Wheelhouse Weekly, June 15, 2021

Volume 27… Number 24… June 15, 2021


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The Civil Service mariners aboard USNS PATUXENT saved the 15-person crew of a cargo ship that had lost propulsion and was taking on water on the night of June 7.

PATUXENT’s master, Captain Peter Aguinaldo, was alerted to the developing situation when his vessel was over 80 miles away from the sinking ship.

Vessels that were closer, he was informed, lacked the maneuverability, crew and equipment needed to carry out the rescue.

As PATUXENT headed to the scene, Chief Mate Jamie Gleber set about the business of rousing the deck dayworkers.

She slipped a memo under each one’s door, outlining the urgency of the situation and listing the equipment that would be needed.

Within minutes, the crew was on deck and had begun to rig cargo nets along PATUXENT’s hull and prepare mooring lines for the possible arrival of a lifeboat.

When PATUXENT arrived on scene, the captain of the distressed vessel asked that the fast rescue boat be deployed.

Aguinaldo told him that because of the weather, the rescue craft could not be safely launched. Instead, he said PATUXENT would create a lee and recover the men from the sinking ship’s lifeboat.

Once the lifeboat was loaded, however, mechanical issues blocked its launch, and the captain of the sinking cargo ship again asked for the rescue boat.

“I asked the chief mate to assess the seas as she was closer to the water’s edge,” Aguinaldo said, “but the complete darkness and stormy seas were deemed too rough for a safe deployment and eventual recovery of the rescue boat.”

The chief mate suggested the sailors board their life raft; PATUXENT would attempt to recover them with a towing line sent via shot line.

But when the crew of the distressed vessel attempted to launch the starboard life raft, it capsized immediately.

At this point the sailors moved to port side to launch another life raft—their last survival craft—which was on the opposite side of the ship and exposed to the violent seas.

They deployed and boarded it as their sinking ship rolled deck edge to deck edge, without lights or power.

As PATUXENT maneuvered to get the life raft on the lee side, the chief engineer manned the engine room, ensuring the plant was not lost.

“It took plenty of power from both main engines to control and steer the vessel in the heavy seas,” the captain said.

The deck department had to shoot multiple lines because conditions made it nearly impossible to land the shot line inside the raft. Round Number 21 from the cargo team proved successful.

“The deck crew was waiting at the top of the cargo net, where several CIVMARS, without concern for their own safety, reached out over the edge, grabbing the exhausted sailors, hoisting them the last few feet and assisting them aboard,” the captain said.

But one of the men fell from the net, landing between the life raft and the hull.

Life rings with towline were deployed along the side of the ship, and the man was able to take hold of one but struggled to hang on as the swells crashed over him.

A pilot ladder was quickly rigged. The man made his way to it, climbed a few steps, but eventually lost all motivation and, exhausted, declared he was ready to let go.

“The deck crew refused to accept this,” Gleber said. They lowered a tag line and instructed the sailor to tie it around his waist.

Once the line was secured, they hauled the soaking, exhausted man aboard.

But there was yet another person to rescue: he was still in the raft, seemingly unable to find it in himself to climb the cargo net.

After discussing several options, the deck team rigged a bosun chair to the gangway winch and deployed it to him. He was able to mount it and the crew worked quickly to get him aboard.

“I couldn’t have asked for a better crew,” Aguinaldo said.

“Heroic acts by the whole deck department with many other crewmembers turning out and assisting as needed on tank deck.”

“Supply and medical supporting humanitarian efforts ensuring the passengers had dry shoes, clothes, blankets, and towels while keeping them well fed and hydrated.”

The 15 men were transferred ashore via small boat for processing to return home.

“The humanitarian, selfless efforts that you and your shipmates demonstrated by saving the entire crew of stranded sailors is, in a word, incredible,” said MM&P Government Fleet Representative Randi Ciszewski.

“Thank you Captain Aguinaldo, Chief Mate Gleber and your entire crew of professionals for the daily sacrifices that you (and your families) make in support of our great nation.”

The licensed deck officers aboard USNS PATUXENT are represented by the MM&P Federal Employees Membership Group.
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The Biden administration has issued guidance to federal agencies to help streamline implementation of the president’s “Made in America” executive order.

The guidance, which outlines how the administration will seek to reduce waivers and increase transparency, specifically mentions the Jones Act and the 1904 and 1954 Cargo Preference Acts.

“Made in America Laws include laws requiring domestic preference for maritime transport, including the Merchant Marine Act of 1920, also known as the Jones Act, and the Cargo Preference Acts of 1904 and 1954,” the White House noted.

The Secretary of Defense may request a [Jones Act] waiver only to “the extent the Secretary considers necessary in the interest of national defense to address an immediate adverse effect on military operations.”

The Secretary of Homeland security may also approve a waiver if the Secretary considers it “necessary in the interest of national defense” and following a determination by the Maritime Administrator of the non-availability of coastwise-qualified vessels.

Under the Cargo Preference Acts, 100 percent of all supplies bought for the Department of Defense, and at least 50 percent of all equipment, materials, or commodities purchased or financed by non-DoD entities with federal funds, must be carried on privately owned, US-flag commercial vessels when transported to and from international destinations.

President Biden issued the “Buy American” executive order on Jan. 25 to push federal agencies to buy more products made in the United States.

By June 30, agencies must designate a senior accountable official to coordinate with the Made in America Office director “to implement a holistic approach” in carrying out the executive order.

The memo also outlines the information that agencies must include for review in the event that they propose a waiver.
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The master of the X-PRESS PEARL has been released from custody pending an investigation, following his arrest in connection with the fire that destroyed his ship.

A spokesperson for the Sri Lankan Navy has said the authorities think the fire was caused by nitric acid leaking from a container.

Police said that although Captain Vitaly Tyutkalo has not been charged, he may be found liable for the disaster under the country’s Marine Pollution Prevention Act.

His passport has been seized and he has been banned from traveling. He is now free after posting a personal bond reported to be the equivalent of about $10,000.

The newbuild container feeder caught fire on May 20 while at anchor off the coast of Colombo.

On June 2, as salvors attempted to tow the burned wreck further from the coast, it sank.

The crew told authorities they were aware of a leaking container of nitric acid in the hold before the ship called at Port Hamad, Qatar, on May 11.

But authorities in Hamad refused to allow the leaking container to be offloaded for repacking.

The next port of call, Hazira, India, also turned down the captain’s request.

Nine days later, as X-PRESS PEARL was waiting for a berth at Port Colombo, cargo in the affected hold caught fire.

Misdeclarations and poor packing have been cited on numerous occasions as contributors to container fires.
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The crew of the product tanker MAERSK ETIENNE has received the 2021 Shipping Award for rescuing 27 migrants and then caring for them on board for more than five weeks.

Authorities in Malta had asked the crew to rescue the migrants—who had been at sea for days in a boat that sank soon after they were brought on board—but then denied them permission to disembark.

The ship was blocked in the Mediterranean Sea for five weeks while governments bickered over where the migrants would be allowed ashore.

As the situation dragged on, Captain Volodymyr Yeroshkin and officials at Maersk called urgently for a resolution.

“MAERSK ETIENNE is a chemical tanker which is not equipped or constructed to keep people onboard,” Yeroshkin said in one videotaped appeal.

“This is a cargo vessel, the crew are professional seafarers and none of them is qualified for medical assistance or for care for rescued people.”

“Captain Yeroshkin and his crew went above and beyond their duty in an unprecedented situation,” said Maersk Tankers CEO Christian M. Ingerslev.

“Having the stamina to cope with the situation for 38 days, while at all times caring for the people they rescued, is admirable.”

Governments are obliged under SOLAS amendments to coordinate and cooperate so that persons rescued at sea are disembarked in a safe place as soon as possible.

But in the ten months that have passed since the rescue, there has not been any political agreement to avoid a repeat of what happened.

“It will continue to be a risk for people in distress at sea and the shipping community until this situation has been resolved politically,” Ingerslev said.

“A captain should be able to save those in distress at sea with the confidence that relevant governments and authorities will assist in quickly disembarking the rescuees.”
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Section 315 of the 2015 Coast Guard Authorization Act requires the Coast Guard to commission a working group to review existing and new examination questions for accuracy and availability of examination references.

The National Maritime Center cancelled working group meetings in 2020 due to the pandemic. It would now like to resume this important process.

If you would like to participate in the scheduled sessions below or in any future session, please follow the application instructions on the Examinations page of the NMC website.

Once on the Examinations page, scroll down to the light blue box and click Working Group to access application information.

Submit the required information to

Once your request has been reviewed, you will be contacted to discuss further details and confirm the session(s) you wish to attend.

2021 Schedule:

— Aug. 24-26: Deck – NMC (Martinsburg, WV)

— Aug. 10-12: Engine – NMC (Martinsburg, WV)

Note: Dates are subject to change based on the number of attendees.

Additional information regarding building access and health and safety protocols will be provided by follow-up email to working group attendees.

For questions, e-mail to:
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MM&P Pacific Ports Vice President Lars Turner has scheduled a virtual membership meeting on Monday, June 21, at 1130 Pacific Time.

MM&P President Don Marcus will participate in the meeting.

All Offshore members and applicants are welcome to attend.

To register for the meeting, you will need to log into either the MM&P app or the Members’ Only section of the MM&P website.

You can download the MM&P app at

Once you are on the Members’ Only site, click on Offshore Membership Meeting Registration located under the Documents tab.

For assistance, please send an email to
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The Coast Guard is seeking a Course Approvals Branch Chief to fill a Supervisory Marine Transportation Specialist position at the National Maritime Center in Martinsburg, W. Va.

The successful applicant will supervise a group of credentialed mariners in the analysis and development of training requirements and the review and approval of all mariner training.

This is a permanent, full-time GS-13 position that pays between $103,690 and $134,798/year.

To learn more and to apply, select these links 21-1679-SE-AJ-D and/or 21-1679-SE-AJ-M or visit
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The Alaska Marine Highway System is seeking to hire extra relief third mates. The job is year-round, with work assignments on a two-week rotation. Requirements are:

1. Valid USCG Merchant Mariner’s Credential with the following endorsements:

STCW Endorsements:
— Basic (Safety) Training (VI/1)
— Officer in Charge of a Watch (II/1) (Waiver-able based on need)
— Vessel Personnel with Designated Security Duties (VI/6).

National Endorsements:
— 3rd Mate OC
— Lifeboatman
— Radar Unlimited

2. Valid Transportation Worker Identification Card (TWIC) (please submit color copy)

3. Current DOT Drug (within the last 6 months)

4. Current USCG Medical Certificate (STCW 2yr date)

5. Valid Driver’s License

Desired knowledge and abilities:

— Knowledge of operations protocols for vessel, crew, passengers and cargo.

— Understanding deck operations including cargo management, deck maintenance and coordination of supplies.

— Ability to maintain charts and operational checks on the navigation equipment.

— Working knowledge of safety protocols and emergency survival equipment.

The MM&P United Inland Group-Pacific Maritime Region represents the licensed deck officers who sail for AMHS.

To apply, please send resumes to:
Port Captain Umeko Seaver
7559 N Tongass Hwy
Ketchikan, AK 99901

For information on vessel specifics and routes, go to
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Beginning on June 1, 2021, anyone attending a MITAGS course, seminar or simulation exercise will be required to provide documentation of vaccination to Admissions prior to the start of class in order to be permitted to attend.

If you are not vaccinated, you will be required to provide a negative COVID-19 test conducted 72 hours prior to arrival on campus.

Any individual not able to provide either documentation of vaccination or a negative COVID test from within 72 hours before arrival will be requested to leave the campus immediately.

Scans, photocopies, or electronic images of your COVID-19 vaccination cards (records) or certification by a medical provider are acceptable.

We appreciate your cooperation during these very trying times.
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The MM&P Houston Hall will be closed on June 18 for Emancipation Day.

All MM&P union halls, the Federal Credit Union, the Plan Office and MM&P headquarters will be closed on Monday, July 5, for Independence Day.
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\\Classes are 5-day unless otherwise noted\\

Class dates followed by an * are full

AB – Able Seaman – 6/28/21
AIS-1 – Automatic Identifications Systems Orientation (1-Day): 8/13/21

ARPA-OIC (4-Day) – Automated Radar Plotting Aids: 9/21/21

AZIPOD (2-Day) – 8/9/21, 9/27/21

BRM-35 – Bridge Resource Management 35-Hour: 8/2/21, 10/25/21

BRMP –Bridge Resource Management for Pilots (2-Day): 8/9/21, 9/14/21, 11/9/21
Online: Not currently scheduled

BRMP-EMR –Bridge Resource Management for Pilots with Emergency Shiphandling – (Now also included in BRMP-Refresher) (3-Day): 8/11/21, 9/8/21, 9/29/21

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

BT – Basic Safety Training: 8/2/21, 10/11/21

BT-Revalidation (2-day) (Must have 1 year of sea service in last 5 years) – 6/22/21*, 8/16/21, 9/21/21, 10/25/21, 12/13/21

BT-Refresher (3-day) – 9/20/21, 12/13/21

CHS-OIC – Cargo Handling Basic: Not currently scheduled

[CMM – Chief Mate and Master Courses]

ADVSTB-CMM – Advanced Stability: 6/21/21, 8/9/21, 10/18/21

ADVWX-CMM – Advanced Meteorology: 8/2/21, 10/11/21, 12/6/21

CHS-CMM – Advanced Cargo Operations (10 Days): 10/25/21

CM-OPS 1 – Chief Mate Operations – Week 1: 8/23/21, 11/29/21

CM-OPS 2 Maersk – Chief Mate Operations II Maersk Specific: 8/30/21, 12/6/21

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

ECDIS – Electronic Chart Display Information Systems: 7/26/21, 10/4/21, 11/29/21

LMS – Leadership and Managerial Skills (Management Level – Formerly MCL-CMM): 6/28/21, 8/16/21, 11/8/21, 12/13/21

MPP-CMM – Marine Propulsion Plants: 9/13/21
(DCS-1 available on request – contact Admissions)

SEC-APPS – Practical Defense Tactics: Not Currently Scheduled

SHMGT-CMM- Ship Management: 9/20/21

SHS-ADV-I-CMM – Advanced Shiphandling (week 1): 7/19/21, 8/9/21, 9/13/21, 9/27/21, 10/11/21, 11/1/21, 11/29/21

SHS-ADV-II-CMM – Advanced Shiphandling (week 2): 7/26/21, 8/16/21, 9/20/21, 10/4/21, 10/18/21, 11/8/21, 12/6/21

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

VPEN-CMM – Voyage Planning & Electronic Navigation: 9/27/21

WKP-CMM – Advanced Watchkeeping: Not currently scheduled

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 **
Online: 7/7/21, 10/6/21

CIW-SMS – Continual Improvement Workshop: Successful Safety Management (2-Day) – Online: 12/9/21

CNAV-OIC (15-Day) – Celestial Navigation: 11/1/21

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

CRSMGT – Crisis Management and Human Behavior (1-Day) – 8/27/21

CDMGT – Crowd Management (1-Day) – 8/26/21

CSE – Confined Space Entry (3-Day): 8/23/21

CSE-AWR – Confined Space Entry Awareness (2-Day): Not currently scheduled

CY-MAR – Cyber-Skilled Mariner (5-Day) **NOT covered by the MATES Program ** – Not currently scheduled

Cyber-MAR-ONL – Cyber Skilled Mariner, Management of Information & Systems Security (Online Seminar) **NOT covered by the MATES Program ** – 6/25/21

DDE – Great Lakes (20-Day): Not currently scheduled

ECDIS for Pilots (2-Day) – 8/11/21, 11/11/21

ERM – Engine Resource Management: 8/30/21, 12/6/21

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

FF-BADV – Fire Fighting Combined Basic & Advanced: 8/2/21, 10/11/21

FF-ADV-Rev (1-day) (Must have 1 year of sea service in last 5 years) – Advanced Fire Fighting Revalidation: 6/21/21*, 8/18/21, 9/23/21, 10/27/21, 12/16/21

FF-ADV-REF (2-day) – Advanced Fire Fighting Refresher: 9/16/21, 12/11/21

FSM – Fatigue, Sleep, & Medications (1-Day): 9/14/21
Online: Not currently scheduled

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

GMDSS – Global Maritime Distress and Safety System (10-Day): 8/9/21

HAZ – Hazardous Materials (5 day): 8/30/21, 11/15/21

IEN – Integrated Electronic Navigation (3-Day) – Not currently scheduled

LAP – License Advancement Program for Mate to Master (20-Day): 8/2/21, 10/18/21

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): Not currently scheduled

LEG – Legal Aspects of Pilotage (1-Day): 8/9/21, 9/15/21, 11/9/21

LNG-TPIC (10-Day) – Not currently scheduled

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

MEECE – Management of Electrical and Electronic Control Equipment (Assessments not included): 8/23/21, 11/29/21

MED-PIC – Medical Person in Charge (10-Day): 7/12/21, 9/27/21, 11/29/21

MED-PIC-REF– Medical Person in Charge Refresher: 6/28/21, 8/30/21, 11/15/21

MED-PRO – Medical Care Provider: 7/12/21, 9/27/21

MED-DOT-DA – Dept. of Transportation Drug & Alcohol Testing (1-Day): 6/24/21, 7/17/21, 8/19/21, 9/24/21, 10/2/21, 10/28/21, 12/4/21, 12/17/21

[MSC – Military Sealift Command Courses]

MSC-CBRD-1 – Military Sealift Command Chemical, Biological, Radiological Defense Orientation (Basic) (1-Day): 8/4/21, 9/16/21, 10/31/21

MSC-DC – Military Sealift Command Damage Control (2-day): 8/2/21, 9/14/21, 10/29/21

MSC-ENVPRO (1-Day) – 8/6/21, 11/9/21

MSC-FF-HELO (2-Day) – 6/21/21, 8/2/21, 10/25/21

MSC-SMA – Military Sealift Command Small Arms Qualifications (4-Day): 7/12/21, 8/9/21, 9/20/21, 11/1/21

MSC-Security Watch Basic (1-Day/ 8-hour) – 8/7/21, 9/17/21, 11/1/21 (Evening)

MSC-Security Watch Advanced (1-Day) – 7/16/21, 8/8/21, 9/18/21, 11/5/21

MSC-Ship’s Reaction Force (3-Day) – 7/17/21, 8/13/21, 9/24/21, 11/6/21

NDMS-ENAV – Navigational Decision Making Series – Best Practice in eNav (3-Day) – Not currently scheduled

NSAP-MMP – Navigational Skills Assessment Program-MM&P (2-Day) – 6/22/21, 6/24/21*, 7/12/21*, 8/30/21, 9/1/21, 11/15/21, 11/17/21, 12/13/21, 12/15/21

PSC – Personal Survival Craft (5-Day) – Contact Admissions

PSC-REF – Personal Survival Craft Refresher (2-Day) – 9/18/21, 12/16/21

RFPNW – Ratings Forming Part of a Navigational Watch (3-day) – Not currently scheduled

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

ROR-1N – Radar Observer Renewal Evening Classes (1-Night): 9/14/21, 9/20/21

ROU-OIC – Radar Observer Program – Unlimited: 8/23/21

SAR – Search & Rescue – (Now with OIC and CMM assessments) (3-Day): 12/6/21

SHS-BAS-OIC – Basic Shiphandling: 8/23/21, 10/25/21

SHS-EMR5 – Emergency Shiphandling (5 Day) – 7/12/21, 8/30/21, 11/15/21, 12/13/21

STB-OIC – Ship Construction and Basic Stability: 8/30/21

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

TPIC – Tankerman Person in Charge: 6/28/21

TRAC-TUG-2 (2-Day): 11/9/21

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): 9/8/21

WKP-OIC – Watchkeeping (Operational Level) (10-Day): 10/11/21

WX-OIC –Meteorology (Operational Level): 9/13/21
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

June 2021
16-17 Basic Training Revalidation
18th Advanced Firefighting Revalidation
21-23 Security Officer – Vessel, Company and Facility
28-2 Basic Shiphandling

July 2021

6-9 Advanced Firefighting
12-16 Tankerman Person-In-Charge
12-30 Terrestrial & Coastal Navigation w/ Compasses
19-23 Basic Training
26-27 Basic Training Revalidation
28th Advanced Firefighting Revalidation

August 2021

2-6 Radar Observer Unlimited
9-20 Watchkeeping (Operational Level)
23-24 Basic Training Revalidation
23-27 Cargo Handling & Stowage
25th Advanced Firefighting Revalidation
30-3 Meteorology (Operational Level)

September 2021

7-10 ARPA
7-8 Advanced Firefighting Refresher
8th Advanced Firefighting Revalidation
9-10 Basic Training Revalidation
9-10 & 13 Basic Training Refresher
13th Flashing Light
13-17 Basic Training
13-17 Advanced Shiphandling I
14th Leadership & Teamworking Skills
20-23 Advanced Firefighting
20-24 Advanced Shiphandling II
27-1 ECDIS
Back to Stories Covered

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©2021. 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

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