHS-ADV-II-CMM – Advanced Shiphandling (week 2): 2/17/20*, 3/9/20*, 3/23/20*, 4/20/20, 5/4/20, 6/8/20, 6/22/20, 7/27/20, 8/17/20, 9/21/20, 10/5/20, 10/19/20, 11/9/20, 12/7/20

**SHS-ADV-I & II are now approved to include SAR-CMM assessments at MITAGS**

VPEN-CMM – Voyage Planning & Electronic Navigation: 2/24/20

WKP-CMM – Advanced Watchkeeping: 1/20/20

WX-HW-ATL – Heavy Weather Avoidance Routing: Atlantic Ocean (2-day) – 5/18/20

WX-HW-IND – Heavy Weather Avoidance Routing: Indian Ocean (2-day) – 5/22/20

WX-HW-PAC – Heavy Weather Avoidance Routing: Pacific Ocean (2-day) – 5/20/20

CIW-DPA/IA – Continual Improvement Workshop: Designated Person Ashore & Internal Auditor (3-Day) ** This course is NOT covered by the MATES Program ** – 6/24/20, 10/14/20

CIW-SMS – Continual Improvement Workshop: Successful Safety Management (2-Day) – Not currently scheduled

CNAV-OIC (15-Day) – Celestial Navigation: 4/27/20

CRISIS-COMMS – Crisis Communications (1-Day): 2/21/20

CRSMGT – Crisis Management and Human Behavior (1-Day) – 2/14/20, 7/24/20

CDMGT – Crowd Management (1-Day) – 2/13/20, 7/23/20

CSE – Confined Space Entry (3-Day): 7/20/20

CSE-AWR – Confined Space Entry Awareness (2-Day): Not currently scheduled

CY-MAR – Cyber-Skilled Mariner ** This course is NOT covered by the MATES Program ** – Not currently scheduled

DDE – Great Lakes (20-Day): 2/3/20

ECDIS for Pilots (2-Day) – 4/30/20, 7/20/20

ERM – Engine Resource Management: 3/9/20, 6/8/20, 8/17/20, 12/7/20

FF-ADV – Advanced Fire-Fighting (4-day) – Not currently scheduled

FF-BADV – Fire Fighting Combined Basic & Advanced: 2/24/20, 4/20/20, 8/10/20, 10/12/20

FF-ADV-Rev (1-day) (Must have 1 year of sea service in last 5 years) – Advanced Fire Fighting Revalidation: 2/6/20, 3/2/20, 4/1/20, 4/30/20, 6/17/20, 7/30/20, 9/2/20, 9/22/20, 10/27/20, 12/17/20

FF-ADV-REF (2-day) – Advanced Fire Fighting Refresher: 3/7/20, 4/25/20, 7/25/20, 9/26/20, 12/12/20

FSM – Fatigue, Sleep, & Medications (1-Day): 4/7/20, 9/15/20

GL-Pilot – Great Lakes Pilotage Familiarization (2-Day): 3/14/20

GMDSS – Global Maritime Distress and Safety System (10-Day): 3/16/20, 8/24/20

HAZ – Hazardous Materials (5 day): 4/13/20, 8/24/20, 11/16/20

IEN – Integrated Electronic Navigation (3-Day) – Not currently scheduled

LAP – License Advancement Program for Mate to Master (20-Day): 7/27/20, 9/28/20

LAP-Great Lakes – License Advancement Program – Great Lakes (15-Day): 3/9/20

LAP-ORG3rd – License Advancement Program for Original 3rd Mate, Oceans, Any Gross
Ton License (15-Day): 6/1/20

LEG – Legal Aspects of Pilotage (1-Day): 3/12/20, 4/8/20, 5/18/20, 9/16/20

LNG-TPIC (10-Day) – 11/30/20

LTS –Leadership and Teamworking Skills (Formerly MCL-OIC) (1-Day): 5/26/20

MEECE – Management of Electrical and Electronic Control Equipment (Assessments not included): 3/16/20, 6/15/20, 8/24/20, 11/30/20

MED-PIC – Medical Person in Charge (10-Day): 3/16/20, 5/4/20, 7/6/20, 9/28/20, 11/30/20

MED-PIC-REF– Medical Person in Charge Refresher: 3/9/20, 6/22/20, 8/17/20, 10/19/20

MED-PRO – Medical Care Provider: 3/16/20, 4/13/20, 5/4/20

MED-DOT-DA – Dept. of Transportation Drug & Alcohol Testing (1-Day): 2/7/20, 3/21/20, 3/31/20, 5/1/20, 5/9/20, 6/18/20, 7/11/20, 9/3/20, 9/21/20, 10/3/20, 10/26/20, 12/5/20, 12/18/20

[MSC – Military Sealift Command Courses]

MSC-CBRD-1 – Military Sealift Command Chemical, Biological, Radiological Defense Orientation (Basic) (1-Day): 2/20/20, 5/21/20, 6/3/20, 8/5/20, 9/11/20, 11/10/20

MSC-DC – Military Sealift Command Damage Control (2-day): 2/18/20, 5/19/20, 6/1/20, 8/3/20, 9/9/20, 10/30/20

MSC-ENVPRO (1-Day) – 2/23/20, 5/31/20, 8/2/20, 11/1/20

MSC-FF-HELO (2-Day) – Not currently scheduled

MSC-SMA – Military Sealift Command Small Arms Qualifications (4-Day): 2/24/20*, 5/11/20, 6/7/20, 7/6/20, 8/9/20, 9/14/20, 11/2/20

MSC-Security Watch Basic (1-Day) – 2/21/20, 5/10/20, 6/4/20, 8/6/20, 9/12/20, 11/2/20

MSC-Security Watch Advanced (1-Day) – 2/22/20*, 5/15/20, 6/5/20, 7/10/20, 8/8/20, 9/13/20, 11/6/20

MSC-Ship’s Reaction Force (3-Day) – 2/28/20*, 5/16/20, 6/11/20, 7/11/20, 8/14/20, 9/18/20, 11/7/20

NDMS-ENAV – Navigational Decision Making Series – Best Practice in eNav (3-Day) – 7/22/20, 11/30/20

NSAP-MMP – Navigational Skills Assessment Program-MM&P (2-Day) – 3/16/20*, 4/9/20*, 6/22/20, 6/24/20, 7/13/20, 8/31/20, 9/2/20, 10/26/20, 10/28/20, 12/14/20, 12/16/20

RFPNW – Ratings Forming Part of a Navigational Watch (3-day) – 9/30/20

ROR-1 – Radar Observer Renewal (1-Day): 9/21/20

ROR-1N – Radar Observer Renewal Evening Classes (1-Night): 3/6/20, 3/7/20, 4/27/20, 4/28/20, 7/27/20, 9/15/20, 12/14/20

ROU-OIC – Radar Observer Program – Unlimited: 7/27/20

SAR – Search & Rescue – (Now with OIC and CMM assessments) (3-Day): 3/28/20, 10/14/20, 11/30/20

SHS-BAS-OIC – Basic Shiphandling: 5/18/20, 8/24/20, 10/19/20

SHS-EMR5 – Emergency Shiphandling (5 Day) – 1/27/20*, 3/30/20*, 5/4/20, 7/13/20, 8/31/20, 11/16/20, 12/14/20

STB-OIC – Ship Construction and Basic Stability: 8/3/20

TCNAV/CO – Terrestrial Navigation and Compasses (15-Day): 7/6/20

TPIC – Tankerman Person in Charge: 5/11/20, 7/6/20

TRAC-TUG-2 (2-Day): 2/17/20

TTT – ** This course is NOT covered by the MATES Program ** Not currently scheduled

VPDSD – Vessel Personnel with Designated Security Duties (1-Day): Not Currently Scheduled

VSO – Vessel Security Officer (3-Day): 2/10/20, 4/6/20, 5/27/20, 9/9/20

WKP-OIC – Watchkeeping (Operational Level) (10-Day): 2/17/20

WX-OIC –Meteorology (Operational Level): 3/2/20

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The MM&P Wheelhouse Weekly is the official electronic newsletter of the International Organization of Masters, Mates & Pilots, 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 © 2020. Articles can be reprinted without prior permission if credit is given to The MM&P Wheelhouse Weekly. For subscriptions, address changes or messages to the editor or to MM&P headquarters, e-mail Back issues of The Weekly are posted on