Wheelhouse Weekly – March 27th, 2018

March 28th 2018

Volume 23… Number 13… March 27, 2018


In This Issue:

Maritime Alert:

International News:


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MM&P officials commended the officers and crew of MAERSK KENSINGTON for putting out a fire that had broken out in a cargo hold while the vessel was sailing from Salalah, Oman, towards Suez.

“We are proud of our members aboard the MAERSK KENSINGTON,” said MM&P Atlantic Ports Vice President Don Josberger.

“They are highly trained officers who did their duty with courage and professionalism.”

No one was injured in the blaze, which broke out on March 15.

The officers and crew took immediate safety measures, releasing CO2 into the cargo hold to contain the fire.

“The crew reacted swiftly and per procedure,” Maersk said in a statement.

MM&P officers responding to the blaze aboard the vessel were Master Paul E. Coan, Chief Mate Scott Phelps, Second Mate Paul T. Camirand and Third Mate Andrew B. Rahner.

“Congratulations to the officers and crew for a job well done,” MM&P President Don Marcus wrote Captain Coan.

“We are grateful for your handling of the emergency and your stalwart, professional leadership, which is in the finest tradition of MM&P.”

“This crew, particularly the MM&P LDOs and especially Chief Mate Scott Phelps, were stellar and were instrumental in the positive outcome of this fire,” Coan responded.

After spending time at anchor outside the Port of Salalah, MAERSK KENSINGTON is now headed back to New York.

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Legislation passed by Congress last week provides full funding for the Maritime Security Program (MSP) for the rest of Fiscal Year 2018.

In contrast to the strong bipartisan support in Congress for full MSP funding, the budget submitted to Congress by President Trump for the next fiscal year recommends only $214 million for MSP.

Full funding at the authorized level will help ensure that the U.S.-flag commercial sealift capability provided by MSP will continue to remain available to support Department of Defense operations worldwide.

The $300 million provides each vessel in the program with a $5 million stipend.

The omnibus spending legislation passed last week also funds the Food for Peace Program—an important source of cargo for American ships and crews–at $1.7 billion.

Food for Peace helps feed starving people in the developing world while also providing critical support to U.S. shipping and American farmers.

Again, despite the strong bipartisan support for Food for Peace, President Trump’s FY ‘19 budget provides no funding for this critically important program.

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The government spending legislation approved last week includes $300 million for SUNY Maritime to build a new National Security Multi-Mission Vessel to replace the EMPIRE STATE VI.

SUNY Maritime President Rear Adm. Michael Alfultis told the college community in a letter that the new vessel will be delivered in time for the 2022 summer sea term.

“After many years of work, our dreams of having a new, purpose-built ship to educate and train the nation’s future mariners has come to pass,” he said.

“Hundreds of Maritime College faculty, staff, alumni and supporters advocated replacing EMPIRE STATE VI through several letter-writing campaigns. I thank you for playing your part in getting us to this exceptional day in Maritime’s nearly 150-year history.”

The current training ship was built in 1962 and converted in 1989. Of the six training ships in America, EMPIRE STATE is the oldest and has been in service the longest.

The National Security Multi-Mission Vessel (NSMV) will be an entirely new class designed specifically for training purposes.

The first NSMV, which will be called EMPIRE STATE VII, will have standard berthing for more than 700 people and up to 1,000 for as long as two weeks in times of humanitarian need.

The ship will have roll-on/roll-off capability and container storage, with a cargo crane and a side ramp for self-loading.

The vessel will also feature hospital facilities, a helicopter landing pad, eight classrooms, a full training bridge, lab spaces and an auditorium.

For propulsion, it will be equipped with stern and bow thrusters and a flap-type rudder to allow it to moor without help from tugs.

SUNY says the first NSMV will cost about $350 million to build.

“This news would not have been possible without the consistent staunch support of our elected officials, especially Rep. Joe Crowley, Sens. Chuck Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand, and the rest of the New York delegation, as well as the dedication of Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao and SUNY Chancellor Kristina Johnson,” Alfultis said.

“SUNY Maritime is known for its world-class ability to churn out talented mariners by the boatload, but they need a new, world-class vessel to continue to do that into the future,” Schumer said.

“This $300 million investment for a new training vessel will help better train the students of SUNY Maritime and steer them toward an even more successful future.”

“This funding is an important investment to repair and replace the training vessel at SUNY Maritime so that our mariners continue to have the training facilities they need,” said Gillibrand.

“I was proud to fight for these funds to be included in the Omnibus legislation because our mariners deserve the most up to date equipment and training facilities to learn the latest and most efficient technologies.”

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The maritime authorities have issued the following alert regarding possible GPS interference in the Eastern Mediterranean Sea.

“Multiple maritime incidents have been reported in the Eastern Mediterranean Sea in the vicinity of position 32-24.0N, 029-29.9E between March 18-22, 2018. These incidents have not been confirmed.”

“The nature of the incident is reported to be GPS interference. Five vessels and one aircraft operating between Cyprus and Port Said, Egypt, have reported GPS disruptions/interference occurring over extended periods and resulting in either inaccurate positions or no position.”

“Exercise caution when transiting this area. Further updates may follow. This alert will automatically expire on March 30, 2018.”

“Reports of GPS degradations, disruptions and other incidents or anomalies can be made via the Coast Guard Navigation Center website:”

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The Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) has banned the Liberian-flagged containership MSC KIA ORA for three months.

Inspectors boarded the ship in the Port of Brisbane on March 14 after receiving a complaint alleging non-payment of wages.

They found evidence that the crew had been underpaid for the previous four months and were owed more than AU$53,000.

The outstanding wages were reportedly transferred to the crew 24 hours before the inspection.

“Failure to pay crew their wages in full and on time is a clear and unacceptable breach of the Maritime Labor Convention,” said AMSA’s General Manager of Operations Allan Schwartz.

Additional breaches of the convention found aboard the vessel included violations relating to hours of rest and fitness for duty.

The violations placed the safety of the crew and the ship at risk, Schwartz said.

Two of the ship’s four generators and the starboard main engine fire damper were also found to be defective.

In total, 24 deficiencies were issued to the MSC KIA ORA. The ship was detained the same evening.

The authorities said all reported deficiencies had been rectified when they released the ship on March 25.

At that point they instituted the ban, which will prevent MSC KIA ORA from accessing Australian ports for three months.

The ship is operated by Vega-Reederei, the same company that operated the VEGA AURIGA, which was banned from Australian ports in 2014.

“Substandard and poorly managed ships that place the welfare of their crews at risk will not be tolerated in Australian waters,” Schwartz said.

AMSA has banned five ships in the past two years.

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Tens of thousands of people took to the streets of Paris and other French cities on Thursday to protest government plans to change the pension system, reduce unemployment benefits and overhaul the railways.

Teachers, students and air traffic controllers joined striking rail workers in a number of cities to demonstrate their opposition to President Emmanuel Macron’s economic and social policies.

The Macron government has implemented a salary freeze for civil servants and plans to cut 120,000 public sector jobs and introduce merit-based pay.

Railway workers are planning rolling strikes in April and May.

Last week, more than 200,000 workers and students—about 48,000 of them in Paris—took to the streets.

Unions have accused the government of moving ahead with its plans without consulting them in any meaningful way.

The strikes “are a wake-up call for the government,” Laurent Berger, the secretary general of the second-largest railway union, told a journalist.

He said the government should consult with the unions before “everything falls apart.”

Polls show the country split on the situation, with most respondents supporting both the demonstrators and, to a lesser extent, the government’s planned reforms, which are largely seen as unjust.

There is broad support for an overhaul of the French railway system, however.

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During a recent inspection, U.S. Coast Guard Port State Control examiners discovered a significant flaw involving almost all the immersion suits aboard a vessel.

The examiners noted that the glue used to attach the main zipper to the body of the suit had failed.

“Failure of the suit at this location will prevent the suit from achieving a watertight seal,” the Coast Guard said.

“Such conditions present serious risk to crewmembers in a survival situation.”

Due to the high failure rate discovered during the Coast Guard exam (35 out of 40 suits were defective), the Coast Guard strongly recommends that all vessel operators inspect their immersion suits for this unsafe condition.

“Do not wait to discover the problem during a real emergency,” the agency said.

The warning was distributed by the Coast Guard’s Office of Investigations and Casualty Analysis in Washington, D.C.

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The contributions of American merchant mariners will be celebrated during the month of May at Maritime Day ceremonies around the country.

In San Pedro, Calif., the American Merchant Marine Veterans Memorial Committee will begin the day with a service at the American Merchant Marine Veterans Memorial (Harbor Ave. and 6th Street, San Pedro) followed by a luncheon at the Ports O’Call Restaurant (Berth 76).

There is free parking at the restaurant, which is located at 1200 Nagoya Way, San Pedro, with free transportation provided by the San Pedro Trolley between Ports O’Call and the Memorial from 1000 to 1300.

The Memorial is maintained by the committee and supported by your donations and by advertisements in the National Maritime Day program book.

Your support is extremely important. The deadline for placing an ad is May 7. Reservations are required for the luncheon.

You can reserve a seat or a table for lunch, book advertising space and donate, at:

If you have any questions, please contact Jerry Aspland: or by phone or fax to: 714-968-4409.

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Atlantic Ports Vice President Don Josberger will attend the Offshore Membership Meeting at the Charleston Union Hall on Wednesday, March 28 at 1100.

All members in the area are encouraged to attend the meeting.

The Charleston Hall is located at 1481 Tobias Gadson, Blvd., Suite 2C.

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All MM&P union halls, the MM&P Plan Office, the MM&P Federal Credit Union and MM&P headquarters will be closed on Friday, March 30, for Good Friday.

MM&P Pacific Ports will be closed on Monday, April 2, for Cesar Chavez Day.

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If you have served in the U.S. Merchant Marine at any time during peace or war, or are a veteran of any U.S. service branch, or are a family member/descendent/wife/widow of a World War II merchant marine veteran, then you are eligible to join the American Merchant Marine Veterans (AMMV).

AMMV’s goals include: working to obtain overdue benefits and recognition for World War II merchant marine veterans; working to obtain veteran status for post-World War II U.S. merchant seamen; participating in memorial events; supporting laws and programs that promote the U.S.-flag fleet.

Members receive an informative quarterly, AMMV News Magazine.

There are AMMV chapters throughout the country.

To find out more, go to

The Roadrunners Chapter of AMMV, which covers Arkansas, Arizona, Kansas, Louisiana, Missouri, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Texas, has issued a specific appeal for new members.

The group meets for lunch on the third Tuesday of every month except in June, July and August.

Dues are $35/year, of which $25 goes to AMMV National Headquarters and $10 goes to help pay for the chapter newsletter and chapter events.

If you are interested in joining the AMMV Roadrunners Chapter, please contact Lou Fetters, 1016 Saratoga Drive, NE, Rio Rancho, NM, 87144;; or 505 994 4845.

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The Pacific Maritime Institute’s AB-to-Mate Program begins this April 9th with the 3-week Terrestrial and Coastal Navigation Course.

The program will run through September 21st.

For full program schedule details and to begin the enrollment process, please contact Jenny Pitzen: or 206-739-0720.

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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:

For Merchant Mariner Credential (MMC) processing, MMC problem resolution advice, STCW compliance and VA GI-Bill questions, contact MITAGS-PMI Student/Instructional Services Manager Jennifer Pitzen at 206-739-0720 (direct line); (888) 893-7829 (toll free); 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.

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 – 4/16/18, 8/27/18, 10/15/18

AIS-1 – Automatic Identifications Systems Orientation: 5/23/18, 8/29/18

ARPA-OIC – Automated Radar Plotting Aids: 4/3/18, 9/25/18

AZIPOD 2-Day – 5/21/18, 10/15/18

BRM-35 – Bridge Resource Management: 6/18/18, 9/24/18, 10/29/18

BRMP –Bridge Resource Management for Pilots: 3/29/18, 5/21/18, 7/16/18, 12/19/18

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

BRMP-Refresher – 5/23/18, 7/18/18, 9/11/18

BT – Basic Safety Training: 4/9/18, 8/13/18, 10/22/18

BT-Revalidation (2-day) (Must have 1 year of seatime in last 5 years) –4/2/18, 4/30/18, 6/18/18, 7/31/18, 8/27/18, 9/26/18, 10/31/18, 12/18/18

BT-Refresher (3-day) – 4/29/18, 7/30/18, 9/26/18, 12/17/18

CHS-OIC – Cargo Handling Basic: 5/7/18

[CMM – Chief Mate and Master Courses]

ADVSTB-CMM – Advanced Stability: 4/2/18, 6/11/18, 7/30/18, 9/24/18, 12/10/18

ADVWX-CMM – Advanced Meteorology: 6/4/18, 8/6/18, 9/17/18, 12/3/18

CHS-CMM – Advanced Cargo Operations (2 weeks): 4/9/18, 10/1/18

CM-OPS 1 – Chief Mate Operations – Week 1: 6/4/18, 8/6/18, 10/1/18

CM-OPS 2 Maersk – Chief Mate Operations II Maersk Specific: 6/11/18, 8/13/18, 10/8/18

ECDIS – Electronic Chart Display Information Systems: 6/25/18, 8/13/18, 11/12/18

LMS – Leadership and Managerial Skills (Management Level – Formerly MCL-CMM): 5/14/18, 6/18/18, 8/20/18, 11/26/18

MPP-CMM – Marine Propulsion Plants: 10/15/18

SEC-APPS – Practical Defense Tactics: 10/1/18

SHMGT-CMM- Ship Management (2 weeks): 4/23/18, 10/29/18

SHS-ADV-I-CMM – Advanced Shiphandling (week 1): 4/9/18, 4/23/18, 5/7/18, 6/4/18, 6/18/18, 7/16/18, 7/30/18, 8/13/18, 9/10/18, 10/1/18, 11/5/18, 11/26/18

SHS-ADV-II-CMM – Advanced Shiphandling (week 2): 4/16/18, 4/30/18, 5/14/18, 6/11/18, 6/25/18, 7/23/18, 8/6/18, 8/20/18, 9/17/18, 10/8/18, 11/12/18, 12/3/18

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

VPEN-CMM – Voyage Planning & Electronic Navigation: 10/22/18

WKP-CMM – Advanced Watchkeeping: 5/7/18, 9/10/18

CNAV-OIC – Celestial Navigation: 4/23/18

CONT PLNG – Contingency Planning Workshop: Contact Admissions

CRISIS-COMMS – Crisis Communications: 5/1/18

CRSMGT – Crisis Management and Human Behavior – 7/12/18

CDMGT – Crowd Management – 7/13/18

CSE – Confined Space Entry: 7/23/18

CSE-AWR – Confined Space Entry Awareness: 5/24/18, 7/26/18

DDE – Great Lakes: 6/4/18

DPA – Contact Admissions

ECDIS for Pilots – 5/24/18, 8/27/18, 12/17/18

ERM – Engine Resource Management: 4/23/18, 7/9/18, 11/26/18

FF-BADV – Fire Fighting Combined Basic & Advanced: 4/9/18, 8/13/18, 10/22/18

FF-ADV-Rev (1-day) (Must have 1 year of seatime in last 5 years) – Advanced Fire Fighting Revalidation: 4/4/18, 5/2/18, 6/20/18, 8/2/18, 8/29/18, 9/25/18, 10/30/18

FF-ADV-REF (2-day) – Advanced Fire Fighting Refresher: 4/27/18, 7/28/18, 9/29/18, 12/15/18

FSM – Fatigue, Sleep, & Medications: 4/17/18, 9/11/18

GL-Pilot – Great Lakes Pilotage Familiarization: Contact Admissions

GMDSS – Global Maritime Distress and Safety System: Contact Admissions

HAZ – Hazardous Materials (5 day): 5/21/18, 8/20/18, 12/10/18

IEN – Integrated Electronic Navigation – Contact Admissions

LAP – 7/9/18, 9/17/18

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

LAP-ORG3rd – License Advancement Program for Original 3rd Mate, Oceans, Any Gross
Ton License: Contact Admissions

LEG – Legal Aspects of Pilotage: 4/18/18, 5/8/18, 9/12/18

LNG-TPIC – 12/3/18

LTS –Leadership and Teamworking Skills (Formerly MCL-OIC): 5/21/18

MEECE – Management of Electrical and Electronic Control Equipment (Assessments not included): 4/30/18, 7/16/18, 12/3/18

MED-PIC – Medical Person in Charge: 5/7/18, 7/9/18, 10/8/18, 11/26/18

MED-PIC-REF– Medical Person in Charge Refresher: 4/23/18, 6/25/18, 8/20/18, 9/17/18

MED-PRO – Medical Care Provider: 4/16/18, 5/7/18, 10/8/18, 11/26/18

MED-DOT-DA – Dept. of Transportation Drug & Alcohol Testing: 4/5/18, 5/3/18, 5/12/18, 6/21/18, 7/14/18, 8/30/18, 9/24/18, 10/13/18, 10/29/18, 12/1/18, 12/21/18

MSA –Maritime Security Awareness: Contact Admissions

[MSC – Military Sealift Command Courses]

MSC-CBRD-1 – Military Sealift Command Chemical, Biological, Radiological Defense Orientation (Basic): 5/24/18, 6/8/18, 8/8/18, 9/12/18, 11/14/18

MSC-DC – Military Sealift Command Damage Control: 5/22/18, 6/6/18, 8/6/18, 9/13/18, 11/12/18

*MSC-ENVPRO – 6/3/18, 8/5/18, 11/4/18

*MSC-FF-HELO – 6/4/18, 8/13/18, 10/31/18

MSC-SMA – Military Sealift Command Small Arms Qualifications: 5/14/18, 6/11/18, 7/16/18, 8/12/18, 9/17/18, 11/5/18

*MSC-Security Watch Basic – 5/13/18, 6/9/18, 8/9/18, 9/15/18, 11/2/18

*MSC-Security Watch Advanced – 5/18/18, 6/10/18, 7/15/18, 8/10/18, 9/16/18, 11/3/18

*MSC-Ship’s Reaction Force – 5/19/18, 6/15/18, 7/20/18, 8/17/18, 9/21/18, 11/9/18

NSAP-MMP – Navigational Skills Assessment Program-MM&P – 4/23/18, 4/25/18, 6/25/18, 6/27/18, 7/31/18, 8/2/18, 8/28/18, 8/30/18, 11/12/18, 11/14/18, 12/17/18, 12/19/18

ROR-1 – Radar Observer Renewal: 9/24/18

ROR-1N – Radar Observer Renewal Evening Classes: 4/4/18, 4/18/18, 5/2/18, 5/9/18, 5/16/18, 6/6/18, 6/20/18, 7/11/18, 7/25/18, 8/8/18, 8/22/18, 10/3/18, 10/17/18, 10/31/18, 11/7/18, 11/14/18, 11/28/18, 12/5/18, 12/12/18, 12/19/18

ROU-OIC – Radar Observer Program – Unlimited: 9/17/18

SAR – Search & Rescue – (Now with OIC and CMM assessments): 5/22/18, 12/17/18

SHS-BAS-OIC – Basic Shiphandling: 5/14/18, 8/27/18, 10/22/18

SHS-EMR5 – Emergency Shiphandling-5 Day – 4/2/18, 5/21/18, 7/23/18, 9/24/18, 10/29/18, 12/10/18

SMS – Contact Admissions

STB-OIC – Ship Construction and Basic Stability: Contact Admissions

TCNAV/CO – Terrestrial Navigation and Compasses: Contact Admissions

TPIC – Tankerman Person in Charge: 4/16/18, 7/9/18

TRAC-TUG-2: Contact Admissions

TTT – Contact Admissions

VPDSD – Vessel Personnel with Designated Security Duties: 4/12/18

VSO – Vessel Security Officer: 4/9/18, 7/9/18

WKP-OIC – Watchkeeping (Operational Level): Contact Admissions

WX-OIC –Meteorology (Operational Level): Contact Admissions

Back to Stories Covered


Spring 2018

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

April 2018
3-6 ARPA
9-13 Basic Training
9-20 GMDSS
9-20 Watchkeeping (Operational Level)
9-27 Terrestrial & Coastal Navigation – Start date for 2018 AB to Mate Program
11th Hazwoper Refresher
13th Radar Renewal
13-14 Basic Training Revalidation
16th Advanced Firefighting Revalidation
16-18 24-Hour Hazwoper
16-20 Medical Care Provider
16-27 Medical Person-In-Charge
23rd Vessel Personnel w/ Designated Security Duties (VPDSD)
23-4 GMDSS
23-4 Watchkeeping (Operational Level)
26th Advanced Firefighting Revalidation
27-28 Basic Training Revalidation
30-4 Leadership & Managerial Skills

May 2018
7-11 Radar Observer Unlimited
7-18 License Preparation
9th Hazwoper Refresher
11-12 Basic Training Revalidation
11-14 Basic Training Refresher (no class on Sunday)
14th Radar Renewal
14-18 Basic Training
14-18 Ship Construction and Basic Stability
15th Advanced Firefighting Revalidation
21-23 Search and Rescue
21-25 ECDIS
23-25 24-Hour Hazwoper
25th Vessel Personnel w/ Designated Security Duties (VPDSD)
29-31 Security Officer – Vessel, Company, and Facility
29-1 Advanced Firefighting

June 2018
2-4 Basic Training Revalidation (no class on Sunday)
4th Radar Renewal
4th Leadership & Teamworking Skills
4-8 Medical Care Provider
4-15 Medical Person-In-Charge
5-8 ARPA
11-14 Advanced Firefighting
11-22 GMDSS
11-22 Watchkeeping (Operational Level)
18-22 Engine Resource Management
22-23 Basic Training Revalidation
22-24 Basic Training Refresher
25th Advanced Firefighting Revalidation
25-29 Meteorology (Operational Level)
25-29 Leadership & Managerial Skills
26th Medical DOT

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 © 2018. 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