Wheelhouse Weekly – March 16, 2001

March 16th 2001


Bridging the Information Gap With E-News You Can Use

Volume 5. . . . . Number 11. . . March 16, 2001




After a battle lasting over one and one-half years, MM&P is pleased to announce that a collective bargaining agreement has been reached with Moran Towing of Savannah. The agreement covers tugboat personnel in the ports of Savannah, GA, Brunswick, GA, and Fernandina, FL.

Moran tugboat workers have been fighting for Union representation for five years. During that time they have seen one maritime union give up the fight and another refuse to take on the challenge. The tugboatmen didn’t wilt and together with MM&P they have achieved a hard won first contract.

Director of Special Projects Richard Plant organized the group with the assistance of former Executive Assisant Don Marcus (now Offshore VP-Pacific ports), who was then assigned the negotiating duties. International Counsel John Singleton was pressed for duty during the course of the negotiations as three different sets of Unfair Labor Practice Charges were filed by MM&P. A Federal Mediator was required during the final negotiation on March 9, 2001, which can best be described as “frosty.”

The five-year agreement was ratified after the negotiation, and the new members will be part of the Atlantic & Gulf Region of MM&P. “Credit goes to the guys on the tugboats who stuck together though thick and thin,” said Marcus after the negotiation, “particularly to the rank-and-file leaders, Jerry Donnelly, Don McGrady and Joe Stegin who held the group together in the face of a mean-sprited and intimidating employer.”

MM&P Wheelhouse Weekly


The Maritime Administration forwarded a Merchant Ship Advisory on March 13 to all operators of US-flag, and US-controlled vessels and other maritime interests on behalf of the Commander, US Navy Central Command (COMUSNAVCENT). The advisory provides the results of Mine Danger Area (MDA) clearance off the coast of Kuwait.

The following MDA was specified as an area where mines were known to exist and although partially searched for mines remains the area with the highest probability of mines and should be avoided by all shipping:

MDA Number TEN

  • 29-51.50N 048-46.30E
  • 29-51.50N 048-48.00E
  • 29-40.30N 048-48.00E
  • 29-37.25N 048-39.60E
  • 29-37.25N 048-32.50E

COMUSNAVCENT has determined that appropriate clearance of MDA number SIX has been achieved with the exception of the shallowest portion as follows:

  • 28-32.23N 048-26.60E
  • 28-32.14N 048-32.50E
  • 28-37.00N 048-27.50E
  • 28-37.75N 048-24.25E

The remainder of MDA number SIX and MDAs numbers SEVEN, EIGHT and NINE have been rescinded. NOTE: Because areas previously mined can never be judged completely safe, even after successful demining operations, mariners are cautioned that mines still present a hazard. Vessels needing to anchor within the former MDAs should do so at the direction of local authorities.

Vessels should also consult the Maritime Safety Information Center homepage at for the latest updates. The positions listed in this Advisory are given using the World Geodetic System (WGS).

MM&P Wheelhouse Weekly


Last week, the following statement was released by Sonny Hall, president of the Transportation Trades Department, AFL-CIO (TTD), in response to President Bush’s statement threatening heavy handed intervention in airline labor-management negotiations.

“We are deeply disturbed by President Bush’s comments threatening government intervention in the collective bargaining process in the airline industry. When the President was quoted as saying he would ‘take the necessary steps to prevent airline strikes from happening this year,’ we assume his comments were intended to tell the parties to redouble their efforts toward mutually-agreed upon resolutions at the bargaining table. Otherwise, one would be left to conclude that his comments were intended to tilt the collective bargaining process against airline employees.

“It is not helpful for the President or any official in his Administration to create hysteria about strikes and possible disruptions in air travel or to short circuit the lawful bargaining process through an inappropriate use of intervention powers. Perhaps the most disturbing aspect about the President’s remarks today is what some may interpret as a rush to judgment and a simultaneous promise to poison the collective bargaining process.

“We would urge the President to use the enormous powers of his office to unite labor and management at the bargaining table, rather than using the Oval Office to divide the parties and undermine the rights of airline workers.”

MM&P Wheelhouse Weekly


Nominations for the Jones F. Devlin Awards ship safety awards are currently being accepted for the Year 2000. The awards are presented to crewmembers performing “outstanding feats of safety” which may include rescue, assistance to distressed vessels or safety and ship operations that contributed to saving a life or a ship. Nominations must be received by March 31. Call 202-775-4399 for further info.

MM&P Wheelhouse Weekly


The New World Alliance that includes MM&P-contracted APL has added the Port of Le Havre to one of the three strings of ships they operate across the Atlantic. Le Havre will be added to Rotterdam and Felixstowe as European ports of call in the APX service, with the first call at Le Havre scheduled for Sunday.

From Le Havre the service offers a transit of seven days to New York-New Jersey, and then will serve Norfolk, Charleston and Manzanillo, Panama. On the eastbound leg from Panama, the ships in the service call at Charleston, Norfolk, New York-New Jersey, Rotterdam, Felixstowe and Le Havre.

The fixed-day, weekly service features eastbound transit times of 11 days from New York to Le Havre and 13 days from Norfolk to Le Havre. MM&P-contracted Maersk Sealand also takes space on the alliance’s trans-Atlantic service.

MM&P Wheelhouse Weekly


More than 90 containers on a Cho Yang vessel crossing the North Atlantic last week were swept overboard in stormy weather. In addition, some containers that remained on board the Korean vessel collapsed and others were damaged. Marine surveyors and USCG officials have been inspecting the CHO YANG PARK to assess the damage since vessel arrived at the Global Terminal in Jersey City late Sunday.

MM&P Wheelhouse Weekly


The Wheelhouse Weekly will periodically run a technical quiz question from one of the current courses being taught at MITAGS. Last week’s question came from the Heavy Weather Avoidance (HWA) course taught by Instructors Michael Carr and Lee Chesneau.

The question was:

What is the difference between Significant Wave Height (SWH)and Average Wave Height (AWH), and which one of these appears on Marine Prediction Center (MPC) fax charts?

The answer:

“Average Wave Height” or AWH is the sum average of all waves present within a fetch area. “Significant Wave Height” or SWH is the highest 1/3 of the waves present within a fetch area or the wave heights that are visible to the mariner’s naked eye in his/her surroundings. SWH also is the analyzed and forecast wave heights found on the Marine Prediction Center’s (MPC) wave height analyses and forecast charts. They are described in both regional and high seas graphics and alphanumeric text products.

For regional Atlantic and Pacific Ocean graphics charts (Sea State Analyses and 24-Hour Wind/Wave Forecasts), wave heights are drawn and analyzed for every 3 feet increments. The High Seas Text bulletin received via GMDSS-Safety Net C describes winds and seas within radii of latitude measurements (each 1 degree is equal to 60 mn) and “boxed areas” which are generally associated with synoptic scale lows and high pressure systems.”

For full oceanic Atlantic 1200 UTC and Pacific 0000 UTC Sea State Analyses (based on VOS reports), and the 48 & 96 Hour Wind/Wave Forecasts are depicted in meters and drawn for increments of every one meter. See HF Radiofacsimile broadcasts schedules for times of transmission, or in the MPC Internet Web Site: for viewing and accessing both text and graphics products.

MM&P Wheelhouse Weekly


Openings in classes through the end of June follow:

  • 3/26-30: FF-ADV
  • 4/2-6: MSC-COMMS
  • 4/9-13: COMP-MAR, FF-ADV
  • 4/16-19: SMA
  • 4/16-20: FRB
  • 4/21-22: MSC-DC
  • 4/23-27: BST
  • 4/30-5/2: SHS-EMR-3
  • 4/30-5/4: ARPA, BST
  • 5/7-11: FF-ADV, BST, SHS-INT I
  • 5/14-18: TPIC, EINS, SHS-INT II
  • 5/14-17: SMA
  • 5/14-25: GMDSS
  • 5/21-25: BRM-3, DCS, FF-ADV, BST
  • 6/4-8: ARPA, BRM-3, WX-HWA, BST
  • 6/11-15: COMP-MAR
  • 6/11-14: SMA
  • 6/18-22: BST, COMP-NET, FF-ADV
  • 6/25-29: ARPA, BST
BST Classes Added

Due to demand, BST classes have been added to schedule with convening dates of 4/23, 5/7, 5/21, 6/4, 6/18, and 6/25.

ECDIS Postponed

Scheduling complications have forced postponement of the initial ECDIS offering at MITAGS. EINS course will convene on 5/14 in place of ECDIS. New date has not been set for ECDIS.

MSC Classes

The Strategic Sealift Communications Course will be held at MITAGS April 2-6. The next Damage Control class at MITAGS will be weekend of April 21-22. To sign-up for MSC courses contact Mike Wein at (443) 989-3238 or Email

Original License Program

The 10-week program, which unfortunately had to be canceled in January, generated a high level of interest. A shorter “test” program, linked to the standard MITAGS LAP course, will be run this spring. Upon completion of the program at the end of May, an evaluation will be conducted and a decision made on how to proceed. Decision should be announced about June 1st. The slots available for the “test” program have been filled.

Schedule through Dec. 2001 is being maintained on the website. Hard copy schedule updates are also provided to the halls. Check the MITAGS website at: for up-to-date info. For additional course info, contact Mary Matlock at voice: 443-989-3226 or Email:

MM&P Wheelhouse Weekly


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MM&P Wheelhouse Weekly

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., Linthicum Heights, MD 21090-1941. Phone: 410-850-8700; Fax: 410-850-0973; Email: For further info contact John Peige at The Wheelhouse Weekly is sent via Email to MM&P-contracted vessels at sea, broadcast worldwide via FEC marine telex andis posted on our web page under “News” at:

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