Wheelhouse Weekly – July 7th, 2020

Volume 25… Number 27… July 7, 2020


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The captains of the world’s ships are being asked to sound their ships’ horns in port at 1200 local time Wednesday to call attention to the crew change crisis.

Hundreds of thousands of mariners are still stranded aboard ships, unable to get relieved, or blocked on land, unable to join their ships, because of the pandemic-driven quasi-shutdown of the crew change process.

The International Federation of Shipmasters’ Associations has reached out to MM&P and other IFSMA affiliates to ask that they ask their members to take action.

The message from IFSMA reads:


Action required: Request ship captains to sound their horns when in port at 12.00 local on Wednesday, 8 July as a way of reminding governments not to forget the crew change issue ahead of a ministerial summit meeting on the subject.

Please make your voice heard! Join the call to action by sounding your ship’s horn Wednesday at 1200 local time.

Back to Stories Covered


If you are currently working on an international vessel, the members of a joint university research team want to hear about your experiences at sea during the Covid-19 pandemic.

The aim of the survey is to understand how the pandemic is affecting international seafarers and to identify factors that may help crews in the future.

The survey will take you about 30 minutes to complete. You do not need to complete it in a single sitting. You can save your answers and come back to the survey later.

There are no right or wrong answers.

You will be asked about your experiences on board, as well as background questions about you and your ship. Questions include:

— How does the pandemic affect you and your work and life on board your ship?

— What support do you need in this situation?

— What support do you receive from individuals and organizations ashore?

— How important is teamwork and mutual support among crew members in this situation?

The research project is being carried out by an international team of researchers from the University of Queensland (Australia), Royal Holloway University of London (UK), the World Maritime University (Sweden) and Uppsala University (Sweden).

Your contribution is confidential and will be used to make recommendations to improve life at sea.

To take the survey, go to:

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MLL worked closely with the maritime unions as well as port, state, Coast Guard and health authorities to successfully execute its Covid-19 protocols after 11 members of the crew of MAERSK IDAHO tested positive for the coronavirus.

The story began on June 19, as the vessel was returning to Newark from an overseas run: a member of the crew experienced flu-like symptoms, tested positive for Covid-19 and was hospitalized.

Ten additional cases were discovered among other members of the crew, all of whom were asymptomatic.

Those crewmembers disembarked in Norfolk, and the company arranged a quarantine location for them while the vessel was thoroughly cleaned and disinfected to make way for the next crew.

The first crewmember to test positive was discharged from the hospital after a week and is returning to health.

The new crew boarded the vessel after the “all clear” and the ship was able to return to service on June 28.

The company’s implementation of its Covid-19 protocols went smoothly: throughout the process, MLL worked closely with MM&P, MEBA and the SIU.

“It is said that in difficult times people are often at their best and the way the MAERSK IDAHO crew has been responding… is a great credit to themselves, their unions and the resourcefulness of the US Merchant Marine,” MLL said in a statement.

It thanked the unions and “everyone who recognizes the safety and health of the crew is the #1 priority–while understanding the importance of keeping our transportation network moving.”

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The International Transport Workers’ Federation is asking mariners and their families to upload videos of themselves for a message to governments on the impact of the ongoing crew change crisis.

The social media campaign, designed to give seafarers and their families a chance to have their voices heard, was launched by the ITF and its contracted employers.

The campaign aims to produce a series of short videos highlighting the humanitarian aspects of the crisis.

This project coincides with the ongoing ITF and Nautilus Federation union lobbying campaign of national governments to resolve crew change restrictions.

MM&P is an affiliate of both the ITF and the Nautilus Federation.

The campaign calls for seafarers to submit videos of themselves discussing:

— How long they have been on board and where they are now;

— The impact of not seeing their family;

— What message they would like to send to governments.

Families at home who are waiting for their relatives to return should also submit videos, as should mariners who are stuck at home, waiting to be able to rejoin their vessels.

The ITF will be closely involved in the editing phase of these videos and will ensure that, should a seafarer’s identity be visible, they will have the opportunity to review the videos before they are published.

Videos should be sent to via WeTransfer.

“Unions are working extremely hard to resolve this issue for members who are stuck at sea or ashore waiting for crew change,” said Danny McGowan, Nautilus Federation coordinator.

“Some governments have done well to remove travel restrictions for seafarers, but many others need an additional push. We hope that these personal messages from our members will give prominence to these additional pressures they face during the Covid-19 pandemic.”

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The UK government marked June 25, the Day of the Seafarer, with the announcement that it will host the first international summit on the impact of Covid-19 on crew changes.

The summit, to be held this month, will bring representatives of the United Nations and other international bodies together with political and business leaders from across the globe.

The news was reported by Maritime Executive.

The summit, which will take place virtually, will be led by UK Maritime Minister Kelly Tolhurst.

It will be an opportunity to reflect on the impact of the pandemic on the global shipping industry, and on what governments and industry must do to protect the welfare of mariners.

“Seafarers have worked tirelessly during this pandemic to ensure people across the globe can access the essential food, medicine and supplies we all need, but thousands have been left with no way of coming ashore when faced with border restrictions,” Tolhurst says.

She notes that the UK has remained open for seafarers to come and either stay on vessels, go ashore, take shore leave or be repatriated, as long as they abide by Public Health England requirements and social distancing.

She has written to the International Maritime Organization, the International Labor Organization and the World Health Organization since the start of the pandemic, urging that all countries seek to facilitate the repatriation of maritime workers regardless of their nationality.

“We welcome the announcement of a virtual summit on the critical crew change issue,” said Guy Platten, secretary general of the International Chamber of Shipping.

“The fragile supply chain and global trade are now at threat of logjam due to government inaction and bureaucracy.”

“Government leaders must cut through the bureaucracy, lift the continuing imposition of travel restrictions on these key workers and focus on this issue now.”

“The solutions do not need money; they do not even need complicated negotiations, this is simple.”

“The leadership provided by the UK to cut through this red tape is just the sort of initiative that is needed to free the thousands of seafarers who are trapped onboard ships across the world.”

Back to Stories Covered


The Trump administration has announced penalties against five Iranian mariners for allegedly delivering fuel cargoes to Venezuela in May.

The news was reported by Maritime Executive.

The five Iranian captains–Ali Danaei Kenarsari, Mohsen Gohardehi, Alireza Rahnavard, Reza Vaziri and Hamidreza Yahya Zadeh–have been added to the Treasury’s blacklist of people and companies subject to US sanctions.

The US alleges that they have ties to two sanctioned Iranian shipping companies and that they served as captains aboard tankers that delivered fuel cargoes from Iran to Venezuela in May.

“As a result of today’s sanctions, these captains’ assets will be blocked,” said US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in a statement.

“Their careers and prospects will suffer from this designation. Mariners who are considering work with Iran and Venezuela should understand that aiding these oppressive regimes is simply not worth the risk.”

Iran and Venezuela are both already subject to strict American sanctions measures, including a ban on petroleum and petroleum shipping.

The captains of vessels had not previously been penalized, but this is not the first time that the US has targeted vessel crew for carrying an Iranian petroleum cargo.

In August 2019, the State Department said it would use an anti-terrorism law to deny visas to seafarers who work aboard vessels carrying Iranian oil.

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Union Plus offers union members assistance programs, discounts and savings to help take the pressure off during this difficult time. Here are two examples.

Participants in the Union Plus Mortgage, Credit Card, Personal Loan or supplemental insurance programs may be eligible for hardship assistance through the Union Plus Mortgage Assistance Program or other Union Plus hardship assistance programs.

Click here to find out more.

Next, MetLife Legal Plans is offering no-cost document reviews and consultations through July 31, 2020.

(The service covers document review and consultation, not drafting of legal documents.)

For no-charge advice, consultations and document review, union members can contact MetLife Legal Plans network attorneys through July 31, 2020 on issues including:

— healthcare proxies or other estate planning;

— power of attorney;

— home refinancing or personal insurance forms; and

— elder law questions for caregivers.

You can download boilerplate documents from the Self-Help Document Library.

Click here to access the Self-Help Document Library and then enter the access code: 9790010.

Click “Covered Services” in the top navigation and then select the “Self Help Documents” tab, and then click the “Access Now” button to browse the document library.

If you then want to access the free consultation and review service, contact the Customer Service Center at 800-821-6400, Monday-Friday 8am – 8pm EDT.

If you are not enrolled in MetLife Legal Plans, you will need to state that you are with Union Plus and provide the last four digits of your Social Security Number, and indicate that you are interested in the document review and consultation services being offered as part of the Disaster Relief Plan.

If you are a current MetLife enrollee, you will need to provide your membership number.

Stay healthy and safe as you support your fellow workers and citizens in this truly difficult time.

To find out more about the programs and services available to union members, go to

Note: Union Plus is an independent organization that offers services to union members.

Neither Union Plus nor MetLife Legal Plan are part of MM&P, and the Wheelhouse Weekly is simply providing this information as a service to our members.

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The MM&P union halls in Seattle, Oakland and Los Angeles/Long Beach will be closed on Tuesday, July 28, in observance of the birthday of Harry Bridges, the founder of the International Longshore and Warehouse Union.

Please note: The MM&P Honolulu Hall will be open on July 28.

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The MITAGS East/Maritime Conference Center and MITAGS West Covid-19 policies have been posted on the MITAGS home page at

It’s particularly important that you read our latest policies for each campus, as they are slightly different for Seattle and Baltimore.

The MITAGS East/MCC policy is posted at:

The MITAGS West policy is posted at:

Please keep in mind that this is a very fluid situation.

We will continue to update our website and keep you informed in as timely a matter as possible.

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Please be advised that as of the June MATES Trustees meeting, the number of sea days required to receive covered training at MITAGS will now be 42 days instead of 30, until further notice.

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

Class dates followed by an * are full

AB – Able Seaman –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: 9/22/20

AZIPOD (2-Day) – 7/18/20, 10/5/20

BRM-35 – Bridge Resource Management: 8/3/20, 9/28/20

BRMP –Bridge Resource Management for Pilots (2-Day): 7/13/20, 9/15/20

BRMP-EMR –Bridge Resource Management for Pilots with Emergency Shiphandling – (Now also included in BRMP-Refresher) (3-Day): 7/15/20, 10/7/20

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

BT – Basic Safety Training: 8/10/20, 10/12/20

BT-Revalidation (2-day) (Must have 1 year of sea service in last 5 years) – 7/28/20, 8/31/20, 9/23/20, 10/28/20, 12/15/20

BT-Refresher (3-day) – 7/27/20, 9/23/20, 12/14/20

CHS-OIC – Cargo Handling Basic: 10/26/20

[CMM – Chief Mate and Master Courses]

ADVSTB-CMM – Advanced Stability: 7/27/20, 10/5/20, 11/30/20

ADVWX-CMM – Advanced Meteorology: 8/3/20, 9/28/20, 12/7/20

CHS-CMM – Advanced Cargo Operations (10 Days): 10/12/20

CM-OPS 1 – Chief Mate Operations – Week 1: 8/24/20*, 11/9/20

CM-OPS 2 Maersk – Chief Mate Operations II Maersk Specific: 8/31/20*, 11/16/20

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

ECDIS – Electronic Chart Display Information Systems: 8/17/20, 11/9/20

LMS – Leadership and Managerial Skills (Management Level – Formerly MCL-CMM): 8/10/20, 11/16/20, 12/14/20

MPP-CMM – Marine Propulsion Plants: 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): 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): 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: 11/2/20

WKP-CMM – Advanced Watchkeeping: 10/26/20

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 ** – 10/14/20

CIW-SMS – Continual Improvement Workshop: Successful Safety Management (2-Day) – Not currently scheduled

CNAV-OIC (15-Day) – Celestial Navigation: 11/2/20

CRISIS-COMMS – Crisis Communications (1-Day): Not currently scheduled

CRSMGT – Crisis Management and Human Behavior (1-Day) – Not currently scheduled

CDMGT – Crowd Management (1-Day) – Not currently scheduled

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

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): Not currently scheduled

ECDIS for Pilots (2-Day) – 7/20/20

ERM – Engine Resource Management: 8/17/20, 12/7/20

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

FF-BADV – Fire Fighting Combined Basic & Advanced: 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: 7/30/20, 9/2/20, 9/22/20, 10/27/20, 12/17/20

FF-ADV-REF (2-day) – Advanced Fire Fighting Refresher: 7/25/20, 9/26/20, 12/12/20

FSM – Fatigue, Sleep, & Medications (1-Day): 9/15/20

GL-Pilot – Great Lakes Pilotage Familiarization (2-Day): Not currently scheduled

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

HAZ – Hazardous Materials (5 day): 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): Not currently scheduled

LAP-ORG3rd – License Advancement Program for Original 3rd Mate, Oceans, Any Gross Ton License (15-Day): Contact Admissions

LEG – Legal Aspects of Pilotage (1-Day): 9/16/20

LNG-TPIC (10-Day) – 11/30/20

LTS –Leadership and Teamworking Skills (Formerly MCL-OIC) (1-Day): 9/21/20

MEECE – Management of Electrical and Electronic Control Equipment (Assessments not included): 8/24/20, 11/30/20

MED-PIC – Medical Person in Charge (10-Day): 9/28/20, 11/30/20

MED-PIC-REF– Medical Person in Charge Refresher: 8/17/20, 10/19/20

MED-PRO – Medical Care Provider: 9/28/20, 11/30/20

MED-DOT-DA – Dept. of Transportation Drug & Alcohol Testing (1-Day): 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): 8/5/20, 9/11/20, 11/10/20

MSC-DC – Military Sealift Command Damage Control (2-day): 8/3/20, 9/9/20, 10/30/20

MSC-ENVPRO (1-Day) – 8/2/20, 11/1/20

MSC-FF-HELO (2-Day) – 10/28/20

MSC-SMA – Military Sealift Command Small Arms Qualifications (4-Day): 8/9/20, 9/14/20, 11/2/20

MSC-Security Watch Basic (1-Day) – 8/6/20, 9/12/20, 11/2/20

MSC-Security Watch Advanced (1-Day) – 8/8/20, 9/13/20, 11/6/20

MSC-Ship’s Reaction Force (3-Day) – 8/14/20, 9/18/20, 11/7/20

NDMS-ENAV – Navigational Decision Making Series – Best Practice in eNav (3-Day) – 11/30/20

NSAP-MMP – Navigational Skills Assessment Program-MM&P (2-Day) – 8/31/20*, 9/2/20*, 10/26/20, 10/28/20, 12/14/20, 12/16/20

PSC – Personal Survival Craft (5-Day) – 10/19/20

PSC-REF – Personal Survival Craft Refresher (2-Day) – 7/30/20, 12/10/20

RFPNW – Ratings Forming Part of a Navigational Watch (3-day) – 9/30/20

ROR-1 – Radar Observer Renewal (1-Day): 9/21/20

ROR-1N – Radar Observer Renewal Evening Classes (1-Night): 7/27/20, 9/15/20, 12/14/20

ROU-OIC – Radar Observer Program – Unlimited: Not currently scheduled

SAR – Search & Rescue – (Now with OIC and CMM assessments) (3-Day): 10/14/20, 11/30/20

SHS-BAS-OIC – Basic Shiphandling: 8/24/20, 10/19/20

SHS-EMR5 – Emergency Shiphandling (5 Day) – 7/13/20, 8/31/20*, 11/16/20*, 12/14/20

STB-OIC – Ship Construction and Basic Stability: 8/3/20

TCNAV/CO – Terrestrial Navigation and Compasses (15-Day): Not currently scheduled

TPIC – Tankerman Person in Charge: Not currently scheduled

TRAC-TUG-2 (2-Day): Not currently scheduled

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

VPDSD – Vessel Personnel with Designated Security Duties (1-Day): Not Currently Scheduled

VSO – Vessel Security Officer (3-Day): 9/9/20

WKP-OIC – Watchkeeping (Operational Level) (10-Day): 10/5/20

WX-OIC –Meteorology (Operational Level): 9/14/20

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

July 2020

13-24 Watchkeeping (Operational Level)
15th Advanced Firefighting Revalidation
16-17 Basic Training Revalidation
20-24 Basic Training
27-29 Security Officer – Vessel, Company and Facility
27-31 Basic Shiphandling

August 2020

3-7 Able Seaman
3-7 Advanced Firefighting
10-14 Basic Training
10-28 Terrestrial and Coastal Navigation
17-18 Basic Training Revalidation
19th Advanced Firefighting Revalidation
20-21 Advanced Firefighting Refresher
31-4 Radar Observer Unlimited

September 2020

14-18 Engine Resource Management
14-18 Basic Training
14-2 License Preparation (OICNW)
21-25 Management of Electrical and Electronic Control Equipment (MEECE)
21-2 GMDSS
28-29 Basic Training Revalidation
30th Advanced Firefighting Revalidation

October 2020

12-16 ECDIS
12-16 Ship Construction and Basic Stability
12-16 Basic Training
12-16 Medical Care Provider
12-23 Medical Person-In-Charge
19-20 Basic Training Revalidation
19-23 Advanced Meteorology
19-6 Celestial Navigation
21st Medical DOT
22nd Advanced Firefighting Revalidation
26-29 Advanced Firefighting
26-30 Advanced Shiphandling I

November 2020

2-6 Advanced Shiphandling II
2-6 Radar Observer Unlimited
2-6 Basic Training
9-12 Advanced Firefighting
9-13 Leadership & Managerial Skills
9-13 Medical Care Provider
9-20 Medical Person-In-Charge
13th Advanced Firefighting Revalidation
16-17 Basic Training Revalidation
16-18 Security Officer – Vessel, Company and Facility
16-19 ARPA
16-20 Advanced Stability
30-4 Basic Training

December 2020

4, 7-8 Basic Training Refresher
7-8 Basic Training Revalidation
7-11 Medical Care Provider
7-18 Medical Person-In-Charge
9th Advanced Firefighting Revalidation
10-11 Advanced Firefighting Refresher

Back to Stories Covered


We now offer blended learning options ( for a variety of USCG and VA approved courses.

Blended learning involves online and in person learning. First, course materials will be delivered remotely, via an online platform.

The second portion of your course will be completed on campus since some USCG-approved courses require assessments (exams and practical exercises) to be completed in person.

Dates of in-person course completion will be determined at a later date.

MITAGS is currently able to offer the following blended learning courses.

Check individual courses often for any upcoming scheduled course dates.

New course sessions are being added regularly.

— Advanced Meteorology (Blended)

— Basic Firefighting (Blended)

— Basic Training (Blended)

— Basic Training Refresher (Blended)

— Basic Training Revalidation (Blended)

— Cargo Handling & Stowage (Operational Level) (Blended)

— Fatigue, Sleep & Medications (Online)

— Leadership & Managerial Skills (Blended)

— Personal Safety and Social Responsibilities (Blended)

— Personal Survival Techniques (Blended)

— Terrestrial Navigation and Compasses (Blended)

Please contact us via e-mail if you have questions or concerns.

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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