Wheelhouse Weekly – May 23, 2002


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

Volume 6. . . . . Number 21. . . May 23, 2002






All MM&P members and applicants are reminded that their STCW-95 certificate must indicate a current GMDSS qualification. This is a USCG and Port State Control issue, not a Union issue.

The following excerpt from USCG NAVIC 6-00 documents this requirement:

F. RADIO: If the mariner is qualified as a radio operator under the global maritime distress safety system (GMDSS), the entry will be “valid for service on vessels operation in the GMDSS system.”

Members and applicants are also reminded to make sure their FCC GMDSS license is still current as it can expire before the expiration of the STCW-95 certificate.

Members should contact their local MM&P Hall if they have any questions regarding this requirement.


MM&P Wheelhouse Weekly



Captain’s Log: May 20, 2002: The following dispatch was received from the S/L INNOVATOR earlier this week:

On May 20, the SEALAND INNOVATOR was called to rescue three persons off a sailboat in distress in position 38 North, 134 West. The “Life’s Dream” had departed Honolulu 17 days previously bound for San Diego initially, but later changed course for San Francisco.

On May 17th, she suffered a loss of her rudder and then fouled her propeller. The INNOVATOR was diverted at 0950 hrs and arrived on scene four hours later.

Successfully rescued were Harvey Owen, his wife Krista, their 11 year old daughter Fantaysia, and their two-and-a-half month old kitten. The sailboat was abandoned and the INNOVATOR was back on track at 1507. Our new passengers are overwhelmed with gratitude that we happened along.

The INNOVATOR arrived at Long Beach on May 22. MM&P members on board are Chief Mate Frank Warnekros, Second Mate Jon Ruffato, Third Mate Joeseph Keyes, and Master Bob Lamb.

MM&P Wheelhouse Weekly



As the MM&P-crewed S/L INNOVATOR was arriving in Long Beach on May 22 with its rescued passengers — the latest example of the service, skill, and outstanding seamanship that are a hallmark of the US Merchant Marine — the annual Merchant Marine Memorial Service was getting underway in Wash., DC.

Sponsored by the Maritime Administration and held at the US Navy Memorial, the service was highlighted by moving personal and video tributes to America’s Merchant Mariners.

Masterfully hosted by US Maritime Administrator Capt. William Schubert, the service included presentations to Thomas Gibson who represented all merchant veterans from World War II; Robert Lunney, representing all Korean War merchant mariners; the MM&P’s Capt. John Trimmer, who represented Vietnam War mariners; and Rowland Williams, representing mariners who sailed in the Persian Gulf War.

During his presentation to Capt. Trimmer, Administrator Schubert noted that the recently retired MITAGS instructor could have also been selected to represent mariners from the Korean War and Persian Gulf War as he had sailed during both conflicts.

A presentation was also made to Staten Island Ferry Capt. James Parese, representing all segments of the maritime community for their immediate, heroic response to the Sept. 11 attacks on America. Up to a million people were evacuated by water. Commercial vessels responded immediately to the crisis and were essential in transporting, supplying and supporting rescue workers.

The preface of the Memorial Service program noted that, “The tremendous response of the maritime community in New York on and after Sept.11 demonstrates how important marine transportation is, and how willing our merchant mariners are to serve the nation. On National Maritime Day 2002, the Maritime Administration wishes to honor those who serve today as well as those whose past sacrifices have been so important to our nation and our way of life.”

At the service, the MM&P was represented by International President Capt. Tim Brown, Secretary-Treasurer Glen Banks, MITAGS Executive Director Glen Paine along with staffers from both the Union and the Institute.

MM&P Wheelhouse Weekly



Written and eloquently delivered by former MM&P member Reverend (Capt.) Christopher McMahon, USMS, Special Assistant to the Secretary of Transportation, the invocation at the US Merchant Marine Memorial Service set a theme rich in reverence to the unselfish and dedicated contributions of America’s merchant mariners. We are honored to reprint it for our readers:

From America’s wind blown Atlantic Ocean shores and the warm waters of the Gulf of Mexico — to the jagged, rocky western coast and through the vast number of America’s Pacific islands — America is a maritime nation — a nation like no other. Our oceans have created us and they have blessed us with abundance.

It is these same oceans that have enabled us to link to the world and more than a hundred year ago — to become the largest trading nation on earth.

It is these same oceans that have nurtured and protected us through the centuries. It is these same oceans that we must continue to rely on in the century ahead, if we are to remain a prosperous and free nation: a nation that shines as a lighthouse beacon, a ray of hope for much of the world.

Since before the times of our founding fathers and mothers, American mariners have played the vital role of crewing merchant ships that have served as our nation’s lifeline in times of peace and in times of war. We must always remember their service and their sacrifice.

It is easy to forget that over 10,000 American mariners died aboard American flag merchant ships off Cape Horn in Herculean efforts to link the American East and West Coast — long before the Panama Canal was built or travel through the central part of the country was even possible.

It is easy to forget the tens of thousands of American mariners who died in World War I and World War II — and America’s other wars — men and women who gave their lives to their country by their service at sea aboard American ships, many by giving the ultimate sacrifice of their life.

And just as there are tombs of “unknown soldiers”, there are countless watery graves of unknown sailors, men and women who chose a life at sea that ultimately served those ashore, and in so doing, found their final resting place in cold and hostile canyons of the ocean deep.

In today’s world with aircraft and just-in-time delivery, most Americans fail to realize that it is still mariners, even today, who deliver the vast majority of the goods that travel between America and our oversea trading partners.

We come together at this moment, in this place, to take a moment out of our busy lives to reflect upon all those who have sacrificed so very much by choosing to serve aboard American merchant ships in times of peace and in times of war. Without their dedication and commitment, America would not be the great nation that it is today.

May the God of the universe look down upon them and bless them. Bless all American mariners who gave their lives for all of us by sailing American merchant ships across all the ocean seas of the world. By their self-sacrifice have benefited our nation and the future of humanity.

May God inspire our nation’s maritime leaders, those who serve in government and those who serve in industry to remember the American mariner and to remember how important America’s merchant marine is to the future prosperity of our nation and to the future security and freedom of all good people throughout the world.

MM&P Wheelhouse Weekly



Clear blue skies and a gentle southeasterly breeze coming off the Anacostia River provided the perfect setting for the annual National Maritime Day ceremony held on the afternoon of May 22 at the Military Sealift Command Headquarters on the Washington Navy Yard.

Rear Adm. David L. Brewer III, USN, commander, MSC, presided over the event that was attended by the Secretary of the Navy, the Honorable Gordon England and numerous members and former members of the maritime community.

A ship of the MSC fleet, the MM&P-crewed ocean tug USNS MOHAWK, was pierside and served as a backdrop for the ceremony, which included the laying of wreaths in the Anacostia River to commemorate the mariners lost at sea in peacetime and war.

“For more than half a century, Military Sealift Command has benefited from the professionalism and expertise of America’s merchant mariners. Whenever, wherever — if duty called, they delivered,” said Rear Adm. Brewer in his speech at the ceremony.

With more than 100 ships operating daily around the world, MSC is the largest employer of US merchant mariners. All MSC ships are crewed by civilian mariners.

The command has more than 3,000 civil service mariners serving on MSC ships and nearly 2,000 contractor-employed mariners serving aboard both government-owned ships and chartered ships worldwide.

“We depend on our mariners every day to meet the mission requirements of the best ocean transportation system in the world,” said Rear Adm. Brewer. Merchant mariners play a critical role in our nation’s defense, enabling the US military to operate anywhere in the world.

Among their many diversified missions this year, MSC’s civilian mariner-crewed ships have been at the tip of the spear in the Arabian Sea, providing critical fuel, food and supplies to Navy and allied ships participating in Operation Enduring Freedom. MSC ships have also carried ammunition destined for military planes flying over Afghanistan.

MM&P Wheelhouse Weekly



Our commercial maritime tradition dates back to the founding of our Nation; and it continues to play an important role today, moving passengers and freight, protecting our freedom, and linking our citizens to the world.

Merchant mariners have served America with distinction throughout our history, but especially at critical moments. Before World War II, they made dangerous and difficult voyages carrying vital supplies to Europe. During that war, more than 700 US merchant ships were lost to attack, and more than 6,000 merchant mariners lost their lives.

Merchant mariners played a vital role in the Korean Conflict, especially in the rescue of 14,000 Korean civilians by the SS MEREDITH VICTORY.

During the Vietnam War, ships crewed by civilian seamen carried 95 percent of the supplies used by our Armed Forces. Many of these ships sailed into combat zones under fire. In fact, the SS MAYAGUEZ incident involved the capture of mariners from the American merchant ship SS MAYAGUEZ.

More recently, during the Persian Gulf War merchant mariners were vital to the largest sealift operation since D-Day. And after the tragic attacks of September 11th, professional merchant mariners and midshipmen from the United States Merchant Marine Academy transported personnel and equipment and moved food and supplies to lower Manhattan. Their efforts enhanced rescue operations and helped save many lives.

Today, the men and women of the US Merchant Marine and thousands of other workers in our Nation’s maritime industry continue to make immeasurable contributions to our economic strength and our ongoing efforts to build a more peaceful world. We must ensure our maritime system can meet the challenges of the 21st century. As cargo volume is expected to double within the next 20 years, a viable maritime network will help our country compete in our global economy.

Accordingly, my Administration is working with government agencies, the shipping industry, labor, and environmental groups to ensure that our waterways remain a sound transportation option that complements our overland transportation network.

In recognition of the importance of the U.S. Merchant Marine, the Congress, by joint resolution approved on May 20, 1933, as amended, has designated May 22 of each year as “National Maritime Day,” and has authorized and requested that the President issue an annual proclamation calling for its appropriate observance.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, GEORGE W. BUSH, President of the United States of America, do hereby proclaim May 22, 2002, as National Maritime Day.

MM&P Wheelhouse Weekly



“One Nation, One Moment” is the theme for a national moment of remembrance that will be observed at 1500 hrs. (local time) on Memorial Day, May 27.

In an act of national unity, Americans are being asked to remember those who gave their lives in service to their country. The event is being sponsored by the White House Commission on the National Moment of Remembrance that was formally established by an act of Congress.

The commission reminds us that Memorial Day is not about war, it is about people. They died, most of them young, serving their follow Americans, their country, future generations — all of us. This Memorial Day, please pause with Americans at home and abroad to honor the men and women who dies so that we might enjoy the gift of freedom. Let us never forget their sacrifice.

At 1500 hrs., the commission is asking all Americans to stop what they are doing and think for one minute about those who died for their freedom. Drivers are requested to turn their headlights.

MM&P Wheelhouse Weekly



As previously reported in the Wheelhouse Weekly, when Sea Star Line purchased the assets of NPR/Navieras from the Holt Group, including five ships and terminal operations in Puerto Rico, the Company said that it expected to deploy those newly acquired vessels between the US and Puerto Rico.

In a recent Sea Star statement, deployment of the vessels now seems unlikely as the company says it is entering into a transportation service agreement where it will charter space on CSX vessels. Sea Star says that they will be able to offer their customers more frequent sailings and an expanded range of service under this arrangement while still continuing to operate their ro/con ships in combination with the sailings provided under this agreement.

Sea Star made no mention of fate of those former Navieras vessels. The company did say, however, that the pact with CSX will allow them to make the necessary upgrades to their expanded terminal facilities and to their container fleets as they restructure their vessel operations.

Published reports indicate that Sea Star is offering the former Navieras US-flag ships for sale through a New York-based sale-and-purchase broker.

MM&P Wheelhouse Weekly



In accordance with Article IV, Section 2, of the International Constitution, a regular convention of the IOMM&P will be convened at 1000 hrs on Monday, July 15, 2002, at MITAGS, 5700 Hammonds Ferry Road, Linthicum Heights, MD 21090. Constitutional Amendments may also be considered at this Convention.

In accordance with Article IV, Section 6., Subsection (b), all proposed resolutions must be forwarded to the International Secretary-Treasurer at least 30 days prior to the opening day of the Convention for inclusion on the Agenda and determination by the Convention.

MM&P Wheelhouse Weekly



Openings in Classes Through the End of August 2002

  • 6/3-28: MED-SMC
  • 6/3: ROR
  • 6/3-14: GMDSS
  • 6/10-14: BST, BRM, FRB
  • 6/13: ATER
  • 6/14: ENVPRO
  • 6/17-21: FF-ADV, BRM, ARPA, WX-HWA
  • 6/17: ROR
  • 6/24-28: VPM
  • 7/29-8/2: MED FIRST, BRM, ROP
  • 7/29: ROR
  • 7/30: HAZMAT, EAP
  • 7/31-8/2: MED-DOT-DA
  • 8/5-8: SMA
  • 8/8: ATER
  • 8/9: ENVPRO
  • 8/12-23: MED-PIC, GMDSS
  • 8/13: CBRD-1
  • 8/12: ROR, HAZMAT, EAP
  • 8/14-16: MED-DOT-DA
  • 8/19-23: HAZ, BST, SHS INT II, COMP-MAR
  • 8/26-30: FF-ADV, SHS-EMR-5, BRM, ARPA


  • ARPA: Automatic Radar Plotting Aids
  • ATER: Anti-Terrorism Awareness Training
  • BRM: Bridge Resource Management
  • BRMP: Bridge Resource Management For Pilots
  • BST: Basic Safety Training
  • CBRD: Chemical Biological Radiological Defense Training
  • COMP-ABSS: Computer Am Bureau Ship Management Software
  • COMP-APS: Computer Application Programs
  • COMP-MAR: Computer Mariner Application Program
  • COMP-NET: Computer Network Systems
  • CSE-AAES: Confine Space Entry-Atmos. Analy of Enc Spaces
  • EAP: Employee Assistance Program
  • ECDIS: Electronic Chart Display And Information Systems
  • ENVPRO: Environmental Protection
  • FF-ADV: Advanced Fire Fighting
  • GMDSS: Global Maritime Distress Safety System
  • HAZMAT: Hazardous Materials
  • MED-DOT-DA: Dept. of Trans. Drug and Alcohol Testing
  • MED-PIC: Medical Person-In-Charge
  • MSC-COMMS: Strategic Sealift Communications
  • ROR: Radio Operator Renewal
  • SMA: Small Arms
  • SHS-EMR: Emergency Shiphandling
  • SHS-INT: Intermediate Shiphandling
  • TPIC: Tankerman Person-In-Charge
  • VPM: Vessel Personnel Management
  • WX-HWA: Heavy Weather Avoidance

Check the website routinely for up to date information on class schedules, trust student policies and procedures, and regulatory changes. Visit the home page at



Note that a 5-day HAZMAT has been added in August and MSC-COMMS courses have been added Oct. 7-11 and Nov. 4-8. See the website for details.



Schedule through December 2002 is being maintained on the website. Hard copies of the June-December 2002 schedule are being mailed to the halls. Check the MITAGS website at: for up-to-date info. For additional course info, contact Mary Matlock or Debbie Walton at voice: 443-989-3226 or Email:


MM&P Wheelhouse Weekly



Openings in Classes Through the End of August 2002

  • 5/27-31: ECDIS, Med 1st, Med PIC
  • 6/3-7: TPIC, BST
  • 6/10-14: ARPA, GMDSS
  • 6/17-21: Radar, GMDSS Refresher
  • 6/24-28: Computer Basics (IC3 Ceritification), ECDIS, BAFF
  • 7/8-12: ARPA, Med 1st, Med PIC, BST
  • 7/22-26: GMDSS, BAFF
  • 7/29-8/2: GMDSS Refresher, Advanced Navigation (new)
  • 8/5-9: ECDIS, Med 1st, Med PIC
  • 8/12-16: TPIC, Med PIC (second week)
  • 8/19-23: ARPA, BRM, BAFF
  • 8/26-30: Heavy Weather Avoidance (new)



PMI is now offering two week “Medical Person in Charge” and one week “Medical First Aid Provider” course. To learn more about the STCW Requirements for Medical First Aid Provider and Medical Person in Charge, refer to PMI’s webpage at



Register online 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 and is posted on our web page under “News” at:

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