Wheelhouse Weekly – July 30, 2013

July 30th 2013


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

Volume 17 . . . Number 31. . . July 30, 2013


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


Patriot Contract Services and Schuyler Line Navigation Company have been officially notified by Military Sealift Command (MSC) that they have been awarded a long-term contract for the operation and management of an MSC tanker. The vessel will be employed primarily in support of military re-supply of the Department of Defense-Logistics Agency Energy in worldwide transportation of petroleum products. The vessel is expected to operate in the Far East, including but not limited to Korea, Japan, Singapore, Guam, Kwajalein Atoll in the Marshall Islands and Wake Island. Congratulations to Schuyler Line, Patriot Contract Services and MM&P Contracts Officer Lars Turner for the success of this bid.


The Maritime Labor Alliance (MLA), formed by six unions last year to protect the jurisdictional rights of their members, is working to enhance cohesiveness in the industry and revitalize the U.S flag feet, says MM&P President Don Marcus.

Marcus, who was elected earlier this month as the first president of the MLA, said the six unions will work closely together and with other organizations to repel attacks on the Jones Act and the policies and programs that together help to preserve the U.S.-flag fleet. He made the remarks in a recent interview with Maritime TV’s Dave Gardy. The six members of the MLA are MM&P, the American Radio Association (ARA), the Inland Boatmen’s Union (IBU), the International Longshoremen’s Association (ILA), the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) and the Marine Engineers’ Beneficial Association (MEBA). Besides its partnership with the MLA unions, MM&P is also a member of the AFL-CIO and its Transportation Trades Department (TTD).

Marcus called the MLA “essential” to protecting industry standards, which are now under attack in the United States and around the world. “They are not so much attacks of necessity as attacks based on greed,” Marcus said. “And they threaten to extinguish the middle class and working conditions and standards that have taken generations to establish.”

In the course of the interview, Marcus also underlined the vital role played by the American Merchant Marine in our nation’s economy, security and national defense. “What is shocking is the sheer level of depth of ignorance about the merchant marine and the need for an independent U.S.-flag fleet,” he said. “Without an independent American merchant marine, our economy and our military would be at the mercy of foreign shipping operators whose interests certainly might not coincide with those of our government and U.S. citizens.”

Marcus said the MLA “looks forward to working with everyone in the industry in a grassroots effort to promote, expand and protect the U.S.-flag fleet.” To watch the interview, go to


The American Maritime Partnership (AMP) has come out strongly against legislation introduced in Congress by Puerto Rico Resident Commissioner Pedro Pierluisi to loosen the Jones Act U.S.-build requirement for particular vessel types operating in the Puerto Rico trade. An AMP spokesperson said the bill would undercut national security, which depends on the use of U.S.-flag ships and crews as well as the availability of a shipyard industrial base.

AMP cited a 2012 report by the non-partisan Government Accountability Office (GAO), which warned in a study specific to Puerto Rico that changes to the Jones Act could undercut national defense. The GAO also found that the U.S. domestic container shipping fleet “has a long history of providing regular, reliable service to Puerto Rico, and in the past few years [has] also offered significant rate reductions.”

Pierluisi motivated his proposal with concerns about the availability of natural gas to Puerto Rico. But AMP noted that “there are fully Jones Act compliant American vessels eligible to transport Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) once Puerto Rico develops the capacity to receive it.” There are also already provisions of the Jones Act that allow LNG to move from the United States to the island on foreign vessels.


The leader of the Network of Transport Organizations in the Philippines was shot and killed July 2 in an attack that took place in front of his home. Antonio “Dodong” Petalcorin, who had been working to expose corrupt business practices in the Philippines, is the latest in a growing list of union leaders to be killed. His coworkers said the murder is an attempt to silence those who are working to publicize fraud in the country’s Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB). Petalcorin was shot as he was leaving his house for the offices of the LTFRB, where he was supposed to present the concerns of his members at a meeting. His wife and children were inside the house when he was shot. 

“We do not want to see the death of Dodong Petalcorin added to the long list of unsolved killings in this country,” said a spokesperson for the National Confederation of Transport Workers’ Union in an official statement. “We vow to continue working until justice is served.”

Please show your support for union members in the Philippines by writing a letter to President Benigno Aquino, asking him to do his utmost to stop the murders of trade union and human rights activists in his country and bring the killers to justice:


Four members of the crew of the COSTA CONCORDIA and an employee of Costa Cruises have been sentenced to jail for their part in the 2012 disaster off the coast of Giglio Island that killed 32 people. In exchange for guilty pleas, they received sentences of between 18 and 34 months. It is unlikely that any of the five will serve time in jail because in Italy sentences of under two years for non-violent crimes are frequently replaced with house arrest or community service. The trial of the captain of the vessel, Francesco Schettino, is pending, as are a number of civil suits by the victims and their families. Costa Cruises, a subsidiary of Carnival Corp., avoided a criminal trial by agreeing to pay 1 million euro ($1.31 million) fine.


The 2013-2014 midterm Congressional election cycle is in full swing and a number of senators and representatives who support our industry are facing serious, well-financed challenges. Many of these members of Congress–Republicans and Democrats, liberals and conservatives–have worked with us to preserve the Jones Act, to fund the Maritime Security Program and to save the PL 480 food aid program and its U.S.-flag shipping requirement. These members of Congress stand with us and support us at every turn. It is now important for us to stand with them and give them the support they need to run a successful reelection campaign.

To support the legislators who stand with us, each MM&P active and retired member and employee should make a contribution to the MM&P PCF as quickly as possible. The attacks against our industry show no sign of letting up. Our success and our jobs are directly dependent on those who know and understand the importance of a strong U.S.-flag maritime industry to our nation’s economic, military and homeland security and who are willing to fight for the U.S.-flag merchant marine and for our jobs. It is essential that each of us support the MM&P PCF to the maximum degree possible so that we in turn can support our friends and supporters in Congress. 

If you need more information about the MM&P PCF, please go to or send an e-mail to


Please be sure that MM&P has your current address on file, as well as your e-mail address and cell phone number. If your address has recently changed, or if you have not yet given MM&P your e-mail address and cell phone number, please send an e-mail to that includes your full name, MM&P membership group and complete contact information.


MM&P President Don Marcus will attend the membership meeting being conducted by Atlantic Ports Vice President Don Josberger at the MM&P Charleston Hall on Wednesday, Aug. 14, at 1100 hours.


MITAGS-PMI is seeking part-time simulator operators for the Transas simulation system. Simulator operators are responsible for planning for use of the simulators in all courses and assisting other team members of the Engineering Department in service and support of computer network systems. Major duties include preparing and operating ship simulators for use in courses, assisting simulation engineers in the daily simulation system checks and problem solving, assisting in the development of ship models and databases for simulation systems by organizing and preparing documentation of model and database testing as well as other reports as required. Applicants should have a background or degree in Computer Science/Engineering or other related field, with two years’ experience in network support, systems integration and programming, experience servicing and designing local area networks and personal computer systems and analyzing computer systems, knowledge of, or work experience in the maritime industry, able to work flexible hours, to include early morning, evening and/or weekend schedules, excellent writing and communications skills, and proficiency in use of Microsoft Office suite. This position requires moderate physical activity. If you are interested in this position, forward a cover letter and resume to the Human Resource Manager, Jane Sibiski,


A fire that burned for nearly three days on a jack-up rig operated off the coast of Louisiana by Hercules Offshore was finally extinguished on Friday. The rig began leaking natural gas on Tuesday and almost immediately caught fire. All 44 workers aboard the jack-up rig were safely evacuated and there have been no injuries reported. Relief teams dispatched by the Coast Guard and the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement attempted to control the blaze, but due to the extreme heat, were able to do little but wait for it to burn itself out. The rig is now almost completely destroyed. Coast Guard officials speculate that friction heat from sand and debris flowing through the blowout preventer on the rig might have triggered the blaze.


The 2006 Maritime Labor Convention (MLC) will enter into force on Aug. 20, 2013.  It has been described as the fourth pillar of international shipping regulations along with SOLAS, MARPOL and STCW.  The International Labor Organization consolidated a number of previous conventions in MLC 2006. It establishes minimum standards on conditions of employment, accommodations, health and safety, medical care, crew welfare, recruitment, working conditions and social security protection. MLC will be strictly enforced during port state control inspections, including the potential for more detailed inspections and possible detention where hazardous conditions may exist if ships are not to be in compliance. Visit for more information or to register for the MLC course.


There is a new dedicated fax line for Admissions only: Fax: 1-443-568-1928. For all other MITAGS business, please continue to use:  410-859-5181.

Between now and the end of September, the following courses are scheduled at MITAGS.  Please be advised that the schedule is subject to change. For class availability or info on MITAGS courses and programs, contact Kelly Michielli, Admissions Coordinator, toll-free at 866-656-5568 or e-mail: Or, try our on-line calendar to register for class:

AB – 8/19/13

ARPA – Automated Radar Plotting Aids: 8/13/13, 9/24/13

BRM – Bridge Resource Management: 8/26/13

BRMP – Bridge Resource Management for Pilots:  8/19/13, 9/23/13

BST – Basic Safety Training: 8/12/13

[CMM – Chief Mate and Master Courses]

CMM-ADVWX – Advanced Meteorology: 9/23/13

CMM-ADVNAV – Advanced Navigation (=ECDIS & VPEN): 9/9/13

CMM-ADVSTB – Advanced Stability: 8/5/13

CMM-CHS – Advanced Cargo Operations (2 weeks): 8/12/13

CMM-ECDIS – Electronic Chart Display Information System: 9/9/13

CMM-MPP – Marine Propulsion Plants: 8/26/13

CMM-SHS-ADV-I – Advanced Shiphandling (week 1): 9/9/13, 9/23/13

CMM-SHS-ADV-I I – Advanced Shiphandling (week 2): 8/5/13, 9/16/13, 9/30/13

CMM-VPEN – 9/16/13

CMM-WKP – Advanced Watchkeeping: 9/30/13

ENVIRO-Regs Permit – Environmental Regulations Permit: 8/26/13

FSM – Fatigue, Sleep and Medications:  8/27/13

FF-BADV – Combined Basic and Advanced Fire Fighting: 8/12/13

GMDSS – Global Maritime Distress and Safety System: 8/19/13

HAZ – Hazardous Materials (5 day): 9/16/13

LAP – License Advancement Program for C/Mate & Master: 9/23/13

LAP-ORG3rd – License Advancement Program for Original 3rd Mate, Oceans, Any Gross Ton License: 8/5/13

LEG – Legal Aspects of Pilotage: 9/25/13

MCL – Management, Communications and Leadership: 8/19/13

MCL OICNW –Management, Communications, and Leadership OICNW level: 9/3/13

MED-PIC – Medical Person in Charge: 9/9/13

MED-PRO – Medical Care Provider: 9/9/13

MED-DOT-DA – Dept. of Transportation Drug & Alcohol Testing: 8/17/13, 9/14/13

MSC -SMA – Military Sealift Command Small Arms Qualification: 8/19/13, 9/30/13

MSC-DC – Military Sealift Command Damage Control (4 Evenings): 8/19/13, 9/30/13

MSC-CBRD-1 – Military Sealift Command Chemical, Biological, Radiological Defense Orientation (Basic): 8/23/13, 10/4/13

ROR-1N – Radar Observer Renewal Evening Classes: 8/1/13, 8/14/13, 8/28/13, 9/11/13, 9/18/13

ROR-1 – Radar Observer Renewal: 8/12/13, 9/23/13

ROP-5 – Radar Observer Original and Renewal: 8/5/13

SEC-VSO – Vessel Security Officer: 9/4/13

SHS-BAS – Basic Shiphandling: 8/12/13

SHS-EMR5 – Emergency Shiphandling: 8/19/13

TPIC – Tankerman Person in Charge:  8/26/13

WX-BAS – Basic Meteorology: 9/16/13

…And 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.


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

August 2013

5-16       Celestial Navigation
6-7            Successful Safety Management Systems Workshop
12th       Radar Renewal                
12th       Med DOT
12-23     GMDSS
19-23     Medical Care Provider
20th       RFPNW Assessments
26-30  ECDIS
26-30  Basic Cargo Handling and Stowage

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. Suite B, Linthicum Heights, MD 21090-1953. Phone: 410-850-8700; Fax: 410-850-0973; Email: For further info or to subscribe contact Lisa Rosenthal at The Wheelhouse Weekly is sent via Email to MM&P-contracted vessels at sea and is posted on our web page.

© 2013, International Organization of Masters, Mates & Pilots. All the material contained in this publication is protected by copyright. For permission to reprint text from the Weekly, contact the MM&P Communications Department: For changes of address, contact Lisa Rosenthal at