Wheelhouse Weekly – May 11, 2001


Bridging the Information Gap With E-News You Can Use

Volume 5. . . . . Number 19. . . May 11, 2001





National Maritime Day will be officially celebrated on May 22 with ceremonies taking place in Washington DC. This will be the 31st anniversary of the US Merchant Marine Memorial Service. The service honors merchant mariners who gave their lives in service to the nation. The observance will feature remarks from key government and maritime industry officials and will be held at the US Navy Memorial, 701 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW.

Following the service, the Propeller Club of the Port of Washington, DC, will hold its annual luncheon. After the luncheon, the annual MSC Wreath Laying Ceremony will be held at the 1430 hrs at Pier One East on the Washington Navy Yard.

MM&P HQ, MITAGS and Plans staffers along with MITAGS students will be attending the Washington observance via bus. Members and pensioners in the local area are welcomed to travel to DC on a space available basis. Call Diane Chatham at 410-850-8700, ext. 21 or Email: for more info.

Observances are also being planned nationwide on May 19 and 20. The Gulfstream Chapter of the American Merchant Marine Veterans will observe Maritime Day on Sunday, May 20 at Terminal 22 in Port Everglades from 1000 to 1800 hrs. A memorial tribute will take place at 1400 hrs. On hand with educational materials will be members of the MM&P, US Navy, US Marine Corps, USCG, US Navy League Sea Cadets and the Sea Scouts of America. Tram tours of the Port Everglades facility will also be featured. Admission is free. For further info, contact George Bark at 954-776-0284.

As reported last week, National Maritime Day will be celebrated at the American Merchant Marine Veterans Memorial in San Pedro commencing at 1000 hrs on Saturday, May 19th. MM&P President Capt. Tim Brown will be the featured luncheon speaker. For further info, contact the AMMVMC at voice: 310-830-7899, fax: 949-215-3237, or Email:

MM&P Wheelhouse Weekly



On Thursday evening May 10, MM&P President Capt. Tim Brown addressed the members of the Boston Marine Society. In his opening remarks, Brown credited the society for helping to set the standard for everyone concerned about the safety of navigation, the proper training of American seamen, and, perhaps most importantly, the support of distressed mariners and their families.

With National Maritime Day upcoming, the following excerpts from his address reflect on the glorious past and challenging future of the US maritime community:

As I thought about the history of the Boston Marine Society, I couldn’t help but also think about where our industry was when ‘The Fellowship Club’ was founded , and where we as an industry are today. And, the more I thought about it the more I realized the old cliche is true: “the more things change, the more they remain the same.” Way back then, our country also had a “G.W.” as President ­ President George Washington.

With great wisdom and foresight, the first US president told Congress in 1790 not to “overlook the tendency of war to abridge the means, and thereby at least enhance the price, of transporting products to their proper markets.” George Washington called on the Congress “to guard against embarrassments from these contingencies by such encouragement to our own navigation as will render our commerce and agriculture less dependent on foreign bottoms which may fail us… “

Like the first US President, George W. Bush has stated that he recognizes the importance of a strong, US maritime industry. He has said, “Safe, reliable and efficient transportation of goods and passengers is essential to sustaining growth in the US economy and to our international trade. In time of war or national emergency, the US military depends on shipping and seafarers drawn from the US-flag commercial fleet to deploy our military overseas, and, once deployed, to transport the supplies necessary for them to fight and win anywhere in the world.”

President Bush has also stated: “To compete in the global economy of the 21st century, the US needs a maritime policy tailored to 21st century needs… we [need] to provide the conditions under which the American maritime industry can compete and grow in the 21st century.”

We at the Masters, Mates & Pilots Union agree with that statement. To go beyond mere survival, to be able to grow and prosper, our industry needs to confront the challenges and problems it faces, and to formulate realistic, politically acceptable and innovative solutions to these problems.

Today, the deep-sea US-flag merchant marine is comprised of only 97 commercial vessels greater than 1,000 tons engaged in the carrying commerce between the US and foreign countries … and 47 of these make up the Maritime Security Fleet. By contrast, at the end of World War II we had more than 2,300 commercial vessels engaged in these trades.

Today, the US, the world’s last remaining superpower, fails to rank in the top-10 of countries in terms of deadweight tonnage or in terms of number of vessels. Not only are we far from the world’s preeminent maritime power, but we lag behind such maritime “superpowers” as Liberia, Malta, Cyprus and Singapore.

We must accept the fact that if we truly want a US-flag merchant marine that can compete in the international shipping arena ­ an arena dominated by heavily subsidized, tax free and state owned and controlled foreign vessels ­ we are going to have to find a new way to level the playing field ­ by giving our industry many of the same incentives and encouragements that foreign nations give their fleets and seafarers. We have tried for far too long to change the rest of the world and, frankly, we are losing that battle. It’s time to compete with them head-on in a battle I believe we can win.

I believe that Congress should demonstrate its commitment to a strong national maritime policy by extending the Maritime Security Program at least another 10 years beyond its scheduled expiration date of September 30, 2005.

I further believe that Congress and the Administration should expand the size of the Maritime Security Fleet beyond its current 47 US-flag militarily-useful commercial vessels. A larger Maritime Security Fleet, owned by US citizens and crewed by American mariners, will mean that the Department of Defense will have even greater capability at its disposal whenever and wherever it needs.

Congress should also take a close, hard look at how existing tax laws impede the competitive operation of our fleet and the employment of American mariners. The same foreign source income exclusion that other Americans working outside the US already enjoy should be extended to US mariners.

As it did 200 years ago, it will take a unified effort ­ a partnership between the White House, the Congress and the industry ­ to make the changes necessary to revitalize the US maritime industry. As difficult as the challenges are, and as daunting as the task seems, With the right commitment and hard work, the 21st Century can see the US back on the road to maritime supremacy. I assure you that the Masters, Mates & Pilots Union will do its part to see that vision develop into reality.

MM&P Wheelhouse Weekly



The Coast Guard re-opened a 137-mile section of the Upper Mississippi River on Wednesday after weeks of flooding closed parts of the river from Minnesota to Iowa. The re-opened section of river extends from Genoa, WI to Hastings, MN. Meanwhile, 349 miles of the Upper Mississippi River still remain closed to recreational and commercial vessel traffic.

“We want to see resumption of normal operations on the river as soon as possible,” said Cmdr. Adolfo Ramirez, USCG Capt. of the Port, St. Louis, “but we will not sacrifice safety for the sake of commerce or recreation. Factors we have to consider before opening the river include the status of locks, dams and bridges, river stages, the current, and the status of aids to navigation. If any of these factors indicate an unsafe condition exists, the river will remain closed until conditions improve.”

MM&P Wheelhouse Weekly



One of the first cruise ships to visit southeast Alaskan ports this season was cited for illegally dumping concentrated sewage into the scenic Inside Passage, the USCG said on Thursday.

The Reuters news service reported that the foreign-flagged NORWEGIAN SKY, owned by Norwegian Cruise Lines, discharged the sewage for 20 to 30 minutes while it was traveling between Juneau and Ketchikan, the USCG said. With the ship, traveling at about 17 knots, that means a waste stream of half to three-quarters of a mile, said a USCG Commander.

Tests performed by an independent laboratory on effluent samples from the ship showed fecal coliform 3,500 times the allowable federal standard and suspended solids 180 times the standard, the Coast Guard said.

The violation comes as residents and government agencies have heightened their concerns about cruise ship pollution, and as officials in Alaska debate a possible new law that would make Alaska the first US state to regulate the vessels.

It was the first known violation of a new federal law that sets standards for treated sewage from cruise ships and prohibits discharge of untreated sewage in the Inside Passage’s so-called
“donut holes,” areas in the channel more than three miles from shore. The penalty for such a violation is up to $25,000 a day.

MM&P Wheelhouse Weekly



Offshore Pacific Ports Agent Capt. Dave Boatner reports with great sadness Louise Tilghman passed away last weekend. Louise worked as a relief port rep. in the LA/LB Hall for many years and was the widow of late MM&P member Capt. Steve Tilghman. She will be greatly missed.

MM&P Wheelhouse Weekly



Openings in classes through the end of August follow
  • 5/21-25: DCS, BST
  • 6/4-29: MED-SMC
  • 6/4-8: WX-HWA, BST
  • 6/11-15: COMP-MAR
  • 6/11-14: SMA
  • 6/18-22: BST, COMP-NET, FF-ADV
  • 6/25-29: BST
  • 7/30: ROR-1
  • 7/30-8/3: BRM-3, COMP-OPSYS
  • 8/6-31: SMC
  • 8/13-17: BST, GMDSS, SHS-INT I, ECDIS
  • 8/13-16: SMA
  • 8/20-24: BST, SHS-INT II, ARPA, VPM, ROR-1
  • 8/27-31: FF-ADV, BRM-3, ROP

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



Course openings are as follows:

  • ARPA: 5/21-25; 5/28-6/1
  • BRM: 5/21-23
  • GMDSS: 5/28-6/8

For more info on their new ECDIS Course or the PNMI, please visit their website at

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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