Wheelhouse Weekly – May 30, 2002


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

Volume 6. . . . . Number 22. . . May 30, 2002






Albert Wallack, President of Voyager Holdings, a wholly-owned subsidiary of the D’Arcinoff Group (DG), has announced the filing of a Title XI shipbuilding loan guarantee application and the company’s plans to initiate US-flag cruise vessel operations in Hawaii and Alaska. DG is an American owned maritime investment and holding company created to acquire and construct cruise vessels for US domestic markets.

As previously reported in the Wheelhouse Weekly, DG has contracted with Patriot Holdings, a subsidiary of MM&P-contracted American Ship Management (ASM), to provide crews for its vessels from America’s maritime unions. In addition to the MM&P, those unions include the Marine Engineers’ Beneficial Association, the Seafarers International Union, the Sailors’ Union of the Pacific, and the Marine Firemen’s Union.

Key to the company’s plans is the construction of cruise vessels in the US for operation in the Hawaiian Islands. To implement its construction project, Voyager has filed an application with the Maritime Administration (MARAD) for Title XI Federal Ship Construction Loan Guarantees.

Wallack stated, “The private equity financing needed to qualify for Title XI has been arranged and we are awaiting MARAD approval of our application to enable us to commence cruise vessel construction in the US. We have contracted with Baltimore Marine Industries, the former Bethlehem Steel Sparrows Point shipyard, to build our cruise vessels.” Morgan Stanley has been retained as DG’s financial advisor.

Voyager has indicated that it is prepared to commence cruise vessel operations with existing foreign-built, US-flag, US-crewed cruise vessels in Hawaii as soon as it gets Title XI and as soon as Congress enacts the appropriate waiver legislation.

The operation of these vessels would, according to Wallack, “enable our company to recruit and train US personnel, to establish itineraries, to develop a market identity, to generate capital, and create jobs for American workers in all positions aboard our vessels. Such legislative authority allowing us to bridge the period between the commencement of construction and the delivery of our new vessels is the only proven, realistic way for a new venture cruise company to enter the cruise industry.”

Wallack said that Voyager would be asking Congress for the same type of authority that had been allowed in the past to operate reflagged cruise vessels in the Hawaii trade.

According to Wallack, “Unlike previous Hawaii programs, Voyager will operate 3 and 4-day cruises that will be fully integrated with land stays at hotels and resorts. As an integrated cruise and stay program Voyager Hawaii will generate 400,000 hotel nights. We will create the most comprehensive and attractive Hawaiian vacation cruise package that has ever been offered and give a significant boost to Hawaiian tourism.”

Voyager also announced a partnership with the Alaska Native Corporation, Goldbelt, Inc., and its wholly-owned subsidiary, Glacier Bay Cruiseline, to expand Alaska cruise operations. Voyager plans to acquire two coastal cruise vessels presently controlled by MARAD and incorporate these vessels into the Glacier Bay Cruiseline fleet, providing additional capacity for this native owned Alaska company.


MM&P Wheelhouse Weekly



The D’Arcinoff Group’s (DG) Project Voyager is designed to produce American-built, owned and operated high-speed cruise vessels for commercial use during peacetime and, due to the incorporation of significant militarily-useful features, for use in support of Department of Defense (DOD) Force Projection missions during war or international emergencies.

The Department of the Navy’s Strategic Mobility/Combat Logistics Division has told DG that “We are particularly pleased that your designs include a number of features that will greatly enhance the defense related value of your vessel designs . . . These high-speed, long-range vessels with enhanced deck strength to carry Roll-on/Roll-off cargo for the military, as well as the capability to perform force support and sea-based helicopter operations, will significantly enhance our nation’s US-flag commercial sealift capability.”

The ships will give the DOD access to significant commercial sealift capability at a fraction of the cost than would otherwise be needed by the DOD to build, maintain and operate vessels with comparable capability.

The vessels will utilize a fully engineered design that employs a trimaran hull technology, advancing domestic shipbuilding technology for large, high-speed commercial vessels. DG’s design will utilize LM6000 marine gas turbines provided by GEAE, a unit of General Electric, and a Rolls Royce Marine propulsion system that utilizes very large water jets for the first time in vessels of this size.

The ships will have a high-speed trans-Atlantic range, capable of operating at speeds in excess of 40 knots sustainable in seastate seven. Each offers the capability of transporting a 4,000-person combat team along with the rotary, maintenance and other equipment and logistical support to link-up with heavy pre-positioned equipment to destinations anywhere in the world.

DG’s cruise vessels will include convertible modular cabins that, with a maximum of ten days’ notice, will provide the DOD with up to 160,000 square feet of strengthened deck space to carry Roll-on/Roll-off cargo and 1,100 lane meters of cargo space and flight operations capability for rotary aircraft. The vessels’ spas and adjacent cabins will include the capabilities for conversion to medical facilities for up to 200 critical patients.

Upon approval of its application for Title XI ship construction loan guarantees by the Maritime Administration, DG will build at Baltimore Marine Industries one monohull cruise vessel based upon an existing and fully engineered Kvaerner Masa Marine design, and two trimarans based upon the Kvaerner Masa Marine Very High Speed Sealift Trimaran design. Each vessel will cost approximately $600 million and have a capacity to carry approximately 2,000 passengers.

According to BMI, the “construction of these three vessels will provide continuous employment for 1,200 employees plus technical and administrative staff for the next 6 years. This will increase employment to three times current levels and create an opportunity for the company to re-enter the specialty sector of new ship construction. “

MM&P Wheelhouse Weekly



Cars and trucks plunged 62-feet into the Arkansas River after the towboat M/V ROBERT Y. LOVE and its barge tow struck a bridge carrying Interstate 40 traffic over the waterway near Sallisaw, OK on Sunday, May 26.

The 0740 accident caused a portion of the bridge to collapse killing at least 13 people. Cranes were being used to remove concrete, submerged vehicles and other debris that were covering the remains in the eastern Oklahoma river. Searchers were also using sonar to map the riverbed.

Divers are being employed to recover bodies from the river. Five people from vehicles were hospitalized; two had been released by Monday. Bad weather and extensive debris have hampered diving efforts.

Two massive concrete slabs underneath the water that were once portions of the I-40 roadway have hindered recovery efforts. The current is quite swift due to a large amount of recent rainfall that has made the water very murky.

The towboat is owned by Magnolia Marine of Vicksburg, MS, a subsidiary of the Ergon Company, one of the largest asphalt suppliers in the south. Initial reports indicate the vessel with a crew of six was pushing two empty 495-ft by 54-ft barges when the captain (pilot) reportedly blacked out while approaching the bridge.

The National Transportation Safety Board is on scene investigating the accident along with the USCG and other agencies. George Black, spokesman for the NTSB, said investigators were trying to build a timeline of events and were studying the structure of the bridge, built in 1967, looking for possible problems. They also were studying the towboat and doing extensive interviews.

The damaged stretch of I-40, which is a major east-west connector in the middle of the country, usually carries about 20,000 cars daily across the river. Initial estimates indicate repair efforts could take up to six months.

MM&P Wheelhouse Weekly



In commenting on the I-40 bridge accident, Richard Plant, MM&P’s Director of Special Operations said that “for years, the MM&P has been requesting that the USCG be more proactive and less reactive when it comes to our inland mariners who hold lower level licenses. This part of the industry is the only mode of transportation in the US that does not require logging of hours worked or the requirement of maintaining a logbook aboard the vessel.”

Plant also noted that, “Since these mariners work a 6-hours on, 6-hours off shift, they have no possibility of obtaining the required minimum 7 or more hours of continuous rest to reduce fatigue. Vibration, making locks, moorings, docking, undocking all affect the mariners sleep patterns on inland rivers. Violations of the 12-hour work rule continue in brown, as well as blue waters, to the knowledge of the USCG. Although this is against the law, why is no corrective action is being taken? “

Plant stated that, “The MM&P is not alone in our outcries for corrective action in this industry. The Gulf Coast Mariners’ Association (GCMA), Offshore Mariners United (OMU), as well as individuals representing many industry groups attending recent manpower, retention and maritime security meetings have all called for action to be taken.”

“The fear of the mariner is that without proper whistle blower legislation and by simply being an ’employee-at-will’ in right to work states, these mariners cannot — and dare not — report violations of laws, statutes and regulations to the USCG for fear of their name being reported to company management personnel resulting in their being fired.

“Mariners would rather attempt to continue to work and receive pay knowingly violating the law rather than risk losing their income and job. This is wrong. Any company violating law(s) should be reported and corrective action taken without discrimination against the reporting individual,” said Plant.

MM&P Wheelhouse Weekly



After weeks of debate, the Senate passed, by a 66-30 vote, its version of the fast-track trade bill that gives President Bush the authority to negotiate trade deals that Congress can vote on but not change.

In praising the Senate action, the President said that the bill “will give me the flexibility I need to secure the greatest possible trade opportunities for American workers, consumers, families and farmers.”

There are many points to be worked out between in conference between the House and Senate versions of the legislation before the final bill is sent to President Bush.

Among other things, the Senate bill expands a program to help workers who lose their jobs because of trade, making more Americans eligible and providing a subsidy to pay for 70 percent of their health-care costs.

The House bill, which contains no worker benefit language, passed in December by a 215-214 vote. The close vote was attributed to the fact that many Democrats were unhappy with language about worker rights and environmental protections in future trade agreements and voted overwhelmingly against it.

MM&P Wheelhouse Weekly



A statement released by AFL-CIO President John Sweeney says the Senate’s decision to pass the fast track trade promotion authority bill “is the wrong decision for our nation and the wrong decision for working families.”

Sweeney went on to state that:

“It is a shortsighted decision which once again places Big Business’ interests over workers’ rights and the environment, thus setting up working people to be uniquely disadvantaged in trade deals.

“Despite several attempts by the Senate to fix the bill’s weak workers’ rights provisions, this bill makes no improvements over the House version in this respect. In fact, this bill for the first time, actually prevents our negotiators from including enforceable workers’ rights or environmental protections in future trade agreements. This bill represents a giant step backwards even from current trade laws.

“Instead, this bill will guarantee that future trade deals repeat the mistakes of NAFTA by costing Americans jobs, hurting the environment, and protecting investor rights over those of citizens and states.

“And even though the fast track bill provides enhancements to the Trade Adjustment Act program, including a health care benefit, it excludes several crucial categories of trade-impacted workers. Even with improvements, the TAA program is in no way a substitute for a good trade policy.

“The AFL-CIO will continue to stand up to make the global economy work for working people, and will fight the passage of fast track trade authority every step of the way. This flawed bill faces huge hurdles ahead in the conference process and final votes in the House and Senate.”

MM&P Wheelhouse Weekly



Members are reminded that if they wish to submit a resolution for consideration at the MM&P’s biennial convention in July, the proposed resolution must be received by the International Secretary-Treasurer’s office 30 days or more in advance of the start of the convention to be included on the agenda. This requirement is set forth in Article IV, Section 6, Subsection (b) of the MM&P International Constitution.

MM&P’s 79th Convention is slated to be called to order at 1000 hours on Monday, July 15. The deadline for receipt of proposed resolutions by the International Secretary-Treasurer’s office at MM&P HQ is Monday, June 17. This is the first business day following the 30-day deadline.

Members may contact Diane Chatham, Executive Secretary, by Email to or by phone at 410-850-8700 x21 with questions.

MM&P Wheelhouse Weekly



The USCG recently amended their policy (NMC Policy Letter 12-01) on BST renewal requirements. Mariners are required to demonstrate all BST competencies every five years. Mariners who have actively served for at least one year within a “running” five-year period provide such demonstration.

Therefore, BST credit extends five years past the “critical date”, which is determined by counting backwards from the current date until one year of sea service is counted. The BST competence validity period is five years from the date where the mariner has completed one year of sea service NOT the date of BST course attendance.

For example, if on today’s date (May 30, 2002) you determine that one year of sea service was competed on June 1, 2000 then you are considered BST competent through May 31, 2005. Similarly, if on today’s date (May 30, 2002) you looked back and calculated that one year of sea service was completed on June 1, 1996 then BST would be valid until May 31, 2001. The “critical date” is not fixed in time.

If a Mariner cannot prove evidence of one year sea service in the past five years or their validity has expired, he/she will no longer be considered competent in BST and must complete a USCG approved BST course.

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

  • 6/10-14: 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

  • 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 andis posted on our web page under “News” at:

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