Wheelhouse Weekly – January 7th, 2020

January 8th 2020

Volume 25… Number 1… Jan. 7, 2020


In This Issue:

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In the wake of the Jan. 2 killing of a top Iranian military leader, authorities in the US have issued Maritime Alerts 2020-001A and B regarding threats to commercial vessels from Iran and its proxies in the Persian Gulf, Strait of Hormuz, Gulf of Oman, Arabian Sea, Red Sea, Gulf of Aden and Indian Ocean.

The text of the alerts follows.

“Multiple maritime threats have been reported in the vicinity of the Persian Gulf, Strait of Hormuz, Gulf of Oman, Arabian Sea, Red Sea, Gulf of Aden and Indian Ocean.”

“On Jan. 2, 2020, the US military took decisive defensive action to protect U.S. personnel abroad.”

“Iranian response, if any, is unknown; however, there remains the possibility of Iranian action against US maritime interests in the region.”

“The US government is continually assessing the maritime security situation in the region to safeguard freedom of navigation, ensure the free flow of commerce, and protect US vessels, personnel and interests.”

“US Fifth Fleet Naval Cooperation and Guidance for Shipping (NCAGS) has the latest information on the dynamic maritime security threats and operational environment in this region.”

“US commercial vessels are advised to exercise caution and coordinate vessel voyage planning for transits of the Persian Gulf, Strait of Hormuz, Gulf of Oman, North Arabian Sea, Gulf of Aden and Red Sea with NCAGS and to follow NCAGS’s recommendations and guidance whenever possible.”

“US commercial vessels operating in this area should review US Maritime Advisory 2019-012, which contains contact information for US Fifth Fleet NCAGS.”

“This alert will automatically expire on Jan. 13, 2020.”

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Captain Dennis R. Sherwood, a member of the Sandy Hook Pilots Association, died on Dec. 30 after he fell from an accommodation ladder while boarding the MAERSK KENSINGTON.

He was 64 years old and had been piloting vessels in and out of the Port of New York and New Jersey for more than 35 years.

After he fell, Captain Sherwood was transported to a hospital on Staten Island by a Sandy Hook pilot boat.

The Coast Guard said the accident is under investigation.

MM&P extends deep condolences to Captain Sherwood’s family and his many friends and shipmates.

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A large majority of mariners fear being unjustly criminalized for accidents that take place while they’re working, according to a study conducted in 2018 by Nautilus International.

MM&P members were among the 612 mariners who responded to the online survey, which was conducted at the end of 2018.

Respondents said they felt most concerned about being criminalized for accidental pollution, in particular in view of public and political responses to past incidents involving spills.

The study will serve as the basis for a new Fair Treatment campaign, which Nautilus has undertaken to raise awareness of the issue of criminalization and the need to provide practical support to mariners who are penalized unjustly for accidents at sea.

“The seafaring industry is truly unique, and this unfortunately means that sometimes workers find themselves in situations that simply wouldn’t happen in the vast majority of other professions,” said Nautilus International General Secretary Mark Dickinson in announcing the results of the survey.

“We cannot let the voice of our seafarers on the fear of criminalization be ignored.”

MM&P is a member of the Nautilus Federation, a partnership of 19 maritime unions which have joined forces to promote the rights of mariners and expand the services they offer to members at home and abroad.

The goals of the federation include:

— fighting criminalization;

— sharing information and providing mutual support;

— promoting mariners’ welfare and trade unionism; and

— organizing maritime workers at home and abroad.

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The dramatic imbalance between the pay of CEOs and working people is a serious and growing problem.

In 2018, the CEOs of S&P 500 companies received, on average, $14.5 million each in total annual compensation.

The average production and nonsupervisory worker at the same companies earned, on average, just $39,888.

In other words, CEOs earned 287 times what workers at their companies did.

The problem is growing.

In the past 10 years, annual CEO pay at S&P 500 companies increased by more than $500,000.

In the same period, the average production and nonsupervisory worker saw a wage increase of just $785 annually.

The AFL-CIO released the data today as part of its annual report, Executive Paywatch.

This year marks the first in which nearly all S&P 500 companies agreed to disclose the pay ratio between their CEO and median employee.

“This important disclosure did not come easy,” the AFL-CIO says.

“Major corporations and industry groups lobbied long and hard to hide this valuable information from shareholders and the general public.”

CEO-to-worker pay ratio data is important for several reasons.

A higher ratio could be a sign that companies operate under a “winner-take-all” philosophy in which executives reap the lion’s share of compensation, the AFL-CIO says.

A lower ratio could indicate a company dedicated to creating high-wage jobs and investing in their employees for the company’s long-term health.

To view the report, go to:

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They attack us. They attack our programs. They attack our supporters.

One thing we can say about our opponents: They never give up.

Now, these so-called “free trade” groups are vowing to repeal the Jones Act before June 2020, its 100th anniversary.

Their allies in government are fighting to circumvent the U.S.-flag cargo preference requirements that keep American ships sailing.

They are blocking our efforts to give U.S.-flag ships and American crews their fair share of our country’s oil and liquefied natural gas exports.

Maritime policy—and maritime jobs—depend on who wins on Election Day.

It’s a simple truth, and one that our enemies never forget.

What can you do to defend the U.S.-flag fleet and your job?

First: Vote. (But before you do, go to and click on “Who We Support” to see which candidates support the U.S.-flag merchant marine.)

Second: Contribute to the MM&P Political Contribution Fund.

Your contribution will be used to elect and reelect candidates who support the U.S.-flag fleet—without regard to political party, philosophy or other extraneous factors.

Your contribution—large or small—helps provide the resources we need to ensure America’s mariners have a seat at the table and can make their voice heard.

Please. Act. Now.

Go to and click on the “1-Click PCF Donation” button in the top right-hand corner.

Your support helps the PCF to protect your job.

Back to Stories Covered


The US postal service delivers mail each day to more than 150 million households and businesses.

And it does so without getting any funding at all from US taxpayers, a fact few Americans are aware of.

The postal service also operates at rates that are lower than what people in most other industrialized countries pay for mail service.

Today, our postal service is at grave risk, because the administration is trying to sell it off in pieces to the highest bidder.

Postmaster General Megan Brennan has announced she plans to retire in the near future.

The Postal Service Board of Governors–appointed by President Trump and confirmed by the Senate–will appoint her replacement.

Please sign the petition urging the board to appoint a postmaster general who will oppose selling off the postal service in whole or in part:

Our postal service delivers mail six days a week, at reasonable rates, to everyone–no matter where they live

If the administration succeeds in privatizing the postal service, rural communities would suffer the most.

Private companies could refuse to deliver to some areas, especially remote ones, because it’s not profitable to do so.

Add your voice now:

The USPS enjoys broad, bipartisan support in Congress and among members of the public.

But it has been in the red for years as a result of a mandate imposed by Congress in 2006 that it “prefund” retirees’ pension and health coverage 75 years into the future, an onerous requirement that does not apply to any other government agency.

Unions, consumer groups and businesses that rely on the postal service are urging the administration to overhaul the unfair congressionally imposed retiree benefits structure, which is the main driver of the postal service’s financial problems.

In response, the administration is seeking to privatize the postal service, citing what it refers to as “the successful model” of postal service privatization in other countries.

The truth is that privatization in other countries has resulted in the opposite of success: increased prices and reduced mail delivery for customers, and severe wage cuts and job losses for postal workers.

If the Trump administration is serious about revitalizing the postal service, there are several practical steps it could endorse.

The first is eliminating the burdensome pre-funding requirement.

The second is introducing postal banking, which is already offered in many countries, where post offices provide basic financial services, including check-cashing and small, low-interest loans, at a profit.

Tell Congress to strengthen our postal service, not cut it up for sale to the highest bidder:

Please share this link with family and friends and urge them to protect the US mail:

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Union Plus is making higher education more affordable.

Now, union members and everyone in their families can pursue an associate degree FREE OF CHARGE–completely online. (To read about the LOW-COST BACHELOR’S DEGREE, scroll down.)

The Union Plus FREE college benefit offers the opportunity to earn an associate degree from Eastern Gateway Community College, an accredited, non-profit public institution that is part of the University System of Ohio and governed by the Ohio Department of Higher Education.

Students can choose from programs that include business management, associate of arts in teacher education, criminal justice, cyber security and information systems.

To find out more, go to

Everyone in a union family can access the free college benefit: spouses, domestic partners, children, grandchildren and financial dependents.

There’s no age limit and eligible family members do not have to live with you.

The free college benefit covers any amount for tuition, fees or books that is not covered by federal or employer education grants.

EGCC will work with you to ensure that any previous college work or relevant work or military experience counts toward your degree.

You can choose either 8-week or 16-week classes, and 24/7 access means you can work on assignments any time of day, anytime during the week.

The winter semester begins on Jan. 13. The spring semester starts March 16. The summer semester starts May 28.

Call 888-590-9009 or go to to find out more.

Union Plus also offers union families the opportunity to pursue a BACHELOR’S DEGREE at little or even no cost:

If you or a family member have an associate degree or have completed 60 credit hours in the intended major, you can enroll in business management or teacher education at Central State University.

The most you will pay is $4,500 per year, and for many, it will be significantly less or even zero.*

CSU is a respected, regionally accredited academic institution.

Classes start every eight weeks. The next classes start Jan. 13.

To find out more, call CSU at 888-897-9671 or go to

Back to Stories Covered


All MM&P union halls, the MM&P Federal Credit Union, the MM&P Plan Office and MM&P headquarters will be closed on Monday, Jan. 20, for the birthday of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

The Nobel Prize laureate and civil rights activist was assassinated in 1968 on a trip to Memphis to support a strike by the city’s sanitation workers.

“The labor movement did not diminish the strength of the nation but enlarged it,” King once said.

“Those who attack labor forget these simple truths, but history remembers.”

Back to Stories Covered


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: 1/14/20, 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): 1/15/20, 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: 1/13/20, 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): 1/13/20*, 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): 1/20/20*, 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) – 1/20/20, 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) – 1/13/20

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): 1/8/20, 3/12/20, 4/8/20, 5/18/20, 9/16/20

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

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): 1/20/20, 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: 1/20/20, 3/16/20, 4/13/20, 5/4/20

MED-DOT-DA – Dept. of Transportation Drug & Alcohol Testing (1-Day): 1/11/20, 1/25/20, 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) – 1/22/20

NSAP-MMP – Navigational Skills Assessment Program-MM&P (2-Day) – 1/13/20*, 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) – Not currently scheduled

ROR-1 – Radar Observer Renewal (1-Day): 1/13/20

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: 2/3/20, 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: 1/20/20, 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): 2/9/20

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

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