News

Wheelhouse Weekly – March 06, 2012

March 6th 2012

 

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

Volume 16 . . . . . Number 10. . . . March 6, 2012

STORIES COVERED

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


U.S. NAVY AND MM&P-CREWED GREEN WAVE COMPLETE ANNUAL ANTARCTICA RESUPPLY

The U.S. Navy Military Sealift Command-chartered container ship GREEN WAVE departed McMurdo Station, Antarctica on Feb. 25 after delivering more than 6.8 million pounds of supplies in support of Operation Deep Freeze (ODF). ODF is the annual Joint Task Force Support for Antarctica mission to resupply the remote scientific outpost. During this single mission, MSC ships deliver 100 percent of the fuel and about 80 percent of the supplies that researchers and support personnel who live and work across Antarctica need to survive and work during a year.

Typically, the MSC ships off-load their cargo at a 500-foot ice pier that juts out from the Antarctic coast. This year’s mission was one of the more challenging because of unfavorable weather conditions that made the ice pier at McMurdo unusable for dry cargo operations. In lieu of the ice pier, GREEN WAVE carried a disassembled modular causeway system from the U.S. Army’s 331st Transportation Company. Once safely anchored at McMurdo Station, 41 Army personnel spent three days assembling the interlocking pieces of the causeway and powered modular warping tugs, which were craned off the ship individually and built into a floating dock capable of handling the ship’s load.

After the causeway was ready, 60 Navy Cargo Handling Battalion One personnel worked around the clock for eight days to off-load GREEN WAVE’s cargo, then load the ship with 391 pieces of cargo for transportation off the continent, including ice core samples that are being carried back to the United States in sub-zero freezer containers. GREEN WAVE is slated to arrive back at Port Hueneme, Calif. on March 26.


MARITIME EXECUTIVE SERIES PROFILES HORIZON RELIANCE CAPTAIN

A series of articles in the Maritime Executive newsletter provides in-depth coverage of the rescue of three Canadians in a sailboat last month by the officers and crew of HORIZON RELIANCE. Because of space limitations, the Maritime Executive series cannot be reprinted in The Wheelhouse Weekly. We refer interested readers to the Maritime Executive and to an upcoming article in the March-April issue of The Master, Mate & Pilot.


GROWTH IN GREAT LAKES SHIPPING ON HOLD PENDING DESPERATELY NEEDED DREDGING

Shipping on America’s Great Lakes is stable, with much room to grow. In the past three years, tonnages have continued to rise, with a notable increase in the commodities used in steel production. Of major concern, however, are the lack of infrastructure improvements, in particular harbor and waterway dredging.

These are among the conclusions of the annual Great Lakes Waterways Conference–“Recovery, Renewal & Reinvestment 2012—which was held during the last week of February in Cleveland. Speakers included: Maritime Administrator David Matsuda; Lake Carriers’ Association President Jim Weakley; International Longshoremen’s Association Great Lakes District Council President John Baker; and Bruce Bowie of the Canadian Shipping Association.

The Great Lakes and their connecting river systems are on a crisis path, according to data presented by Mike O’Brien of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. To maintain efficient shipping, normal silting of harbors and waterways must be addressed through regular dredging, but Congress refuses to allocate the required monies to support these projects. Inadequate dredging causes rivers and harbors to lose depth, which results in curtailment of tonnage capacity. This in turn makes it hard—and in some cases, impossible—to deliver needed cargo to particular ports. The effect is a downward pull on the productivity of business and ports throughout the Great Lakes region.

A measure now before Congress, HR 1533, could eliminate the dredging crisis and ensure the free flow of commerce on the Great Lakes well into the future.  The bill calls for funds in the Harbor Maintenance Trust Fund to be used for their intended purpose: harbor maintenance and dredging. Ohio Congressman Steve LaTourette explained to conference attendees that the funds in the trust account are being held hostage by Congress so that the dollar amount can be used as a balance sheet offset to make the budget deficit appear less than it is. While many members of Congress agree that the funds should be used for their intended purpose and have signed on in support of the bill, accomplishing anything in the current polarized political environment is nearly impossible, LaTourette said. He said he is hopeful that sentiment may change following the upcoming presidential election, allowing for progress to be made.


VIRGINIA CONGRESSMAN CALLS FOR RENEWED EMPHASIS ON MARITIME IN NATIONAL POLICY

Washington legislators should boost the maritime industry’s role in the domestic transportation system, says Virginia Congressman Rob Wittman. Among the priorities he says should be targeted for immediate action are shipbuilding, dredging and the establishment of a marine highway system along the East Coast of the United States.

The second term Virginia’s congressman told members of the Washington, D.C., Propeller Club at their February meeting that the dearth of shipbuilding is eroding the country’s knowledge base in an area that is critical to our national defense. “There’s nobody else who builds ships like we do in the U.S., but we’re at the basic minimum of those needed skills,” he said. “Our country’s industrial base is at its lowest state of sustainability.”

“The road we are traveling down is not in keeping with the threats we are facing around the world,” he said. “We’re in a process now that’s not being driven by strategy. It’s being driven 100 percent by budgets. And once the decision has been made, you can’t press the ‘reset’ button.”

Besides investments in shipbuilding, Wittman called for “a vibrant marine component” in national transportation policy, especially short sea shipping. “We have to have a marine highway up and down the East Coast to take trucks off the road,” he said. “And we must ensure that the Jones Act is in place and properly enforced.” The Jones Act is the body of law that ensures that America’s coast-wise trade is carried on U.S.-flag ships, built in the United States and crewed by U.S.-citizen mariners.

Wittman also said he is working with Louisiana Congressman Charles Boustany to promote passage of the Realize America’s Maritime Promise (RAMP) Act, a bipartisan bill to promote much-needed harbor maintenance and dredging in American ports.


MAERSK DECLARES LOSS ON CONTAINER BUSINESS FOR 2011

AP Moeller-Maersk (APM) has declared a net loss of $600 million for 2011 on its container shipping business. The company said in an official statement that lower freight rates and higher bunker fuel costs will likely also cause it to register a loss in 2012. APM Chief Executive Officer Nils Andersen attributed last year’s result to lower rates in the Asia-Europe trades and to a surplus of new tonnage which hit the market as the year progressed. Maersk Tankers declared a $151 million loss for 2011. APM Terminals reported a profit for the year of $649 million.


MM&P CAPTAIN IS FACE OF CROWLEY IN ALASKA AIRLINES AD

An advertisement in the official magazine of Alaska Airlines features MM&P member Marcia Macone, a tugboat captain in Valdez. “Marcia understands the importance of safety to people, property and the environment,” the company says in the ad. “So does Crowley. That’s why we operate some of the world’s most powerful and technologically advanced tugs in this challenging and pristine environment.” In her job at Crowley, Macone helps escort and assist 190,000-ton oil tankers through the waters of Prince William Sound. “Marcia Macone is an excellent captain and a great ambassador for Crowley,” says MM&P United Inland Group Vice President Mike Murray. “The company’s investments in people and technology not only keep employees safe on the job, they also protect the people and environment of Prince William Sound.” 


MARINERS ON INACTIVE STATUS CAN RENEW THEIR LICENSES WITHOUT GETTING A TWIC CARD

The Coast Guard has published a policy letter which explains that, under the terms of legislation passed by Congress, mariners who do not require unescorted access to a restricted area of a vessel no longer need a TWIC card to be issued a license. The policy also applies to mariners who want to maintain their licenses but are not currently working aboard a vessel. Mariners in these situations will still need a TWIC in the future if they require unescorted access to a secure area aboard a vessel covered by a vessel security plan. In addition, mariners who have never held a TWIC still have to go to a TWIC enrollment center for fingerprinting and identity verification. They must also be photographed and pay all fees associated with getting a TWIC. The benefit is in not having to return to the enrollment center to pick up a TWIC card.

The policy is explained at www.uscg.mil/nmc/marpers/pag/twic_809_policy_letter.pdf. If you have questions about the policy after reading the notice on the web, please send an e-mail to CG543@uscg.mil.


U.S.-FLAG OPERATORS STAND READY SHOULD PRESIDENT OBAMA TAP STRATEGIC OIL RESERVES

With rising gas prices fueling speculation that President Obama may soon authorize drawdowns from the nation’s Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR), American-flag vessel operators have announced they stand ready to work with the government to move the oil. During last summer’s drawdown, foreign ships were given preference.

In a letter to the Departments of Homeland Security (DHS), Energy (DOE) and Transportation (DOT), the American Maritime Partnership (AMP), a coalition representing U.S.-flag vessel operators, last week offered its resources to help implement new Congressional requirements aimed at increasing the use of U.S.-flag vessels in future drawdowns.        

“AMP was troubled by the decisions during the last SPR drawdown to issue waivers for foreign-flag, foreign-crewed vessels to transport oil from the SPR despite the fact U.S.-flag vessels were available to assist,” AMP wrote.  A law passed by Congress in the meantime requires DHS and DOT to maximize the use of U.S.-flag vessels to handle future drawdowns.

The new law states that no Jones Act waivers may be granted until DHS “takes adequate measures to ensure the use of U.S.-flag vessels” and unless DOT has determined that U.S.-flag vessels are not available.

The Jones Act is the body of maritime laws that mandate use of vessels that are American-crewed, -built and -owned to move cargo between U.S. ports. The Jones Act is critical for American economic, national and homeland security, which is why it enjoys the support of the U.S. Navy, members of Congress of both parties, President Obama and every other President in modern history.


OIL SPILL PREVENTION SPECIALIST

The California Department of Fish and Game is seeking an Oil Spill Prevention Specialist. The monthly salary range is $4,737.00-$ 5710.00. The closing date for the exam that qualifies applicants to apply for this job is March 23. To find out how to take the exam, go to www.dfg.ca.gov/jobs and enter the words “Oil Spill Prevention Specialist” in the Search box. If you meet the qualifications for this exam, you are encouraged to apply for the job. Address any questions regarding this exam to the Human Resources Branch at (916) 653-8120. Note: Accepted applicants are required to bring either a photo identification card or two forms of signed identification when required to appear for the examination.


TWO HOSTAGES DIE WHEN DANISH NAVY INTERCEPTS PIRATE MOTHER SHIP

Two mariners died when the crew of the Danish warship ABSALON, following accepted international anti-piracy procedures, intercepted a suspected mother ship off the Horn of Africa last week. The crew of the warship fired warning shots and, when this was unsuccessful, used small arms to disable and stop the suspect vessel. Medical personnel aboard ABSALON attempted to save two severely wounded hostages, but were unsuccessful. Sixteen other prisoners were saved and 17 pirates detained.


SS UNITED STATES CONSERVANCY FUNDRAISER AT SUNY MARITIME ON MARCH 24

SUNY Maritime invites you to a historic event: a gala to raise funds for the preservation of an icon of American history, the SS UNITED STATES. To attend the March 24 gala on the beautiful SUNY Maritime Campus, go to fortschuylerssusgala.eventbrite.com/

The SS UNITED STATES faces an uncertain future. Since her retirement in 1969, the ship has changed hands a number of times and no plans for her refurbishment have come to fruition. Now, the ship has limited time left. “The dismantling and destruction of the SS UNITED STATES would be a tragedy comparable to melting down national icons such as the Liberty Bell, the Spirit of St. Louis or the Space Shuttle,” says a spokesperson for the SS UNITED STATES CONSERVANCY, a nonprofit 501(c) 3 organization. To find out how you can help, go to: www.ssunitedstatesconservancy.org/


REVITALIZING THE MARITIME INDUSTRY CONFERENCE SPONSORED BY THE MARITIME EXECUTIVE MAY 7-8 AT MITAGS

A two-day conference, “Revitalizing the Maritime Industry,” will be held at MITAGS on May 7-8 by The Maritime Executive. America’s marine highways have been underutilized for decades due to failed federal policies and inadequate funding mechanisms. Today, while the infrastructure is in place, U.S. vessel operators, shipbuilders, training institutions and port authorities have been overlooked as vital assets in the U.S. economic recovery plan. The Maritime Executive, with your support, aims to change that perspective in Congress and, most importantly, among the American people. To register for the event, go to: http://tiny.cc/MarEx


SCHEDULE FOR 2012 OFFSHORE FAMILIARIZATION COURSES

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): April 3-4 in Boston; April 11-12 in Los Angeles; May 29-30 in New Orleans; May 30-31 in Charleston; June 8-9 at MM&P Headquarters; Sept. 7-8 at MM&P Headquarters; Oct. 9-10 in New Jersey; Oct. 10-11 in Los Angeles; Nov. 7-8 in Houston.

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: mseidman@bridgedeck.org.


INDIAN AUTHORITIES SEARCH FOR SHIP THAT STRUCK FISHING BOAT

The Indian Coast Guard is trying to discover the identity of a ship that struck a fishing boat off Kerala, last week, killing at least two fishermen. Two more fishermen were rescued and three others are considered missing. The incident follows the killing last month of two fishermen by marines in a vessel security detachment aboard the Italian tanker ENRICA LEXIE, who thought they were pirates.


MITAGS ACADEMIC NOTES

Try our on-line interactive calendar to register for class: http://mitags-pmi.org/courses/calendar/

For class availability, contact Admissions Coordinator Kelly Michielli toll-free at 866-656-5568 or e-mail: admissions@mitags.org.

AB � Able Bodied Seaman: 5/21, 6/11

AIS-1 � Automatic Identification Systems (one day): 5/10, 6/6

ARPA – Automated Radar Plotting Aids: 3/13, 4/5


BRM – Bridge Resource Management: 4/30

BRMP – Bridge Resource Management for Pilots: 5/9, 6/7

BST � Basic Safety Training: 4/9, 6/25

[CMM – Chief Mate and Master Courses]

CMM-ADVWX – Advanced Meteorology: 3/19, 6/11

CMM-ADVNAV – Advanced Navigation (=ECDIS & VPEN): 5/14

CMM-ADVSTB � Advanced Stability: 4/9, 6/25

CMM-CHS � Advanced Cargo Operations (2 weeks): 4/16

CMM-ECDIS � Electronic Chart Display and Information Systems: 5/21

CMM-MPP – Marine Propulsion Plants: 3/26, 6/4

CMM-SHMGT – Ship Management (2 weeks): 4/30

CMM-SHS-ADV-I – Advanced Shiphandling (week 1): 3/12, 3/26, 4/9, 5/14, 6/11

CMM-SHS-ADV-I I – Advanced Shiphandling (week 2): 3/19, 4/2, 4/16, 5/21, 6/18

CMM-WKP � Advanced Watchkeeping: 4/2, 6/18

CNAV – Celestial Navigation: 4/30

CONSTAB – Ship Construction and Basic Stability: 4/9

CONT PLNG – Contingency Planning: 3/15, 5/11

ECDIS-ENAV (2 DAY) for Pilots: 6/4

ENAV – Electronic Navigation: 3/19

ENVIRO-Regs Permit – Environmental Regulations Permit: 3/13, 5/21

EP � Emergency Procedures: 4/25

FF-BADV � Combined Basic and Advanced Fire Fighting: 4/9, 6/25

FSM – Fatigue, Sleep and Medications for Pilots: 3/16, 6/6

HAZ – Hazardous Materials (5 day): 6/11

LAP – License Advancement Program for Chief Mate & Master: 3/19

LAP-ORG 3rd � License Advancement Program for Original 3/Mate: 6/4

LEG – Legal Aspects of Pilotage: 4/18, 5/9

MCL – Management, Communication & Leadership: 3/26

MED-PIC – Medical Person in Charge: 3/19, 4/16, 6/11

MED-PIC -R– Medical Person in Charge Refresher: 5/14

MED-PRO – Medical Care Provider: 3/19, 4/16, 6/11

MED-DOT-DA – Dept. of Transportation Drug & Alcohol Testing: 3/24, 4/21, 6/16

MSC -SMA – Military Sealift Command Small Arms Qualification: 3/12, 6/4

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

MSC-CBRD-1 � Military Sealaif Command Chemical, Biological, Radiological Defense Orientation (Basic): 6/8

ROR-1 – Radar Observer Renewal Evening Classes: 3/21, 4/4

ROR-1 – Radar Observer Renewal: 3/12, 4/1, 4/18, 5/2, 5/6, 6/13, 6/27

ROP-5 � Radar Observer Original and Renewal: 4/23

SAR � Search & Rescue: 4/23

SEC-VCF – Security Officer, Vessel, Company & Facility: 3/12, 5/7

SHS-BAS � Basic Shiphandling: 4/23, 5/14, 6/25

SHS-ESH-BRMP3 – Emergency Shiphandling and Bridge Resource Management for Pilots: 4/2

SHS-EMR5 – Emergency Shiphandling: 5/7

TPIC-DL – Tankerman Person in Charge Dangerous Liquids: 5/21

WX-BAS – Basic Meteorology: 3/26
 
…Remember: If you can’t make the class, make the call. Be courteous, don’t be a “no show.”

Check the MITAGS website at www.mitags.org for course descriptions associated with the course title abbreviations, and schedule revisions.


PMI ACADEMIC NOTES

Schedule of Courses – Please also see our schedule online at www.mates.org.
For registration, call our registrar, Jennifer Pitzen, at (206) 838-1126.
 
March 2012
12-23     GMDSS
12-30     License Preparation (Mate – 500Ton, 1600Ton, 3rd Unlimited)
20-21     Safety Management Systems
22-23     Build Your Own Internal Auditing Team Seminar
26th       Radar Renewal
26-30     Medical Care Provider

April 2012

2-6          ECDIS
2-6          Bridge Resource Management w/ Simulation
4-6          Security Officer – Vessel, Company, and Facility
9-20       GMDSS
13th       Radar Renewal
16-20     Radar Observer Unlimited
23-27     Medical Care Provider
23-4       Medical Person-In-Charge
30th       Radar Renewal
30th       Flashing Light Exam

May 2012

1-4          ARPA
7-11       Bridge Resource Management w/ Simulation
7-18       GMDSS
14-18     ECDIS
14-1       Terrestrial and Coastal Navigation w/ Compasses
21-25     Radar Observer Unlimited
22-24     Security Officer – Vessel, Company, and Facility

June 2012

4-6          Emergency Procedures
4-22       Terrestrial and Coastal Navigation w/ Compasses
7-8          Search and Rescue
11th       Radar Renewal
11-22     GMDSS
18-22     ECDIS
18-22     Management, Communication, and Leadership (Horizon Lines)
25-29     Medical Care Provider


MM&P MARKET WATCH AS OF 3-2-12

D O W N A S D A Q S & P 500
12,960.00 2,639.75 1,367.70
Fund Name & Trading Symbol
 Closing
Price
 Vanguard Asset Allocation Fund (VAARX)
56.17
 Vanguard 500 Index Fund (VFINX)
126.56
 Vanguard Extended Market Index Fund (VEXMX)
43.88
 Vanguard International Growth Fund (VWIGX)
18.66
 Vanguard Morgan Growth Fund (VMRGX)
19.83
 Vanguard Windsor II Fund (VWNFX)
28.08
 Vanguard GNMA Fund (VFIIX)
11.05
 Vanguard Growth Index Fund (VIGRX)
35.55
 Vanguard High Yield Corporate (VWEHX)
5.90
 Vanguard LifeStrategy Conservative Growth (VSCGX)
16.98
 Vanguard LifeStrategy Growth Fund (VASGX)
22.94
 Vanguard LifeStrategy Income Fund (VASIX)
14.53
 Vanguard LifeStrategy Moderate Growth (VSMGX)
20.44
 Vanguard Target Retirement 2005 (VTOVX)
12.33
 Vanguard Target Retirement 2015 (VTXVX)
13.08
 Vanguard Target Retirement 2025 (VTTVX)
13.24
 Vanguard Target Retirement 2035 (VTTHX)
13.69
 Vanguard Target Retirement 2045 (VTIVX)
14.12
 Vanguard Total Bond Index (VBMFX)
11.05
 Vanguard Total Stock Market Index Fund (VTSMX)
34.35
 Chase Growth Fund (CHASX)
18.97
 Fidelity Asset Manager (FASMX)
16.04
 Fidelity Growth and Income (FGRIX)
20.01
 Fidelity Intermediate bond Fund (FTHRX)
10.97
 Fidelity Magellan Fund (FMAGX)
71.02
 Fidelity Value Fund (FDVLX)
70.86
 Fidelity Equity-Income II Fund (FEQTX)
18.57
Fidelity Blue Chip Growth Fund (FBGRX)
48.88
 Fidelity Diversified International Fund (FDIVX)
28.57
 Fidelity Dividend Growth Fund (FDGFX)
29.50
 Fidelity Freedom Income (FFFAX)
11.59
 Fidelity Freedom 2000 (FFFBX)
12.27
 Fidelity Freedom 2010 (FFFCX)
13.92
 Fidelity Freedom 2020 (FFFDX)
14.07
 Fidelity Freedom 2030 (FFFEX)
13.94
 Fidelity Freedom 2040 (FFFFX)
8.06
 Fidelity Freedom 2050 (FFFHX)
9.41
 Fidelity Total Bond Fund (FTBFX)
11.05
 Spartan Extended market Index Fund (FSEMX)
39.54
 Spartan US Equity Index Fund (FUSEX)
48.64
 Domini Social Equity Fund (DSEFX)
33.69



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: iommp@bridgedeck.org. For further info or to subscribe contact Lisa Rosenthal at lrosenthal@bridgedeck.org. 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: lrosenthal@bridgedeck.org. For changes of address, contact Lisa Rosenthal at lrosenthal@bridgedeck.org.