Wheelhouse Weekly – January 26th, 2021

January 27th 2021

Volume 26… Number 4… Jan. 26, 2021


In This Issue:


Maritime Advisory:

Gulf of Guinea:


Your Assistance Requested:

Mark Your Calendar:


Never miss an issue!
Click here to subscribe to the Wheelhouse Weekly mailing list.
Did you miss a week?
Back editions of the Wheelhouse Weekly are available in the archives section.


The US-flag fleet is applauding an Executive Order signed by President Joe Biden on Jan. 25 that confirms his administration’s policy of strongly supporting American maritime workers and the companies serving the domestic trades under the Jones Act.

“The Executive Order reiterates the President’s strong support of the Jones Act, a law that is a foundation for US economic and national security,” the American Maritime Partnership said in a press release.

The members of AMP include America’s maritime unions and the domestic shipping companies, as well as allied organizations such as MIRAID.

The Jones Act requires that cargo moving between two US points be carried on American-built, -owned and -crewed vessels.

Long supported by broad bipartisan majorities in Congress and top US national security officials —including in a “Sense of Congress” motion in the recently enacted National Defense Authorization Act—the Jones Act promotes the maintenance of the nation’s vitally important maritime industrial base, ensuring that American jobs are not shipped overseas and that the assets underlying our defense capabilities are not outsourced to foreign nations.

A summary of the Executive Order recognizes the recent signing of the NDAA as “an opportunity to invest in America’s workers as we build offshore renewable energy, in line with the President’s goals to build our clean energy future here in America.”

“We enthusiastically applaud this decision by President Biden to reaffirm his support for the Jones Act as a component of his Administration’s commitment to strong Buy American policies,” said MM&P President Don Marcus.

“His expression of support sends a clear message that the domestic maritime industry and the thousands of union men and women who build and operate these vessels are critical to the economic and military security of our nation.”

“[H]earing this support from the White House means a lot,” said Matson Chairman and CEO Matt Cox.

“We take our role seriously and appreciate knowing that we have the support of the White House.”

“The White House has taken unprecedented action that supports the Great Lakes economy and homeland security,” said Jim Weakley, president of the Lake Carriers’ Association.

“This Executive Order creates jobs and protects the pilot light of the nation’s manufacturing base, which is the Great Lakes maritime industry.”

America’s maritime industry employs nearly 650,000 people across all 50 US states and territories, and contributes $154 billion annually to the nation’s economic growth.

Each year, the 40,000 vessels that comprise the Jones Act fleet move roughly a quarter of the nation’s freight along domestic waterways, across the Great Lakes, and over the oceans to Hawaii, Alaska, Puerto Rico and the US territories.

Back to Stories Covered


Transportation unions and US-flag shipping companies have told Congress that Pete Buttigieg, President Biden’s nominee to head the US Department of Transportation, is uniquely prepared to respond to the array of challenges facing America’s transportation sector.

“The American people need and deserve leaders in Washington who have proven experience and who will prioritize the needs of those who are seeing us through the Covid-19 crisis,” says Greg Regan, secretary-treasurer of the AFL-CIO Transportation Trades Department.

Buttigieg, a Navy veteran, former presidential candidate and mayor of South Bend, Ind., voiced his support for the American maritime industry, and in particular the Jones Act, during his Senate confirmation hearing.

The Jones Act requires that all goods transported by water between US ports be carried on US-flag vessels constructed in the United States and owned and crewed by US citizens.

“[The Jones Act] is so important to a maritime industry that creates hundreds of thousands of jobs, as well as a shipbuilding industry here in the US,” Buttigieg told members of the Senate Commerce Committee during the course of his three-hour confirmation hearing.

“The challenges facing US-flag shipping companies are significant,” the members of USA Maritime—a coalition of maritime unions, shipping companies and allied groups—wrote in a Jan. 20 letter to Commerce Committee Chair Sen. Maria Cantwell and Sen. Roger Wicker, the committee’s ranking member.

“These challenges require immediate and meaningful responses from our government and call for a Secretary of Transportation who will reflect President Biden’s position that the ‘US-flag merchant marine and the men and women who operate US-flag ships are crucial to America’s national security, our international trade relationships, and economic development.’”

“We urge your Committee to move favorably on his nomination and we call on the Senate to quickly confirm Mayor Pete Buttigieg’s nomination as Secretary of Transportation.”

During his confirmation hearing, Buttigieg strongly endorsed the use of taxpayer dollars to maximize US job creation by promoting Buy America policies and the Jones Act.

He also drew a direct and clear connection between smart, thoughtful transportation policies, infrastructure investments and union job creation.

MM&P is one of the 33 transportation sector labor unions that belong to TTD.

MM&P and MIRAID are both members of USA Maritime, a coalition of unions, employers and allied associations that advocate for the US-flag fleet.

Back to Stories Covered


President Biden has appointed Lucinda Lessley to serve as deputy maritime administrator.

She will be in charge at MARAD until a new maritime administrator is confirmed.

Lessley worked as legislative director for Congressman Elijah Cummings when he chaired the Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation Subcommittee.

She also served as a senior investigator for the House Committee on Homeland Security and as a policy director for the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform.

“She is extremely knowledgeable about our issues and, personally, I think she will be a tremendous asset for our industry and the Administration,” said MIRAID President Jim Patti.

Back to Stories Covered


President Joe Biden has fired the general counsel of the National Labor Relations Board, a Trump appointee who in his three years on the board worked to overturn decades of legal precedent to favor business and harm unions.

Just hours after his inauguration, Biden asked Peter Robb, a former management lawyer, for his resignation.

When Robb refused to resign, he was fired.

“His actions sought to stymie the tens of millions of workers who said they would vote to join a union and violated the stated purpose of the NLRB to encourage collective bargaining,” said AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka.

“His removal is the first step in giving workers a fair shot again.”

The Board was created by Congress in 1935 to protect the rights of working people, encourage collective bargaining and curtail private sector labor and management practices which can harm the general welfare of workers, businesses and the economy as a whole.

But in recent years, with a majority of members appointed by Trump, it abandoned that mandate, rolling back decades of settled law and tipping the scale of justice further in favor of corporations.

In the first months of fiscal year 2019, for example, the board reversed its position and brought charges against 21 labor groups in cases in which the unions had previously been found to not be at fault.

Biden’s pick for the next NLRB general counsel will have to be confirmed by the Senate, and the Democratic pick would work alongside the current board made up of one Democrat and three Republicans, with one vacancy.

Meanwhile, Biden selected Lauren McFerran, the lone Democrat on the board, to serve as chair. Biden will soon have the opportunity to appoint a second Democrat.

“In these turbulent times for working people, the mission of the Board and the rights we protect are more important than ever,” McFerran said.

“I look forward to this new chapter in the Board’s work, redoubling our efforts to serve the Act’s goals—‘encouraging the practice and procedure of collective bargaining and … protecting the exercise by workers of full freedom of association.’”

Back to Stories Covered


The US maritime authorities have informed mariners that like all other travelers, upon entry into the United States, they will be required to present a negative Covid-19 test, taken within three calendar days of departure, or proof of recovery from the virus within the last 90 days.

The requirement is part of a new Centers for Disease Control and Prevention policy that takes effect today.

It applies to all air passengers arriving in the United States, including US citizens and legal permanent residents.

Additional information is posted online.

Questions about the CDC order should be directed to the CDC using the agency’s contact us form.

For emergency State Department assistance, mariners and others are advised to contact the nearest US Embassy or Consulate or to call the following numbers: 1 (888) 407-4747 (toll-free in the United States and Canada) or 1 (202) 501-4444 from other countries or jurisdictions.

Back to Stories Covered


Pirates killed one man and kidnapped 15 others from a Turkish container ship in the Gulf of Guinea on Jan. 23.

According to the authorities, at about 0530 hours, the container ship MOZART was boarded by four pirates about 100 miles off Sao Tome as it sailed from Cape Town to Lagos.

The crew retreated to the citadel, but the pirates managed to breach it. Engineer Farman Ismayilov, an Azeri national, was killed in the altercation that ensued.

The pirates then departed with 15 members of the crew, all nationals of Turkey.

Reuters reported that the pirates, possibly using explosives, breached the citadel from the deck above.

According to authorities in Turkey who spoke by phone with the three remaining crewmembers, it took the pirates six hours to breach the citadel, a period of time in which neither the military nor law enforcement intervened.

Turkish diplomatic efforts to secure the release of the survivors are under way.

“We will rescue our citizens from the hands of these bandits and reunite them with their families as soon as possible,” said Turkey’s minister of transport and infrastructure Adil Karaismailoglu.

Since shipboard private security guards have been targeted in the past by Nigeria’s Navy, some vessels sail through the area without armed protection.

Pirates in the Gulf of Guinea, which borders more than a dozen countries, kidnapped 130 sailors in 22 attacks last year, some as far as 200 nm from Nigerian shores.

Back to Stories Covered


How do experts at the National Weather Service develop the winter weather forecasts that are of critical importance to American mariners and US partners in the International Maritime Organization?

How do experts at NOAA process and use the data collected by weather buoys, satellites and the vessels in the voluntary ship observing network?

Videos that are posted on the National Hurricane Center’s YouTube channel provide a fascinating glimpse into the observational tools that enable the National Weather Service to develop forecasts for the Atlantic and Pacific.

Links to sites where blue water mariners can download weather data pertinent to various regions of the world are posted along with this article on under Latest News.

Back to Stories Covered


A video produced by shipowners’ group BIMCO highlights the importance of the work carried out by mariners and longshoremen.

Their role in the global economy is more important today than it has ever been. Click on the link below to view the video.

At a time when the world stopped, ships kept moving.

Back to Stories Covered


Anyone who uses or has used ECDIS is asked to respond to a short survey aimed at obtaining informed opinions about different ways of displaying depth uncertainty in electronic chart displays.

The work is being undertaken by researchers at the University of New Hampshire.

The USMMA Marine Transportation Department has reached out to the maritime unions with the request that they disseminate a link to the survey to their members.

The research is part of a larger project on the visualization and integration of bathymetric data uncertainty in support of marine navigation.

The researchers say this is an opportunity for professionals—mariners, cartographers and hydrographers—to voice their opinions about better ways to display CATZOC information on an ENC.

You can access the survey here:

Click on the small blue box in the lower right-hand corner of the slide to begin the survey. The use of mobile devices to respond is not recommended.

Responses will be summarized and reported to the respective IHO bodies for further evaluation.

Responses will remain confidential and only anonymized results will be published in reports, presentations, and other publications.

The researchers also ask those who receive and respond to this survey to share it with others who use charts in their work.

They say that the greater the participation, the more representative the results will be and the more likely it is for the new methodologies to be embraced by the maritime community.

Back to Stories Covered


MM&P Atlantic Ports Vice President Tom Larkin has scheduled a virtual Offshore membership meeting on Thursday, Jan. 28, after job call at 1100 EDT for Offshore members and applicants shipping out of the ports of Boston and New York/New Jersey.

MIRAID President Jim Patti will participate in the meeting, reporting on the new administration’s maritime policy and giving a general legislative update.

MM&P Secretary-Treasurer Don Josberger will also participate in the meeting.

To register for the meeting, you will need to log in to either the MM&P app or the Members’ Only section of the MM&P website.

You can download the MM&P app on your mobile device here: just scroll down to the bottom of the page where you will find instructions on how to download the app under the heading Attention All MM&P Members.

Once you are logged in, click on Offshore Membership Meeting Registration located under the Documents tab.

For assistance, please send an email to

Back to Stories Covered


All MM&P union halls, the MM&P Federal Credit Union and MM&P headquarters will be closed on Friday, Feb. 12, for Lincoln’s Birthday.

All MM&P union halls, the MM&P Federal Credit Union, MM&P headquarters and the MM&P Plan Office will be closed on Monday, Feb. 15, for Presidents Day.

Back to Stories Covered


There was an error in last week’s Weekly: by mistake, the SIU was not included in the list of unions that had signed on to a letter to the National Governors Association urging that seafarers be given priority access to the vaccine.

SIU President Mike Sacco was a signatory to the letter, along with the presidents of MM&P, the ARA, the SUP, the AMO, the MFOW, the IBU and the MEBA.

Back to Stories Covered


Due to the pandemic surge, students coming to the MITAGS East Campus must send Admissions a negative Covid-19 test result. The test must have been taken within 72 hours of arrival.

Students who cannot access testing but who otherwise meet all the requirements of the MATES Program Covid-19 policy will have to take a Covid-19 test offered at MITAGS East every Monday morning.

Members may also reschedule their classes for later in the year when the infection rates are expected to drop.

We appreciate your cooperation during these very trying times.

Also please note that the minimum number of days to obtain eligibility continues to be 42 days instead of 30.

Additionally, class sizes may be reduced in order to maintain proper physical distancing.

Back to Stories Covered


\\Classes are 5-day unless otherwise noted\\

Class dates followed by an * are full

AB – Able Seaman – 4/12/21

AIS-1 – Automatic Identifications Systems Orientation (1-Day): Not currently scheduled

ARPA-OIC (4-Day) – Automated Radar Plotting Aids: Not currently scheduled

AZIPOD (2-Day) – Not currently scheduled

BRM-35 – Bridge Resource Management: Not currently scheduled

BRMP –Bridge Resource Management for Pilots (2-Day): 3/8/21, 4/13/21, 4/29/21, 5/17/21
Online: 2/2/21, 4/20/21

BRMP-EMR –Bridge Resource Management for Pilots with Emergency Shiphandling – (Now also included in BRMP-Refresher) (3-Day): 3/10/21, 4/26/21

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

BT – Basic Safety Training: 5/3/21

BT-Revalidation (2-day) (Must have 1 year of sea service in last 5 years) – 2/9/21*, 4/27/21, 6/22/21

BT-Refresher (3-day) – 2/9/21*, 4/27/21

CHS-OIC – Cargo Handling Basic: Not currently scheduled

[CMM – Chief Mate and Master Courses]

ADVSTB-CMM – Advanced Stability: 3/8/21, 5/3/21, 6/21/21

ADVWX-CMM – Advanced Meteorology: 4/26/21, 6/14/21

CHS-CMM – Advanced Cargo Operations (10 Days): 3/15/21

CM-OPS 1 – Chief Mate Operations – Week 1: 2/1/21, 6/7/21

CM-OPS 2 Maersk – Chief Mate Operations II Maersk Specific: 2/8/21, 6/14/21

CM-OPS 2 APL – Chief Mate Operations II APL Specific – Not currently scheduled

ECDIS – Electronic Chart Display Information Systems: 6/7/21

LMS – Leadership and Managerial Skills (Management Level – Formerly MCL-CMM): 2/1/21, 5/10/21

MPP-CMM – Marine Propulsion Plants: 4/12/21
(DCS-1 available on request – contact Admissions)

SEC-APPS – Practical Defense Tactics: Not Currently Scheduled

SHMGT-CMM- Ship Management: 2/22/21

SHS-ADV-I-CMM – Advanced Shiphandling (week 1): 2/1/21, 2/22/21, 3/15/21, 4/19/21, 5/10/21, 6/7/21

SHS-ADV-II-CMM – Advanced Shiphandling (week 2): 2/8/21*, 3/1/21, 3/22/21, 4/26/21, 5/17/21, 6/14/21

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

VPEN-CMM – Voyage Planning & Electronic Navigation: 4/19/21

WKP-CMM – Advanced Watchkeeping: 3/1/21

WX-HW-ATL – Heavy Weather Avoidance Routing: Atlantic Ocean (2-day) – Contact Admissions

WX-HW-IND – Heavy Weather Avoidance Routing: Indian Ocean (2-day) – Contact Admissions

WX-HW-PAC – Heavy Weather Avoidance Routing: Pacific Ocean (2-day) – Contact Admissions

CIW-DPA/IA – Continual Improvement Workshop: Designated Person Ashore & Internal Auditor (3-Day) ** This course is NOT covered by the MATES Program **
Online: 4/7/21, 7/7/21, 10/6/21

CIW-SMS – Continual Improvement Workshop: Successful Safety Management (2-Day) – Online: 6/10/21, 12/9/21

CNAV-OIC (15-Day) – Celestial Navigation: Not currently scheduled

CRISIS-COMMS – Crisis Communications (1-Day): 3/10/21

CRSMGT – Crisis Management and Human Behavior (1-Day) – 2/26/21

CDMGT – Crowd Management (1-Day) – 2/25/21

CSE – Confined Space Entry (3-Day): Not currently scheduled

CSE-AWR – Confined Space Entry Awareness (2-Day): 5/20/21

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

DDE – Great Lakes (20-Day): 2/22/21, 4/19/21

ECDIS for Pilots (2-Day) – 3/8/21, 5/3/21

ERM – Engine Resource Management: 4/19/21

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

FF-BADV – Fire Fighting Combined Basic & Advanced: 5/3/21

FF-ADV-Rev (1-day) (Must have 1 year of sea service in last 5 years) – Advanced Fire Fighting Revalidation: 2/8/21, 4/26/21, 6/21/21

FF-ADV-REF (2-day) – Advanced Fire Fighting Refresher: 2/12/21, 4/30/21

FSM – Fatigue, Sleep, & Medications (1-Day): 4/13/21
Online: Not currently scheduled

GL-Pilot – Great Lakes Pilotage Familiarization (2-Day): 3/13/21

GMDSS – Global Maritime Distress and Safety System (10-Day): Not currently scheduled

HAZ – Hazardous Materials (5 day): 4/12/21

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

LAP – License Advancement Program for Mate to Master (20-Day): Not currently scheduled

LAP-Great Lakes – License Advancement Program – Great Lakes (15-Day): 3/8/21

LAP-ORG3rd – License Advancement Program for Original 3rd Mate, Oceans, Any Gross
Ton License (15-Day): 4/12/21

LEG – Legal Aspects of Pilotage (1-Day): 3/9/21, 4/14/21, 4/29/21

LNG-TPIC (10-Day) – Not currently scheduled

LTS –Leadership and Teamworking Skills (Formerly MCL-OIC) (1-Day): Not currently scheduled

MEECE – Management of Electrical and Electronic Control Equipment (Assessments not included): 4/12/21

MED-PIC – Medical Person in Charge (10-Day): 4/12/21

MED-PIC-REF– Medical Person in Charge Refresher: 5/10/21

MED-PRO – Medical Care Provider: 4/12/21

MED-DOT-DA – Dept. of Transportation Drug & Alcohol Testing (1-Day): 4/17/21, 5/15/21, 6/24/21

[MSC – Military Sealift Command Courses]

MSC-CBRD-1 – Military Sealift Command Chemical, Biological, Radiological Defense Orientation (Basic) (1-Day): 2/24/21, 5/17/21, 6/11/21

MSC-DC – Military Sealift Command Damage Control (2-day): 2/25/21, 5/18/21, 6/9/21

MSC-ENVPRO (1-Day) – 2/28/21, 6/13/21

MSC-FF-HELO (2-Day) – 6/21/21

MSC-SMA – Military Sealift Command Small Arms Qualifications (4-Day): 3/1/21*, 5/10/21, 6/14/21

MSC-Security Watch Basic (1-Day/ 8-hour) – 3/1/21 (Evening), 5/9/21 (Evening), 6/12/21 (Evening)

MSC-Security Watch Advanced (1-Day) – 3/5/21*, 5/9/21, 6/12/21

MSC-Ship’s Reaction Force (3-Day) – 3/6/21*, 5/14/21, 6/18/21

NDMS-ENAV – Navigational Decision Making Series – Best Practice in eNav (3-Day) – Not currently scheduled

NSAP-MMP – Navigational Skills Assessment Program-MM&P (2-Day) – 3/15/21*, 4/20/21*, 4/22/21, 6/22/21, 6/24/21

PSC – Personal Survival Craft (5-Day) – 2/1/21

PSC-REF – Personal Survival Craft Refresher (2-Day) – Not currently scheduled

RFPNW – Ratings Forming Part of a Navigational Watch (3-day) – Not currently scheduled

ROR-1 – Radar Observer Renewal (1-Day): Not currently scheduled

ROR-1N – Radar Observer Renewal Evening Classes (1-Night): 4/13/21, 4/30/21

ROU-OIC – Radar Observer Program – Unlimited: 5/24/21

SAR – Search & Rescue – (Now with OIC and CMM assessments) (3-Day): Not currently scheduled

SHS-BAS-OIC – Basic Shiphandling: 5/3/21

SHS-EMR5 – Emergency Shiphandling (5 Day) – 4/12/21*, 6/14/21*

STB-OIC – Ship Construction and Basic Stability: 5/17/21

TCNAV/CO – Terrestrial Navigation and Compasses (15-Day): 6/7/21

TPIC – Tankerman Person in Charge: 3/8/21, 4/26/21

TRAC-TUG-2 (2-Day): 3/8/21

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

VPDSD – Vessel Personnel with Designated Security Duties (1-Day): 2/27/21, 6/15/21

VSO – Vessel Security Officer (3-Day): 2/22/21, 6/16/21

WKP-OIC – Watchkeeping (Operational Level) (10-Day): Not currently scheduled

WX-OIC –Meteorology (Operational Level): Not currently scheduled

Back to Stories Covered


Schedule of Courses – Please also see our schedule and enroll online at For Registration Contact our Admissions Department: 206.441.2880 or

February 2021

1-5 Advanced Shiphandling II
1-5 Meteorology (Operational Level)
8-12 Medical Care Provider
15-19 Basic Cargo Handling & Stowage
15-5 Terrestrial & Coastal Navigation
17-18 Basic Training Revalidation
19th Advanced Firefighting Revalidation
22-26 Leadership & Managerial Skills
22-26 Basic Shiphandling

March 2021

1-5 Medical Care Provider
1-12 Medical Person-In-Charge
2-5 Advanced Firefighting
8-12 Meteorology (Operational Level)
8-19 GMDSS
10th Advanced Firefighting Revalidation
11-12 Basic Training Revalidation
15-19 Radar Observer Unlimited
15-19 Basic Training
15-19 Basic Shiphandling
22nd Vessel Personnel w/ Designated Security Duties (VPDSD)
22-26 Basic Cargo Handling & Stowage
29-2 Able Seaman

April 2021

5-9 Medical Care Provider
5-16 Medical Person-In-Charge
5-23 License Preparation (Original 3rd)
12-13 Basic Training Revalidation
12-16 Ship Construction & Basic Stability
12-23 GMDSS
14th Advanced Firefighting Revalidation
19-22 ARPA
26-7 Watchkeeping (Operational Level)

May 2021

3-7 Medical Care Provider
3-14 Medical Person-In-Charge
5th Advanced Firefighting Revalidation
6-7 Basic Training Revalidation
6-7 & 10 Basic Training Refresher
10-14 Basic Training
10-28 Celestial Navigation
11-12 Advanced Firefighting Refresher
17-20 Advanced Firefighting
17-21 Advanced Shiphandling I
24-28 Advanced Shiphandling II

June 2021

1st Leadership & Teamworking Skills
2-3 Search & Rescue
7-11 Medical Care Provider
7-18 GMDSS
16-17 Basic Training Revalidation
18th Advanced Firefighting Revalidation
21-23 Security Officer – Vessel, Company and Facility
28-2 Tankerman Person-In-Charge

Back to Stories Covered

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