Wheelhouse Weekly – May 5, 2015

Volume 20 . . . Number 18. . . May 5, 2015


In this issue:



News from the MM&P Federal Credit Union:

Upcoming Events:


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


MARAD has issued an advisory to all U.S. mariners and operators of U.S.-flag ships transiting the Persian Gulf (Strait of Hormuz). In Advisory #2015-01, MARAD advises U.S.-flag ships bound for the Strait of Hormuz in either direction to contact the U.S. Navy 5th Fleet Naval Cooperation and Guidance for Shipping Watch at 011-973-1785-3695 or atCUSNC.NCAGS_bw@ME.NAVY.MIL at least two days prior to the anticipated transit.

The agency advises that if a U.S. vessel engaged in transit through the area is hailed by Iranian forces, it should provide its vessel name and affirm that it is exercising the right of transit passage in accordance with the international law of the sea.

If Iranian forces request to board, if the safety of the ship and its crew would not be compromised, the master should decline permission by noting that the vessel is in transit passage and not subject to coastal state enforcement jurisdiction. The agency advises that if the ship is boarded even after the master declines permission, there should be no forcible resistance on the U.S.-flag merchant vessel. U.S.-flag vessels are advised to immediately report such incidents to coalition naval vessels on VHF Channel 16, by e-mail to CUSNC.BWC@ME.NAVY.MIL and by phone to 011-973-1785-3879. Vessels are also requested to inform MARAD by sending an e-mail to OPCENTR1@DOT.GOV.

The advisory states that coalition forces may conduct maritime awareness and safety calls, queries and approaches to ensure the safety of vessels transiting the Persian Gulf, the Strait of Hormuz and the Gulf of Oman. U.S.-flag ships approaching coalition forces are advised to maintain radio contact on VHF Channel 16.

For more information, contact Cameron Naron, MARAD Director of Security, Code MAR-420, Room W28-340, 1200 New Jersey Ave., S.E., Washington, DC 20590, Tel. 202-366-1883, Fax 202-366-3954, TLX II 710.822.9426 (MARAD DOT WSH), or e-mail: MARADSECURITY@DOT.GOV.

MARAD advisories are posted on Select broadcast warnings, scroll down to search box and select MARAD Advisories.

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U. S. Navy ships began “accompanying” U.S.-flagged commercial vessels through the Strait of Hormuz last Thursday. The operation began several days after Iran seized the Marshall Islands-flagged Maersk TIGRIS and Iranian ships approached the U.S.-flagged Maersk KENSINGTON on April 24. “This is nothing more than benign but prudent accompanying of already scheduled ships,” said a Pentagon spokesman. He added that the operation was “not designed to send a signal” but is “merely a hedge against some unpredictable Iranian behavior in the last few days.”

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According to MARAD Advisory #2015-01, at about 0655Z on April 24, while transiting in the vicinity of 25-42N 055-16E (about 17 nm off the coast of the United Arab Emirates and 15 nm off the coast of Abu Musa Island) the MM&P-crewed MAERSK KENSINGTON was approached by four Iranian patrol boats and hailed over VHF radio. The master did not respond to the hails. Subsequently the Iranian vessels maneuvered around the MAERSK KENSINGTON and took a position astern of the ship. At approximately 0720Z, all Iranian vessels broke pursuit.

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A spokesperson for Rickmers, the Singapore-based company that operates the container ship seized by the Iranian Revolutionary Guard on April 28 in the Persian Gulf, says the company is “making every effort” to secure the release of the MAERSK TIGRIS and its crew. Iranian port officials have said they ordered the ship seized because of a ten-year–old Iranian court judgment against Maersk, which chartered the vessel. Legal authorities have said the seizure is in flagrant breach of national and international maritime law, which in no case would allow members of the ship’s crew to be held hostage over allegations of unpaid debts. Additionally, they point out that the TIGRIS is not owned by MAERSK at all and was seized while transiting international waters.

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One person died and three others were hospitalized April 28 after losing consciousness aboard MV CORINA, a Polish-flagged general cargo ship that had just docked in Hanstholm, Denmark. The four were found unconscious in a cargo hold filled with wood pellets. A fifth person was able to escape the hold and sound the alarm. The accident is being attributed to low oxygen levels and toxic gas, possibly carbon monoxide, in the enclosed space. Earlier in April, three dockworkers died in the Port of Antwerp while offloading coal. Two ship’s officers died in March in the cargo hold of a vessel sailing off the coast of Senegal.

Starting in January of this year, enclosed space entry drills and training became mandatory at two-month intervals under amendments to SOLAS, but maritime labor says more needs to be done. Nautilus International is calling for a “new and concerted drive to end the appalling litany” of seafarer fatalities in enclosed spaces.

In a letter to UK Shipping Minister John Hayes, Nautilus General Secretary Mark Dickinson said the most recent cases followed a “very familiar pattern of one crew member collapsing in an oxygen-deficient area, and more being overcome after entering the space without personal protective equipment in an attempt to rescue their colleagues.” Nautilus represents British, Dutch and Swiss maritime officers.

Dickinson said more seafarers die or are injured in enclosed spaces than through any other onboard work activity. “Changes in ship design and operation, the nature of cargoes, the increasing amounts of chemicals being carried, along with reduced manning levels and radical changes in crewing practices are all factors which have driven the increase in such incidents,” he said.

Nautilus proposes mandatory training requirements and IMO rules to ensure that all ships are equipped with oxygen meters. “We believe that requirements for oxygen meters to be positioned at the entrance to enclosed spaces would reinforce to seafarers the potential risks that they face, as well as providing ready access to information about the state of such spaces.” Simply continuing to warn people of the dangers “is clearly not sufficient,” Dickinson says.

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Gov. Scott Walker, a possible 2016 U.S. presidential contender, told an interviewer in a report that was broadcast by Radio Iowa on April 25 that he would “seek changes in the civil service system for federal employees” if he were elected president and that he would push for a right-to-work law on the federal level.

Wisconsin became the 25th so-called “right-to-work state” under a law Walker signed on March 9. Right-to-work laws weaken unions by extending all the benefits of union contracts to workers who do not pay dues. Union members and their supporters in Wisconsin held multiple demonstrations to protest the legislation, which was passed in a fast-track process. In 2011, Walker eliminated collective bargaining rights for most public sector workers in the state.

Republicans in Wisconsin now say they have a “better than 50 percent” chance of scrapping state laws that ensure construction workers a living wage. State Rep. Rob Hutton has said he plans to tack his bill to repeal the state’s nearly century-old “prevailing wage” law for construction workers on local and state projects onto the state budget that must pass in the next few months.

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With Tax Season Over, Review Your Tax Situation… and Toss Unneeded Documents

MM&P Federal Credit Union Manager Kathy Klisavage shares advice at the end of tax season. “Every year when you are finished with your taxes, review your W-4. You may need to adjust the exemptions you claim. If you receive a large tax return, increase the number of withholdings so that the money is available to you throughout the year, thereby boosting your take-home pay. If you owe taxes, there are ways to structure savings so that you have money when you need it.”

What you need to know about keeping records:

Tax documents: Keep tax returns and supporting documents for seven years.
Investment records: Keep as long as you own the securities, plus another seven years. You will need them to prove capital gains and losses.

Bank statements: One month. You need these long enough to check the accuracy of the transaction. Unless the statement is your only record for a tax-related transaction, there is no need to keep it longer.

Retirement plan statements: Most, one year, for tax purposes. Keep Roth IRA statements until you retire, to prove you already paid tax on your contributions.
Credit card statements: Shred immediately after checking the accuracy of the transactions. The documents are a prime source for identity theft. Unless the statement is your only record for a tax-related transaction, there is no need to keep them longer.

Paychecks: One year, until you receive your W-2.

Bills: One year, for tax purposes.

W-2 forms: Until you begin claiming Social Security. These documents are the best estimate of your earnings and entitlements. The IRS may audit you within three years if it suspects good-faith errors; six years if it believes you underreported your income by at least 25 percent; and unlimited time if you did not file a return or filed a fraudulent one.

The Masters, Mates & Pilots Federal Credit Union is a nonprofit organization owned and operated by its members for the benefit of all who belong. The purpose of the credit union is to promote thrift through convenient, systematic savings, and to provide a quick, economical source of dignified credit. All MM&P members, employees and their families can join the credit union. To find out more about the services available, including savings accounts and loans, contact

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In May, the monthly membership meeting at the MM&P New York/New Jersey Hall will take place on the third Wednesday of the month, May 20, instead of on the second Wednesday of the month. All members in the area are encouraged to attend the meeting. The hall is located at 35 Journal Square, Suite 912, Jersey City, NJ 07306-4103.

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The Offshore Familiarization Course will be held at the MM&P New York/New Jersey Hall on May 19 and 20. The class begins at 0900 hours on May 19. 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 encouraged to take the course as soon as possible. If you are interested in participating, please contact Ana Victorio in the MM&P New York/New Jersey, or 201-963-1900.

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MITAGS needs your current address! Have you moved recently? Did you remember to send MITAGS your new address for communications regarding courses? Please send your current contact information to or to the fax number below.

New dedicated fax line for Admissions only: 1-443-568-1928. For all other MITAGS business, please continue to use: 410-859-5181.

For class availability or information on MITAGS courses and programs, contact Kelly Michielli, Admissions Coordinator, toll-free at 866-656-5568 or by e-mail: . Why not try our on-line calendar to register for class:

Please note the special addition to our on-campus schedule of MSC classes marked with an asterisk (*), which are not normally scheduled to be held at MITAGS.

AB – 8/17/15, 10/12/15

AIS-1 – Automatic Identifications Systems Orientation: 6/19/15, 7/13/15

ARPA-OIC – Automated Radar Plotting Aids: 8/4/15, 9/22/15

AZIPOD 2-Day – 10/1/15

BRM-35 – Bridge Resource Management: 5/18/15, 8/3/15, 10/19/15

BRMP –Bridge Resource Management for Pilots: 6/17/15, 7/16/15, 11/9/15

BRMP-EMR –Bridge Resource Management for Pilots with Emergency Shiphandling: 9/28/15

BT – Basic Safety Training: 6/8/15, 8/10/15, 10/5/15

BT-Revalidation – 8/4/15, 11/3/15

CHS-OIC – Cargo Handling Basic: 10/26/15

[CMM – Chief Mate and Master Courses]

ADVNAV-CMM – Advanced Navigation (=ECDIS & VPEN):

ADVSTB-CMM – Advanced Stability: 6/15/15, 7/27/15, 9/28/15

ADVWX-CMM – Advanced Meteorology: 6/1/15, 8/3/15, 10/19/15

CHS-CMM – Advanced Cargo Operations (2 weeks): 10/5/15

ECDIS – Electronic Chart Display Information System: 6/8/15, 8/17/15, 11/2/15, 12/7/15

LMS – Leadership and Managerial Skills (Management Level – Formerly MCL-CMM): 5/11/15, 6/22/15, 7/13/15, 8/10/15,8/31/15, 9/28/15, 10/26/15, 11/16/15, 11/30/15

MPP-CMM – Marine Propulsion Plants: 11/16/15

SHMGT-CMM- Ship Management (2 weeks): 9/14/15

SHS-ADV-I-CMM – Advanced Shiphandling (week 1): 6/1/15, 7/13/15, 8/10/15, 8/24/15, 10/5/15, 11/9/15, 11/30/15

SHS-ADV-II-CMM – Advanced Shiphandling (week 2): 5/11/15, 6/8/15, 7/20/15, 8/17/15, 8/31/15, 10/12/15, 11/16/15, 12/7/15

VPEN-CMM – Voyage Planning & Electronic Navigation: Contact Admissions

WKP-CMM – Advanced Watchkeeping: 5/11/15, 11/9/15

CNAV-OIC – Celestial Navigation: 11/9/15

CONT PLNG – Contingency Planning Workshop: Contact Admissions

CRISIS-COMMS – Crisis Communications: 7/9/15

DDE – Great Lakes: 5/27/15

DPA – Contact Admissions

ECDIS-OIC – Contact Admissions

ECDIS-Pilots – 6/15/15, 7/14/15, 11/12/15

ERM – Engine Resource Management: 6/15/15, 7/20/15, 8/24/15, 9/21/15, 10/19/15, 11/9/15, 12/14/15

FF-BADV – Fire Fighting Combined Basic & Advanced: 8/10/15, 10/5/15

FSM – Fatigue, Sleep, & Medications: 7/6/15, 9/15/15, 11/11/15

GL Pilot – Great Lakes Pilotage Familiarization: Contact Admissions

GMDSS – Global Maritime Distress and Safety System: 8/24/15

HAZ – Hazardous Materials (5 day): 6/22/15, 8/31/15, 11/16/15

LAP- 9/14/15

LAP-Great Lakes – License Advancement Program – Great Lakes: Contact Admissions

LAP-ORG3rd – License Advancement Program for Original 3rd Mate, Oceans, Any Gross
Ton License: 6/1/15, 8/3/15, 11/30/15

LEG – Legal Aspects of Pilotage: 6/17/15, 7/16/15, 9/16/15, 11/10/15

LNG-TPIC – 12/7/15

LTS –Leadership and Teamworking Skills (Formerly MCL-OIC): 9/21/15

MEECE – Management of Electrical and Electronic Control: 6/8/15, 7/6/15, 8/17/15, 9/14/15, 10/12/15, 11/2/15, 12/7/15

MED-PIC – Medical Person in Charge: 6/15/15, 8/24/15, 12/7/15

MED-PIC-REF– Medical Person in Charge Refresher: 7/27/15, 9/28/15

MED-PRO – Medical Care Provider: 6/15/15, 8/24/15, 10/12/15, 12/7/15

MED-DOT-DA – Dept. of Transportation Drug & Alcohol Testing: 6/20/15, 7/25/15, 8/28/15, 11/5/15, 12/12/15

MSA –Maritime Security Awareness: Contact Admissions

[MSC – Military Sealift Command Courses]

MSC-CBRD-1 – Military Sealift Command Chemical, Biological, Radiological Defense Orientation (Basic): 6/5/15, 8/19/15, 10/29/15

MSC-DC – Military Sealift Command Damage Control (4 Evenings): 6/2/15, 8/17/15, 10/27/15

*MSC-ENVPRO – 6/6/15, 8/16/15, 10/31/15

*MSC-FF-HELO – 6/9/15, 8/3/15, 11/2/15

MSC-SMA – Military Sealift Command Small Arms Qualification: 5/26/15, 8/8/15, 10/19/15

*MSC-Security Watch Basic – 5/30/15, 8/6/15, 10/17/15

*MSC-Security Watch Advanced –6/1/15, 8/12/15, 10/23/15

*MSC-Ship’s Reaction Force – 6/2/15, 8/13/15, 10/24/15

ROR-1 – Radar Observer Renewal: 8/3/15, 9/21/15

ROR-1N – Radar Observer Renewal Evening Classes: 5/6/15, 5/13/15, 6/3/15, 6/10/15, 6/17/15, 7/8/15, 7/22/15, 8/5/15, 8/19/15, 9/2/15, 9/16/15, 9/30/15, 10/14/15, 10/28/15, 11/3/15, 11/11/15, 11/18/15, 12/2/15, 12/10/15

ROU-OIC – Radar Observer Program – Unlimited: 6/1/15, 7/27/15

SAR-OIC – Search & Rescue – 10/19/15

SHS-BAS-OIC – Basic Shiphandling: 5/11/15, 6/22/15, 11/2/15

SHS-EMR5 – Emergency Shiphandling-5 Day: 7/27/15, 9/28/15

SMS – Contact Admissions

STB-OIC – Ship Construction and Basic Stability: 8/3/15

TCNAV/CO – Terrestrial Navigation and Compasses: 7/6/15

TPIC – Tankerman Person in Charge: 8/3/15

TRAC-TUG-2: Contact Admissions

TTT – Contact Admissions

VPDSD – Vessel Personnel with Designated Security Duties: 5/21/15

VSO – Vessel Security Officer: 5/18/15, 7/22/15, 9/9/15, 10/7/15, 10/17/15

WKP-OIC – Watchkeeping (Operational Level): 9/28/15

WX-OIC –Meteorology (Operational Level): 9/14/15

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Please also see our schedule and enroll online at For registration contact our registrar, Jennifer Pitzen: 206.838.1126 or

May 2015

11-15 Leadership and Managerial Skills
11-15 Medical Care Provider
18-22 Leadership and Managerial Skills
26th Radar Renewal
27-29 Bridge Resource Management and Emergency Shiphandling for Pilots

June 2015

1-3 Security – Vessel, Company, and Facility
1-5 Medical Care Provider
1-12 Medical Person-In-Charge
8-12 Leadership and Managerial Skills
15-19 ECDIS
15-19 Tankerman Person-In-Charge
22-26 Leadership and Managerial Skills
22-26 Basic Meteorology
29-3 Leadership and Managerial Skills

July 2015

6-24 Terrestrial and Coastal Navigation
13-17 Leadership and Managerial Skills
13-24 GMDSS
20-23 ARPA
27-31 Radar Observer Unlimited

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The MM&P Wheelhouse Weekly is the official electronic newsletter of the International Organization of Masters, Mates, & Pilots, ILA, AFL-CIO, 700 Maritime Blvd. Suite B, Linthicum Heights, MD 21090-1953. Phone: 410-850-8700; Fax: 410-850-0973. All rights reserved. The MM&P Wheelhouse Weekly © 2015. Articles can be reprinted without prior permission if credit is given to The MM&P Wheelhouse Weekly. For new subscriptions or address changes, send an e-mail to Back issues of The Weekly are posted on