Wheelhouse Weekly – July 25, 2002

July 25th 2002


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

Volume 6. . . . . Number 30. . . July 25, 2002






Late last week, the MM&P-contracted vessel M/V MOKIHANA operated by Matson Navigation Company rescued six crewmembers from the sunken Japanese fishing vessel, KATSUURA MARU #28. USCG Honolulu contacted the MOKIHANA at 2300 local time on July 19, requesting that the ship divert course to aid vessel in distress at approximate position 15-00 N and 165-30 E.

“We had already altered course to avoid Super Typhoon Feng Shen, and were already on a course to pass due south of Wake Island, en route to Guam, quite a bit south of our standard route from Oakland to Guam,” said the vessel’s Master, Capt. Katharine Sweeney. She reported that, “We altered course another 20 degrees, and were only 220 nautical miles away, about 10 hours steaming time after we got the first call to divert.

“The pyschic ability award goes to our Second Mate Robert Carlson, who when in discussing current vessel storm avoidance route that afternoon at 1600, felt we should alter course even farther to the south, to Position 15-00N and 165-00E to increase the distance the vessel was from the Typhoon. I had decided to wait out another 12 hours before altering course farther to the south, however, a call from Search and Rescue Honolulu made this course change happen a little sooner.”

Other MM&P members on board were John Bloomingdale, Chief Mate and Aaron Moore, 3rd Mate. En route to the location, the MOKIHANA received numerous satellite calls from USCG Honolulu, who was acting as the rescue coordinator since the USCG C-130 rescue plane from Guam was down. USCG Honolulu sent a plane to the fishing vessel’s location that dropped a life raft and emergency supplies.

The MOKIHANA was on scene shortly after 0930, Saturday July 20 and was quickly able to spot the life raft at around 1000 hours, with great help from the SART aboard the life raft. After several attempts, in 20-25 knot winds and 12-foot seas, with cooperation from all hands and a great show of seamanship from the ship’s crew, all six people from the sunken vessel were safely aboard at 1220 hours.

“Getting the ship in the correct position to drift down towards the life raft was a little tricky, and the sea anchor on the life raft made it very difficult to heave the life raft alongside the vessel. Unfortunately, the crew spoke no English, and did not know to cut loose the sea anchor once we had a line to the raft which hampered rescue efforts,” Captain Sweeney stated.

The partially sunken vessel KATSUURA MARU #28 was spotted about 2 nautical miles away from life raft’s position. None of the rescued crewmembers spoke any English, and 2 came aboard with no shoes on. M/V MOKIHANA continued on a course to Guam, disembarking the rescued crew on 22nd of July.

After arriving in Guam a Japanese interpreter was able to explain what had happened to the vessel and crew: “They were en route to Japan after fishing, and current and wind caused them to scrape an atoll. The pumps could not keep up with the water coming in, especially in the rough weather.”

“They had to abandon ship, and had the M/V MOKIHANA been 2 hours later, perhaps 2 of the crew might not have made it,” the vessel owner and rescued crew member Mr. Tsukasa Urakawa relayed through the interpreter, “and we are most thankful to the good crew of the MOKIHANA.”

MM&P Wheelhouse Weekly




MM&P Vice President-Pacific Ports Don Marcus reports that on July 24, down the street from the location of a historic, former MM&P Hall on California St., a MM&P job call was held once again.

This time, San Francisco MM&P members were on the street bidding for work while participating in the Portworkers Solidarity Rally in support of the International Longshore and Warehouse Union that occurred at noon.

“MM&P Port Representatives Frank Madeiros and Chuck Viebrock led the contingent of active and retired members who gathered to show their support for our Brothers and Sisters in the ILWU,” Marcus said.

Along with a coalition of other maritime unions, MM&P joined the rally outside of the Pacific Maritime Association (PMA) Headquarters to support the hard-won rights of maritime workers. The PMA continues to drag its feet in its negotiations with the ILWU. The employers’ association appears to be banking on support from the Bush Administration to rollback the standards set by the ILWU.

MM&P is pledged to support the ILWU which is fighting to prevent the outsourcing of its jobs, the preservation of its hiring hall system and the maintenance of its health care benefits.

All MM&P members are urged to contact their local Union Hall in the event of a strike. For members aboard ship, information has been distributed to the vessels. You are urged to contact MM&P representatives if you have any questions regarding your rights.

“We know, ‘an injury to one is an injury to all’, it may be that the PMA intends to test the strength of solidarity,” Marcus concluded.

MM&P Wheelhouse Weekly



Growing demands by employers for worker wage and benefit concessions and the need for solidarity in all sectors of the transportation industry was one of the issues the AFL-CIO’s Transportation Trades Department Executive Director Ed Wytkind addressed at the MM&P 2002 convention.

He told delegates that as one of the 35 unions that make up TTD, “each one of you are part of a broader movement of transportation unions and workers. We are proud of our relationship with this great union and pleased to have Tim Brown as a member of our Executive Committee.”

Wytkind said that the TTD brings together a diversified group of unions for a common purpose: to advance the interests of transportation workers in the policy and political arenas. He remarked that, “In a nutshell, our agenda is fighting for good jobs, stopping those who would destroy vital worker protections and working to ensure that the federal government invests in transportation.”

“If you think about it, we’re the only organized response to the well-financed national transportation industry political apparatus that is used to advance the agenda of the transportation giants,” he said.

He also noted that, “TTD became stronger in 2000 when MM&P joined our organization. Having your voice at the table has only enhanced our ability to demonstrate to Washington politicians that the goals and aspirations of transportation workers – from ship Mates to school bus drivers – are compatible and not conflicting.”

On the importance of the need for solidarity among transportation unions, Wytkind told the delegates that, “As you’re busy fighting for your members, MM&P has demonstrated a real commitment to solidarity. Thank you for supporting the ILWU in its struggle to secure a new West Coast longshore contract against corporations like Walmart that will spend whatever it takes to weaken the labor cost structure in the nation’s ports.”

In another ongoing battle on wage and benefit concessions that could have implications throughout the transportation industry, the TTD has thrown its full support behind leaders of six AFL-CIO airline unions who have vowed to stop the current airline CEO campaign aimed at destroying workers’ bargaining rights.

Just this week these labor leaders urged US Senators to reject airline industry-pushed legislation denying airline workers the right to negotiate on issues such as wages, benefits, and safety. The airlines want to replace the right to fight for a good contract with a winner-take-all, “baseball style” arbitration process.

TTD President Sonny Hall was furious at what he termed “outrageous corporate behavior.” He said the major air carriers, despite receiving billions in federal bail-out money, “don’t miss a day pleading poverty or demanding massive wage and benefit concessions from their workers.”

For more on the TTD, go to their website at: The front page of the MM&P website at: contains a direct link to the TTD’s “Tell It To Washington” webpage where members can easily tell their elected officials what they think regarding this or any issue.

MM&P Wheelhouse Weekly



The Journal of Commerce reports that the troubled Holt Group of companies, former owner of the MM&P-contracted US-flag carrier NPR-Navieras, apparently reached its end earlier this week when a US Bankruptcy Court judge agreed to the conversion of the group’s 23 Chapter 11 bankruptcy cases into a Chapter 7 liquidation.

The judge earlier heard testimony that Holt only has $12.85 million in cash, all of which is tied up in claims of $38.96 million, including $6.3 million owed to lawyers, accountants and other professionals attending the bankruptcy proceedings. A trustee will now be appointed to oversee day-to-day operations and final liquidation.

MM&P Wheelhouse Weekly



The Paris and Tokyo MOU Committees, which represent major European and Asian seafaring nations, have confirmed that when the IMO’s period of grace ends on August 1 the provisions of the new STCW-95 Convention will be strictly enforced by Port States in their jurisdictions.

The Paris MOU includes the maritime authorities of Belgium, Canada, Croatia, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Russia, Spain, Sweden and the UK.

The Tokyo MOU consists of the maritime authorities of Australia, Canada, China, Fiji, Indonesia, Japan, South Korea, Malaysia, New Zealand, New Guinea, Philippines, Russia, Singapore, Solomon Islands, Thailand and Vietnam.

Port State Control Officers (PSCO’s) in these countries have been instructed to verify that all seafarers required to be certified do hold a valid certificate or dispensation. In addition, officers will be required to have an appropriate certificate from the Administration and endorsement from the flag State, or have documentary proof that an application for endorsement has been made.

Ships with seafarers not properly certified will face detention if the deficiencies represent an unreasonable danger to persons, property or the environment, taking into account the length and nature of the voyage, the level of non-compliance and other factors.

Deficiencies in the manning documentation will be considered as clear grounds for a more detailed inspection which could include operational drills and an examination of the ship’s safety management system.

MM&P Wheelhouse Weekly



The International Shipping Federation, an organization of ship owners, has warned that many ships will not be compliant with the 1995 amendments to the IMO STCW Convention (STCW-95) by Aug.1.

The ISF warns:

“Ship operators should anticipate that after July 31, ships manned by seafarers who do not hold valid STCW-95 certificates or flag state recognition endorsements may be detained by port state control officers. Ship operators are therefore strongly advised to do everything possible to ensure that the seafarers they employ are competent in accordance with STCW-95 standards and carry original copies of required documentation.”

MM&P Wheelhouse Weekly



MM&P Director of Special Projects Richard Plant, Fort Schuyler ’67, attended an industry-welcoming luncheon for the new superintendent, Admiral John Ryan, of the SUNY Maritime College at Fort Schuyler on July 18.

Admiral Ryan recently retired as the Commandant of the US Naval Academy. Before his retirement in June, he toured the training facilities at MITAGS.

Admiral Ryan assumed leadership of Ft. Schuyler during the training cruise in Dublin, Ireland. The training cruise ended on July 18, the same day of the Superintendent’s welcoming luncheon. MM&P wishes Admiral Ryan good luck and smooth sailing in his new position.

MM&P Wheelhouse Weekly



MM&P has established a Fund to receive donations on behalf of Gisele Schmidt, the daughter of Brother Gary Schmidt. Gisele, who is 21, was rendered a paraplegic as the result of a tragic auto accident in March.

Contributions may be made payable to the Gisele Schmidt Fund and should be mailed in care of MM&P, 700 Maritime Blvd., Linthicum Heights, MD 21090.

MM&P Wheelhouse Weekly



For the latest up-to-date info on class schedules, trust student policies and procedures, and regulatory changes, visit the MITAGS website at Schedule through December 2002 is being maintained on the website. For additional course info, contact Debbie Walton at voice: 443-989-3226 or Email:

MM&P Wheelhouse Weekly



For the latest up-to-date info on class schedules, visit the newly updated PMI website at


MM&P Wheelhouse Weekly



 D O W

 N A S D A Q


-372.70 for the week


 -107.02 for the week
 Vanguard 500 Index Fund (VFINX)


 Vanguard Extended Market Index Fund (VEXMX)


 Vanguard International Growth Fund (VWIGX)


 Vanguard Morgan Growth Fund (VMRGX)


 Vanguard Windsor II Fund (VWNFX)


 Vanguard GNMA Fund (VFIIX)


 Chase Growth Fund (CHASX)


 Fidelity Asset Manager (FASMX)


 Fidelity Growth and Income (FGRIX)


Fidelity Magellan Fund (FAGX)


 Spartan US Equity Index Fund (FUSEX)



MM&P Wheelhouse Weekly

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., Linthicum Heights, MD 21090-1941. Phone: 410-850-8700; Fax: 410-850-0973; Email: For further info contact John Peige at The Wheelhouse Weekly is sent via Email to MM&P-contracted vessels at sea, broadcast worldwide via FEC marine telex andis posted on our web page.

Return to Top