Wheelhouse Weekly – June 17, 2014

June 17th 2014


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

Volume 18 . . . Number 24 . . . June 17, 2014


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


The Houston Hall will be closed on June 19 for Emancipation Day.


Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-La.) and Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-Calif.) are calling on their colleagues to ensure that the Maritime Security Program (MSP) is fully funded going forward. As previously reported in The Wheelhouse Weekly, the Transportation Appropriations bill approved by the House would reduce funding for MSP by $20 million next year, putting numerous ships—and the maritime industry jobs they support—at risk. The Senate Appropriations legislation, in contrast, would fully fund the program.

In a formal statement entitled, “Protecting the Maritime Industry from Drastic Budget Cuts,” Landrieu said she is “proud to report that the bills we passed out of the Senate Appropriations Committee this week offset cuts to critical maritime programs that were included in the House of Representatives’ version.”

“Our bill protects the Maritime Security Program from a $20 million reduction that would compromise our ability to maintain a U.S.-flag merchant fleet crewed by U.S. citizens to serve both the commercial and national security needs of the nation,” Landrieu said. “It also preserves over $30 million in funding for the Title XI Maritime Loan Guarantee program that helps our domestic shipping and shipbuilding industry secure, affordable financing for new projects.”

Congressman Duncan Hunter presented an equally strong statement of support for MSP during floor consideration of the Fiscal Year 2015 Transportation Appropriations bill. “I know a lot of difficult decisions had to be made,” he told members on the House floor, “but I wanted to express my concern over a $20 million reduction in funding for the Maritime Security Program… which could translate into the loss of six or seven U.S.-flag commercial ships.” He underlined the fact that cost savings to the government from MSP more than justify its current budget.

“The Department of Defense (DOD) for well over a decade has relied on MSP-enrolled vessels for sealift of necessary cargo into conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan as well as other troubled areas in the world, all at a fraction of the cost of what it would cost DOD to replicate that sealift if it had to build its own vessels,” he added. “The U.S. flag fleet is critical to our military in delivering cargo overseas to ensure proper readiness and sustainment.”

It is not known at this point how the differences in the House and Senate bills will be reconciled. MM&P and MIRAID are working with the other maritime unions and companies, as well as our friends and supporters in Congress, to assure full funding is appropriated for this critically important program.


The International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF) and MM&P have gone on record regarding the need for due legal process to be followed in the trial of 15 crew members of the SEWOL ferry which is now underway in Korea. The ITF has called for “a full and fair investigation.” Speaking for MM&P, the union’s Chief of Staff Klaus Luhta told reporters for the TV station Arirang in a report that was aired on June 17 that the fact that “the court of public opinion has already indicted the crew” is yet another example of the trend towards “criminalization” of seafarers following maritime accidents. Family members in the courtroom on June 11 screamed insults at the crew, calling them “criminals and murderers.”

The captain and three members of the crew are charged with “homicide by willful negligence,” which can be punishable by death. Eleven other members of the crew are charged with “negligence and violation of maritime law.” The defense is arguing that once Korea’s Coast Guard arrived on the scene, it was up to the authorities and not the crew to rescue those on board. The attorney representing the captain said he had only been on the job for six days and that he lacked the authority to intervene in the cargo loading process. Investigators have said the large amount of cargo–more than double the ferry’s limit–and the failure to tie it down properly were partly responsible for the tragedy, in which more than 300 people died. “I am concerned that those who are more responsible are shifting blame to the defendant,” said the attorney. Luhta pointed out that testimony from the owner of the ferry—who is still being sought by police—will be a key element in determining responsibility for what took place.


The Coast Guard’s National Maritime Center (NMC) says that although some improvement in credential processing time has been registered since December, it is still encountering “challenges that have significantly impacted [its] ability to return to previous performance levels.”

The agency said the backlog is due to the recent implementation of the new STCW Final Rule, the need to issue medical certificates, a shortage of several NMC employees and “persistent technology issues.” It also said an unexpectedly high number of mariners are applying for credentials, something it referred to as “Spring Surge.” The agency said it has taken on new staff and used money allocated to overtime to boost production, and has added new technologies to the mix.

“While all this had been instituted, we have been extending mariners’ credentials on a case-by-case basis and will continue to do so,” said NMC Commanding Officer Jeffrey P. Novotny in an official statement. The agency is asking mariners to submit applications for renewals and applications for original credentials 90 days in advance of when they will be needed. 

For medical certificates, it asks applicants to read up on the requirements on its website, to take a copy of Navigation and Inspection Circular (NVIC) 04-08 with them when they get their physical and to ask their doctor to provide as much information as possible for any medical condition listed.


Effective July 1, Navy DVDs will once again be supplied to Military Sealift Command (MSC) vessels manned by Civil Service mariners. In February, the union notified MSC that it had been made aware that the agency had unilaterally ceased sending Navy DVDs to CIVMAR-manned ships. The MSC Legal Department determined that MSC must use a specific source of non-appropriated funding to pay for providing the service to Civil Service mariners. In arguing the point, MM&P pointed out that various military detachments, such as helo, diving, special operations and salvage, embark the MSC vessels. This was cited as a key factor in restoring the Navy DVD service to CIVMAR vessels.

The union also noted that regulations provide for recreational activities, such as gym access, for CIVMARs sailing aboard MSC ships. MM&P cited previous federal decisions which found that an agency has reasonable discretion to spend its money for employee welfare purposes if the expenditure can be said to enhance employee morale and to be a significant factor in hiring and retention. MSC subsequently notified the union that it intended to begin sending out DVDs once again.

“This proves that timely communication is an essential component of MSC/MM&P’s partnership,” said MM&P Government Fleet Representative Randi Ciszewski. “When the union and management work together collaboratively to achieve goals, the effectiveness of the partnership is visible and MM&P CIVMARs benefit. The agency’s legitimate interest in the welfare, morale, and productivity of its employees was revealed with this quick restoration of NMPS.”


The Maritime Administration is accepting project applications for Marine Highway designations until Sept. 30, 2016. Eligible projects should establish new or enhance existing marine highway services that reduce landside congestion and increase the use of domestic marine transportation. Proposed projects no longer have to have parallel landside routes. While all applications must be sponsored and submitted by public entities, public/private partnerships are encouraged. Additional project submission guidelines and information can be found at


If you are interested in attending the Offshore Familiarization Course, please contact your MM&P Vice President to request that one be scheduled in your area. An Offshore Orientation Course is now scheduled for New York/New Jersey on June 10 and for Los Angeles/Long Beach on Oct. 8-9. If you are interested in participating in the course, please contact the Los Angeles/Long Beach Hall: 310-834-7201 or 310-834-6667 (fax). There is no sea-time requirement to take the course. All Offshore applicants, potential transferees from other membership groups and other interested Offshore members are encouraged to take the course as soon as possible.


The 2006 Maritime Labor Convention (MLC) entered into force on Aug. 20. 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.


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 class availability or information on MITAGS courses and programs, contact Kelly Michielli, 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 –8/11/14, 10/13/14

AIS-1 – Automatic Identifications Systems Orientation: Contact Admissions

ARPA-OIC – Automated Radar Plotting Aids: 8/5/14, 9/23/14, 11/18/14

AZIPOD 2-Day –7/10/14, 10/9/14

BRM-35 – Bridge Resource Management: 8/25/14, 10/13/14

BRMP –Bridge Resource Management for Pilots: 7/24/14, 8/20/14, 9/22/14, 11/20/14

BRMP-EMR –Bridge Resource Management for Pilots with Emergency Shiphandling:  7/7/14, 10/6/14

BST – Basic Safety Training: 8/11/14, 10/6/14

CHS-OIC – Cargo Handling Basic: 10/27/14

[CMM – Chief Mate and Master Courses]

ADVNAV-CMM – Advanced Navigation (=ECDIS & VPEN): 8/4/14, 11/10/14

ADVSTB-CMM – Advanced Stability: 6/23/14, 9/22/14

ADVWX-CMM – Advanced Meteorology: 9/8/14

CHS-CMM – Advanced Cargo Operations (2 weeks): 7/7/14, 9/29/14

ECDIS – Electronic Chart Display Information System: 7/14/14, 8/4/14, 10/20/14, 11/10/14

FSM – Fatigue, Sleep, & Medications: 7/23/14, 11/19/14

MCL-CMM – Management, Communication, & Leadership (Management Level): 9/15/14

MPP-CMM – Marine Propulsion Plants:  7/21/14, 10/27/14

SHMGT-CMM- Ship Management (2 weeks): 8/18/14, 10/13/14

SHS-ADV-I-CMM – Advanced Shiphandling (week 1): 8/4/14, 9/8/14, 9/22/14, 10/20/14, 11/3/14, 12/1/14

SHS-ADV-I-CMM – Advanced Shiphandling (week 2): 8/11/14, 9/15/14, 9/29/14, 10/27/14, 11/10/14, 12/8/14

TRAC-TUG-2: 7/21/14

VPEN-CMM – Voyage Planning & Electronic Navigation: 8/11/14, 11/17/14

WKP-CMM – Advanced Watchkeeping: 7/28/14, 11/3/14

CNAV-OIC – Celestial Navigation: 11/3/14

CONT PLNG – Contingency Planning Workshop: Contact Admissions

CRISIS-COMMS – Crisis Communications:  10/7/14

DDE – Great Lakes: Contact Admissions

DPA – Contact Admissions

ECDIS-OIC –9/8/14

ECDIS-Pilots – Contact Admissions

FF-BADV – Fire Fighting Combined Basic & Advanced: 8/11/14, 10/6/14

FSM – Fatigue, Sleep & Medications:  7/23/14, 11/19/14

GL Pilot – Great Lakes Pilotage Familiarization: Contact Admissions

GMDSS – Global Maritime Distress and Safety System: 8/18/14

HAZ – Hazardous Materials (5 day): 6/23/14, 9/15/14, 11/17/14

LAP- 9/8/14

LAP-Great Lakes – License Advancement Program – Great Lakes

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

LEG – Legal Aspects of Pilotage: 7/8/14, 10/7/14, 11/20/14

LNG-TPIC – Contact Admissions

MCL-OIC –Management, Communications, and Leadership OICNW level: 9/5/14, 10/7/14

MED-PIC – Medical Person in Charge: 9/8/14, 11/3/14, 12/1/14

MED-PIC-REF– Medical Person in Charge Refresher: 8/4/14, 10/13/14

MED-PRO – Medical Care Provider: 9/8/14, 10/20/14, 11/3/14, 12/1/14

MED-DOT-DA – Dept. of Transportation Drug & Alcohol Testing: 6/21/14, 8/3/14, 9/13/14, 10/12/14, 11/8/14, 12/6/14

MSA –Maritime Security Awareness: 8/4/14 (PM), 10/6/14 (PM)

[MSC – Military Sealift Command Courses]

MSC-CBRD-1 – Military Sealift Command Chemical, Biological, Radiological Defense Orientation (Basic): 8/22/14, 10/3/14

MSC-DC – Military Sealift Command Damage Control (4 Evenings): 8/18/14, 9/29/14, 2/23/15

MSC-ENV –8/23/14, 2/26/15

MSC-FF-HELO – 2/10/15

MSC-SMA – Military Sealift Command Small Arms Qualification:  8/18/14, 9/29/14, 11/10/14, 2/16/15

*MSC-Security Watch Basic –8/25/14, 11/14/14, 2/20/15

*MSC-Security Watch Advanced –8/27/14, 11/17/14, 2/22/15

*MSC-Ship’s Reaction Force –8/28/14, 11/18/14, 2/23/15

ROR-1 – Radar Observer Renewal: 8/4/14, 9/22/14, 11/17/14

ROR-1N – Radar Observer Renewal Evening Classes: 7/9/14, 7/24/14, 8/6/14, 8/20/14, 9/10/14, 9/17/14, 10/1/14, 10/15/14, 10/29/14, 11/12/14, 12/3/14, 12/10/14

ROU-OIC – Radar Observer Program – Unlimited: 7/28/14, 11/10/14

SAR-OIC – Search & Rescue –10/13/14

SHS-BAS-OIC – Basic Shiphandling:  8/18/14, 11/17/14

SHS-EMR5 – Emergency Shiphandling-5 Day: 7/14/14, 10/6/14

SMS – Contact Admissions

STB-OIC – Ship Construction and Basic Stability: 8/4/14

TCNAV/CO – Terrestrial Navigation and Compasses: 7/7/14

TPIC – Tankerman Person in Charge:  8/25/14

TTT – Train the Trainer: Contact Admissions

VPDSD – Vessel Personnel with Designated Security Duties: 8/5/14, 10/7/14

VSO – Vessel Security Officer: 8/6/14, 9/2/14, 10/8/14, 10/22/14

WKP-OIC – Watchkeeping (Operational Level) : 9/29/14

WX-OIC –Meteorology (Operational Level): 9/15/14

…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.

July 2014

7-11     Radar Observer Unlimited
7-18     GMDSS
14th     Radar Renewal
14th     Flashing Light
15-18   ARPA
21-25   Bridge Resource Management
28-1     ECDIS
28-1     Medical Care Provider

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.

© 2014, 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