Wheelhouse Weekly – May 20, 2004



– Bridging the Information Gap WithE-News You Can Use –

Volume8 . . . . . Number 21 . . . . May 20,2004


Convention Call: MM&P 80th Convention

In accordance with Article IV, Section 2, ofthe International Constitution, members are hereby notified that a regularconvention of the MM&P will be convened at 1000 on Monday, August 2,at MITAGS, 692 Maritime Blvd, Linthicum Heights, MD. Nominations for electiveoffice will take place at this Convention. Constitutional amendments mayalso be considered at this Convention.

Members are also hereby notified that in accordancewith Article IV, Section 6., Subsection b), all proposed resolutions mustbe forwarded to the InternationalSecretary-Treasurer at least 30 days prior to the opening day of theConvention for inclusion on the Agenda and determination by the Convention.





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



This Thursday, May 20, the nation celebrates National Maritime Day, anannual event to honor the country’s maritime heritage and those who bothserved and sacrificed their lives while serving in the US merchant marine.

The nation’s capital will host the annual event beginning with activitiesat the US Navy Memorial, followed by a luncheon sponsored by the PropellerClub of Wash., DC and Kings Point Club of DC. A wreath laying ceremonyat the Navy Yard will conclude the day’s activities.

Some of the many other Maritime Day activities planned throughout thecountry include:

Federal Maritime Commission Chairman Steven Blust  addressed thePropeller Club of Los Angeles-Long Beach and Harbor Association of Industry& Commerce on Wed., May 19. He discussed the subject of fair maritimecompetition in a dynamic marketplace.

The annual National Maritime Day Observance and Memorial Service willbe held at the American Merchant Marine Veterans Memorial & Walls ofHonor, located on Harbor Boulevard in John S. Gibson Park at the foot of6th Street, San Pedro, at the Los Angeles Maritime Museum, on Saturday,May 22, 2004, starting at 1000 hrs. The ceremony will include a memorialservice honoring those merchant mariners who sacrificed their lives duringarmed conflicts since World War II. Congressman Rohrabacher, CaliforniaState Senator Betty Karnette and Councilwoman Janice Hahn are scheduledto participate in the ceremony along with religious leaders and representativesof the USCG and California Maritime Academy. For further info contact JohnPitts at 310-830-7899 or Email:

The Port Arthur (Texas) International Seamen Center will salute theindustry’s response to the war in Iraq and pay special tribute to the crewof the M/D LEE III lost in a collision at sea in February of this year.Later in the day, Lt. Colonel Sundin, USCG CMDR – 842nd TransportationBattalion will address a banquet.

The Port of Paducah, KY will celebrate May 21 & 22, beginning witha double shotgun start golf outing at Rollings Hills Country Club on Friday.On Sat., May 22 there will be a continental breakfast at the Seamen’s ChurchCenter for Maritime Education. This includes Maritime Person and Port Personof the Year awards.

The Port of Lake Charles’ Propeller Club will celebrate its first memorialservice/celebration on Sunday, May 23 at the Lake Charles Civic CenterSea Wall.

The Port of Corpus Christi (TX) will celebrate on Sat., May 22, beginningwith a sailboat regatta in Corpus Christi Bay, wreath laying ceremony,shrimp boil, live music and dancing. Between 400 and 500 people are expectedto attend.

The Propeller Club’s Miami, Florida chapter will commence celebrationson Thursday, May 20 and will include a golf tournament and conclude witha dinner.

Louisville, KY’s chapter will honor Cdr. Terry Gilbreath (USCG) andJohn Waggoner, Hornblower Marine Services as Persons of the Year, at aspecial dinner on the BELLE OF LOUISVILLE and more on May 22.

San Diego’s celebration on May 21 will include a cruise aboard the M/VSPIRIT OF SAN DIEGO where a luncheon will be served, followed by a wreathlaying ceremony.

Blessing of the Fleet will take place on May 21 by the Port of Chicago,followed by remarks by Capt. James Brinckerhoff, President, InternationalShipmasters Association. Events will also include laying of the wreath,blowing of the M/V ODYSSEY II’s whistles and taps.

The Port of Norfolk Virginia Club, will be celebrating National MaritimeDay on Friday May 21 with a lunchtime celebration that will take placeat Nauticus, The National Maritime Center, on Norfolk’s waterfront fromapprox. 1145 to 1300 hrs. The ceremony will start with music provided bythe Atlantic Fleet Band and will include recognition of several local marinersby different maritime unions, Military Sealift Command and the MaritimeAdministration. The keynote speaker is CDR Steven Hanewich, Executive Officerand Alternate Captain of the Port, USCG Marine Safety Office Hampton Roads.The event will conclude with a somber wreath laying ceremony at the downtownharbor.

US Senator Jack Reed (D-RI) is this year’s “Man-of-the-Year” award recipientwhich to be recognized by the Propeller Club’s Port of Narragansett Bay,Rhode Island on Monday, May 24. Additionally, there will be a presentationby NOAA to Northeast Marine Pilots.

Events are also planned by the Propeller Club ports of Tacoma, Brunswick,Boston, San Francisco, and others.



US Secretary of Labor Elaine Chao joined US Secretary of TransportationNorman Mineta and Maritime Administrator Captain William Schubert at theNational Maritime Day ceremony in Washington today. Secretary Chao, formerChairman of the Federal Maritime Commission, Deputy Maritime Administratorand Deputy Secretary of Transportation, participated in the Maritime Dayobservance for the second year in a row. Secretary Chao’s statement:

On this National Maritime Day 2004, I urge all Americans to honor thebrave men and women who serve in the United States Merchant Marine andto remember those merchant mariners who have made the ultimate sacrificeand given their lives in the service of our country.

The record of our merchant mariners and their contribution to our nationis long and distinguished. Their history of devoted service, in both warand peace, is an inspiration to every generation of Americans. Their traditionof courage, patriotism and perseverance has become an integral part ofour nation’s heritage.

Today, merchant mariners are crewing auxiliary vessels for the UnitedStates Navy and supporting our troops in Afghanistan and Iraq. Being partof a noble and patriotic profession, these merchant mariners always standready to respond to those situations when commercial ships are called uponto support military operations overseas.

More than 5,000 brave merchant mariners have put themselves in harm’sway to deliver to our troops the combat gear, fuel, and other suppliesneeded to complete the liberation and reconstruction of Iraq.

All told, merchant mariners have delivered more than 2.6 million shorttons of cargo, representing more than 85 percent of the equipment and suppliesneeded by our brave troops. And true to America’s compassionate character,these courageous merchant mariners are also delivering food and suppliesto the Iraqi people.

The United States in the 21st Century is the single largest nationaleconomy in the world and a premier force in international trade. Americaneeds a strong US-flag merchant marine to carry our commerce, promote ourexports and support our national defense.

National Maritime Day 2004 keeps alive the memory of merchant marinerswho sacrificed for us in the past and who honor us today with their service.It is altogether fitting to pay our respects to these men and women whohave always been ready to assist in America’s defense.



The US Navy’s Military Sealift Command will honor some unsung heroes ofnational defense, US merchant mariners, at a Maritime Day ceremony on May20 at 1400 hrs at Willard Park at the Washington Navy Yard in Washington,DC. The event, hosted by Vice Adm. David Brewer III, USN, Commander, MSC,will feature remarks from US Rep. Gene Taylor (D-MS).

Merchant mariners have been a vital component of American sea powersince the Revolutionary War. During World War II, 6,000 US seafarers andmore than 700 US merchant ships fell to enemy action. Today, mariners continueto play a critical role in our nation’s defense, enabling the US militaryto operate around the world.

“We celebrate Maritime Day to honor the merchant mariners who have servedthe United States during her 228-year history,” says Vice Adm. Brewer.”We especially remember those who made the ultimate sacrifice.”

Military Sealift Command, headquartered in Washington, DC, is the singlelargest employer of US merchant mariners. More than 80 percent of MSC’smostly civilian 10,000 person workforce serves at sea, either as federalcivil service mariners or as commercial mariners employed by companiesunder contract to MSC.

Civilian merchant mariners played a key role in Operation Iraqi Freedomand continue to support the Global War on Terrorism. They operate shipsthat support US forces by providing transportation for Army and MarineCorps combat equipment, munitions for the Air Force and Navy and fuel forthe Department of Defense. Since Sept. 11, 2001, MSC has moved 56 millionsquare feet of combat cargo and 5 billion gallons of fuel worldwide insupport of US forces.

CIVMARS also operate ships that support the Navy’s combatant fleet byat-sea replenishment of food, fuel, parts and supplies, as well as providingoceanographic and ocean surveillance data to support daily operations.In addition, merchant mariners serve aboard ships laden with military cargoand prepositioned in strategic locations around the globe, ready to respondto any contingency.

National Maritime Day is observed in May each year to commemorate thefirst voyage of the steam ship SAVANNAH across the Atlantic on May 22,1819. The day was declared a holiday in 1933 by a Joint Resolution of Congress.



Discount Prescription Drug Cards are being offered to all Medicare Seniorsas part of the Medicare Drug Program. There are a number of companies whohave been approved to offer the discount cards and the Medicare websitecontains a list of available cards. The cards vary in price and offer differentlevels of discounts.

The Plan is advising our members to ignore these card offers and continueto use your Plan Prescription Drug Benefit through NMHC and Express PharmacyServices.

According to a report on CBS News on Thursday, May 13, these cards arewreaking havoc. A survey of one of the cards showed that the discountsoffered were less than those available on a popular mail order website.Although the cards advertise “discounts of up to 35%”, they fail to mentionthat there is no discount on some drugs.

Remember, the Plan discounts obtained from our pharmacy benefit managerare discounts off of the average wholesale price, not the retail price,and are significantly better than those you can obtain with the cards.

Bottom Line? Save your money and use your MM&P Health Plan benefit.



While MM&P Health & Benefit Plan participants are covered by oneof the best health care plans in the country, some 20 million working peoplehave no health care coverage at all according to a new study by the RobertWood Johnson Foundation released on May 5.

The study, “Characteristics of the Uninsured: A View from the States,”also found that in six states, one in five working adults is not insured.In 38 other states, one in 10 is uninsured. Overall, nearly 44 millionAmericans lack health care coverage.

The report was released as part of an effort by a diverse group of organizations,including the AFL-CIO, SEIU, the Chamber of Commerce, health and insuranceindustry groups and community and health organizations, to focus attentionto the plight of those without coverage. For more info go to



The Lloyd’s Register publication Fairplay reports that an investigationby the USCG into the May 10 grounding of the MM&P-contracted AlaskaMarine Highway System ferry LECONTE has initially determined that the causewas human error.

USCG investigating officers have prepared a report that indicates theferry’s captain and chief mate were on the bridge when the vessel ran agroundon Cozian Reef about 30 n-miles north of Sitka. The conditions reportedat the time were good, with clear weather and calm seas, according tothe report.

However, when the ship was between Angoon and Sitka a decision was madeto alter course for an unplanned route inside Otstoia Island to allow atug and barge to pass. The chief mate turned the ferry without first checkingits position to determine the proper course, the report said.

The LECONTE passed on the wrong side of a navigational aide and groundedon the reef at cruising speed. As the 235-foot ferry began to take onwater due to significant damage to the its hull, 109 passengers and crewmemberswere evacuated by lifeboat.

Over the last week emergency repairs were made at the scene and theLECONTE, with a patched hull, was towed to Ketchikan for repairs.


The USCG is revising its aids to navigation and maritime info regulationsby updating technical info concerning buoys, sound signals, internationalrules at sea, communications procedures, and large navigational buoys,and by rewriting some regulations to make them clearer and easier to understand.

The USCG’s Office of Short-Range Aids to Navigation frequently reviewsthe rules on Aids to Navigation. During its most recent review, it wasdetermined that many rules do not reflect current technologies and practices.For example, what were formerly called “fog signals, are now call “soundsignals.

The USCG also wants to inform users that certain safety info, such as”Notice to Mariners” can now be found on the World Wide Web. Therefore,the aids to navigation rules have been updated in an attempt to eliminateambiguous, confusing, or gender-specific language.

This final rule is effective June 4 and is available for inspectionon the Internet at If you have questions on this rule,call Dan Andrusiak, USCG, at 202-267-0327 or Email:



A regular convention of the MM&P will be convened at 1000 on August2 at MITAGS. Nominations for elective office will take place and Constitutionalamendments may also be considered at this Convention. All proposed resolutionsmust be sent to the MM&P Secretary-Treasurer at least 30 days priorto the Convention for inclusion on the Agenda.



MITAGS will host a spectacular Dinner-Dance evening honoring the MerchantMarine Veterans of World War II, the evening before the dedication of theNational World War II Memorial in Wash DC on May 29. The May 28 Dinner-Danceevent will be held on the MITAGS campus.

The event is scheduled to begin at 1800, with music of the 1940s erabeing performed by The Radio King Orchestra. Vice Admiral Gordon Holder(USN), Director of Logistics, Joint Chief of Staff-Pentagon, and formerDirector of the Military Sealift Command, will be the guest speaker.

Tickets are $40 each or $75 per couple. MITAGS is currently offeringa special overnight package for those individuals wishing to attend. Goto the MITAGS website at orcontact the MITAGS reservations department toll-free at 866-900-3517.




Due to high demand, an additional SEC-PCS course has been added to ourschedule on May 24-26. Plenty of space is still available.


Between now and the end of June 2004, seats are available in the followingcourses:
~~~ ~~~ ~~~

  • BST – Basic Safety Training:  6/14


CMM – Chief Mate and Master Courses

  • CMM-ECDIS – Electronic Chart Display Info Systems: 6/21
  • CMM-MPP – Marine Propulsion Plants: 5/24
  • CMM-SHMGT-II – Ship Management (week 1): 6/7
  • CMM-SHMGT-I – Ship Management (week 2): 6/14
  • CMM-WKP – Watchkeeping: 5/24


  • COMP-DC – Computer Database Systems: 6/14
  • CONT-PLNG – Contingency Planning Workshop: 6/10
  • CSE-AWR-2 – Confined Space Entry Awareness (2-day): 5/27


  • MEDIA-RSP – Media Response:  6/11


MSC – Military Sealift Command Courses

  • MSC-CBRD-1 – Chemical Biological Radiological Defense Training Orientation:5/22, 6/12
  • MSC-DC – Damage Control: 6/18


  • ROR-1 – Radar Observer Renewal: 5/19, 6/7, 6/12, 6/23


  • SEC-OFF-PCS – Security Officer: Port, Company, Ship: 5/24, 6/7
  • SHS-EMR5 – Emergency Shiphandling: 6/21

~~~ ~~~ ~~~
Check the MITAGS website for up-to-date course descriptions associatedwith the course title abbreviations, and for schedule revisions.


Attendance Verification & Cancellation is Vital

If you are scheduled for a course, call, write, or Email admissions toadvise whether or not you will attend. Many classes are in demand and maintaina Standby List. “No Shows” are missed training opportunities for othermembers.

Schedules, Course Info & Registration

Courses are subject to change. Always check the MITAGS website for updatedcourse availability. You can also check future schedules, review detailedcourse descriptions and register on-lineor contact Admissions at admissions@mitags.orgor by calling toll-free, 1-866-656-5568.



All the courses below will be conducted at the new Pacific Maritime Institutefacility located in Seattle at 1727 Alaskan Way South, Pier 34. The newfacility features a state-of-the art Ship Simulator that has to be experienced.PMI phone numbers remain the same. Come see the new facility at PMI’s “MaritimeTechnology and Career Center”.

May 2004 Courses

  • 5/24-28: ARPA
  • 5/24: Radar Renewal

June 2004 Courses

  • 6/07-18: Terrestrial and Coastal Navigation
  • 6/07-11: Medical Care Provider
  • 6/07-18: Medical Person-In-Charge
  • 6/14-18: Basic Safety Training
  • 6/14-22: Able Bodied Seaman
  • 6/21/25: Radar Observer Unlimited
  • 6/28-7/2: ECDIS
  • 6/28-30: Compasses
  • 6/30-7/2: Ship Security Officer

Contact DeeDee Lazik at 206-441-2880 or 888-893-7829 (toll free) for registrationor visit the PMI website at




 DO W    NA S D A Q
 9,937.71 -106.60 for the week  1,898.17  -27.42 for the week
Fund Name & TradingSymbol
Year-to-Date Fund 
Percentage Return
5 Year
Percentage Return
 Vanguard 500 Index Fund (VFINX)
 Vanguard Extended Market IndexFund (VEXMX)
 Vanguard International Growth Fund(VWIGX)
 Vanguard Morgan Growth Fund (VMRGX)
 Vanguard Windsor II Fund (VWNFX)
 Vanguard GNMA Fund (VFIIX)
 Vanguard High Yield Corporate Fund(VWEHX)
 Vanguard Total Bond Index (VBMFX)
 Chase Growth Fund (CHASX)
 Fidelity Asset Manager (FASMX)
 Fidelity Growth and Income (FGRIX)
 Fidelity Magellan Fund (FMAGX)
 Spartan US Equity Index Fund (FUSEX)

~Reminders ~


The Grand Opening for the MM&P-MITAGS Pacific Maritime Institute’snew 15,000 square-foot facility which features a DNV Class A, full-mission,visual ship simulator is scheduled for June 10th for government officialsand June 11th for maritime industry guests.

The new simulator boasts a combination of state-of-the-art visual technologies,accurate hydrodynamic modeling, and modern bridge design that will offera highly realistic training environment. Four secondary bridges are availablefor interactive operational exercises.

“PMI’s expansion and relocation signals our commitment to provide customerswith a comprehensive and all-inclusive training environment. Our new full-missionsimulator will provide an efficient and realistic way to train and assessmariners. Students and companies can rely on PMI for all their trainingrequirements,” said Gregg Trunnell.

The new training facility will enhance PMI’s ability to providing regulatoryand customized courses to a wide range of maritime professions, includingship and towing officers, tankermen, pilots, the fishing industry, portsecurity officers, and vessel traffic control personnel.

For more info about PMI or license advancement courses currently beingoffered, contact Gregg Trunnell at 206-719 2801 or via Email at,or visit PMI’s website at



Rates Drop, Limits Increase On Auto Loans

MM&P FCU vehicle loan rates have dropped across-the-board. EffectiveMay 5, borrowers may finance up to $30,000 on vehicle loans for terms upto 72 months. This is an increase of $5,000 and 12 months over past maximumfinancing amounts and terms.

Rates on 6 year auto financing range between 5.50% and 6.25%. Vehicleloan rates are as low as 4.00%. Rates apply to new and used cars, and toloans refinancing higher rate vehicle loans from other institutions. Contactthe Credit Union office to find out how these rates may cost less thandealers incentives and how you qualify for new, low rate vehicle financing.

Signature Loan Rates Dip

As an added bonus, Signature Loan rates have also been lowered. Now isthe time to start thinking about those summer vacation plans or home improvementprojects. Signature loan rates range from 9.00% to 9.75%. Hurry and takeadvantage of these new lower rates and start saving money today.

Need More Info? Contact Kathy Klisavage, MM&P FCU Manager, to learnmore about loan rates and products, direct deposit, share savings accountsand certificates of deposit, benefits of membership and membership eligibility.Kathy Klisavage can be reached by email to,or by calling 410-850-8700 x43 or toll-free 1-800-382-7777.

All MM&P FCU loan rate percentages are APR or Annual PercentageRate. All MM&P FCU savings and certificate rates are APY or AnnualPercentage Yield. Loan terms and conditions are subject to change. Contactthe MM&P FCU for eligibility info and for full terms and conditions.

Protect Your Personal Information – Beware of Email Scams

“It’s the curse of technology,” was overheard recently as someone talkedabout Email scams. Email scams are rampant these days, just like telephonescams were not so long ago. In the most-common current scenario, an Emailis received from what looks like a legitimate entity that asks you to providesensitive, private information to “verify” your identity or account. Scamartists are now even posing as the Internal Revenue Service to try andget your info.

The IRS recently issued a warning that fraudulent emails disguised asbeing from them are aimed at tricking taxpayers into providing their SocialSecurity numbers, driver’s license information and bank and credit cardnumbers through a web site that’s set up to look like it belongs to a federalagency. If this information is obtained it can be used by identity thievesto take over a person’s financial accounts, run up charge cards, applyfor loans and file fraudulent tax returns.

Protect yourself. No financial institution, federal agency or legitimatebusiness will initiate contact by Email or phone and ask for any such personalinformation. Legitimate entities with which you are already establishedshould have that info. If you receive such a request, contact the senderto verify if it is legitimate. The MM&P Federal Credit Union has neverbeen the target of such a scam and will never initiate an Email to youthat asks for this type of private information.



Florida’s Port of Fort Pierce has announced an opening for a certifieddeputy pilot. Those interested should submit a completed application anda non-refundable application fee of $200 by June 1.

The application is available via the web at:

The Deputy Pilot Examination is currently scheduled for Sept.9 in Tallahassee.

For more info contact the Board of Pilot Commissioners at 850-922-2918;Fax: 850-922-2918.


The April 15 deadline for filing US federal tax returns has passed, butfor merchant mariners sailing in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom “onvessels under Department of Defense operational control in direct supportof the United States Armed Forces” (and for their spouses ­ even ifseparate returns are filed), missing the dreaded deadline may be OK.

For merchant mariners and several other groups, the Internal RevenueService is allowing an extension of time for tax filing. The extension,authorized in section 7508(a)(1) of the Internal Revenue Service Code,26 United States Code, gives an additional 180 days PLUS the number ofdays served in a combat zone between January 1, 2004 and April 15, 2004.IRS reports that merchant mariners qualified for the extension are those”serving in the combat zone as part of Operation Iraqi Freedom aboard MaritimeAdministration and Military Sealift Command owned or controlled vessels.”

In addition to the tax filing extension, section 7508 also allows tobe postponed the “payment of income, estate, or gift taxes (except employmentand withholding taxes), tax claims filings or bringing suits for creditsor refunds, filing any petition with the US Tax Court, making a qualifiedretirement contribution to an IRA, or performing any other act listed inRevenue Procedure 2002-71.” According to the notice, “no penalties or interestwill be imposed for failure to file a return or pay taxes during the extensionperiod.”

IRS Tax Tip 2004-40 published Feb.27, 2004 says, “the various extensionsgranted to combat zone participants to file returns or pay taxes will alsoapply to those serving in Contingency Operations, as designated by theSecretary of Defense. This is effective for any acts whose deadline hasnot expired before November 11, 2003.”

Paper returns must be filed if claiming an extension under section 7508.When the return is sent, print the words “COMBATZONE” in bold red ink at the top of the return and in largered letters on the mailing envelope. For mariners, the IRS says to attacha brief statement listing the date(s) of service within the combat zonein order to provide them with the total number of days of extension towhich you are entitled.

Mariners and others who qualify for combat zone tax filing relief maynotify the IRS of their status in advance through a special e-mail in the email the following:

  • name
  • stateside address
  • date-of-birth and
  • date of deployment to the combat zone.

Do not include any social security numbers in an email. Notificationmay be made by the taxpayer, or by the taxpayer’s spouse, authorized agentor representative.

At present, the combat zone for Operation Iraqi Freedom is defined asfollows:

  • Persian Gulf, the Red Sea, the Gulf of Aden, and the Gulf of Oman;
  • That portion of the Arabian Sea that lies north of 10 degrees north latitudeand west of 68 degrees east longitude; and
  • The total land area of Iraq, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Oman, Bahrain, Qatar,and the United Arab Emirates.

More detailed information can be found on the IRS website at the main page, click on “The Newsroom” link and go to “ArmedForces” under the “Related Topics” headline. You’ll find useful infoin the following titles:

Taxpayers in the US may seek assistance by calling the IRS at 1-800-829-1040.Taxpayers outside the US may call the IRS in Philadelphia at 215-516-2000.The information presented here is to serve as a guideline only. As always,readers are urged to seek the advice of a tax professional to discuss theirown circumstances.



The USCG advises that if you began your service or training in the towingindustry before May 21, 2001, you may receive a license for Master of TowingVessels if, before May 21 2004, you complete the exam required by 46 CFR10.903(a)(18)(i) and meet either of the following two requirements:
1. Three years of service, including:

  • Two years on deck aboard a vessel 26-feet or more in length;
  • One year on deck aboard a towing vessel, with at least six months of trainingor duty in the wheelhouse of the towing vessel; and
  • Three months in each particular geographic area for which you are seekingauthority.

~ OR ~

2. Three years of service aboard towing vessels, including:

  • One year on deck, with at least six months of training or duty in the wheelhouseof the towing vessel; and
  • Three months in each particular geographic area for which you are seekingauthority.

The deadline to complete testing and service is May 21, 2004. If you missthis deadline, then the requirement to work up through Apprentice Mate,Mate, and then Master will apply. Although the deadline is this May, applicationssubmitted after January may not allow sufficient time for evaluation andtesting.

For additional info, please contact Richard Wells at 504-240-7300, ext232, or via Email at



On the MITAGS website downloadable files are now updated on a regular basisin response to info received from the various government agencies and mariners.As always, these checklists are for guidance only. The final arbiter oftraining requirements is your local USCG Regional Examination Center. Formore info, visit the Career Guidance section on the MITAGS website by CLICKINGHERE, or go to www.mitags.organd select “Career Guidance” from the top menu.

Also, given the number of courses offered at MITAGS, the website nowhas new links to the various industry segment pages. These pages make iteasier for mariners and companies to find the training designed specificallyfor them.

The links include:

  • Ship and Port Modeling Simulation Training;
  • Security Training;
  • State Pilot Training;
  • US Navy and Military Sealift Command Training;
  • High Speed Craft Training;
  • Operator of Uninspected Passenger Vessels (OUPV);
  • Limited Master Training; and
  • Custom Training.



All members shipping off-the-board and all company employees are remindedthat they are responsible to insure that all of the company required coursesthey have completed are listed in the Union computer system.

In order to be dispatched/cleared, members must have certificates forany courses not listed in the computer in their possession and availablefor inspection by the dispatcher. Please double check that your documentationis in order prior to leaving your home to ship out of our Union halls.This can be done by checking your course history on the “MembersOnly” section of the MM&P website.



Attention all Members in good standing with dependent children who willbe college freshman in September: A local Baltimore law firm is awardingtwo $2,500 one-time only scholarships to children of Union members. Sincethe MM&P is headquartered in the Baltimore area, Union members’ childrenwould be eligible to apply for these scholarships.

One scholarship is for Undergraduate and the other is for Graduate School.Students must already be accepted to a college prior to applying. The deadlinefor application is Aug.20. The scholarships will be awarded Sept.24.

If your son or daughter would like to make application for this scholarship,please have them contact the MM&P Plan Office at 410-850-8600 for anapplication. The member’s name is required so that the Union can sign theapplication to certify that he/she is a member in good standing prior tosending the application to your child.

Members can also Email Plans Administrator Valerie Verrecchio at mmpplansval@aol.comwith the member info including address where the application can be mailed.



All members currently getting prescription refills online through ExpressPharmacy Services who access Express through the NMHC website link willhave to re-register in order to be able to renew prescriptions online.

If you access your prescription renewals directly through,you will be fine and have no need to re-register. The Plans office apologizesfor the inconvenience, but the issue is related to problems with the linkto Eckerd on the NMHC website. Please contact the Plan Office if you experienceany problems.



The buildings remain where they have always stood, but they have now beenassigned new addresses. Local authorities have determined that it was necessaryto put in place new street numbering for the MM&P’s MITAGS facilityand for the MM&P Health & Benefit Plan office. The longstandingaddress of 5700 Hammonds Ferry Rd., used for both MITAGS and the Plan,has been eliminated.

Effective immediately:

  • The mailing address for MITAGS has been changed to:
    • 692 Maritime Blvd
    • Linthicum Heights, MD 21090

  • The new mailing address for the Plan Office is now:
    • 700 Maritime Blvd.
    • Suite A
      Linthicum Heights, MD 21090-1996

    • This is the same street address as the Union headquarters since both officesare housed in the same building, but the Plan Office is denoted with asuite number.
  • The mailing address for the MM&P Federal Credit Union, locatedin the Plans Building Lobby, is now:
    • 700 Maritime Blvd.
    • Linthicum Heights, MD 21090-1941

The change brings the MITAGS, Plans and MM&P FCU addresses into conformancewith Postal and 911 emergency mapping since all the buildings are locatedon the same road of the campus.

Plan Administrator Valerie Verrecchio advises Plan participants that”it is important to remember when you send mail to the Plans that you clearlyaddress it to ‘MM&P Plans’ and to include our new suite number. Thisis what the Post Office will use to differentiate mail between the Unionand the Plan office. Otherwise, the Post Office may send it through themail system at the Union and your claims processing could be delayed fora couple of days.”

There is no change to the Union HQ mailing address.



The Maritime Institute of Technology and Graduate Studies (MITAGS) seeksan individual who can apply his/her knowledge and experience in marineshipboard operations to help solve organizational problems through trainingand education.

Excellent written and verbal skills a must. Person must also have anoutgoing personality and be a goal-oriented self-starter with the abilityto work independently. Travel expected 25 percent of time to seek opportunitiesand present proposals.

Desired background:

  • bachelor’s degree, graduate degree a plus;
  • unlimited tonnage license (or military equivalent), and
  • a record of continuing education.
  • Extensive industry contacts preferred.

MITAGS is located near the BWI airport, convenient to Baltimore, Washingtonand Annapolis, MD. Excellent full Union benefits, competitive salary. Seeour web site, www.mitags.orgfor more info. Resumes to Human Resources Fax: 443-989-3341; Email:



All Licensed Deck Officers who possess STCW-95 certificates containingBasic Safety Training (BST) completion dates close to or more than fiveyears old need to carry copies of their USCG discharges with them so theycan prove that they have the required sea service necessary to extend theirBST qualification. For questions or further info, contact Mike Rodriguezat 410-850-8700 ext.23 or Email:



MM&P-contracted LMS Ship Management recently reviewed the causes ofinjuries on board their vessels and found that accidental falls tend tobe the cause of many of the crew’s injuries. In an effort to reduce thenumber of injuries caused by these falls, LMS is offering crewmembers thatsail with them an incentive to purchase and wear proper shoe attire. Thegoal is for every crewmember to wear slip resistant footwear during theirworking hours aboard their vessels.

LMS will offer a reimbursement of up to $75 for the cost of the shoesto each crewmember who provides them with an original receipt for the purchaseof slip resistant footwear. In order for the crewmember to obtain the reimbursement,they must wear the shoes while on duty. Upon presentation of the receipt,the crewmember will be reimbursed on their pay voucher. The receipt willbe retained by the Master and will remain aboard the vessel.

LMS requests that crewmembers purchase one of the following recommendedbrands in order to be reimbursed:

  • WORX ™ by Red Wing* Slip Resistant Footwear
  • Caterpillar* (must have steel toe & slip resistant sole)
  • Wolverine (must have steel toe and slip resistant sole)
  • Dunham Sierra Work Boot EH
  • Steel Toe Voyager
  • Georgia Boot 6- or 8-inch Safety Toe Boot
  • Dr. Marten’s (with steel toe & slip resistant sole)

* Of the above, Red Wing and Caterpillar boots are producedby US union labor.

Red Wing has contracts with the United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW)while Wolverine World Wide has contracts with UNITE!, the Union of Needletrades,Industrial and Textile Employees, for production of its Caterpillar brand(as well as its Hy-Test, Durashock and Bates Military labels). Some otherWolverine branded products including combat boots are manufactured underUFCW contract. Most Dr. Marten’s shoes and boots are produced in the UK.

To find US, union-made products,visit the AFL-CIO Union Label Service and Trades website at www.unionlabel.organd click on Union Made Product Search.



The National WWII Memorial has a site on its webpage for individuals whoserved in any capacity during WWII to register to be included in the Memorial’sRegistry. The main site is

If the individual clicks on WWII Registry, he/she can find out if he/sheis already included as a result of one of the WWII databases and, if not,can follow the directions to register. Any American who contributed tothe war effort is eligible for the Registry.

The MM&P Wheelhouse Weekly is the officialelectronic 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: further info or to subscribe contact John Peige at Wheelhouse Weekly is sent via Email to MM&P-contracted vesselsat sea, broadcast worldwide via FEC marine telex and is posted on our webpage.