Wheelhouse Weekly – June 7, 2016

Volume 21 . . . Number 23. . . June 7, 2016


In This Issue:

We Will Never Forget Their Bravery:



News for MM&P Members:

Other News:


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The officers and crew of MAERSK KENTUCKY rescued 11 dehydrated and hungry men from a disabled fishing boat on May 29. The containership diverted from a run to Singapore after receiving a VHF radio distress call from the fishing boat AL YASMEEN, approximately 6 nm away. The fishermen said their boat was taking on water and sinking.

“The vessel was quickly sighted and did appear to be down by the stern,” reported Master John J. O’Boyle. As the KENTUCKY maneuvered closer to observe the extent of the emergency, a dinghy was launched from the distressed boat and the five men inside being paddling toward the containership.

By this time KENTUCKY was stopped and maintaining a position upwind of the fishing vessel.

When it was determined that the fishermen were not armed or threatening, they were allowed to board via the pilot ladder. Three more fishermen then jumped into the water and began swimming toward KENTUCKY. They also boarded via the pilot ladder.

As KENTUCKY continued to drift down on the stricken vessel, it became apparent that AL YASMEEN was indeed taking on water. The remaining three fishermen boarded via the pilot ladder as the vessel lay alongside.

“Once the crew was aboard, they were immediately searched and contained,” the master reported. They were found to be in relatively good health but were very dehydrated and hungry. They said they had been adrift for ten days after losing power, had run out of food six days before and had been without water for four days.

Aboard KENTUCKY, they enjoyed showers, food and gallons and gallons of water before disembarking in Colombo, Sri Lanka.

Also aboard KENTUCKY and assisting in the rescue were Chief Mate Brandt R. Hager, Second Mate Dylan E. Carrara and Third Mate James Grigg Wilson. The engineers aboard KENTUCKY are represented by the Marine Engineers’ Beneficial Association. The unlicensed crewmembers are represented by the Seafarers’ International Union.

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French shipping giant CMA CGM has announced an all-cash offer for the purchase of Neptune Orient Lines (NOL), the parent company of MM&P-contracted APL. The offer price is 1.30 Singapore dollars per share of NOL. Regulatory authorities in the European Union and China recently gave their approval to the proposed acquisition. NOL has recommended that its shareholders accept the offer. The deadline is July 4.

Family-owned CMA CGM is the world’s largest privately held container shipping group. It was founded by Jacques Saadé, who currently serves as the company’s chairman and chief executive officer.

CMA CGM already owns 10.5 percent of NOL and plans to take the company private when the deal goes through.

“In a particularly challenging international context in the shipping sector, our offer fully and fairly values NOL,” CMA CGM Vice Chairman Rodolphe Saadé was quoted as saying in an official release to the press.

“CMA CGM believes that the acquisition of NOL would enable CMA CGM to reinforce its position as a leader in the container shipping industry, with a capacity of approximately 2.35 million TEUs, a market share of approximately 11.7 percent, a fleet of approximately 540 vessels and a combined annual turnover of approximately US$21 billion,” the company said.

“Leveraging the complementary strengths of the two entities, the combined group’s customers will have access to an enlarged and well-balanced shipping coverage across the strategic trades of global commerce, and to an extended range of products and services. CMA CGM further believes that the combination of the two groups would also create scale to enhance competitiveness and deliver sustainable performance.”

“CMA CGM attaches significant importance to Singapore and the region for the deployment of its strategy in Asia,” the company added. “The combined entity would reinforce Singapore’s leadership in the maritime and shipping sector as the city-state seeks to increase maritime services and transportation volumes, including committing more volumes through Singapore.”

“CMA CGM will also contribute to reinforce Singapore as a center of excellence in the field of maritime activities as CMA CGM plans to use Singapore as a key hub in Asia. In this regard, CMA CGM plans to establish its regional head office in Singapore. This consolidation of CMA CGM’s longstanding presence in Asia in Singapore aims at providing efficient and quality services to customers in the region.”

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MM&P and the Inlandboatmen’s Union (IBU) today launched an outreach effort aimed at alerting Alaskans to the risks of a proposal to cut tanker escort costs in Prince William Sound by replacing Crowley Maritime Services and MM&P/IBU crews with an out-of-state contractor with a questionable environmental record.

MM&P’s United Inland Group represents the officers aboard the Crowley tugs that guide oil tankers through the pristine waters of Prince William Sound; the IBU represents the unlicensed crewmembers aboard the vessels.

The public outreach effort includes a TV and newspaper ad campaign, interviews in leading Alaska publications and an online petition drive. The objective is to educate the public about the risks inherent in Alyeska Pipeline Service Company’s plan to replace incumbent Crowley with Edison Chouest Offshore.

“It’s unprecedented for our unions to make a direct appeal to the public over a contract issue,” says MM&P President Don Marcus.

“But the threat to jobs and the environment in this case is equally unprecedented. We know that others in the region will want to join this fight.”

Alyeska, which is controlled by ExxonMobil, BP and ConocoPhillips, operates the Trans-Alaska Pipeline and the Valdez terminal.

Crowley has operated the escort tugboats and response vessels for the past 25 years. The company and its workers, who wear emblems sporting the moniker “Guardians of Prince William Sound,” have a decades-long record of keeping the pristine waters safe.

Louisiana-based Edison Chouest, on the other hand, is best known in Alaska for its involvement in the wreck of the Kulluk oil rig in 2012 off Kodiak Island. The company has said that if its bid is successful, it will replace the 250 Valdez-based Crowley workers who now crew the ships.

“Right now, in the town of Cut Off, La., workers are training to take these Alaska jobs,” says IBU President Alan Cote. “The Edison Chouest workers will continue to live in Louisiana and commute to Alaska and stay in man camps and then rotate home to the bayous. This will hurt Alaska’s economy and the town of Valdez in particular.”

“For years, Crowley has maintained the highest level of safety at a reasonable cost,” Marcus says. “We’re taking our message to the public because this is bad news for the Alaska economy and for the safety of Prince William Sound.”

Public officials in the communities surrounding Prince William have also voiced reservations about the proposal. Donna Schantz, executive director of the Prince William Sound Regional Citizens Advisory Council (RCAC), told Alaska Public Radio in March that far more than a contract is at stake. It’s about “a key oil-spill prevention and response measure for Prince William Sound,” she said, adding that Crowley plays a “very, very important role.”

The RCAC, set up after the 1989 Exxon Valdez disaster, monitors transportation issues and represents a large cross-section of Alaskans. It defines itself as “a voice for the people and groups with the most to lose from another catastrophic crude oil spill in Prince William Sound.”

Current and former Crowley employees are also speaking out. Robert Archibald, who lives in Homer and recently retired after 30 years at Crowley, of which 22 years were spent working on tugs in Valdez, said experience in Alaskan waters is critical to ensuring safety on the Sound.

“The oil industry is facing a tough period and belt-tightening is required, but you don’t want to eliminate institutional knowledge and do things on the cheap with a company that has a poor track record, and when the risks to the economy and the environment are so great,” he said. “This is a place where experience counts.”

“Thank God that the unions are giving voice to this fight,” added Carl Jones, who lives in Palmer and has worked as a chief engineer for Crowley for the past 15 years.

“This affects communities beyond those who work on the water. Our political leaders in Alaska talk a good game about jobs and the economy and yet here are good jobs that can and should be saved and they’ve remained silent. These jobs aren’t being lost; they’re being given away. Our leaders should be challenging Alyeska’s thinking. This decision is penny-wise and frankly damn foolish.”

Crowley’s contract to operate the tugs expires in June of next year. Alyeska has stated it will finalize its decision early this summer.

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MM&P member Sean Fitzgerald, on his way back from a voyage aboard USNS WATKINS, was interviewed by a scrum of journalists at Newark Airport Thursday after a bomb threat was called in. The British Airways flight was “sequestered” for several hours on a secure part of the tarmac while the plane and the baggage were re-screened.

Authorities said it all began with a phoned-in threat to the Jersey City Police Department as the planed landed around 1250.

“We really didn’t know anything until we were on the tarmac, that’s when the pilot got on the intercom and said there was a threat and they had to take some security measures,” Fitzgerald told the press.

The authorities diverted the plane away from the terminal once it had landed and instructed the pilot to taxi out to a remote part of the airport where it was searched and the passengers and their bags re-screened.

Reported one journalist: “A passenger from New Jersey, Sean Fitzgerald of the Port Monmouth section of Middletown, was coming home from a trip to the Indian Ocean, where he was working on a vessel as an officer in the Merchant Marine… He took the ordeal in stride, even after more than two solid days of traveling.”

“In my line of work we go through the same kind of stuff all the time,” Fitzgerald was quoted as saying.

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D-Day on June 6 commemorates the landing of 160,000 Allied troops on the beaches of Normandy, France, in 1944. Thousands of merchant mariners provided crucial support to the operation. Many lost their lives.

“D-day would not have been possible without the Merchant Marine,” wrote the editors of The New York Times in a tribute, “Merchant Seamen Are D-Day Heroes,” that was published the day after the landing.

“Now that the long-awaited day is history and great Allied forces have been landed in France, it is permitted to indicate the part played by these intrepid civilians, whose deeds for the most part have gone unsung.”

“It is not generally realized that the Merchant Marine has the largest ratio of casualties of any branch of the services,” The Times noted, “and many of the names on the list are not classified ‘wounded’ or ‘missing.’ They were those of the men whose grave is the sea.”

“Undaunted by the threat of air attacks, sea mines, surface fire, submarines or coastal batteries, they fulfilled their mission according to schedule and returned to Britain’s shores to start a shuttle service” that did not end until Germany’s unconditional surrender, The Times wrote.

On D-Day 2016, MM&P was proud to remember and honor the service of American mariners who throughout history have never hesitated to answer the nation’s call.

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Autonomous ships, operated from shore with no crew on board, will set sail before 2020, according to a panel that has been working to optimize the technologies involved for the marine environment. The news was reported by Nautilus, the publication of the British, Dutch and Swiss maritime officers’ union.

The implications from the perspectives of safety, labor, law and policy are huge, of course. But the issues are more straightforward on the technology side, according to members of a specialized panel, the Advanced Autonomous Waterborne Applications Initiative (AAWA).

The project involves academics, ship designers, equipment manufacturers and classification societies.

Their plan is to use a Finnish ferry to test technologies that include visual and thermal cameras, radar, LIDAR and sensor arrays in the context of drone ship operations.

According to interviews with members of the panel that were published in Nautilus, “constant real-time remote monitoring of vessels around the world will revolutionize shipping—opening it up to new players in the same way that Uber, Spotify and Airbnb have done in other industries.”

The group has developed a control system that can be operated via satellite with interactive smart screens, voice recognition, holograms and surveillance drones to monitor and control fleets of ships from a distance.

A spokesperson for Rolls-Royce Marine, a participant in the study, said the question is no longer “if,” but “when,” adding, “We will see a remote-controlled ship in commercial use by the end of the decade.”

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The Coast Guard has issued Change 2 to Navigation and Vessel Inspection Circular (NVIC) 04-08 entitled “Medical and Physical Evaluation Guidelines for Merchant Mariner Credentials.”

The major changes include guidelines for issuance of separate medical certificates (implementing recent changes to STCW); guidance for evaluation of applicants taking various medications; and guidance concerning the medical review process.

For details, go to

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The most recent edition of The Master, Mate & Pilot has been posted on In this issue:

— MM&P says good-bye to President Emeritus Tim Brown;

— MM&P Vice President George Quick honored by Marine Society of the City of New York;

— drop in number of U.S. ships threatens sealift capability, MM&P tells Congress;

— MM&P criticizes freight stakeholders’ “opinion piece” on two-watch system, saying “crew levels must match operational needs of ships”;

— interview with James Mixon, member of the MM&P Offshore Group.

Plus: why it matters who you vote for in the national elections in November. Your support is crucial in helping to elect candidates who support the American Merchant Marine.

MM&P members will soon receive the magazine in the mail. To view it online, go to and look under “Latest News” on the home page or click on “News” and then “MM&P Magazine.” Or, click here.

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MM&P Pacific Ports will be closed on Friday, June 10, for King Kamehameha Day.

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MM&P captains employed aboard tugs and small craft for Commander, Navy Installations Command (CNIC) play important roles in their local communities in the Northwest Region (NWR).

Recently CNIC NWR Tug Captain Jan Carlson stepped in to help when a huge humpback whale was found dead under a Navy dock in Bremerton, Wash.

Carlson, a member of the MM&P Federal Employees Membership Group (FEMG), towed the magnificent creature to its final resting place at a spot in the bottom of Puget Sound.

A concrete block hung from the bow of the tug was attached to the 40-foot whale to anchor it at the bottom to be feasted on by marine life.

“The circle of life,” says MM&P Government Fleet Representative Randi Ciszewski. “This is an example of another unusual service performed by MM&P captains aboard CNIC tugs and small craft employed by CNIC NWR.”

In the past few years, humpback whales have been returning in larger numbers to the Salish Sea, including Puget Sound. The resurgence of the whales mean strandings are more common. Researchers are not sure what killed the whale, a juvenile female. It had recently eaten and had no obvious injuries. They are hoping additional testing will provide answers.

Assisting in the investigation are the state Department of Fish and Wildlife, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the Navy and the Marine Science and Technology Center (MaST).

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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 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 – 8/22/16, 10/17/16

AIS-1 – Automatic Identifications Systems Orientation: 7/22/16

ARPA-OIC – Automated Radar Plotting Aids: 8/9/16, 9/27/16

AZIPOD 2-Day – 11/14/16

BRM-35 – Bridge Resource Management: 8/8/16, 10/31/16

BRMP –Bridge Resource Management for Pilots: 7/18/16, 11/14/16

BRMP-EMR –Bridge Resource Management for Pilots with Emergency Shiphandling: 04/19/16

BT – Basic Safety Training: 06/27/16, 8/15/16, 10/10/16

BT-Revalidation (2-day) – 8/22/16, 10/31/16

BT-Refresher (3-day) – 10/30/16

CHS-OIC – Cargo Handling Basic: 11/14/16

[CMM – Chief Mate and Master Courses]

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

ADVSTB-CMM – Advanced Stability: 06/20/16, 8/1/16, 10/17/16

ADVWX-CMM – Advanced Meteorology: 8/8/16, 11/7/16

CHS-CMM – Advanced Cargo Operations (2 weeks): 10/24/16

ECDIS – Electronic Chart Display Information System: 06/13/16, 7/25/16, 8/15/16, 9/12/16,10/10/16, 11/28/16, 12/19/16

LMS – Leadership and Managerial Skills (Management Level – Formerly MCL-CMM – 6/13/16,6/27/16, 7/11/16, 7/25/16, 8/1/16, 8/8/16, 8/15/16,8/22/16, 9/12/16, 10/3/16, 10/31/16,11/14/16,11/28/16, 12/5/16, 12/12/16, 12/19/16

MPP-CMM – Marine Propulsion Plants: 9/19/16

SEC-APPS – Practical Defense Tactics: 6/20/16, 8/1/16, 10/31/16

SHMGT-CMM- Ship Management (2 weeks): 10/3/16

SHS-ADV-I-CMM – Advanced Shiphandling (week 1): 06/13/16, 7/18/16, 8/15/16, 9/12/16,10/24/16, 11/7/16, 12/5/16

SHS-ADV-II-CMM – Advanced Shiphandling (week 2): 06/20/16, 7/25/16, 8/22/16, 9/19/16,10/31/16, 11/14/16, 12/12/16

**SHS-ADV-I & II now approved to include SAR-CMM assessments at MITAGS after August 1, 2016. Both weeks must be taken together in order to complete SAR-CMM**

VPEN-CMM – Voyage Planning & Electronic Navigation: 9/12/16

WKP-CMM – Advanced Watchkeeping: 9/26/16

CNAV-OIC – Celestial Navigation: 10/24/16

CONT PLNG – Contingency Planning Workshop: Contact Admissions

CRISIS-COMMS – Crisis Communications: 7/19/16

DDE – Great Lakes: Contact Admissions

DPA – Contact Admissions

ECDIS-OIC – Contact Admissions

ECDIS-Pilots – 7/20/16, 11/14/16

ERM – Engine Resource Management: 7/18/16, 8/22/16, 9/26/16, 10/24/16, 11/14/16, 11/28/16,12/5/16, 12/12/16, 12/19/16

FF-BADV – Fire Fighting Combined Basic & Advanced: 06/27/16, 8/15/16, 10/10/16

FF-ADV-REV – Advanced Fire Fighting Revalidation & Refresher: 11/2/16

FSM – Fatigue, Sleep, & Medications: 6/15/16, 9/20/16

GL Pilot – Great Lakes Pilotage Familiarization: Contact Admissions

GMDSS – Global Maritime Distress and Safety System: 8/22/16

HAZ – Hazardous Materials (5 day): 6/27/16, 8/29/16, 12/5/16

LAP- 9/19/16

LAP-Great Lakes – License Advancement Program – Great Lakes: Contact Admissions

LAP-ORG3rd – License Advancement Program for Original 3rd Mate, Oceans, Any Gross
Ton License: 8/8/16, 12/5/16

LEG – Legal Aspects of Pilotage: 7/19/16, 9/21/16, 11/15/16

LNG-TPIC – 12/5/16

LTS –Leadership and Teamworking Skills (Formerly MCL-OIC): 7/12/16, 9/26/16, 10/26/16*, 11/14/16*, 12/19/16* (*Evening Session)

MEECE – Management of Electrical and Electronic Control: 7/11/16, 8/29/16, 9/19/16, 10/17/16, 11/7/16, 11/28/16, 12/5/16, 12/12/16, 12/19/16

MED-PIC – Medical Person in Charge: 7/11/16, 11/7/16, 12/12/16

MED-PIC-REF– Medical Person in Charge Refresher: 8/29/16, 10/3/16

MED-PRO – Medical Care Provider: 11/7/16, 11/28/16, 12/12/16

MED-DOT-DA – Dept. of Transportation Drug & Alcohol Testing: 8/28/16, 11/12/16, 12/17/16

MSA –Maritime Security Awareness: Contact Admissions

[MSC – Military Sealift Command Courses]

MSC-CBRD-1 – Military Sealift Command Chemical, Biological, Radiological Defense Orientation (Basic): 6/10/16, 8/10/16, 10/17/16

MSC-DC – Military Sealift Command Damage Control: 8/8/16, 10/18/16

*MSC-ENVPRO – 8/7/16, 10/16/16

*MSC-FF-HELO – 8/22/16, 10/31/16

MSC-SMA – Military Sealift Command Small Arms Qualification: 6/13/16, 7/18/16, 8/14/16, 10/23/16

*MSC-Security Watch Basic – 6/11/16, 8/11/16, 10/20/16

*MSC-Security Watch Advanced – 6/17/16, 7/22/16, 8/13/16, 10/22/16

*MSC-Ship’s Reaction Force – 6/18/16, 7/25/16, 8/18/16, 10/27/16

NSAP-MMP – Navigational Skills Assessment Program-MM&P – 7/26/16, 10/25/16

ROR-1 – Radar Observer Renewal: 8/8/16, 9/26/16

ROR-1N – Radar Observer Renewal Evening Classes: 06/22/16, 7/13/16, 7/27/16, 8/10/16, 8/24/16, 9/21/16, 10/5/16, 10/19/16, 11/2/16, 11/9/16, 11/16/16, 11/30/16, 12/7/16, 12/14/16

ROU-OIC – Radar Observer Program – Unlimited: 8/1/16

SAR-OIC – Search & Rescue – 11/7/16

SHS-BAS-OIC – Basic Shiphandling: 06/27/16, 8/29/16, 10/17/16

SHS-EMR5 – Emergency Shiphandling-5 Day: 8/1/16, 10/3/16, 11/28/16

SMS – Contact Admissions

STB-OIC – Ship Construction and Basic Stability: 8/8/16

TCNAV/CO – Terrestrial Navigation and Compasses: 7/11/16

TPIC – Tankerman Person in Charge: 8/8/16

TRAC-TUG-2: Contact Admissions

TTT – Contact Admissions

VPDSD – Vessel Personnel with Designated Security Duties: Contact Admissions

VSO – Vessel Security Officer: 7/13/16, 9/7/16, 10/22/16

WKP-OIC – Watchkeeping (Operational Level): 10/3/16

WX-OIC –Meteorology (Operational Level): 9/19/16

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Please also see our schedule and enroll online at For registration contact our registrar, Mary McGhee: 206.838.1126 or

June 2016

13th Radar Renewal
13-24 License Preparation
13-24 GMDSS
13-1 Terrestrial & Coastal Navigation w/ Compasses
15-17 Bridge Resource Management and Emergency Shiphandling for Pilots
20-24 MEECE
20-24 Train the Trainer
27-1 Leadership & Managerial Skills

July 2016

5th Flashing Light
6-8 Security Officer – Vessel, Company & Facility
11-15 Radar Observer Unlimited
11-15 Leadership & Managerial Skills
11-15 Engine Resource Management
11-22 GMDSS
18th Leadership & Teamworking Skills
18-22 ECDIS
25th Radar Renewal
25-29 Leadership & Managerial Skills
25-29 Engine Resource Management
25-29 MEECE
26-29 ARPA

August 2016

1-5 Leadership & Managerial Skills
1-5 Bridge Resource Management
8-12 Basic Meteorology
8-12 Engine Resource Management
15th Radar Renewal
15-19 Leadership & Managerial Skills
22-26 ECDIS
22-26 MEECE
22-2 GMDSS
29-2 Leadership & Managerial Skills

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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 © 2016. 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