Wheelhouse Weekly – June 6, 2017

Volume 22…Number 23…June 6, 2017


In This Issue:



Mark Your Calendar:


Never miss an issue!
Click here to subscribe to the Wheelhouse Weekly mailing list.
Did you miss a week?
Back editions of the Wheelhouse Weekly are available in the archives section.


Today is D-Day, June 6, which commemorates the landing of 160,000 Allied troops on the beaches of Normandy, France, in 1944.

The Normandy landing was enabled by the support of over 5,000 vessels and 13,000 aircraft.

More than 4,000 Allied soldiers perished and about 6,000 more were wounded during the attack.

Over 100,000 troops were able to take and hold the beach. By the end of June, hundreds of thousands more followed, undertaking the long journey across Europe to put an end to the war.

D-Day would not have been possible without the Merchant Marine.

For weeks before D-Day, hundreds of merchant ships which had been diverted from their regular runs for the invasion traveled the waters near the British Isles.

They were kept outside ports so the enemy would not be tipped off by a great ship concentration.

At the prearranged time they rendezvoused, picked up their cargo of men and supplies, and sailed for France.

Today, when we remember the heroes of D-Day, let’s salute the merchant mariners who played a critical role in the largest seaborne invasion in history, one which marked the turning point in World War II.

Back to Stories Covered


The maritime unions and U.S.-flag shipping companies are working to secure funding for the programs that enable the American Merchant Marine to carry out its essential role in our nation’s defense, homeland security and economic life.

As previously reported, President Trump’s budget recommended a $210 million Fiscal Year 2018 funding level for the Maritime Security Program (MSP), $90 million less than the level authorized by Congress.

In addition, the budget calls for the elimination of the Title II PL-480 Food for Peace program, which provides an important source of cargo for U.S.-flag ships.

The budget also advocates $10 million in cuts to the Export Import Bank and would cancel $165 million of the bank’s Tied Aid Fund, which provides financing for public sector capital projects in developing countries.

A significant portion of the cargo financed by the Export Import Bank is transported aboard U.S.-flag ships.

The administration’s budget request is considered the president’s “wish list,” in that budget authority resides with the U.S. Congress.

Many members of Congress have greeted President Trump’s budget proposal with skepticism.

“My reaction is that it’s probably dead on arrival,” said Arizona Republican John McCain in a May 23 interview with NBC News.

“It does not rebuild the military. It does not give us the ships and the numbers of personnel we need or the capabilities we need.”

“We are facing challenges we have not seen since the Cold War and this budget is totally inadequate.”

MM&P is working with the rest of the U.S.-flag fleet and members of Congress who recognize the importance of our industry to secure full funding for MSP and other key maritime programs.

Back to Stories Covered


MAERSK has decided to swap out two vessels in the Maritime Security Program (MSP) fleet, replacing them with two newer vessels.

The MAERSK SENTOSA has been flagged in to the U.S. fleet to replace the MAERSK WISCONSIN.

The MAERSK CALIFORNIA will be redeployed to the company’s international fleet.

It is being replaced by the MAERSK SELETAR.

The newer 6500 TEU vessels were both built in 2007. They will be phased in during the month of July.

Back to Stories Covered


Despite three suspicious deaths in a five-week period in 2012 aboard a Panama-flagged coal carrier, the government of Australia has refused to revisit a rule that allows flag-of-convenience (FOC) ships sailing on “temporary licenses” unfettered access to the country’s coastal trades.

Australian labor unions and their supporters in Parliament have expressed disbelief at the government’s recent announcement that it has no intention of tightening restrictions on the FOC ships that dock at the country’s ports and sail off its coasts.

Among the proposals that were shot down was one that would have required FOC ships in Australia’s coastal trades to pay a wage commensurate with what the few remaining Australian seafarers earn.

The situation is all the more disturbing in light of an Australian coroner’s finding in late May that the deaths of three men aboard a Panama-flagged coal carrier sailing off the country’s coast in 2012 were the result of foul play.

The three lost their lives aboard the SAGE SAGITTARIUS, which unions and journalists have dubbed “the Death Ship.”

The victims were the chief cook, who disappeared–probably overboard–in August, the chief engineer, who fell to his death while the ship was docking at the Port of Newcastle two weeks later, and a third member of the crew who was discovered dead several weeks after that while the vessel was moored in Japan.

New South Wales State Deputy Coroner Sharon Freund determined that all three “likely met with foul play at the hands of other, unidentified people on board.”

The engineer, for example, had sustained a serious head injury even before he plummeted to his death 40 feet down an engineering shaft.

Freund said the initial injury was “consistent with someone hitting him forcefully over the head.”

A further indication of foul play, she said, was that nearly 11 hours of audio were missing from a voyage data recording from the period in which the cook disappeared.

Freund said her investigation had “highlighted the fact there are very significant practical impediments created by a disappearance or death on board a foreign-flagged vessel” and recommended that Australian police, maritime and transport agencies form a permanent group to help investigate any deaths or disappearances from international ships bound for Australia.

“What we have seen is that the worst possible outcome has occurred by allowing flag-of-convenience ships to operate in our waters without proper regulation from the federal government,” said one member of Australia’s parliament, Glenn Sterle.

Last month, the committee he chairs made nine recommendations aimed at encouraging the government to “fully analyze the security risks flag-of-convenience ships pose.”

The government rejected all nine recommendations.

“The coroner’s report… should ring alarm bells,” Sterle said. “This government is putting at risk the lives of seafarers as well as our national security.”

International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF) Australian Coordinator Dean Summers said the coroner’s findings had “highlighted the lawlessness on Australia’s coast brought by the flag-of-convenience system.”

Besides tightening regulations on FOC ships, unions and their advocates in parliament have urged the government to take measures to promote Australia’s own shipping industry, for example, by subjecting FOC ships on permanent coastal freight routes to extra scrutiny if they fail to pay a living wage to their crews.

These suggestions were also rejected by the government, which released a statement saying that their implementation “would do little to halt the decline of Australia’s maritime industry.”

The government “has openly admitted that it does not care one iota about the future of Australian shipping,” Sterle said.

“It has also given the green light to the world’s worst practices on board flag-of-convenience vessels which involve the atrocious treatment of some of the most vulnerable and exploited workers on the planet.”

He noted that FOC operators can also dodge taxes and avoid responsibility for environmental and other crimes.

“Flag of convenience shipping represents a serious threat to Australia’s national security, environment and fuel security, as well as to the lives and welfare of international seafarers,” he said.

“It should not become the new normal for vessels running around our coast.”

Back to Stories Covered


The U.S. has issued an advisory for vessels transiting the Gulf of Guinea regarding the threat of piracy, armed robbery and kidnapping for ransom.

Pirates/armed groups using automatic weapons continue to carry out attacks on vessels.

Hijackings of tankers for cargo theft (refined petroleum products), ship’s property, robbery of crew and kidnappings for ransom are the most common threats.

U.S.-flag operators with ships operating in or through the Gulf of Guinea Voluntary Reporting Area should transit with extreme caution and vigilance.

The majority of kidnappings occur around the Niger Delta. Pirates have used motherships to support operations up to 150 nautical miles offshore.

The U.S. says armed groups generally kidnap two to six “high-value” crewmembers, to include the master, chief engineer and any “Westerners.”

For questions about this advisory, contact the MARAD Office of Maritime Security at:

Back to Stories Covered


United Seamen’s Service (USS), the non-profit organization that has provided a home away from home for mariners for 75 years, has embarked on a campaign aimed at funding much-needed capital improvements to its centers and maintaining the programs that serve the needs of American and international seafarers.

“Many of us have fond memories of particular USS centers and friendly staffers who helped make a stay in port pleasant and enjoyable,” says USS Executive Director Roger Korner.

“Now your help is needed to ensure that USS can continue to provide essential services to the mariners of today and tomorrow.”

“As we are all aware,” Korner says, “our industry has changed tremendously and time in port and ashore is limited or nonexistent.”

“The changes have greatly affected mariners’ well-being and the centers’ ability to serve them,” he adds.

“We need everyone’s help to keep the following centers open and fully functional: USS Bremerhaven, USS Casablanca, USS Diego Garcia, USS Okinawa, USS Busan and USS Yokohama.”

“Donations of any size are gratefully accepted in our drive to raise $500,000 for our capital campaign.”

Please go to or to make a donation by credit card or Paypal.

All donations are tax deductible as approved by law under section 501 (c) (3) of the Internal Revenue Code.

All donated funds will go directly to supporting mariners and members of the U.S. military who rely on USS centers.

Back to Stories Covered


The MM&P Offshore Familiarization course will be held in the Los Angeles/Long Beach Hall onJune 14 and 15.

Please call Los Angeles Dispatcher Wendy Karnes to save your space: 310-834-7201 or

The hall is located at 533 N. Marine Ave., Suite A, Wilmington, CA 90744-5527.

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.

Back to Stories Covered


West Coast and Hawaii Ports will be closed on Monday, June 12 in observance of a Matson contract holiday.

Back to Stories Covered


The MM&P Houston Hall will be closed on Monday, June 19 for Emancipation Day in Texas, an ILA holiday.

Back to Stories Covered


There are several potential full/part-time positions that could open up in the coming months at MITAGS-PMI West (PMI). All of these positions would require the individual to live in the Seattle area. Full job descriptions are being developed. Please forward information on any potential candidates to Jane Sibiski, Human Resources Manager, at

Fremont Fire School – Marine Safety Instructor:
The ideal person would have a management level license and extensive experience in fire-fighting, damage control, hazards materials, medical first responder (EMT, etc.), and safety management systems, as well as be physically fit due to a lot of strenuous activities at the fire-field.

Navigation Instructor:
Master with extensive experience in the tug / barge and deep-sea (more tug / barge than deep-sea since that is the primary student base in Seattle). The instructor would primarily focus on the AB to MATE suite of courses.

NSAP Administrator:
Primarily an administrative position, plus oversight of the NSAP development team. Recent master’s experience encouraged.

Back to Stories Covered


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 Merchant Mariner Credential (MMC) processing, MMC problem resolution advice, STCW compliance and VA GI-Bill questions, contact MITAGS Student Services Coordinator Victor Tufts toll free at (877)725-1194 or by e-mail: Please include your Mariner Reference Number, date of birth and the last four digits of your social security number in all emails.

For class availability or information on MITAGS courses and programs, contact Amanda Meadows, 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 – 8/21/17, 10/16/17

AIS-1 – Automatic Identifications Systems Orientation: Contact Admissions

ARPA-OIC – Automated Radar Plotting Aids: 8/8/17, 9/26/17, 1/16/18

AZIPOD 2-Day – 10/16/17

BRM-35 – Bridge Resource Management: 6/19/17, 9/25/17, 11/13/17, 2/26/18

BRMP –Bridge Resource Management for Pilots: 7/20/17, 11/14/17, 1/16/18, 2/22/18, 3/29/18

BRMP-EMR –Bridge Resource Management for Pilots with Emergency Shiphandling: Contact Admissions

BRMP-Refresher – 7/17/17, 9/12/17, 10/18/17

BT – Basic Safety Training: 8/14/17, 10/9/17, 1/15/18

BT-Revalidation (2-day) – 6/20/17, 8/21/17, 9/26/17, 11/8/17, 12/12/17

BT-Refresher (3-day) – 6/19/17, 8/20/17, 9/25/17, 11/8/17, 12/11/17

CHS-OIC – Cargo Handling Basic: 10/30/17

[CMM – Chief Mate and Master Courses]

ADVNAV-CMM – Advanced Navigation (=ECDIS & VPEN): Contact Admissions

ADVSTB-CMM – Advanced Stability: 6/12/17, 7/31/17, 10/2/17, 12/11/17, 1/29/18

ADVWX-CMM – Advanced Meteorology: 8/7/17, 9/25/17, 12/4/17, 1/22/18, 3/12/18

CHS-CMM – Advanced Cargo Operations (2 weeks): 10/9/17

ECDIS – Electronic Chart Display Information System: 6/26/17, 8/14/17, 9/18/17, 1/15/18,3/26/18

LMS – Leadership and Managerial Skills (Management Level – Formerly MCL-CMM) 6/19/17,8/21/17, 9/11/17, 1/8/18, 2/19/18

MPP-CMM – Marine Propulsion Plants: 11/27/17, 3/5/18

SEC-APPS – Practical Defense Tactics: 7/31/17, 11/6/17

SHMGT-CMM- Ship Management (2 weeks): 10/30/17

SHS-ADV-I-CMM – Advanced Shiphandling (week 1): 7/17/17, 7/31/17, 8/14/17, 9/11/17, 10/2/17,10/30/17, 12/4/17, 1/15/18, 2/5/18, 3/5/18, 3/19/18

SHS-ADV-II-CMM – Advanced Shiphandling (week 2): 6/12/17, 7/24/17, 8/7/17, 8/21/17, 9/18/17,10/9/17, 11/6/17, 12/11/17, 1/22/18, 2/12/18, 3/12/18, 3/26/18

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

VPEN-CMM – Voyage Planning & Electronic Navigation: 10/23/17, 3/19/18

WKP-CMM – Advanced Watchkeeping: 11/13/17

CNAV-OIC – Celestial Navigation: 11/6/17

CONT PLNG – Contingency Planning Workshop: Contact Admissions

CRISIS-COMMS – Crisis Communications: 2/19/18

CRSMGT – Crisis Management and Human Behavior – 7/11/17

CDMGT – Crowd Management – 7/10/17

CSE – Confined Space Entry: 7/26/17, 1/15/18

DDE – Great Lakes: 1/22/18

DPA – Contact Admissions

ECDIS-OIC – Contact Admissions

ECDIS for Pilots – 11/14/17, 2/20/18

ERM – Engine Resource Management: 7/10/17, 8/28/17, 10/16/17, 12/4/17

FF-BADV – Fire Fighting Combined Basic & Advanced: 8/14/17, 10/9/17, 1/15/18

FF-ADV-REV – Advanced Fire Fighting Revalidation & Refresher: 6/22/17, 8/23/17, 9/28/17, 11/6/17, 12/14/17

FSM – Fatigue, Sleep, & Medications: 9/12/17

GL-Pilot – Great Lakes Pilotage Familiarization: 1/19/18

GMDSS – Global Maritime Distress and Safety System: 8/21/17, 3/5/18

HAZ – Hazardous Materials (5 day): 6/26/17, 8/28/17, 11/27/17

LAP- 9/11/17, 2/26/18

LAP-Great Lakes – License Advancement Program – Great Lakes: 1/22/18

LAP-ORG3rd – License Advancement Program for Original 3rd Mate, Oceans, Any Gross
Ton License: 12/4/17

LEG – Legal Aspects of Pilotage: 9/13/17

LNG-TPIC – 12/4/17

LTS –Leadership and Teamworking Skills (Formerly MCL-OIC): 8/15/17, 9/25/17 (*2-Evening Session)

MEECE – Management of Electrical and Electronic Control: 7/17/17, 8/14/17, 10/23/17, 12/11/17

MED-PIC – Medical Person in Charge: 7/10/17, 9/11/17, 10/23/17, 1/22/18, 3/19/18

MED-PIC-REF– Medical Person in Charge Refresher: 6/26/17, 8/28/17, 11/13/17, 12/4/17, 1/8/18

MED-PRO – Medical Care Provider: 9/11/17, 10/23/17, 11/27/17, 1/22/18, 3/19/18

MED-DOT-DA – Dept. of Transportation Drug & Alcohol Testing: 6/12/17 (Evening), 6/24/17, 7/16/17, 8/9/17 (Evening), 8/25/17, 9/30/17, 10/28/17, 12/16/17, 1/13/18, 1/27/18, 3/5/18

MSA –Maritime Security Awareness: Contact Admissions

[MSC – Military Sealift Command Courses]

MSC-CBRD-1 – Military Sealift Command Chemical, Biological, Radiological Defense Orientation (Basic): 6/9/17, 8/9/17, 10/2/17, 2/23/18

MSC-DC – Military Sealift Command Damage Control: 8/7/17, 10/3/17, 2/21/18

*MSC-ENVPRO – 8/6/17, 10/1/17

*MSC-FF-HELO – 8/13/17, 10/16/17

MSC-SMA – Military Sealift Command Small Arms Qualification: 6/12/17, 7/17/17, 8/13/17, 10/9/17, 1/8/18, 2/26/18

*MSC-Security Watch Basic – 6/10/17, 8/10/17, 10/5/17, 2/24/18

*MSC-Security Watch Advanced – 6/16/17, 7/21/17, 8/12/17, 10/7/17, 1/12/18, 3/2/18

*MSC-Ship’s Reaction Force – 6/17/17, 7/24/17, 8/18/17, 10/13/17, 1/13/18, 3/3/18

NSAP-MMP – Navigational Skills Assessment Program-MM&P – 6/19/17, 7/31/17, 8/14/17, 10/2/17, 1/22/18, 1/24/18

ROR-1 – Radar Observer Renewal: 8/17/17, 9/25/17, 1/15/18

ROR-1N – Radar Observer Renewal Evening Classes: 6/21/17, 7/12/17, 7/26/17, 8/9/17, 8/23/17, 9/20/17, 10/4/17, 10/18/17, 11/1/17, 11/8/17, 11/15/17, 11/29/17, 12/6/17, 12/13/17, 1/10/18, 1/31/18, 2/7/18, 2/21/18, 3/7/18, 3/21/18

ROU-OIC – Radar Observer Program – Unlimited: 7/31/17, 11/27/18, 1/8/18

SAR-OIC – Search & Rescue – 10/16/17

SHS-BAS-OIC – Basic Shiphandling: 8/28/17, 10/23/17, 1/29/18

SHS-EMR5 – Emergency Shiphandling-5 Day – 6/26/17, 8/7/17, 9/25/17, 11/27/17, 2/19/18

SMS – Contact Admissions

STB-OIC – Ship Construction and Basic Stability: 8/7/17, 1/22/18

TCNAV/CO – Terrestrial Navigation and Compasses: 7/10/17, 1/29/18

TPIC – Tankerman Person in Charge: 8/7/17, 2/12/18

TRAC-TUG-2: 6/29/18

TTT – Contact Admissions

VPDSD – Vessel Personnel with Designated Security Duties: Contact Admissions

VSO – Vessel Security Officer: 7/13/17, 9/6/17, 2/14/18

WKP-OIC – Watchkeeping (Operational Level): 10/2/17, 2/19/18

WX-OIC –Meteorology (Operational Level): 9/11/17, 3/19/18

Back to Stories Covered


Spring 2017

For registration, please contact our registrar, Mary McGhee, at 206.838.1126 or You can also view our schedule and enroll online at

June 2017

10-12 Basic Training Refresher
12-16 Basic Training
12-16 Cargo Handling and Stowage – Operational Level
19th Vessel Personnel w/ Designated Security Duties
20th Radar Renewal
19-22 Advanced Firefighting
19-23 Advanced Watchkeeping
19-23 Leadership & Managerial Skills
24-26 Basic Training Refresher
26-30 Engine Resource Management
27-29 Integrated Electronic Navigation

July 2017

7th Radar Renewal
8-9 Basic Training – Revalidation
8-10 Basic Training – Refresher
10-14 Basic Training
10-21 License Preparation (Mate 500 – 3rd Mate Unlimited)
17th Vessel Personnel w/ Designated Security Duties (VPDSD)
17th HAZWOPER Refresher
17-20 Advanced Firefighting
17-21 ECDIS
17-21 Train the Trainer
22-23 Basic Training – Revalidation
22-24 Basic Training – Refresher
24-26 24-Hour HAZWOPER
25-27 Integrated Electronic Navigation
31-18 Terrestrial & Coastal Navigation
31-11 GMDSS

August 2017

2-4 24-Hour HAZWOPER
5-6 Basic Training – Revalidation
5-7 Basic Training – Refresher
7-11 Basic Training
8th Radar Renewal
14th Vessel Personnel w/ Designated Security Duties (VPDSD)
14-17 Advanced Firefighting
14-18 Leadership & Managerial Skills
19-20 Basic Training – Revalidation
19-21 Basic Training – Refresher
21-25 Radar Observer Unlimited
21-25 Tankship Dangerous Liquids
21-25 Engine Resource Management
23-25 Security – Vessel, Company, & Facility
28-30 Search & Rescue
29-31 Integrated Electronic Navigation

September 2017

5-9 ARPA
6th HAZWOPER Refrehser
8th Vessel Personnel w/ Designated Security Duties (VPDSD)
9-10 Basic Training – Revalidation
9-11 Basic Training – Refresher
11-15 Basic Training
11-15 ECDIS
11-15 Cargo Handling & Stowage (Operational Level)
18-21 Advanced Firefighting
18-21 Medical Care Provider
18-29 Celestial Navigation
18-29 Medical Person-In-Charge
23rd Medical DOT
23-24 Basic Training – Revalidation
23-25 Basic Training – Refresher
23-6 GMDSS
25th Radar Renewal

October 2017

2-3 ECDIS for Pilots
2-6 Medical Care Provider
4th HAZWOPER Refresher
7-8 Basic Training – Revalidation
7-9 Basic Training – Refresher
9-13 Basic Training
9-13 Meteorology (Operational Level)
9-13 Engine Resource Management
10-12 Integrated Electronic Navigation
16th Vessel Personnel w/ Designated Security Duties (VPDSD)
16-17 ECDIS for Pilots
16-19 Advanced Firefighting
16-27 Watchkeeping (Operational Level)
21-22 Basic Training – Revalidation
21-23 Basic Training – Refresher
23rd Radar Renewal
23-27 Leadership & Managerial Skills
25-27 24-Hour HAZWOPER
30-10 GMDSS

November 2017

4-5 Basic Training – Revalidation
4-6 Basic Training – Refresher
6-10 Basic Training
6-10 ECDIS
9th HAZWOPER Refresher
13th Vessel Personnel w/ Designated Security Duties (VPDSD)
13-14 ECDIS for Pilots
13-16 Advanced Firefighting
13-17 Tankship Dangerous Liquids
17th Leadership & Teamworking Skills
17th Flashing Light Exam
18-19 Basic Training – Revalidation
18-20 Basic Training – Refresher
20th Radar Renewal
20-22 Security Officer – Vessel, Company, & Facility
27-29 24-Hour HAZWOPER
27-1 Radar Observer Unlimited
27-1 Basic Shiphandling

December 2017
2-3 Basic Training – Revalidation
2-4 Basic Training – Refresher
4th Flashing Light Exam
4-8 Basic Training
4-8 Leadership & Managerial Skills
4-8 Medical Care Provider
4-15 Medical Person-In-Charge
4-15 GMDSS
8th HAZWOPER Refresher
11th Radar Renewal
11th Vessel Personnel w/ Designated Security Duties (VPDSD)
11-15 Construction & Stability (Operational Level)
11-15 Engine Resource Management
16-17 Basic Training – Revalidation
16-18 Basic Training – Refresher
18-20 Search & Rescue
18-21 Advanced Firefighting
18-22 ECDIS
20-22 24-Hour HAZWOPER

Back to Stories Covered

The MM&P Wheelhouse Weekly is the official electronic newsletter of the International Organization of Masters, Mates, & Pilots, ILA, AFL-CIO, 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 © 2017. Articles can be reprinted without prior permission if credit is given to The MM&P WheelhouseWeekly. For subscriptions, address changes or messages to the editor or to MM&P headquarters, e-mail Back issues of The Weekly are posted on