Wheelhouse Weekly – November 30, 2001

November 30th 2001


Bridging the Information Gap With E-News You Can Use

Volume 5. . . . . Number 48. . . November 30, 2001





The MM&P-crewed US Navy’s Military Sealift Command fleet ocean tug USNS APACHE (T-ATF 172) rescued four people from an 80-foot sailing yacht foundering in 20-knot winds and 12-foot seas 1,400 miles southwest of the Azores on Nov.25. The yacht BOSSA NOVA II was en route from St. Martin in the Caribbean to Gibraltar when it began to take on water.

USNS APACHE was en route the Mediterranean from Norfolk, VA, for duty as the US 6th Fleet towing and salvage ship when she was notified by the USCG Rescue Coordination Center in Portsmouth, VA, that the yacht was in trouble. The weather throughout APACHE’s voyage had been bad with strong winds and seas up to 20 feet. The ship was just clearing a storm when the call came for any vessel in the vicinity to divert and assist BOSSA NOVA II.

Without hesitation, APACHE headed back into the teeth of the storm. Several hours later, at about 10 p.m., APACHE was approaching the sinking yacht. Because of the 12-foot seas and increasing winds, APACHE’s master Captain Jose Delfaus opted to slowly come alongside the yacht and its flailing 80-foot mast, keeping the yacht in the lee of the 240-foot long fleet ocean tug. Capt. Delfaus was assisted by C/M Tom Stone, 2/M Jim Morrissey and 3/M Justin Hubbard.

With one crew member operating the tug’s thruster controls, 2/M Morrissey on the ship’s throttles and an experienced helmsman on the ship’s wheel, APACHE made a slow, controlled and determined approach and was able to eventually pass a line to the sinking yacht. The four very grateful BOSSA NOVA II crew members quickly jumped aboard APACHE, leaving their yacht to the fate of the sea.

The master of the unfortunate yacht, Captain G. W. Summerfield, said the rescue experience was “like a John Wayne western movie. The US Navy is tops.” APACHE returned to her course for Rota, Spain, where she will drop off her rescued guests and continue on to Naples, Italy.

USNS APACHE is 240 feet long, has a beam of 42 feet and carries a crew of 16 Department of Navy civilian mariners and four active duty Navy personnel.

USCG Commander, Atlantic Area, Vice Admiral Allen commended the APACHE’s captain and crew for superior performance of duty, saying in part that:

“Though your course required you to steer through beam seas and gale force winds for nearly 100 naitical miles, you and your crew expertly formulated a rescue plan to save the crew of S/V BOSSA NOVA II. Though sea conditions exceeded launching parameters of your small boat, you were able to safely maneuver APACHE within heaving line range of the s/v and pass a bow-line which you used as a sea painter to bring the s/v into the lee of APACHE. Once alongside, you were then able to safely transfer the s/v’s crew to APACHE without injury. There is no doubt that your actions saved the lives of the crew of S/V BOSSA NOVA II.

“Please express my personal thanks to the crew of APACHE for their superior seamanship and outstanding representation of the Military Sealift Command. Well done!”

MM&P Wheelhouse Weekly



Nearly 1000 delegates representing 13 million working men and women from unions across the country are coming together for the AFL-CIO Biennial Convention at the Paris Hotel in Las Vegas, Dec. 3-6. International President Capt. Tim Brown and Sec.-Treas. Capt. Glen Banks are representing the MM&P at the convention.

Celebrating the theme “America’s Workers: Heroes Every Day,” delegates and guests will pay tribute to the union members who lost their lives Sept. 11 and to those involved in rescue and relief efforts.

With an emphasis on building strength so workers can have a voice in their workplaces, communities and nation and in the global economy, delegates will debate resolutions to strengthen organizing, political activism, rights for immigrant workers and more.

Guests include Sen. Hillary Clinton, Rev. Jesse Jackson, Rep. Nancy Pelosi, Rep. Richard Gephardt, Sen, Harry Reid and British Trade union Congress President Tony Young.

The delegates also will elect the federation’s top officers, honor Union Cities and state federations that are part of the New Alliance initiative, recognize exceptional political and issues mobilization efforts and hold a fund-raiser for Las Vegas workers laid off during the current economic downturn. For more info on the convention see their website at

MM&P Wheelhouse Weekly



The USCG recently revised its chemical drug and alcohol testing regulations to conform with the DOT’s final rule on drug testing procedures. The USCG amended its regulations on Marine Casualties and Investigations and Chemical Testing by removing obsolete sections, adding new definitions and incorporating new terms and procedures. The following is a synopsis of some of the changes:

Split specimen collections – Vessels must be equipped with the new split specimen collection kits and chain of custody forms.

Follow up testing – The marine employer must conduct follow-up tests on those individuals who test positive during the first year after return to work in safety sensitive positions [minimum number of follow up tests is six. In addition, the MRO may determine to subject these individuals to more testing up to a total of 60 months.

Alcohol testing – The new DOT alcohol testing requirements do not apply to the maritime industry. The alcohol testing requirements that the maritime industry must comply with are found in 46 CFR 4.06 and 33 CFR part 95. Most USCG districts mandate alcohol testing following a serious marine incident within two hours of the incident (USCG Authorization Act of 2000)

All foreign flag vessels must meet the USCG’s chemical testing requirements following a serious marine incident (drug and alcohol testing of individuals directly involved in the incident)

Stand down provision – Stand down after a positive test should be the exception and not the industry norm. The USCG has established a process for marine employers to request approval to use stand-down procedures while an employee’s drug tests are being verified.

Employer responsibilities – The marine employer must obtain an individual’s previous two years of chemical testing information with the seafarer’s permission. If the marine employer obtains information that the seafarer has violated a USCG chemical testing regulation, the marine employer cannot employ that individual to perform safety sensitive functions unless the marine employer obtains information that the seafarer has subsequently complied with all return to duty requirements.

Training – Vessel supervisors who are assigned specimen collection functions, particularly in the reasonable suspicion and post-serious marine incident situations, must receive the following training:

Basic Information & Methodology of Regulatory Testing – knowledge of Part 40 and Part 49 and DOT operating administration regulations.

Qualification Training – All steps necessary to complete a specimen collection properly

Proficiency Training – Conduct 5 error free mock specimen collections – must be supervised by an authorized person who monitors proficiency

Sanctions (Part 5 – Table 5.569)

  • Positive test result: 12 -24 month suspension
  • Refusal to take drug test: 12 – 24 month suspension
  • Refusal to take alcohol test: 12 – 24 month suspension

Penalties (Sec 16.115) – The civil penalty for failure to implement or comply with these provisions is $5,000 for each violation – each day of a continuing violation will constitute a separate violation.

MM&P Wheelhouse Weekly



Backers of Fast Track trade authority have scheduled a vote in the House of Representatives Dec. 6. The trade deal’s lack of workers’ rights and environmental protections, among other flaws, has drawn the strong opposition of unions, global workers’ rights groups and civil rights, environmental and other organizations.

Delegates to the AFL-CIO Convention Dec. 3-6 in Las Vegas will join in a special “No to Fast Track” call-in and e-mail campaign from the Convention site. MM&P members can tell their congressional representative to vote against Fast Track by calling 1-800-393-1082. For more info, or to send an e-mail to your lawmaker, visit

MM&P Wheelhouse Weekly



Openings in Classes Through the End of the February 2002

  • 12/10-14: BRM, COMP-NET, DCS
  • 12/15: ROR
  • 12/17-21: FF-ADV, ARPA, COMP-MAR
  • 1/7-18: MED-PIC
  • 1/7-11: FF-ADV, BRM, ROP, TPIC
  • 1/12: ROR, CBRD-1
  • 1/14-18: FF-ADV, BRM, COMP-ABSS
  • 1/19: ROR
  • 1/21-2/1: GMDSS
  • 1/21-25: FF-ADV, BRM, ECDIS
  • 1/26: CBRD-1, ROR
  • 1/21-24: SMA
  • 1/28-2/1: FF-ADV, BRM, ARPA, COMP-NET
  • 2/2: ROR
  • 2/4-7: SMA
  • 2/4-8: HAZ, SHS-BAS, BRM, WX-HWA
  • 2/11-15: BST, ARPA
  • 2/11-22: MED-PIC
  • 2/16: CBRD-1, ROR
  • 2/18-22: FF-ADV, COMP-MAR
  • 2/25-3/1: BST, BRM
  • 2/25-27: SHS-EMR

Replacement Certificates

Certificates will only be reissued when there is a clear requirement mandating presentation of the certificate. Usually, this will be to support an application to the Coast Guard. In the case of company requirements, our operating companies will accept the MITAGS database, as reflected in the halls, as proof of completion. Requests for replacement certificates should be forwarded directly to the Registrar via mail, fax, or e-mail. State clearly the specific requirement that is driving the request. Actual certificates will only be reissued if the course completion is within the last five years. A letter will serve as documentation for courses beyond that.


Schedule Info

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

MM&P Wheelhouse Weekly



Openings in classes through December

  • 12/10-14: ARPA, GMDSS, BRM
  • 12/17-21: ARPA, BRM

The first Medical Person-In-Charge course will commence on February 18, 2002 in Seattle. Successful candidates will receive STCW certificates in Elementary First Aid, Medical First Aid Provider and Medical Person in Charge. Registration is available on-line at

For further info, contact:

    Gregg Trunnell, Director Pacific Northwest Maritime Institute 2333 Third Avenue Seattle, WA 98121-1711

Phone: 206-239-9965; Fax: 206-441-2995; Email:

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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