News

Wheelhouse Weekly – May 02, 2011

 

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

Volume 15 . . . . . Number 18. . . . May 2, 2011

STORIES COVERED

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


U.S. MARINERS AND SHIP OPERATORS CRITICAL TO NATION’S SECURITY, NAVY LEAGUE SAYS

A skilled merchant marine and a strong U.S. shipbuilding industry are critical to America’s national and economic security, says the Navy League in its most recent policy statement. The group says that the role played by the Jones Act and other laws that support the U.S.-flag shipping industry are particularly important given the fact that our country is involved in several international conflicts. 

“The ability to access [the] maritime capability of ships and seafarers is essential to our national and economic security,” the Navy League says. “The Voluntary Intermodal Agreement, which includes the domestic Jones Act fleet, provides 135 ships, 213 barges and tugs, and worldwide intermodal capability. Without these commercial capabilities, the U.S. government would be required to provide significantly more funds to build a replacement fleet and infrastructure while losing the pool of highly qualified mariners needed to sail these vessels.”

The Navy League also emphasizes the critical importance of a strong American shipyard capacity. Citing the benefits of Navy, Coast Guard and commercial shipbuilding, the League said, “It is essential that this nation have a policy at the highest levels of government to support and sustain an adequate industrial base capable of providing and supporting a strong Navy and maritime commerce.”

The report said the Jones Act and other U.S. maritime laws boost security by adding a sealift capacity as well as an expanded pool of trained and experienced mariners to crew government-owned sealift assets. These laws also help to sustain the U.S. shipbuilding and ship repair industrial base that is vital to the Navy. Ninety-five percent of the equipment and supplies required to deploy America’s armed forces are moved by sea.

But the policy statement points out that the base of skilled U.S. merchant mariners is shrinking. The shipping capabilities of the Maritime Administration’s Ready Reserve Force and the Department of Defense (DoD) Military Sealift Command are currently sized to support routine and some surge logistics and specialized mission requirements. “This critical capability must be maintained by ensuring an active commercial U.S.-flag Merchant Marine to support efficient and cost-effective movement of DoD cargo,” the Navy League says.

The Navy League of the United States, founded in 1902, is the foremost citizens’ organization dedicated to serving, supporting and standing with all the U.S. sea services: the Navy, the Marine Corps, the Coast Guard and the U.S.-flag Merchant Marine. More than 50,000 Navy League members focus on: public education to inform the nation, and its political leaders, of the vital importance to the country of comprehensive and fully prepared sea services; and supporting active-duty sea service personnel and their families.


CAMM MEETING AT MITAGS ADDRESSES WIDE RANGE OF TOPICS

The Council of American Master Mariners (CAMM) held its Annual Meeting and Professional Development Conference at MITAGS last week. The title of the conference was “The Master and the Burden of Regulations.”

On the first day of the proceedings, the International Federation of Shipmasters’ Associations and the Nautical Institute conducted a “Command Seminar” which touched on a variety of topics, including: the future role of e-navigation and its potential impact on masters and pilots; the Coast Guard’s perspective on the criminalization of mariners in the wake of accidents; the carriage of arms aboard merchant ships; maritime education and training; and the master/pilot relationship.

MM&P International President Tim Brown opened the CAMM Annual General Meeting on the second day, when the focus shifted to topics that included: the Coast Guard’s mariner credentials and medical review processes; the burden of regulations on ship masters; masters’ increasing workload; U.S. policy on piracy; salvage operations; investigations by the National Transportation Safety Board; an international perspective on government regulation of seafarers and shipping; continuing professional development; and seafarer terminal access issues.
 
Capt. Dennis Newbanks of MITAGS spoke on, “The Master and the Burden of Regulation.” MM&P Pilot Group Vice President George Quick spoke on the master/pilot relationship with ports states, as well as current U.S. anti-piracy policy.
 
Keynote speaker Rep. Elijah Cummings spoke eloquently of the performance and accountability standards set for the U.S. Coast Guard during his tenure as chairman of the House Subcommittee on Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation. He also re-affirmed the great value to the nation of the Jones Act, cargo preference and the Maritime Security Program (MSP), calling them essential to the preservation of America’s security and American maritime jobs.

Cummings urged the U.S.-flag maritime community to work harder to educate new members of Congress about the essential nature of these three pillars of the domestic maritime industry, warning that failure to do so would expose our industry to serious risk in the context of the current atmosphere of federal budget cutting. Cummings also cautioned the nation’s lawmakers to exercise care in each and every discussion on cutting government regulations, underlining the fact that a significant number of regulations were put in place to protect workers and the environment, and should not be subject to weakening or elimination.

“It was a wide-ranging discussion of issues of importance to professional mariners that was both interesting and informative,” said MM&P International President Tim Brown. “CAMM is to be congratulated on putting together such an ambitious program.”


FEDERAL COURT AGREES TO BIG REDUCTION IN HORIZON LINES FINE

A federal court in Puerto Rico last week agreed to reduce, to $15 million from $45 million, the fine that had been levied against Horizon Lines for antitrust violations. A spokesman for Horizon Lines said the ruling removes the threat that the company would default in May on some of its outstanding bonds. The Department of Justice had requested that the fine be reduced, saying that a modification in the terms of the fine was necessary to save Horizon from the threat of a default and bankruptcy that “would jeopardize the government’s ability to collect the outstanding balance of the company’s criminal fine.” A spokesman for Horizon Lines said the reduction will help the company secure new long-term financing. The reduced fine of $15 million is payable over five years without interest. Horizon said it had already paid the $1 million due last week.


RON WIDDOWS TO RETIRE FROM NOL

APL-parent NOL has announced a leadership change. Current NOL President and CEO Ron Widdows will retire at the end of 2011. He will be replaced by Ng Yat Chung, who will be appointed as an executive director to NOL’s board of directors May 1. Ng is currently a top manager with Temasek Holdings, the Singapore state-owned sovereign wealth fund that owns a majority equity stake in NOL. He spent 28 years in leadership roles in Singapore’s armed forces and was chief of the country’s defense force from 2003 to 2007. Widdows has spent the last three decades with NOL and APL. He spent the last three years as chief executive officer of the NOL Group. Before that, he was the chief executive officer of APL.


HORIZON PRODUCER IS PLATFORM FOR ANTI-PIRACY DEMO

The HORIZON PRODUCER was used as a platform in April for demonstrations of a commercial “anti-piracy system” that includes cameras powerful enough to capture images 10 miles away, a cascading water cannon and attack-repelling chemical compounds (designed to induce nausea but said to have no long-term health effects). News reports on the demonstration quoted MM&P member Capt. Bill Boyce on the urgent need to find ways to better protect ships and crews against pirate attacks. “They come on with rocket-propelled grenade launchers and AK-47s and all you have is a fire hose,” Boyce is quoted as saying. “You’re responsible for 30 people’s lives … and you don’t have the tools to really help them. That’s a lot of weight on a captain’s shoulders.”

The company that carried out the test is International Maritime Security Network (IMSN), based in Wellsburg, W. Va., which is marketing a product it calls Triton Shield Anti-Piracy System. It deployed the system on the PRODUCER in mid-April during the vessel’s regular Jacksonville to San Juan run.

The first line of defense is a long-distance camera that, it is hoped, will give ships’ crews a time window sufficient to escape if an approaching vessel is seen to be carrying pirates. If pirates attempt to board, a second line of defense is a wall of water from nozzles arrayed along the length of the vessel. A separate system sprays a substance that makes people choke, vomit and pass out. A spokesman for the company said the substance is biodegradable but that no one can withstand either it or the water system, which sprays at a rate of 150 gallons per minute.

As an alternative defense, the company also advises ships have an armed security detachment on board, a position now endorsed by U.S. maritime unions, including MM&P. The IMSN spokesman said the cost of the equipment and installation varies between $12,000 and $100,000, depending on which components are purchased.  


CREW OF AMERICAN FRIGATE EXCHANGES FIRE WITH PIRATES

An American warship, the USS STEPHEN W. GROVES, exchanged fire with pirates aboard hijacked ships off the coast of Somalia last week. The frigate was operating as part of NATO’s counter-piracy mission when the gunfight occurred.

NATO reported that the USS GROVES intercepted the hijacked Kuwaiti tanker ZIRKU, the Italian bulker ROSALIA D’AMATO and the Taiwanese fishing vessel JIN CHUN TSAI 68, as well as two unmanned skiffs, about 100 nautical miles off the Somali coast on April 24. Officers aboard the warship ordered the pirates to cut loose the mother ship and skiffs. When the pirates did not comply, warning shots were fired, and when they too were ignored, the unmanned skiffs were destroyed. As the frigate moved closer to the bulker, the pirates opened fire. The warship returned fire before moving away in an attempt to de-escalate the situation so as not to endanger the lives of the hostages aboard the pirate-held ships.


PIRATES RELEASE MV RENUAR AND 24-MAN CREW

Pirates have released the Panama-flagged MV RENUAR and its 24-man crew. The vessel and its crew had been held captive since Dec. 11. All crewmembers are reportedly in good condition.


NATIONAL MARITIME DAY COMMEMORATION IN SAN PEDRO, MAY 22

The American Merchant Marine Veterans Memorial Committee invites you to the National Maritime Day Observance and Memorial Service, Sunday, May 22. The service begins at 11:00 a.m. at the foot of Sixth Street at the American Merchant Marine Veterans Memorial in San Pedro, Calif. We invite you to join us after the service for a luncheon at 12:00 p.m. at the nearby Ports O’Call Restaurant, Berth 76, $40 per person or $400 for a table of ten. For luncheon reservations, please respond by May 17 to 310-830-7899. The committee also produces a souvenir program for the event. If you are interested in advertising, please call 310-325-3506 by May 6.


PMI’S NEW BEYOND BASIC STABILITY & TRIM WORKSHOP JUNE 1-3

The National Cargo Bureau and the Pacific Maritime Institute have announced a new workshop for professional mariners who want to hone their skills in the area of cargo vessel stability and trim. The workshop will be conducted by William George, the author of “Stability and Trim for the Ship’s Officer.” All that is needed to use the methods described in the course is the vessel’s hydrostatic table, the capacity plan, a simple calculator and a few sheets of paper. By use of this old school approach, participants will be able to eschew trial-and-error methods based on computers. Participants in the first workshop will receive an autographed copy of the 4th edition of “Stability and Trim for the Ship’s Officer.” The course will be held June 1-3. To sign up or to find out more, contact Jennifer Pitzen at (888) 893-7829 or jpitzen@mates.org


UNITED INLAND GROUP-PACIFIC MARITIME REGION MEETINGS

The following dates, times and locations have been selected for UIG-PMR meetings in the Puget Sound region for the first half of 2011.

Tuesday, May 10 – Anacortes (site TBD: 1000-1200 and 1500-1700)

Thursday, June 9 – Edmonds Office: 1000-1200


SCHEDULE FOR 2011 D-BOOK MEMBERSHIP COURSE

The Offshore Division Orientation Course, formerly called the D-Book Membership Course, will be held at regular intervals throughout 2011.

The schedule is as follows (but please note that course dates may change depending on the number of participants who sign up): June 10-11 and Oct. 21-22 at MM&P headquarters in Linthicum Heights; Oct. 13-14 in Los Angeles/Long Beach; and Nov. 8-9 in New Orleans.

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 Mary Seidman at mseidman@bridgedeck.org.


BISCAYNE BAY PILOTS PUBLISH CHRONICLE OF PORT OF MIAMI HISTORY

The Biscayne Bay Pilots Association is celebrating its centennial with the publication of a commemorative volume, “A Century of Service: A History of the Biscayne Bay Pilots.” The book, which was written by Capt. Andrew D. Melick, chronicles the events that led to the establishment of Miami as a port town at the turn of the 20th century and the evolution of the city and its seaport ever since. The book is edited by Miami historian Paul George.

“Forty-four harbor pilots have played an intricate role in the development of Biscayne Bay as a major seaport over the last century,” said Biscayne Bay Pilots Association Chairman John Jacobsen. “We are honored to be celebrating our collaboration with the Port of Miami and our contribution to the safety, environmental integrity and economic development of this beautiful port city.”

There are currently 16 pilots serving within the association. Harbor pilots in Miami have safely handled the navigation of hundreds of thousands of ships during the last century; they currently pilot approximately 7,000 ships sailing in and out of Biscayne Bay annually.

“This centennial occasion serves not only to review our history but also to look forward to the future,” said author of the book Andrew Melick. “We have been a part of every milestone marking the development of Biscayne Bay as a seaport, and we will continue to be an integral link in the chain of progress.” Today there are 97 harbor pilots serving Florida’s 14 deepwater ports.

The book is available at www.booksandbooks.com. All proceeds from the sale of the book are donated to charity.


MITAGS ACADEMIC NOTES

Between now and the end of June, the following courses are scheduled at MITAGS.  For class availability or information on MITAGS courses and programs, contact Kelly Michielli, Admissions Coordinator, toll free at 866-656-5568 or e-mail: admissions@mitags.org.

AB – Able Bodied Seaman: 6/13
AIS – Automatic Identification Systems: 5/12
ARPA – Automated Radar Plotting Aids: 5/16

BRMP – Bridge Resource Management for Pilots: 5/9, 6/6
BST – Basic Safety Training: 6/27

[CMM – Chief Mate and Master Courses]
CMM-ADVWX � Advanced Meteorology: 6/12
CMM-ADVSTB � Advanced Stability: 6/27
CMM-ECDIS � Electronic Chart Display and Information Systems: 5/23
CMM-MPP � Marine Propulsion Plants: 6/13
CMM-SHMGT II – Ship Management (week 2): 5/9
CMM-SHS-ADV-I � Advanced Shiphandling (week 1): 5/16, 6/13
CMM-SHS-ADV-I I � Advanced Shiphandling (week 2): 5/23, 6/20
CMM-VPEN � Voyage Planning and Electronic Navigation: 5/16
CMM-WKP � Advanced Watchkeeping: 6/20

ENVIRO-Regs Permit � Environmental Regulations Permit: 5/24

FF-BADV � Combined Basic and Advanced Fire Fighting: 6/27
FSM � Fatique, Sleep and Medications for Pilots: 6/8

HAZ � Hazardous Materials (5 day): 6/13

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

LEG – Legal Aspects of Pilotage: 5/9, 6/6

MEDIA-RSP � Media Response Workshop: 5/13
MED-PIC – Medical Person In Charge: 6/13
MED-PRO – Medical Care Provider: 6/13
MED-DOT-DA – Dept. of Transportation Drug & Alcohol Testing: 5/7, 6/18

MSC-CBRD1 � Basic Chemical, Biological, Radiological Defense: 6/10
MSC-DC � Damage Control: 6/6
MSC -SMA � Military Sealift Command Small Arms Qualification: 6/6

ROR-1 – Radar Observer Renewal Evening Classes: 5/11, 5/25, 6/16, 6/28
ROR-1 – Radar Observer Renewal Day Class: 6/16

SEC-VCF � Security Officer, Vessel, Company & Facility: 5/9
SHS-BAS � Basic Shiphandling: 6/20
SHS-EMR3 � Emergency Shiphandling for Pilots: 6/8

TPIC � Tankerman Person in Charge: 5/16

…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. For class availability or info on MITAGS courses and programs, contact admissions toll-free at 866-656-5568 or e-mail: admissions@mitags.org


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

May 2011

2-13    Basic Watchkeeping
16th    Radar Renewal
16-20  Medical Care Provider
16-27  Medical Person-In-Charge
17-18   Environmental Regulations/VGP
21st     Medical DOT
23-25  Fast Rescue Boat
23-27  ECDIS
23-27  Management, Communication, and Leadership
25th    Flashing Light

June 2011

2-3      Vessel Security Officer
6-24    Terrestrial and Coastal Navigation
13-24  GMDSS
20-22 Fast Rescue Boat
20-24 ECDIS
27-29  Emergency Procedures
30-1    Search and Rescue


MM&P MARKET WATCH AS OF 4-29-11

D O W N A S D A Q S & P 500
12,763.31 2,873.54 1,363.61
Fund Name & Trading Symbol
 Closing
Price
 Vanguard Asset Allocation Fund (VAARX)
59.37
 Vanguard 500 Index Fund (VFINX)
125.72
 Vanguard Extended Market Index Fund (VEXMX)
45.99
 Vanguard International Growth Fund (VWIGX)
21.17
 Vanguard Morgan Growth Fund (VMRGX)
19.74
 Vanguard Windsor II Fund (VWNFX)
28.22
 Vanguard GNMA Fund (VFIIX)
10.84
 Vanguard Growth Index Fund (VIGRX)
34.10
 Vanguard High Yield Corporate (VWEHX)
5.86
 Vanguard LifeStrategy Conservative Growth (VSCGX)
17.10
 Vanguard LifeStrategy Growth Fund (VASGX)
23.83
 Vanguard LifeStrategy Income Fund (VASIX)
14.47
 Vanguard LifeStrategy Moderate Growth (VSMGX)
20.85
 Vanguard Target Retirement 2005 (VTOVX)
12.27
 Vanguard Target Retirement 2015 (VTXVX)
13.18
 Vanguard Target Retirement 2025 (VTTVX)
13.53
 Vanguard Target Retirement 2035 (VTTHX)
14.18
 Vanguard Target Retirement 2045 (VTIVX)
14.64
 Vanguard Total Bond Index (VBMFX)
10.65
 Vanguard Total Stock Market Index Fund (VTSMX)
34.43
 Chase Growth Fund (CHASX)
19.14
 Fidelity Asset Manager (FASMX)
16.27
 Fidelity Growth and Income (FGRIX)
19.75
 Fidelity Intermediate bond Fund (FTHRX)
10.66
 Fidelity Magellan Fund (FMAGX)
77.46
 Fidelity Value Fund (FDVLX)
75.87
 Fidelity Equity-Income II Fund (FEQTX)
19.84
 Fidelity Blue Chip Growth Fund (FBGRX)
49.64
 Fidelity Diversified International Fund (FDIVX)
32.85
 Fidelity Dividend Growth Fund (FDGFX)
31.04
 Fidelity Freedom Income (FFFAX)
11.65
 Fidelity Freedom 2000 (FFFBX)
12.37
 Fidelity Freedom 2010 (FFFCX)
14.42
 Fidelity Freedom 2020 (FFFDX)
14.75
 Fidelity Freedom 2030 (FFFEX)
14.86
 Fidelity Freedom 2040 (FFFFX)
8.71
 Fidelity Freedom 2050 (FFFHX)
10.23
 Fidelity Total Bond Fund (FTBFX)
10.87
 Spartan Extended market Index Fund (FSEMX)
41.87
 Spartan US Equity Index Fund (FUSEX)
48.31
 Domini Social Equity Fund (DSEFX)
32.75



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.

© 2011, 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.