Wheelhouse Weekly – July 4, 2017

Volume 22… Number 27… July 4, 2017


In This Issue:


News for MM&P Members:


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The Trump administration has decided not to issue an executive order requiring that a much higher percentage of all U.S. food aid shipments be transported on American ships.

According to a Reuters news report released last week, the president was considering issuing an executive order that would have increased—to a level as high as 100 percent–the current requirement that 50 percent of such aid be transported on U.S.-flagged vessels.

The administration is said to have viewed the plan as a component of Trump’s promised “America First” campaign.

He reportedly dropped the idea after Senator Bob Corker and a number of other members of Congress voiced their opposition.

The White House has not issued official statements either on the proposed executive order or on the decision to withdraw it.

Supporters say that increasing the percentage of food aid carried on U.S.-flag ships would help slow the decline in the size of the U.S.-flag fleet and create new jobs for American mariners.

Cargo is key to maintaining the capability of the American fleet to support the mission of the Department of Defense in time of war or other national emergency.

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Mariners on at least 24 ships are living in unhealthy conditions, aboard unsafe vessels, as rogue flag-of-convenience (FOC) operators abandon ships in the blistering summer heat.

Nearly 100 Indian seafarers have reportedly been abandoned by FOC shippers in recent months in the waters of the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

Aboard one ship, SHARJAH MOON, docked at Hamriyah Port in Sharjah since May 9, some crewmembers are owed 16 months’ pay by their employer, Alco Shipping Services.

The Indian mission in UAE has been contacted about shortages of food and water by 97 seafarers aboard 22 ships.

Besides the Indian crewmembers, an unknown number of seafarers from Sri Lanka, the Philippines, Myanmar and Pakistan are also stranded on vessels in the region.

“From July last year, we have been at anchorage,” says the master of the SHARJAH MOON.

“We’ve been through a lot of suffering, as our company doesn’t provide bunker, fresh water or provisions in a timely manner. They only give 300 gallons of fuel for a month, half of which is not even enough for a week if the generator is running 24 hours.”

“When we run out of fuel, we use wooden planks for cooking and sleep on deck.”

He said one member of the crew had been on board for 32 months and that two have threatened suicide.

The company, he said, is not responding to his phone calls and e-mails.

The International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF) is assisting the crew of the SHARJAH MOON as well as that of another Alco Shipping Services vessel, the tanker QAASWA, which has been abandoned in Tunisia.

“The company had not paid the crew’s wages for more than four months,” said the ITF spokesperson in Malta.

“It had ordered the ship to remain 100 miles from land at anchorage, and had left the vessel without fresh water and provisions. To make matters worse, it was threatening the crew to force them to sail to Egypt, despite the vessel’s obvious unfitness to be at sea.”

ITF inspectors intervened with port authorities in Tunisia asking them to block the vessel from leaving Tunisian national waters.

They also contacted the company about the appalling conditions and asked for a repatriation plan.

On the ITF’s request, port state control visited the vessel on May 25. Numerous deficiencies were found on board.

The ITF involved the Tunisian authorities and both the Indian and Pakistani embassies in Tunisia to further increase pressure on the company, while keeping in daily contact with the crew.

An ITF member union in Tunisia has requested help from the flag state, the UAE.

“As a result of all these efforts and the ITF-initiated PSC visit, the company, which had tried to ignore all our approaches, has been forced into taking some action,” said an ITF inspector.

“The crew inform us that some, but not nearly enough, water and provisions were put on board and some crew repatriated… They’re aware that if it weren’t for that port state control visit, they’d have been forced to sail, unfed and unpaid, to Egypt on an unsafe vessel weeks ago.”

In an unbelievable turn of events, Alco Shipping Services has reportedly released a statement saying that conditions aboard the ship are good and that the only problem is that the crew has hijacked it and is selling bunker fuel.

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Danish shipping giant Maersk said last week it had contained the effects of the cyber-attack it suffered on June 27.

A number of other large companies around the world were targeted by the ransomware, known as “Petya.”

Maersk said in a statement it had shut down a number of systems in response.

“Maersk Line vessels are maneuverable, able to communicate and crews are safe,” Maersk said, adding that APM Terminals in a number of ports had been affected.

The company said it would continue to “assess and manage” the situation to minimize the impact on operations, customers and partners.

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Spanish dockworkers’ unions have reached an agreement with port operators that will guarantee their members’ jobs, ending weeks of strikes.

On June 29, employers represented by Anesco offered the unions a guarantee of continued employment.

The agreement comes on the heels of a controversial government decree that legalizes the introduction in the ports of non-union labor.

Employers at Algeciras, Barcelona, Cadiz, Bilbao and other large ports had already reached individual agreements with the unions.

Under the terms of the deal, port employers agreed to guarantee “the continuity of the employment of 100 percent” of unionized longshore workers.

In return, the unions agreed to enter negotiations on a final collective bargaining agreement and to end the strikes.

Throughout the months of unrest, Spanish dockworkers have been supported by the International Longshoremen’s Association, the International Transport Workers’ Federation and national maritime and transport unions in numerous countries.

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Check out the newest issue of the Nautilus Federation’s online publication “Global Seafarer.”

In this issue: caution urged on autonomous ships–Nautilus Federation policy paper addresses autonomous vessel development; the environmental group Friends of the Earth urges the International Maritime Organization to get tougher on polluters; maritime investigators urge shipping companies to undertake additional engine room safety checks after a corroded high-pressure nitrogen cylinder bursts during maintenance work in a New Zealand port, killing a member of the crew of the cruise ship EMERALD PRINCESS.

To read these articles and others, go to, scroll down to Latest News and click on “Global Seafarer.”

MM&P is a member of the Nautilus Federation.

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The Paris Memorandum of Understanding (Paris MoU), which includes the maritime administrations of 27 nations, has adopted new performance lists for flags.

This year, Cayman Islands tops the white list, followed by France and Denmark. The white list represents quality flags with a consistently low detention record.

A minimum of 60 inspections per flag or recognized organization is needed before their performance is taken into account for the list.

The list is based on the number of inspections and detentions over a three-year rolling period for flags with at least 30 inspections in the period.

Together, the maritime administrations that participate in the Paris MoU cover the waters of the European coastal states and the North Atlantic basin from North America to Europe.

Every year, more than 18,000 inspections take place aboard foreign ships in Paris MoU ports.

This year, there are 42 flags on the white list, 19 on the grey list and 12 on the black list.

A new flag on the grey list is the Republic of Korea, which was on the white list last year. Palau and Vanuatu have moved from the grey list to the black list.

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The U.S. Maritime Administration said it had received an unconfirmed report of GPS interference in the Black Sea in the vicinity of position 44-15.7N, 037-32.9E.

The authorities advise caution when transiting the area and note that GPS degradations or disruptions can be reported via the U.S. Coast Guard Navigation Center website:

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To All Members of the Atlantic Maritime Group who work at the Staten Island Ferry: The Union is having three Ferry meetings at Ocean Yacht Club, 370 Front Street, Staten Island, on July 14 at 0930 and 1600, and on July 17 at 1100. AMG will also address other Ferry issues. All members should attend one of these meetings.

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The new five-day Chief Mate Operations Course for Maersk (MLL) will be held twice at MITAGS during the month of July.

The first session will run through the week that begins July 10.

The second session will run through the week that begins July 24.

The Chief Mate Operations Course is an introduction to the duties, responsibilities and requirements of filling the Chief Mate billet.

This generic course, which will enable the attendee to become familiar with sailing Chief Mate, is being offered in keeping with the results of the recent Offshore Membership Group 2017 Shipping Rules Ballot.

To register for this course, contact Amanda Meadows, MITAGS admissions coordinator, toll-free at 866-656-5568 or by e-mail:

The dates and availability of the second required five-day Maersk Specific Course will be announced in the next few weeks.

Background on these courses was posted last month in the Members’ Only section of if you would like additional information.

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Pacific Ports are closed on Wednesday, July 5, for the ILWU holiday Bloody Thursday, in memory of the union members who were shot and killed during the 1934 maritime strike.

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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 Merchant Mariner Credential (MMC) processing, MMC problem resolution advice, STCW compliance and VA GI-Bill questions, contact MITAGS Student Services Coordinator Victor Tufts toll free at (877)725-1194 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.

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:

Please note the special addition to our on-campus schedule of MSC classes marked with an asterisk (*), which are not normally scheduled to be held at MITAGS.

AB – 8/21/17, 10/16/17

AIS-1 – Automatic Identifications Systems Orientation: Contact Admissions

ARPA-OIC – Automated Radar Plotting Aids: 8/8/17, 9/26/17, 1/16/18

AZIPOD 2-Day – 10/16/17

BRM-35 – Bridge Resource Management: 9/25/17, 11/13/17, 2/26/18

BRMP –Bridge Resource Management for Pilots: 7/20/17, 11/14/17, 1/16/18, 2/22/18, 3/29/18

BRMP-EMR –Bridge Resource Management for Pilots with Emergency Shiphandling: Contact Admissions

BRMP-Refresher – 7/17/17, 9/12/17, 10/18/17

BT – Basic Safety Training: 8/14/17, 10/9/17, 1/15/18

BT-Revalidation (2-day) – 8/21/17, 9/26/17, 11/8/17, 12/12/17

BT-Refresher (3-day) – 8/20/17, 9/25/17, 11/8/17, 12/11/17

CHS-OIC – Cargo Handling Basic: 10/30/17

[CMM – Chief Mate and Master Courses]

ADVSTB-CMM – Advanced Stability: 7/31/17, 10/2/17, 12/11/17, 1/29/18

ADVWX-CMM – Advanced Meteorology: 8/7/17, 9/25/17, 12/4/17, 1/22/18, 3/12/18

CHS-CMM – Advanced Cargo Operations (2 weeks): 10/9/17

CM-OPS 1 – Chief Mate Operations Course – Week 1: 7/10/17, 7/24/17, 8/28/17, 9/18/17

ECDIS – Electronic Chart Display Information System: 8/14/17, 9/18/17, 1/15/18, 3/26/18

LMS – Leadership and Managerial Skills (Management Level – Formerly MCL-CMM): 8/21/17,9/11/17, 1/8/18, 2/19/18

MPP-CMM – Marine Propulsion Plants: 11/27/17, 3/5/18

SEC-APPS – Practical Defense Tactics: 7/31/17, 11/6/17

SHMGT-CMM- Ship Management (2 weeks): 10/30/17

SHS-ADV-I-CMM – Advanced Shiphandling (week 1): 7/17/17, 7/31/17, 8/14/17, 9/11/17,10/2/17, 10/30/17, 12/4/17, 1/15/18, 2/5/18, 3/5/18, 3/19/18

SHS-ADV-II-CMM – Advanced Shiphandling (week 2): 7/24/17, 8/7/17, 8/21/17, 9/18/17, 10/9/17,11/6/17, 12/11/17, 1/22/18, 2/12/18, 3/12/18, 3/26/18

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

VPEN-CMM – Voyage Planning & Electronic Navigation: 10/23/17, 3/19/18

WKP-CMM – Advanced Watchkeeping: 11/13/17

CNAV-OIC – Celestial Navigation: 11/6/17

CONT PLNG – Contingency Planning Workshop: Contact Admissions

CRISIS-COMMS – Crisis Communications: 2/19/18

CRSMGT – Crisis Management and Human Behavior – 7/11/17

CDMGT – Crowd Management – 7/10/17

CSE – Confined Space Entry: 7/26/17, 1/15/18

DDE – Great Lakes: 1/22/18

DPA – Contact Admissions

ECDIS for Pilots – 11/14/17, 2/20/18

ERM – Engine Resource Management: 8/28/17, 10/16/17, 12/4/17

FF-BADV – Fire Fighting Combined Basic & Advanced: 8/14/17, 10/9/17, 1/15/18

FF-ADV-REV – Advanced Fire Fighting Revalidation & Refresher: 8/23/17, 9/28/17, 11/6/17, 12/14/17

FSM – Fatigue, Sleep, & Medications: 9/12/17

GL-Pilot – Great Lakes Pilotage Familiarization: 1/19/18

GMDSS – Global Maritime Distress and Safety System: 8/21/17, 3/5/18

HAZ – Hazardous Materials (5 day): 8/28/17, 11/27/17

IEN – Integrated Electronic Navigation – 9/6/17, 11/28/17

LAP- 9/11/17, 2/26/18

LAP-Great Lakes – License Advancement Program – Great Lakes: 1/22/18

LAP-ORG3rd – License Advancement Program for Original 3rd Mate, Oceans, Any Gross
Ton License: 12/4/17

LEG – Legal Aspects of Pilotage: 9/13/17

LNG-TPIC – 12/4/17

LTS –Leadership and Teamworking Skills (Formerly MCL-OIC): 8/15/17, 9/25/17 (*2-Evening Session)

MEECE – Management of Electrical and Electronic Control Equipment (Assessments not included): 7/17/17, 8/14/17, 10/23/17, 12/11/17

MED-PIC – Medical Person in Charge: 7/10/17, 9/11/17, 10/23/17, 1/22/18, 3/19/18

MED-PIC-REF– Medical Person in Charge Refresher: 8/28/17, 11/13/17, 12/4/17, 1/8/18

MED-PRO – Medical Care Provider: 9/11/17, 10/23/17, 11/27/17, 1/22/18, 3/19/18

MED-DOT-DA – Dept. of Transportation Drug & Alcohol Testing: 7/16/17, 8/9/17 (Evening), 8/25/17, 9/16/17, 9/30/17, 10/28/17, 12/16/17, 1/13/18, 1/27/18, 3/10/18

MSA –Maritime Security Awareness: Contact Admissions

[MSC – Military Sealift Command Courses]

MSC-CBRD-1 – Military Sealift Command Chemical, Biological, Radiological Defense Orientation (Basic): 8/9/17, 10/2/17, 2/23/18

MSC-DC – Military Sealift Command Damage Control: 8/7/17, 10/3/17, 2/21/18

*MSC-ENVPRO – 8/6/17, 10/1/17

*MSC-FF-HELO – 8/13/17, 10/16/17

MSC-SMA – Military Sealift Command Small Arms Qualification: 7/17/17, 8/13/17, 10/9/17, 1/8/18, 2/26/18

*MSC-Security Watch Basic – 8/10/17, 10/5/17, 2/24/18

*MSC-Security Watch Advanced – 7/21/17, 8/12/17, 10/7/17, 1/12/18, 3/2/18

*MSC-Ship’s Reaction Force – 7/24/17, 8/18/17, 10/13/17, 1/13/18, 3/3/18

NSAP-MMP – Navigational Skills Assessment Program-MM&P – 7/26/17, 7/31/17, 8/14/17, 8/23/17, 10/2/17, 1/22/18, 1/24/18

ROR-1 – Radar Observer Renewal: 8/17/17, 9/25/17, 1/15/18

ROR-1N – Radar Observer Renewal Evening Classes: 7/12/17, 7/26/17, 8/9/17, 8/23/17, 9/20/17, 10/4/17, 10/18/17, 11/1/17, 11/8/17, 11/15/17, 11/29/17, 12/6/17, 12/13/17, 1/10/18, 1/31/18, 2/7/18, 2/21/18, 3/7/18, 3/21/18

ROU-OIC – Radar Observer Program – Unlimited: 7/31/17, 11/27/18, 1/8/18

SAR – Search & Rescue – (Now with OIC and CMM assessments): 10/16/17

SHS-BAS-OIC – Basic Shiphandling: 8/28/17, 10/23/17, 1/29/18

SHS-EMR5 – Emergency Shiphandling-5 Day – 8/7/17, 9/25/17, 10/23/17, 11/27/17, 2/19/18

SMS – Contact Admissions

STB-OIC – Ship Construction and Basic Stability: 8/7/17, 1/22/18

TCNAV/CO – Terrestrial Navigation and Compasses: 7/10/17, 1/29/18

TPIC – Tankerman Person in Charge: 8/7/17, 2/12/18

TRAC-TUG-2: Contact Admissions

TTT – Contact Admissions

VPDSD – Vessel Personnel with Designated Security Duties: Contact Admissions

VSO – Vessel Security Officer: 7/13/17, 9/6/17, 2/14/18

WKP-OIC – Watchkeeping (Operational Level): 10/2/17, 2/19/18

WX-OIC –Meteorology (Operational Level): 9/11/17, 3/19/18

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Spring 2017

For registration, please contact our registrar, Mary McGhee, at 206.838.1126 or You can also view our schedule and enroll online at

July 2017

7th Radar Renewal
8-9 Basic Training – Revalidation
8-10 Basic Training – Refresher
10-14 Basic Training
10-21 License Preparation (Mate 500 – 3rd Mate Unlimited)
17th Vessel Personnel w/ Designated Security Duties (VPDSD)
17th HAZWOPER Refresher
17-20 Advanced Firefighting
17-21 ECDIS
17-21 Train the Trainer
22-23 Basic Training – Revalidation
22-24 Basic Training – Refresher
24-26 24-Hour HAZWOPER
25-27 Integrated Electronic Navigation
31-18 Terrestrial & Coastal Navigation
31-11 GMDSS

August 2017

2-4 24-Hour HAZWOPER
5-6 Basic Training – Revalidation
5-7 Basic Training – Refresher
7-11 Basic Training
8th Radar Renewal
14th Vessel Personnel w/ Designated Security Duties (VPDSD)
14-17 Advanced Firefighting
14-18 Leadership & Managerial Skills
19-20 Basic Training – Revalidation
19-21 Basic Training – Refresher
21-25 Radar Observer Unlimited
21-25 Tankship Dangerous Liquids
21-25 Engine Resource Management
23-25 Security – Vessel, Company, & Facility
28-30 Search & Rescue
29-31 Integrated Electronic Navigation

September 2017

5-9 ARPA
6th HAZWOPER Refrehser
8th Vessel Personnel w/ Designated Security Duties (VPDSD)
9-10 Basic Training – Revalidation
9-11 Basic Training – Refresher
11-15 Basic Training
11-15 ECDIS
11-15 Cargo Handling & Stowage (Operational Level)
18-21 Advanced Firefighting
18-21 Medical Care Provider
18-29 Celestial Navigation
18-29 Medical Person-In-Charge
23rd Medical DOT
23-24 Basic Training – Revalidation
23-25 Basic Training – Refresher
23-6 GMDSS
25th Radar Renewal

October 2017

2-3 ECDIS for Pilots
2-6 Medical Care Provider
4th HAZWOPER Refresher
7-8 Basic Training – Revalidation
7-9 Basic Training – Refresher
9-13 Basic Training
9-13 Meteorology (Operational Level)
9-13 Engine Resource Management
10-12 Integrated Electronic Navigation
16th Vessel Personnel w/ Designated Security Duties (VPDSD)
16-17 ECDIS for Pilots
16-19 Advanced Firefighting
16-27 Watchkeeping (Operational Level)
21-22 Basic Training – Revalidation
21-23 Basic Training – Refresher
23rd Radar Renewal
23-27 Leadership & Managerial Skills
25-27 24-Hour HAZWOPER
30-10 GMDSS

November 2017

4-5 Basic Training – Revalidation
4-6 Basic Training – Refresher
6-10 Basic Training
6-10 ECDIS
9th HAZWOPER Refresher
13th Vessel Personnel w/ Designated Security Duties (VPDSD)
13-14 ECDIS for Pilots
13-16 Advanced Firefighting
13-17 Tankship Dangerous Liquids
17th Leadership & Teamworking Skills
17th Flashing Light Exam
18-19 Basic Training – Revalidation
18-20 Basic Training – Refresher
20th Radar Renewal
20-22 Security Officer – Vessel, Company, & Facility
27-29 24-Hour HAZWOPER
27-1 Radar Observer Unlimited
27-1 Basic Shiphandling

December 2017

2-3 Basic Training – Revalidation
2-4 Basic Training – Refresher
4th Flashing Light Exam
4-8 Basic Training
4-8 Leadership & Managerial Skills
4-8 Medical Care Provider
4-15 Medical Person-In-Charge
4-15 GMDSS
8th HAZWOPER Refresher
11th Radar Renewal
11th Vessel Personnel w/ Designated Security Duties (VPDSD)
11-15 Construction & Stability (Operational Level)
11-15 Engine Resource Management
16-17 Basic Training – Revalidation
16-18 Basic Training – Refresher
18-20 Search & Rescue
18-21 Advanced Firefighting
18-22 ECDIS
20-22 24-Hour HAZWOPER

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The MM&P Wheelhouse Weekly is the official electronic newsletter of the International Organization of Masters, Mates, & Pilots, ILA, AFL-CIO, 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 © 2017. Articles can be reprinted without prior permission if credit is given to The MM&P WheelhouseWeekly. For subscriptions, address changes or messages to the editor or to MM&P headquarters, e-mail Back issues of The Weekly are posted on