Wheelhouse Weekly – June 26, 2012

June 26th 2012


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

Volume 16 . . . . . Number 26. . . .June 26, 2012


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


All MM&P union halls, the MM&P Health & Benefits Plans, the MM&P Federal Credit Union and MM&P headquarters will be closed on Wednesday, July 4, for Independence Day. In addition, Pacific Ports will be closed for Bloody Thursday, which commemorates the July 5, 1934 strike by West Coast maritime workers and longshoremen, when two strikers were killed by police and many others injured on the San Francisco waterfront.


Twenty-four percent of ship masters have faced criminal charges at one point or another in their careers, according to a survey conducted recently by Seafarers’ Rights International (SRI), a legal research group. The results were reported in the most recent edition of “Nautilus Telegraph,” the magazine of the UK-Dutch officers’ union. “That’s almost one in four, and it’s probably one of the highest rates of criminalization in any profession,” Nautilus says. SRI based its findings on a survey of almost 3,500 seafarers of 68 nationalities.

“Criminalization of the maritime profession is not just an incidental issue, as evidenced by these survey results,” Nautilus points out. “It is a problem on an immense scale throughout the world, and it is on the rise.”

Among unlicensed seafarers, almost ten percent said they had faced criminal charges at some point in their careers. Of that number, ninety percent reported that they had not been provided with legal representation by the authorities. Ninety-one percent said they had not been given needed interpretation services. What’s more, 89 percent of the original ten percent said that no one had explained their rights to them, which might explain why forty-six percent of the seafarers in the study reported that they would be reluctant to cooperate with law enforcement officials in the future for fear of self-incrimination.

Eighty percent of seafarers who faced criminal charges said they had been intimidated or threatened. Overall, more than four out of five seafarers who faced criminal charges felt that they had not been treated fairly.

SRI conducted additional research to put the results into perspective: it reviewed all criminal charges against professional mariners as reported in Lloyd’s List, TradeWinds and Fairplay for the 12-year period from 2000 to 2011. The analysis showed that the criminalization trend is on the rise. There were 415 reports of “crimes” involving 1,580 seafarers during this period. The number of incidents deemed by the authorities to be crimes, as well as the number of seafarers detained, increased every year during the period surveyed.

Nautilus is calling on world governments to take action. “We hope that the results of this survey will provide momentum for increased efforts to ensure fair treatment of seafarers, whether innocent or guilty of a criminal charge,” said SRI Executive Director Deirdre Fitzpatrick, “and that from this survey, the faces and voices of the seafarers will be seen clearly and heard loudly.”


The House Appropriations Committee June 19 approved a fiscal year 2013 agriculture appropriations bill that would fund the PL 480 Food-for-Peace Program at the drastically reduced level of $1.15 billion. This is the same amount previously approved by the Agriculture Appropriations Subcommittee and its Chairman, Republican Congressman Jack Kingston (Ga.). The current fiscal year 2012 funding level for the PL 480 Program is $1.466 billion, the same amount recommended by the Senate. Under existing law, at least 75 percent of the U.S.-produced food aid commodities exported under the PL 480 Program is carried on U.S.-flag ships, providing a critically important source of cargo for U.S.-flag vessels.

“In contrast to most other foreign assistance programs which just send money overseas, food aid also provides direct economic benefits here at home,” said USA Maritime, the industry-wide U.S.-flag shipping coalition to which MM&P and MIRAID belong. “U.S. food aid programs not only further our humanitarian and security goals by allowing Americans to share their bounty with the needy, they also provide stable jobs for hundreds of thousands of Americans in our farming, processing and shipping sectors,” USA Maritime told Congress in an official statement.

Reducing funding for the program as proposed by the House committee would reduce the amount of commodities that could be purchased and shipped and negatively affect America’s agricultural and shipping sectors.

MM&P and MIRAID will continue to work through the USA Maritime Coalition to restore funding to the Food-for-Peace Program. 


A bipartisan effort to add MM&P- and MIRAID-backed Harbor Maintenance Tax (HMT) short sea shipping legislation to the pending surface transportation bill is being led by Reps. Steve LaTourette of Ohio and Brian Higgins of New York. Along with a bipartisan group of 19 of their colleagues, the two sent a letter to the leading Senate and House negotiators on the transportation bill, asking that they include language that eliminates the discriminatory double taxation of domestic waterborne transportation, which would help encourage development of a short sea shipping industry. 

The disincentive created by the HMT has been partly responsible for the lack of short sea shipping, the group wrote, “and in turn, the lack of short sea shipping has resulted in the underutilization of our ports and waterways at a time when other parts of our country’s transportation infrastructure are over utilized. Left unaddressed, the HMT will continue to be a detriment to the efficient movement of goods throughout the country.”
MM&P and MIRAID will continue to work with LaTourette and Higgins in support of this initiative and the development of a short sea shipping industry.


On June 18, participants in the maritime grassroots campaign met with Georgia Congressman John Barrow, who represents the Port of Savannah. Barrow has consistently been a strong advocate for our industry and a fighter for American companies and American jobs. Representatives of MM&P and the Marine Engineers’ Beneficial Association participated in the meeting, which took place in Washington, D.C., and will be followed by meetings in Barrow’s Congressional district involving his local staff and maritime industry representatives who live or work in the district.

The meetings being held in Congressional districts throughout the country emphasize the economic impact and military and homeland security importance of the maritime industry, with emphasis on each member’s district and state. The goal is to bring home the message and provide each member with the information he or she needs to fight to protect American jobs and American-flag vessel operations. There are 21 Maritime Action Committees in place, many gearing up for meetings over the upcoming Congressional summer break.


Chuck Elles, the senior captain with Blue & Gold Fleet, was profiled in a recent issue of “Bay Crossings,” the magazine for San Francisco Bay Area commuters. Blue & Gold operates and maintains the San Francisco Bay Area ferries for WETA, the regional public agency that oversees Bay Area ferry routes.

Elles has worked at Blue & Gold for 32 years. He even met his wife onboard. One of the perks that comes with such a long history with the company is that he gets first dibs on the late afternoon/early evening Vallejo ferry shift. “I worked the morning shift for 10 years,” he says. “I enjoy sleeping in a little bit now.”

Of course, his long tenure at Blue & Gold comes with responsibilities as well as perks. Elles recently returned from a special trip to Seattle to bring the newly refurbished ferry INTINTOLI back to its Bay Area homeport. INTINTOLI had been fully restored in Seattle: refurbished engine, new deck, new carpet, new seats and even flat-screen TVs for the passengers. “It’s state-of-the-art,” Elles says. “It’s my new favorite boat.” One new feature on the refurbished ferry: a window design that Elles himself suggested.

When he isn’t in the wheelhouse, Elles told journalist Matt Larson, he doesn’t like to sit around. He runs marathons, skis and completes hundred-mile bike trips. But no matter what else he’s doing, after 32 years, he still looks forward to watching the sun go down from the wheelhouse. “Probably the favorite part of my day is watching the sun go down behind Mount Tam,” he said. “I’m just happy to be up there.”  



MM&P members aboard SEALAND MERCURY welcomed a group of high profile visitors last month while the vessel was docked in the port of Rotterdam in the Netherlands: members of the A. P. Moeller Maersk Board of Directors toured the vessel, talked with officers and crewmembers and posed for photos wearing SEALAND MERCURY t-shirts.

Members of the board split up into two groups to tour the ship. Each group spent 15 minutes on the bridge and 15 minutes in the engine room. SEALAND MERCURY Master Darren W. Collins addressed the members of the Maersk Board while they toured the ship’s bridge. In the engine room, Chief Engineer David Harms introduced his staff, identified all the equipment in the control room and spoke about the main engine, fuel efficiency and cost savings. The engine room visit ended with a look at the engine room from the upper platform. Collins offered the guests shirts and coffee mugs with the ship’s logo as souvenirs. Throughout the visit, members of the crew welcomed the guests, providing information and assistance on the gangway and with the elevators. Details of the visit were reported on the front page of a recent edition of MLL’s in-house newsletter “Quality Gram.”


The Great Lakes Maritime Academy is seeking a full-time master for the TRAINING SHIP STATE OF MICHIGAN. If you are interested, please send an e-mail to Rear Adm. Gerard “Jerry” Achenbach, USMS, Superintendent Great Lakes Maritime Academy,


The Offshore Familiarization Course, formerly called the D-Book Membership Course, will be held at regular intervals throughout 2012.

The schedule is as follows (but please note that course dates may change depending on the number of participants who sign up): Sept. 7-8 at MM&P Headquarters; Oct. 9-10 in New Jersey; Oct. 10-11 in Los Angeles; Nov. 7-8 in Houston. The Offshore Familiarization Course, May 30-31 in Charleston is postponed and will be rescheduled (depending on continued interest) for a later date.

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 urged to attend.

If you want to attend the course, please RSVP to the local hiring hall where the class is offered or, in the case of a course planned for headquarters, to MM&P Membership Secretary Mary Seidman:


Given the number of required company training courses, it is extremely important for new members to request a transcript review to determine whether they meet the course equivalency requirements.

The courses that are eligible for equivalency are listed in the MITAGS Trust Student Guide located on in the MM&P Member Section. You may also request a copy from Diane Ford ( or call 443-989-3238). Remember, the dispatcher in the union hall cannot assign you a job unless you meet the company’s training requirements!

Did you know that you can view your course history on Just go to the “Members Only” section and click the “Course History” tab. You can print the course list yourself. 


Try our on-line interactive calendar to register for class:

Between now and the end of September, the following courses are scheduled at MITAGS.  For class availability or info on MITAGS courses and programs, contact Kelly Michielli, Admissions Coordinator, toll-free at 866-656-5568 or Email:

AB – Able Bodied Seaman: 8/20

ARPA – Automated Radar Plotting Aids: 8/7, 9/25

BRM – Bridge Resource Management: 8/27

BRMP – Bridge Resource Management for Pilots:  8/23

BST – Basic Safety Training: 8/13

[CMM – Chief Mate and Master Courses]

CMM-ADVWX – Advanced Meteorology: 9/10

CMM-ADVNAV – Advanced Navigation (=ECDIS & VPEN): 7/23

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

CMM-MPP – Marine Propulsion Plants: 8/20

CMM-SHMGT – Ship Management (2 weeks): 8/6, 9/17

CMM-SHS-ADV-I – Advanced Shiphandling (week 1): 7/16, 7/30, 9/10, 9/4

CMM-SHS-ADV-I I – Advanced Shiphandling (week 2): 7/9, 8/6, 9/17

CMM-WKP – Advanced Watchkeeping: 8/27

CONSTAB – Ship Construction and Basic Stability: 8/6

CONT PLNG – Contingency Planning: 7/19

ECDIS-ENAV (2 DAY) for Pilots: 8/13

ENVIRO-Regs Permit – Environmental Regulations Permit: 8/28

FF-BADV – Combined Basic and Advanced Fire Fighting: 8/13

FSM – Fatigue, Sleep and Medications for Pilots: 7/25

GMDSS – Global Maritime Distress Safety Signal: 8/20

HAZ – Hazardous Materials (5 day): 8/20

LAP – License Advancement Program for Chief Mate & Master: 9/17

LEG – Legal Aspects of Pilotage: 8/16

MCL – Management, Communication & Leadership: 8/20

MEDIA RSP – Media Response Workshop: 7/20

MED-PIC – Medical Person In Charge: 9/17

MED-PIC -R– Medical Person In Charge Refresher: 7/30

MED-PRO – Medical Care Provider: 9/17

MED-DOT-DA – Dept. of Transportation Drug & Alcohol Testing: 9/22

MSC -SMA – Military Sealift Command Small Arms Qualification: 8/6

MSC-DC – Military Sealift Command Damage Control (4 Evenings): 8/6

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

ROR-1 – Radar Observer Renewal Evening Classes: 6/27, 7/11, 7/25, 8/1, 8/15, 8/29, 9/14

ROR-1 – Radar Observer Renewal: 8/6, 9/24

ROP-5 – Radar Observer Original and Renewal: 7/30

SEC-VCF – Security Officer, Vessel, Company & Facility: 7/16

SHS-BAS – Basic Shiphandling: 8/13

SHS-ESH-BRMP3 – Emergency Shiphandling and Bridge Resource Management for Pilots: 8/15

SHS-EMR5 – Emergency Shiphandling: 8/20

TC/NAV – Terrestrial & Costal Navigation and Compasses: 9/19

TPIC-DL – Tankerman Person In Charge Dangerous Liquids: 8/27

TRAC-TUG-2 for Pilots:  Tractor Tug (2 day) 7/23

WX-BAS – Basic Meteorology: 9/17

… 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.


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

July 2012

6th         Flashing Light
9-13       Radar Observer Unlimited
9-20       GMDSS
9-27       Terrestrial & Coastal Navigation w/ Compasses
16th       Radar Renewal
16-20     Marine Pilot Exam Prep Course
23-27     Bridge Resource Management w/ Simulation
23-27     Able Bodied Seaman
30-1       Emergency Procedures
30-2       ARPA
30-10     GMDSS

August 2012

6-17       Celestial Navigation
13-17     Marine Pilot Exam Prep Course
20-24     Radar Observer Unlimited
20-24     Medical Care Provider
20-31     Medical Person-In-Charge
27th       Radar Renewal
27th       Flashing Light
28-31     ARPA

September 2012

4-7          Basic Cargo Handling and Stowage
5-6          Vessel Security Officer
10-14     Radar Observer Unlimited
10-14     Bridge Resource Management w/ Simulation
10-21     Celestial Navigation
17-21     Basic Construction and Stability
17-28     GMDSS
24-27     ARPA
24-28     Able Bodied Seaman
24-28     Medical Care Provider

MM&P MARKET WATCH AS OF 6-26-2012 at 1:30 p.m.

D O W N A S D A Q S & P 500
12,524.95 2,849.00 1,319.28
Fund Name & Trading Symbol
 Vanguard Asset Allocation Fund (VAARX)
 Vanguard 500 Index Fund (VFINX)
 Vanguard Extended Market Index Fund (VEXMX)
 Vanguard International Growth Fund (VWIGX)
 Vanguard Morgan Growth Fund (VMRGX)
 Vanguard Windsor II Fund (VWNFX)
 Vanguard GNMA Fund (VFIIX)
 Vanguard Growth Index Fund (VIGRX)
 Vanguard High Yield Corporate (VWEHX)
 Vanguard LifeStrategy Conservative Growth (VSCGX)
 Vanguard LifeStrategy Growth Fund (VASGX)
 Vanguard LifeStrategy Income Fund (VASIX)
 Vanguard LifeStrategy Moderate Growth (VSMGX)
 Vanguard Target Retirement 2005 (VTOVX)
 Vanguard Target Retirement 2015 (VTXVX)
 Vanguard Target Retirement 2025 (VTTVX)
 Vanguard Target Retirement 2035 (VTTHX)
 Vanguard Target Retirement 2045 (VTIVX)
 Vanguard Total Bond Index (VBMFX)
 Vanguard Total Stock Market Index Fund (VTSMX)
 Chase Growth Fund (CHASX)
 Fidelity Asset Manager (FASMX)
 Fidelity Growth and Income (FGRIX)
 Fidelity Intermediate bond Fund (FTHRX)
 Fidelity Magellan Fund (FMAGX)
 Fidelity Value Fund (FDVLX)
 Fidelity Equity-Income II Fund (FEQTX)
Fidelity Blue Chip Growth Fund (FBGRX)
 Fidelity Diversified International Fund (FDIVX)
 Fidelity Dividend Growth Fund (FDGFX)
 Fidelity Freedom Income (FFFAX)
 Fidelity Freedom 2000 (FFFBX)
 Fidelity Freedom 2010 (FFFCX)
 Fidelity Freedom 2020 (FFFDX)
 Fidelity Freedom 2030 (FFFEX)
 Fidelity Freedom 2040 (FFFFX)
 Fidelity Freedom 2050 (FFFHX)
 Fidelity Total Bond Fund (FTBFX)
 Spartan Extended market Index Fund (FSEMX)
 Spartan US Equity Index Fund (FUSEX)
 Domini Social Equity Fund (DSEFX)

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.

© 2012, 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