Wheelhouse Weekly – January 22, 2013

January 22nd 2013


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

Volume 17 . . . Number 4. . . Jan. 22, 2013


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


The Coast Guard’s National Maritime Center (NMC) has announced the release of updated Mariner Credentialing Program forms. The new forms include those used to apply for a Merchant Mariner Credential: 719B Application; 719K Medical Evaluation; 719KE Evaluation of Fitness for Entry Level Ratings; 719S Small Vessel Sea Service; and 719P Periodic Drug Testing.

The Coast Guard says that for the most part, the information that will be collected on the updated forms is the same as the data collected on the current forms. The agency says, however, that the format of several forms has changed significantly.

Implementation of the forms will begin on or about Jan. 28. The Coast Guard says it will not stock the updated forms in paper format, but will make them available electronically in a PDF fill-able format on the NMC website,

The Coast Guard has planned for a transition period that will provide the flexibility to apply for a credential using the old and/or new forms so people have time to adapt to the new formats. The phase-in period will last about three months, as detailed below:

CG-719B Applications dated after April 30, 2013 must be on the new form.

CG-719K Physicals signed by a physician after April 30, 2013 must be on the new form.

CG-719KE Physicals signed by a physician after April 30, 2013 must be on the new form.

CG-719P Drug tests collected and submitted after April 30, 2013 must be on the new form.

CG-719S Small Vessel Sea Service commenced after April 30, 2013 must be on the new form.

To ask questions about the new forms or provide feedback, please contact the Customer Service Center at or 888-IASKNMC (888-427-5662).


Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service Director George H. Cohen issued the following statement on Jan. 17 regarding contract negotiations between the International Longshoremen’s Association (ILA) and the U.S. Maritime Alliance (USMX):

“The United States Maritime Alliance and the International Longshoremen’s Association conducted negotiations during the three day period Jan. 15-17, 2013. In these negotiations the parties made progress and have agreed that the negotiations will continue under our auspices. Due to the sensitivity of these negotiations, we will have no further comment at this time.”

The Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service is an independent government agency that was created in 1947 with the goal of preserving and promoting labor-management peace and cooperation.


Ahead of what could be a major labor showdown in the Pacific Northwest, the unions affiliated with the International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF) have issued a statement of support for the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU).

In case of a lock-out, multinational grain companies have reportedly hired replacement non-union workers to take over the jobs currently being done by ILWU members in the ports of Seattle, Tacoma, Vancouver, Washington and Portland. The multinational corporate owners of six grain elevators involved in the negotiations include Mitsui, Marubeni, Louis Dreyfus Commodities, Cargill and CHS.

“Seafarers from around the world are grateful for the ILWU’s solidarity over the decades,” said Jeff Engels, ITF U.S. West Coast coordinator, in a written statement. “They’re eager to have the opportunity to support the ILWU in their campaign to secure a good contract.”

“Global grain exporters are trying to put the squeeze on the longshoremen who have worked for decades to make the Pacific Northwest grain export industry the success that it is today,” said ILWU Coast Committeeman Leal Sundet, co-chairman of the committee that negotiates the Northwest Grainhandler’s Agreement. “We have an 80-year contract with these companies, and the employer is trying to undermine the standards that have made them rich. It’s critical that workers protect the gains we’ve made over the years.” Business news outlets report that the grain handlers are all reaping increased net profits, partly as a result of recent sustained growth in world food prices.


The minutes of the 84th MM&P Convention have been posted in the Members’ Only section of


The Tongue Point Job Corps Center in Astoria is seeking a full time seamanship instructor/chief mate to work in its Department of Career Training. The hourly wage is negotiable. The candidate should be a qualified professional mariner who can provide all phases of basic deck seamanship instruction and supervision of seamanship students, as well as perform the duties of chief mate aboard its vessels.

Minimum qualifications include 1600 ton mate (coastwise), STCW 95 compliant, Bridge Resource Management, and competency with Microsoft Word and Excel.Must have five years supervisory experience on deck and be capable of communicating and supervising entry-level students. Will be required to meet U.S. Coast Guard requirements for instructor certification and become a member of the Inland Boatmen’s Union of the Pacific. Experience with youth and excellent written and verbal communication skills are required, as is a valid driver’s license in the state of residence with an acceptable driving record.

To apply: Please e-mail resume and inquiries to

Tongue Point Job Corps Center is a federal vocational training program for young adults ages 16-24. It is located at the mouth of the Columbia River in Astoria. The staff teaches 525 youth the academic, vocational, employability, and social skills they need to become prepared for successful careers. It is the only Job Corps Center in the nation with a Seamanship program. Seamanship is the largest vocation, with 60 students; students are able to earn their OS, QMED and AB, plus additional certifications.


Pirates hijacked a Panamanian-flagged oil tanker on Jan. 16 from the Ivory Coast port of Abidjan, local authorities revealed over the weekend. They said the ship, the ITRI, has been moved to somewhere off the coast of Ghana, though its precise whereabouts are unknown. The tanker was seized Wednesday as it was preparing to deposit oil at the port of Abidjan. It has 16 crew members aboard. The ship initially had trouble docking because a sand storm had reduced visibility. Shortly afterward, contact was lost and a spokesperson for the operating company reported later that armed men had taken control.


The United Kingdom will donate the equivalent of $3.6 million to support efforts to reduce piracy off the coast of Somalia, according to the BBC news service. U.K. Foreign Office Minister Alistair Burt announced the grants last week, saying that although the number of attacks in the region had declined, the gains were “fragile and reversible.” International maritime authorities report that in 2012, there was a dramatic decline in pirate attacks off the coast of Somalia compared to the previous year, along with an 80 percent drop in the number of ships seized.

The money from the United Kingdom will go to the United Nations’ Office on Drugs and Crime’s counter piracy program for use in improving prison infrastructure in Somalia and developing a Somali Coast Guard. At the start of the year, 108 hostages remain in pirate hands.


The U.S. Navy has issued a news release stating that the investigation into the grounding of the USS GUARDIAN on a reef in Philippine waters will include information on faulty navigation chart data. The Navy said preliminary findings of a review by the U.S. National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency found that digital navigation chart data was inaccurate and had “misplaced the location of Tubbataha Reef,” which “may have been a factor in the grounding.”

But while the erroneous navigation chart data is important, no one should jump to conclusions, U.S. Pacific Fleet spokesman Capt. Darryn James was quoted in the statement as saying. “It is critical that the U.S. Navy conduct a comprehensive investigation that assesses all the facts,” he added.

The U.S. 7th Fleet Commander on Saturday expressed regret about the accident, which took place on Jan. 17 at approximately 2:25 a.m. “As a protector of the sea and a sailor myself, I greatly regret any damage this incident has caused to the Tubbataha Reef,” Vice Adm. Scott Swift said in an official statement. “We know the significance of the Tubbataha Reefs Natural Park and its importance as a World Heritage Site. Its protection is vital, and we take seriously our obligations to protect and preserve the maritime environment.”

Several naval support vessels, including the USS MUSTIN, are being deployed to prevent further environmental damage to the reef and surrounding marine environment. As of Jan. 21, there were no traces of an oil slick reported. No one was injured in the grounding. The Avenger-class mine countermeasure ship, which is based in Sasebo, Japan, was on its way to India from Subic Bay in the Philippines when it ran aground.


The crew of a Bolivian-flagged tugboat detained by authorities in Canada will be repatriated thanks to donations from residents of Halifax, Nova Scotia, who are collecting money to send them home. The CRAIG TRANS, which was on its way to Montreal, took refuge in Halifax on Dec. 20 because of a winter storm. When the authorities conducted a routine safety check, they found violations including failing navigation equipment and defective escape hatches. The authorities also reported finding live and dead cockroaches in almost every part of the ship.

A London-headquartered non-profit, Mission to Seafarers, is attempting to raise at least $12,000 to help the crewmen return to their homes and families. So far residents of Nova Scotia are said to have donated $5,000 and enough airline miles for three one-way flights.


Between now and the end of March 2013, the following courses are scheduled at MITAGS. (Please keep in mind, however, that the schedule may be subject to change.)

For class availability or information on courses and programs, contact MITAGS Admissions Coordinator Kelly Michielli toll free at 866-656-5568 or e-mail her at

Try our on-line calendar to register for class:

Automated Radar Plotting Aids: 3/26/2013

AZIPOD (2-DAY) for Pilots: 3/20/2013

BRM – Bridge Resource Management: 3/18/2013

BRMP – Bridge Resource Management for Pilots: 2/7/2013, 3/7/2013

[CMM – Chief Mate and Master Courses]

CMM-ADVNAV – Advanced Navigation (=ECDIS & VPEN): 3/18/2013

CMM-ADVSTB – Advanced Stability: 2/18/2013

CMM-CHS – Advanced Cargo Operations (2 weeks): 2/25/2013

CMM-MPP – Marine Propulsion Plants: 3/11/13

CMM-SHMGT – Ship Management (2 weeks): 2/4/13

CMM-SHS-ADV-I – Advanced Shiphandling (week 1): 1/28/2013, 2/18/2013, 3/4/2013

CMM-SHS-ADV-I I – Advanced Shiphandling (week 2): 2/4/2013, 2/25/2013, 3/11/2013

CMM-WKP – Advanced Watchkeeping: 1/28/2013

DDE: Designated Duty Engineer: 1/28/2013

ENVIRO-Regs Permit – Environmental Regulations Permit: 3/5/2013

FSM – Fatigue, Sleep and Medications: 3/7/13

HAZ – Hazardous Materials (5 day): 2/11/13

LAP – License Advancement Program for Great Lakes: 1/28/2013

LEG – Legal Aspects of Pilotage: 3/6/2013

MCL – Management, Communications and Leadership, 3/25/2013

MEDIA RSP – Media Response Workshop: 3/8/2013

MED-PIC – Medical Person in Charge: 2/18/13, 3/18/13

MED-PIC -R– Medical Person in Charge Refresher: 1/28/2013

MED-PRO – Medical Care Provider: 2/18/2013, 3/18/2013

MED-DOT-DA – Dept. of Transportation Drug & Alcohol Testing: 1/26/2013, 2/23/2013, 3/23/2013

MSC -SMA – Military Sealift Command Small Arms Qualification: 3/11/13

MSC-DC – Military Sealift Command Damage Control (4 Evenings): 3/11/13

MSC-CBRD-1 – Military Sealift Command Chemical, Biological, Radiological Defense Orientation (Basic): 3/15/13

ROR-1 – Radar Observer Renewal Evening Classes: 1/23/2013, 2/6/2013, 2/20/2013, 3/6/2013, 3/20/2013,

ROR-1 – Radar Observer Renewal: 3/25/2013

SHS-BAS – Basic Shiphandling: 1/28/13, 3/25/13

SEC-VSO – Vessel Security Officer: 3/4/2013

SHS-ESH-BRMP3 – Emergency Shiphandling and Bridge Resource Management for Pilots: 3/4/13

SHS-EMR5 – Emergency Shiphandling: 2/11/13

TPIC – Tankerman Person in Charge: 2/25/13

… 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.


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

January 2013

23-25 Vessel Security Officer
28th Med DOT
28-1Radar Observer Unlimited

February 2013

4th Flashing Light Exam
11th Radar Renewal
11-15Tankerman Person-In-Charge
11-15Bridge Resource Management
18-22 ECDIS
20-21 Environmental Regulations in the Maritime Industry / Vessel General Permit
25-1 Medical Care Provider
25-8Medical Person-In-Charge

March 2013

4-15 Celestial Navigation
11th Radar Renewal
18-19 ECDIS for Pilots
18-22 Able Bodied Seaman
20th Fatigue, Sleep, and Medications
21-22 Azipod for Pilots
25-29 ECDIS
27-29 Vessel Security Officer

MM&P MARKET WATCH AS OF 01-22-2013 at 11:00 a.m.

D O W N A S D A Q S & P 500
13,644.83 3,124.50 1,483.51

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