Wheelhouse Weekly – June 11, 2013

June 11th 2013


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

Volume 17 . . . Number 24. . . June 11, 2013

(Look in the archives for this weeks Special Edition.)



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


All Pacific Ports will be closed on Tuesday, June 11, for Kamehameha Day. This is a Matson contractual holiday. The MM&P Houston Hall will be closed on Wednesday, June 19, for Texas Emancipation Day.


The six unions that have joined forces in the Maritime Labor Alliance (MLA) convened in Washington, D.C., on June 6 to formalize their alliance and appoint an executive board. The members of the MLA are MM&P, the American Radio Association (ARA), the Inlandboatmen’s Union (IBU), the International Longshoremen’s Association (ILA), the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) and the Marine Engineers’ Beneficial Association (MEBA).

Representatives of the alliance member unions unanimously voted to appoint MM&P International President Don Marcus as MLA president and MEBA President Mike Jewell as MLA secretary treasurer. “The members of the Maritime Labor Alliance are united and speak with one voice. Our respective memberships, whether shore side or at sea, are stronger together under the alliance,” Marcus said. “We will work more closely together to promote the economic viability of U.S. ports and the U.S.-flag shipping industry. Our jobs depend on it. It cannot be business as usual.”

ILA President Harold J. Daggett says he views the Maritime Labor Alliance as a powerful labor force that will protect maritime unions’ jurisdiction and make certain all maritime voices are heard and respected.

The other members of the MLA Executive Board are ARA President John Radcliffe, IBU President Alan Cote, ILA President Harold Daggett and ILWU President Bob McEllrath. The MLA was formed in 2012.


Facing an onslaught of challenges to the programs and policies important to our industry, MM&P and the Marine Engineers’ Beneficial Association (MEBA) have responded forcefully, expanding the effort to bring our message home to members of Congress. MM&P and MEBA are the only seafaring unions that have chosen to participate in the unprecedented but long-overdue maritime industry grassroots campaign and its maritime advisory committee program (MAC). MM&P’s parent organization, the International Longshoremen’s Association (ILA), is also a participant. The ILA, MEBA and MM&P are moving forward with U.S.-flag carriers and maritime associations to educate members of Congress about the importance of our industry, not only to our nation, but to their districts, states and constituents. To date, there are more than 40 maritime advisory committees in Congressional districts throughout the country.

Most recently, MEBA, MM&P and the maritime management participants in the MAC program met with Congresswoman Linda Sanchez (D-Calif.) and her top staffers. Throughout the 90-minute session, a variety of maritime issues were discussed, including the administration’s misguided proposal to end the PL 480 Food for Peace Program. All the participants made clear that if enacted, this shift from a food aid program to a taxpayer-dollar cash giveaway program would adversely impact our industry and American maritime jobs, and would severely reduce our nation’s commercial sealift capability. Sanchez, a staunch supporter of our industry, had high praise for the maritime grassroots campaign and urged MM&P, MEBA and the other participants to expand their efforts to educate members of Congress, not only in our nation’s Capital but also back home in their districts.


The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) should withdraw its proposed rulemaking on readers for the Transportation Worker Identification Credential (TWIC), says Washington State Congressman Rick Larsen. “The TWIC reader rule appears to be another poorly considered step along a long path of errors,” Larsen wrote in a June 4 letter to DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano. “I urge you to withdraw the rule and initiate a pilot program that delivers some clarity into the real costs and obstacles to TWIC reader implementation.”

Larsen cited a study by the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) which concluded that DHS had not demonstrated that any improvements at all in maritime security had resulted from the TWIC. In a study released in the first week of May, GAO said Congress should halt further work on the TWIC program “until it is clear that it works.” TWIC is administered by two agencies that operate under the DHS umbrella, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) and the U.S. Coast Guard.

The government watchdog agency called the pilot test aimed at assessing TWIC card reader technology “incomplete, inaccurate and unreliable…” Nearly 2.3 million cards have been issued since 2007, of which more than one million are now or will soon be due for renewal. Since the program’s inception, MM&P has consistently gone on record with questions about its effectiveness and objections to the costs of compliance for mariners and other covered workers.


The International Maritime Organization (IMO) is soliciting feedback from the general public as part of an effort to eliminate “unnecessary, disproportionate or obsolete administrative burdens” on shipmasters. Comments are being collected on a web page,, until Oct. 31, 2013. In its request for feedback, the IMO said that “releasing resources from administrative tasks contributes to [our] goal of efficient regulation of safety and security of shipping and the prevention and control of pollution by ships.”

“There has long been a feeling in the industry that there is too much wasted paperwork,” said IMO Secretary-General Koji Sekimizu. “This is the start of our efforts to tackle that problem. I would urge as many people as possible to take part in this consultation, as only with a strong set of data can we meaningfully identify where changes may be necessary.”

But although the goal of the project is commendable, its relevance will be severely compromised by the fact that the IMO is limiting its investigation to paperwork that derives directly from international Conventions. “The real problem,” says MM&P Pilots Group Vice President George Quick, “is operational paperwork generated by the regulatory compliance requirements imposed under those Conventions. By making that distinction, the IMO has gutted any real chance of reducing the ever-increasing paperwork burden placed on shipmasters.”


At the MM&P Health & Benefit Plan Board of Trustees’ meetings held June 4-6, the MM&P Health & Benefit Plan Trustees agreed to approve coverage of dental implants EFFECTIVE JUNE 1, 2013.

Please remember that any dental treatment plan that exceeds $1,000 requires a pre-determination before the service or services are performed. DELTA DENTAL HAS ADVISED THAT IF YOU HAD A PREDETERMINATION PRIOR TO JUNE 1 FOR IMPLANTS, YOU SHOULD HAVE YOUR DENTIST RESUBMIT A NEW PREDETERMINATION.

Also, as a reminder, the Plan offers In-Network and Out-of-Network dental benefits to eligible Participants and their covered dependents through Delta Dental. Under the Plan Rules:

— IN-NETWORK the Plan offers a national network of dental care provided through Delta Dental. Covered dental charges are paid at 80 percent and there is no deductible. For information concerning in-network providers, please call 1-800-932-0783. Our group number is 7117. Dental implants will be covered according to Delta Dental guidelines and limitations.

— OUT-OF-NETWORK coverage is reimbursed for usual, customary and reasonable charges (UCR) for dental expenses according to the geographical schedule of dental allowances. There is no deductible and the Plan reimburses 70 percent of covered dental expenses.


The May-June issue of The Master, Mate & Pilot will be in your mailbox soon. In the meantime, look for it online at In this issue of the MM&P magazine: U.S.-flag fleet “sails in” to Washington to meet with legislators; maritime industry urges U.S. action on STCW regulations; watchdog agency “sees no evidence” that TWIC has increased security; MM&P officers are now aboard new MLL containerships in ship-for-ship fleet upgrade. Go to and click on MM&P magazine to read more.

Plus: New photos of MM&P members and MM&P-contracted ships have been posted on the home page of And remember: the MM&P Communications Department is always looking for photographs of MM&P members at work! Please e-mail your photos today to


Nine citizens of Somalia were sentenced on June 10 by a court in Kenya to five years in prison for the September 2010 hijacking of the German-owned containership MV MAGELLAN STAR in the Gulf of Aden. The nine were captured by an international force led by U.S marines less than 24 hours after the vessel was hijacked en route from Spain to Vietnam.

As piracy around the Somali coast decreases, attacks are on the rise off the West Coast of Africa, specifically around the Gulf of Guinea. Due in part to reticence on the part of sovereign nations in the region to see more international involvement, naval forces have not launched counter-piracy missions in the Gulf of Guinea, leaving vessels that anchor off Nigeria vulnerable to attack.


The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is seeking input on a proposal to make permanent the rules it implemented five years ago to reduce the number of collisions between ships and North Atlantic right whales. The existing rules call for a reduction in speed to 10 knots or less during certain time periods over an area that may extend out to 20 nautical miles around major mid-Atlantic ports and other locations along the East Coast from Maine to Florida. The agency says that since the rules were first implemented in 2008, the number of reported ship strikes has markedly declined. It says that no right whale ship strike deaths have occurred in Seasonal Management Areas since the rule went into place and that modeling studies indicate the measures have reduced the probability of fatal ship strikes of right whales by 80 to 90 percent. NOAA says it estimates that the speed restrictions cost the shipping industry and other maritime communities about one-third of the original 2008 projections.

Biologists believe there are approximately 450 right whales in the Northwest Atlantic population, a number they say is growing steadily.

The new regulation proposes to continue speed restrictions for vessels that are 65 feet in length or greater during whale migration periods along three regions of the U.S. East Coast (Northeast, Mid-Atlantic and Southeast). The seasonal speed restrictions apply in the following approximate locations from Nov. 1 through April 30, times when whales are known to be in the areas: Block Island Sound; ports of New York/New Jersey; entrance to the Delaware Bay (includes ports of Philadelphia and Wilmington, N.C.); entrance to the Chesapeake Bay (includes ports of Hampton Roads, Va., and Baltimore, Md.); ports of Morehead City and Beaufort, N.C.; and a continuous area from 20 miles from shore between Wilmington, N.C., to south of Savannah. From Nov. 15 through April 15, the same restrictions apply in an area extending from north of Brunswick, Ga., to south of Jacksonville.

This rule is part of a more comprehensive approach to conserve right whales, including consulting on operations of federal ships under the Endangered Species Act, developing an expanded outreach and education program, and modifying shipping routes in the waters of Massachusetts, Georgia and Florida. NOAA has also developed a dynamic management program whereby vessel operators are asked to travel less than 10 knots or avoid areas where whales occur in times and places not covered by seasonal speed restriction zones.  The proposal seeks public input on ways to measure the effectiveness of the speed restrictions and whether they should continue to be applied.

The compliance guide for Right Whale Ship Strike Reduction Rule is posted at:

Those wishing to comment can do so via the Federal eRulemaking Portal at or by visiting the comment page on the Office of Protected Resources website at NOAA Fisheries will also accept written comments mailed to: Office of Protected Resources, NOAA Fisheries, 1315 East-West Highway, Silver Spring, MD 20910; or faxed to 301-713-4060.


Riot police fired tear gas, rubber bullets and water cannons at thousands of protesters gathered in Istanbul and Ankara over the weekend and on Monday in an effort to end the occupation of several downtown parks. Meanwhile the International Trade Union Confederation, which represents 175 million workers in 156 countries, and the Confederation of Progressive Trade Unions (DISK) in Turkey have asked members of the public to sign an online petition asking that those arrested so far be freed and that the country lift all bans on demonstrations. “The brutal crackdown on protests in Istanbul’s Taksim Square has shocked the entire world and triggered a massive wave of protests across Turkey,” they said. “Free those arrested and drop all charges against them. Hold accountable those responsible for the police violence.” To sign the petition, go to:


Between now and the end of June, the following courses are scheduled at MITAGS. (Please keep in mind, however, that the schedule may be subject to change.)

For class availability or information on courses and programs, contact MITAGS Admissions Coordinator Kelly Michielli toll free at 866-656-5568 or e-mail her at

Or, try our on-line calendar to register for class:

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

AZIPOD (2-DAY) for Pilots: 7/22/13

BRM – Bridge Resource Management: 8/28/13

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

BST – Basic Safety Training: 6/24/13, 8/12/13

CONSTB – Ship Construction and Basic Stability: 7/29/13

[CMM – Chief Mate and Master Courses]

CMM-ADVWX – Advanced Meteorology: 6/17/13, 9/23/13

CMM-ADVNAV – Advanced Navigation (=ECDIS & VPEN): 9/16/13

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

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

CMM-ECDIS – Electronic Chart Display Information System: 7/29/13

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

CMM-SHMGT – Ship Management (2 weeks): 7/22/13

CMM-SHS-ADV-I – Advanced Shiphandling (week 1): 6/24/13, 7/29/13, 9/9/13, 9/23/13

CMM-SHS-ADV-I I – Advanced Shiphandling (week 2): 6/17/13, 8/5/13, 9/16/13

CMM-WKP – Advanced Watchkeeping: 6/24/13

ENVIRO-Regs Permit – Environmental Regulations Permit: 5/23/13

ECDIS-ENAV for Pilots (2 day): 6/13/13

FSM – Fatigue, Sleep and Medications:  8/26/13

FF-BADV – Combined Basic and Advanced Fire Fighting: 6/24/13, 7/22/13, 8/12/13

GMDSS – Global Maritime Distress and Safety System: 7/8/13, 8/19/13

HAZ – Hazardous Materials (5 day): 6/24/13, 9/16/13

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

LEG – Legal Aspects of Pilotage: 7/24/13, 9/25/13

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

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

MLC – Maritime Labor Convention: 7/22/13

MEDIA-RSP – Media Response Workshop:  7/26/13

MED-PIC – Medical Person in Charge: 7/8/13, 9/9/13

MED-PIC -R– Medical Person in Charge Refresher: 7/29/13

MED-PRO – Medical Care Provider: 7/8/13, 9/9/13

MED-DOT-DA – Dept. of Transportation Drug & Alcohol Testing: 6/15/13, 6/29/13, 7/13/13, 7/28/13, 8/17/13, 9/14/13

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

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

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

ROR-1 – Radar Observer Renewal Evening Classes: 6/19/13, 6/26/13, 7/10/13, 7/24/13, 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: 7/22/13, 9/4/13

SHS-BAS – Basic Shiphandling: 6/24/13, 8/12/13

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

SHS-ESH-BRMP3 – Emergency Shiphandling and Bridge Resource Management for Pilots: 7/24/13

TCNAV/CO – Terrestrial Navigation and Compasses: 7/8/13

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

WX-BAS – Basic Meteorology: 7/29/13, 9/16/13

… 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.


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

June 2013
17-21     Tankerman PIC
24-28     Radar Observer Unlimited
24-28     Medical Care Provider

July 2013

8th         Radar Renewal
8th         Flashing Light Exam
9-12       ARPA
15-19     ECDIS
15-26     GMDSS
22-26     Bridge Resource Management w/ Simulation
29-2       Medical Care Provider

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