Wheelhouse Weekly – November 3rd, 2020

November 4th 2020

Volume 25… Number 44… Nov. 3, 2020


In This Issue:



Calling All Shipmasters, at Sea and Ashore:

Coast Guard Update:

MM&P Member News:

Mark Your Calendar:

MM&P Eligible Voters & All Ports:


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A survey of the happiness of the world’s seafarers registered a slight uptick in the most recent quarter, a period in which the researchers said respondents thought they saw a light at the end of the Covid-19 tunnel that has led to the breakdown of the crew change process.

Compared to the results for the previous quarter, the index for the three-month period from July to September increased to 6.35 from 6.18.

There were, however, “significant fluctuations” within the three-month period, the researchers said.

“Early responses… were far more positive, driven by rising hopes about the reopening of national borders on finding a solution to the crew change crisis.”

“As the quarter progressed, this optimism was lost as a second wave of infections put paid to the hopes for many of a return home or a return to work. This was reflected in a decline in happiness levels.”

The survey is conducted by the Mission to Seafarers with the support of the Shipowners’ P&I Club and the Wallem Group.

“The index is a measure of the incompetent leadership of world governments to recognize and support seafarers,” said Frank Coles, CEO of the Wallem Group.

“We need to start listening to our seafarers and urge governments to open their borders to seafarers and confirm their key worker status as a matter of urgency.”

Among the other survey findings, some of which—as expected—show contradictions:

— a growing sense of unity on board in the face of the challenges respondents said they were facing;

— a rise in social conflict on board, as the social bonds between crewmembers come under pressure from heavy workloads, extended contracts and uncertainty about being able to get home;

— reports that protective measures such as masks and social distancing heighten feelings of isolation.

“Once again, the Seafarers Happiness Index has revealed the immense human cost of the Covid-19 pandemic among the men and women who serve at sea and upon whom we all depend,” said Andrew Wright, secretary general of The Mission to Seafarers.

“It is deeply worrying to learn of the impact on the bonds between crewmates and the damage to social cohesion onboard.”

“All of us who care about seafarers must act now and act faster to deliver the immediate support and relief that they need, along with a longer-term plan of action; one that meets the needs of those serving at sea and those stranded ashore.”

“This latest report highlights the heightened plight of seafarers both ashore and at home,” said Louise Hall, director of loss prevention at the Shipowners’ Club.

“Those on board are feeling increasingly concerned with the ongoing situation with many voicing that they feel physically and emotionally exhausted, whereas those at home are surrounded by the uncertainty of their future employment and financial woes.”

“It is imperative that we work together as an industry to provide new services and tools, such as the online ‘chat to a chaplain’ service, to improve the health and wellbeing of seafarers during these most difficult times.”

To read the complete survey, click HERE.

Back to Stories Covered


The International Transport Workers’ Federation helped stop the MV METIS LEADER, a Japanese-owned car carrier, from escaping Australian port authorities last month after it was discovered that 10 seafarers had been working on board beyond the 11-month maximum allowed under the Maritime Labor Convention.

According to Matt Purcell, ITF assistant coordinator for Australia:

— five members of the crew had been working without relief for almost a year;

— two had been on board for 14 months;

— three—including the captain—had been working without relief for over 15 months.

“Keeping seafarers working aboard a ship for this long is a violation of their rights and a recipe for human and environmental disaster,” Purcell said.

“To deny seafarers the ability to get off a ship and go home means that they are forced to keep working. What has happened here could give rise to a situation of forced labor.”

Purcell said that agents for the shipowners, the Japanese manning companies World Marine Company and WSS Shipping Agencies, tried to stop the ITF from boarding the vessel using Covid-19 as an excuse.

“Clearly, the company didn’t want us to learn the full extent of their deception of this vulnerable crew and their plans to carry on this forced labor charade into another month,” he said.

Thankfully, ITF contracts covering the ship gave Purcell the right to board it and assess the situation.

After the Australian Maritime Safety Authority arrested the vessel at the ITF’s urging, the 10 crewmembers on expired contracts were repatriated from Melbourne to the Philippines. The ship was blocked from sailing until the company arranged reliefs.

Purcell said that because of the time pressures on vehicle imports, the shipping company lost over $100,000 a day while the ship was blocked in Melbourne.

“We believe the intention of the Japanese owners of the ship, NYK, was to slip through Melbourne undetected and sail to Jakarta with yet another promise to the crew that they would be returned home to their families at the next port.”

The crewmembers told the ITF that they had been told many times they would be repatriated as the METIS LEADER passed through ports in several countries that allowed crew change.

For example, he said, the car carrier had passed through Singapore five or six times.

“The lesson is very clear,” said ITF Australia Coordinator Dean Summers.

“If you have over-contract seafarers—if you have crew who have done their time and are no longer willing or safe to operate your vessel—the ITF, our affiliates, and the authorities will arrest and detain your ship until you right these wrongs, no matter the cost to you or your cargo owner.”

“Our message to ship owners, manning agents, charterers and the companies that rely on ships to transport their goods, is: if you don’t ensure your crew is changed, we will work to see your ships are stopped and the tired workers operating them freed from the shackles of forced labor.”

“Ensure your supply chains are free from exploitation this Christmas: or we will,” he added.

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The overall exposure risk from aerosolized pathogens such as the coronavirus is very low on the type of aircraft contracted by the US Transportation Command to move Department of Defense personnel and their families.

This is the result of a test commissioned by US Transportation Command, which is responsible for the global movement of combat units and sustainment cargo for America’s armed forces.

The test was conducted in late August on two types of aircraft that are frequently contracted by USTRANSCOM: the Boeing 767-300 and 777-200.

“Our mission here at US Transportation Command is to conduct global logistics operations on behalf of the Department of Defense,” said Vice Adm. Dee Mewbourne, deputy commander of USTRANSCOM.

“Part of this mission involves moving military personnel, civilians and families around the globe.”

“We invested in a study to inform us if our mitigation measures are providing the safest possible means of transportation.”

During tests conducted while the planes were on the ground and in flight, mannequins with and without face masks were placed in various seats on the aircraft while fluorescent tracer particles were released at intervals of two seconds to simulate breathing for a minute.

Real-time fluorescent particle sensors were placed throughout the aircraft in the breathing zones of passengers to measure concentration over time.

“Within the scope of the test, the results showed an overall low exposure risk from aerosolized pathogens like Covid-19 on these aircraft,” Mewbourne said.

To read a detailed description of the study, go to:

Back to Stories Covered


Maryland Governor Larry Hogan visited the MITAGS campus last week, spending time on the bridge of the full-mission ship simulator.

The visit by the governor and his staff was part of a fact-finding mission to see how businesses in the state are faring in the midst of the pandemic.

The event was covered by a number of journalists, including “Disco” Don Harrison, who penned a news report for WMAR Baltimore titled, “Trying to Steer Maryland’s Economy Full Speed Ahead.”

“The governor has been navigating the state through some rough waters during this pandemic,” Harrison wrote, “but operating a 100-foot vessel in open water is another challenge.”

MITAGS partners with Orstead, an alternative energy company dealing with wind energy, and Hogan’s simulation exercise involved navigating a containership through a wind farm that is still under construction off the coast of New Jersey.

“This is a perfect example of how important economic development, wind energy [and] job training [are],” Hogan explained. “They are an example of what we’re trying to do.”

MITAGS Business Development Director Bob Becker accompanied the governor on the tour and was interviewed for the WMAR report.

This type of simulation, he said,“ gives people an idea of what [the wind farm] is going to look like and how the vessels are going to react… to the real thing, before you even put a shovel in the ground.”

MITAGS “can recreate almost anything on the water… it’s invaluable for future mariners and the alternative wind industry,” Harrison wrote.

“They train mariners today to operate everything from tugboats in our bay to ships of all sizes around the world.”

Harrison reported that the number of on-site students at MITAGS has fallen from about 70 a week during regular times to about 25 as businesses across America struggle to rebound from the pandemic.

To read the article and view the TV news segment, go to:

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Why do so many mariners continue to die in confined spaces?

The International Federation of Shipmasters’ Associations is asking working and retired captains for help in understanding why the number of deaths has continued to rise, despite regulations, educational campaigns, shipboard safety drills and the efforts of so many in the industry.

IFSMA has formed a committee to address the growing number of accidents taking place in enclosed spaces aboard all classes of ships, at sea and ashore.

Among the factors the committee is exploring is time pressure—or perceived time pressure—and the role it may play in accidents, for example by influencing those involved to rush a job, or to not follow procedures.

The group is specifically looking for examples of conflicting demands placed on the master and crew which make it difficult or impossible to follow enclosed space procedures properly.

This could be conflicting local and international regulations, pressure from charterers or agents, ISM procedures that cannot be followed due to time constraints, etc.

The goal is to use the information as a foundation to work for changes in training and/or regulations at the International Maritime Organization level.

This project aims to save lives and reduce accident rates not just by introducing new regulations but by exploring what changes could be made aboard ship.

The committee understands how much pressure shipmasters at sea are under. For this reason it is also reaching out to shipmasters ashore or recently retired who may have more time to send in their thoughts.

MM&P is a member of the International Federation of Shipmasters’ Associations.

Please send your input to David Appleton of Nautilus International:

Please copy in IFSMA Secretary General Jim Scorer and IFSMA Assistant Secretary General Paul Owen

Thank you for your help in advance.

Back to Stories Covered


The Coast Guard Office of Commercial Vessel Compliance has posted a new Mission Management System Work Instruction on cyber risk management for domestic and foreign vessels.

The guidance is posted in its entirety at:

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The National Maritime Center informs the maritime community that the Regional Exam Center in Juneau has relocated from the Mendenhall Mall to the Hurff A. Saunders Federal Building.

The Juneau REC is open for limited examination services only.

The new mailing address is 709 W. 9th Street, Suite 322, Juneau, AK 99801.

The REC’s primary telephone number (907 463-2458), fax number (907 463-2482), and e-mail address ( remain the same.

Mariners seeking to schedule an examination at this location may do so by e-mailing a request to

REC and Monitoring Unit location information can be found on the REC page of the National Maritime Center website:

The Customer Service Center is open 8:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. EST, Monday through Friday.

You can reach the NMC call center at 1-888-IASKNMC (427-5662) or

Back to Stories Covered


Kirsten Wilhelm, a long-time dispatcher with MEBA in the Seattle area, is the newest member of the MM&P team.

She joins Masters, Mates & Pilots as the new dispatcher in the Seattle Hall, taking over the reins from Kathy Moran, who has just begun her well-deserved retirement.

Kirsten Wilhelm can be reached at

As noted in last week’s edition of The Wheelhouse Weekly, thank you messages and photos for Kathy Moran are being compiled into a scrapbook.

Send them to us today at

Back to Stories Covered


Eligible dependent children of eligible Offshore members and co-pay pensioners in good standing are reminded to request an application for the scholarship program.

Applicants must be high school seniors during the 2020-21 school year. Completed applications must be returned to the Plan Office by Nov. 30, 2020.

For more information, please contact Madeline Petrelli at 410-850-8615 or

A PDF copy of the application is posted on the MM&P website: just go to, click on “Plans,” and then select “H&B Benefit Forms” in the dropdown menu. The application is the fourth form from the bottom.

Back to Stories Covered


All MM&P union halls, the MM&P Plan Office, the MM&P Federal Credit Union and MM&P headquarters will be closed on Wednesday, Nov. 11, for Veterans Day.

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The following is a notice to all MM&P Eligible Voters from the International Ballot Committee.

The MM&P Voting Instructions that accompanied your ballot indicated that, in order to be counted, ballots must be received by 9:00 a.m. Eastern Standard Time on Wednesday, December 16, 2020.

Due to a delay relating to the date on which the ballots were mailed, the balloting period has been extended.

Accordingly, in order to be counted, your ballot must be received by 9:00 a.m. Eastern Standard Time on Monday, December 28, 2020.

Back to Stories Covered


Please be advised that as of the June MATES Trustees meeting, the number of sea days required to receive covered training at MITAGS will now be 42 days instead of 30.

This temporary change has been necessitated by the COVID-19 pandemic with regards to permissible class size, available staffing and cost saving measures. The measure will remain in place through the end of 2020 and be reviewed prior to the end of this year.

\\Classes are 5-day unless otherwise noted\\

Class dates followed by an * are full

AB – Able Seaman – 1/25/21, 4/12/21

AIS-1 – Automatic Identifications Systems Orientation (1-Day): Not currently scheduled

ARPA-OIC (4-Day) – Automated Radar Plotting Aids: Not currently scheduled

AZIPOD (2-Day) – Not currently scheduled

BRM-35 – Bridge Resource Management: Not currently scheduled

BRMP –Bridge Resource Management for Pilots (2-Day): 1/26/21, 3/8/21, 4/13/21, 4/29/21, 5/17/21
Online: 11/2/21, 2/2/21, 4/20/21

BRMP-EMR –Bridge Resource Management for Pilots with Emergency Shiphandling – (Now also included in BRMP-Refresher) (3-Day): 3/10/21, 4/26/21

BRMP-Refresher (Now including Emergency Shiphandling for Pilots) (3-Day) – Not currently scheduled

BT – Basic Safety Training: 1/18/21

BT-Revalidation (2-day) (Must have 1 year of sea service in last 5 years) – 12/15/20, 2/9/21, 4/27/21, 6/22/21

BT-Refresher (3-day) – 12/14/20, 2/9/21, 4/27/21

CHS-OIC – Cargo Handling Basic: 10/26/20

[CMM – Chief Mate and Master Courses]

ADVSTB-CMM – Advanced Stability: 11/30/20, 1/18/21, 3/8/21, 5/3/21, 6/21/21

ADVWX-CMM – Advanced Meteorology: 12/7/20, 1/25/21, 4/26/21, 6/14/21

CHS-CMM – Advanced Cargo Operations (10 Days): 3/15/21

CM-OPS 1 – Chief Mate Operations – Week 1: 11/9/20, 2/1/21, 6/7/21

CM-OPS 2 Maersk – Chief Mate Operations II Maersk Specific: 11/16/20, 2/8/21, 6/14/21

CM-OPS 2 APL – Chief Mate Operations II APL Specific – Not currently scheduled

ECDIS – Electronic Chart Display Information Systems: 1/25/21, 6/7/21

LMS – Leadership and Managerial Skills (Management Level – Formerly MCL-CMM): 11/16/20, 12/14/20, 2/1/21, 5/10/21

MPP-CMM – Marine Propulsion Plants: 4/12/21
(DCS-1 available on request – contact Admissions)

SEC-APPS – Practical Defense Tactics: Not Currently Scheduled

SHMGT-CMM- Ship Management: 2/22/21

SHS-ADV-I-CMM – Advanced Shiphandling (week 1): 11/30/20, 1/30/20, 1/11/21, 2/1/21, 2/22/21, 3/15/21, 4/19/21, 5/10/21, 6/7/21

SHS-ADV-II-CMM – Advanced Shiphandling (week 2): 11/9/20*, 12/7/20, 1/18/21, 2/8/21, 3/1/21, 3/22/21, 4/26/21, 5/17/21, 6/14/21

**SHS-ADV-I & II are now approved to include SAR-CMM assessments at MITAGS**

VPEN-CMM – Voyage Planning & Electronic Navigation: 4/19/21

WKP-CMM – Advanced Watchkeeping: 3/1/21

WX-HW-ATL – Heavy Weather Avoidance Routing: Atlantic Ocean (2-day) – Contact Admissions

WX-HW-IND – Heavy Weather Avoidance Routing: Indian Ocean (2-day) – Contact Admissions

WX-HW-PAC – Heavy Weather Avoidance Routing: Pacific Ocean (2-day) – Contact Admissions

CIW-DPA/IA – Continual Improvement Workshop: Designated Person Ashore & Internal Auditor (3-Day) ** This course is NOT covered by the MATES Program **
Online: Not currently scheduled

CIW-SMS – Continual Improvement Workshop: Successful Safety Management (2-Day) – Not currently scheduled

CNAV-OIC (15-Day) – Celestial Navigation: Not currently scheduled

CRISIS-COMMS – Crisis Communications (1-Day): 3/10/21

CRSMGT – Crisis Management and Human Behavior (1-Day) – 2/26/21

CDMGT – Crowd Management (1-Day) – 2/25/21

CSE – Confined Space Entry (3-Day): Not currently scheduled

CSE-AWR – Confined Space Entry Awareness (2-Day): 5/20/21

CY-MAR – Cyber-Skilled Mariner ** This course is NOT covered by the MATES Program ** – Not currently scheduled

DDE – Great Lakes (20-Day): 2/22/21, 4/19/21

ECDIS for Pilots (2-Day) – 12/3/20

ERM – Engine Resource Management: 12/7/20, 4/19/21

ADV-FF – Advanced Fire-Fighting (4-day) – Not currently scheduled

FF-BADV – Fire Fighting Combined Basic & Advanced: 1/18/21

FF-ADV-Rev (1-day) (Must have 1 year of sea service in last 5 years) – Advanced Fire Fighting Revalidation: 12/17/20, 2/8/21, 4/26/21, 6/21/21

FF-ADV-REF (2-day) – Advanced Fire Fighting Refresher: 12/12/20, 2/12/21, 4/30/21

FSM – Fatigue, Sleep, & Medications (1-Day): 1/26/21, 4/13/21
Online: Not currently scheduled

GL-Pilot – Great Lakes Pilotage Familiarization (2-Day): 3/13/21

GMDSS – Global Maritime Distress and Safety System (10-Day): Not currently scheduled

HAZ – Hazardous Materials (5 day): 11/16/20, 4/12/21

IEN – Integrated Electronic Navigation (3-Day) – Not currently scheduled

LAP – License Advancement Program for Mate to Master (20-Day): 1/11/21

LAP-Great Lakes – License Advancement Program – Great Lakes (15-Day): 3/8/21

LAP-ORG3rd – License Advancement Program for Original 3rd Mate, Oceans, Any Gross
Ton License (15-Day): 4/12/21

LEG – Legal Aspects of Pilotage (1-Day): 1/27/21, 3/9/21, 4/14/21, 4/29/21

LNG-TPIC (10-Day) – 1/11/21

LTS –Leadership and Teamworking Skills (Formerly MCL-OIC) (1-Day): Not currently scheduled

MEECE – Management of Electrical and Electronic Control Equipment (Assessments not included): 11/30/20, 4/12/21

MED-PIC – Medical Person in Charge (10-Day): 11/30/20, 1/25/21, 4/12/21

MED-PIC-REF– Medical Person in Charge Refresher: 1/11/21

MED-PRO – Medical Care Provider: 1/25/21

MED-DOT-DA – Dept. of Transportation Drug & Alcohol Testing (1-Day): 12/5/20, 12/18/20, 1/16/21, 1/30/21, 4/17/21, 5/15/21, 6/24/21

[MSC – Military Sealift Command Courses]

MSC-CBRD-1 – Military Sealift Command Chemical, Biological, Radiological Defense Orientation (Basic) (1-Day): 11/10/20, 2/24/21, 5/17/21, 6/11/21

MSC-DC – Military Sealift Command Damage Control (2-day): 2/25/21, 5/18/21, 6/9/21

MSC-ENVPRO (1-Day) – 2/28/21, 6/13/21

MSC-FF-HELO (2-Day) – 6/21/21

MSC-SMA – Military Sealift Command Small Arms Qualifications (4-Day): 1/11/21, 3/1/21, 5/10/21, 6/14/21

MSC-Security Watch Basic (1-Day/ 8-hour) – 3/1/21 (Evening), 5/9/21 (Evening), 6/12/21 (Evening)

MSC-Security Watch Advanced (1-Day) – 1/15/21, 3/5/21, 5/9/21, 6/12/21

MSC-Ship’s Reaction Force (3-Day) – 1/16/21, 3/6/21, 5/14/21, 6/18/21

NDMS-ENAV – Navigational Decision Making Series – Best Practice in eNav (3-Day) – Not currently scheduled

NSAP-MMP – Navigational Skills Assessment Program-MM&P (2-Day) –12/14/20*, 12/16/20*, 1/18/21*, 3/15/21*, 4/20/21, 4/22/21, 6/22/21, 6/24/21

PSC – Personal Survival Craft (5-Day) – 2/1/21

PSC-REF – Personal Survival Craft Refresher (2-Day) – 12/10/20

RFPNW – Ratings Forming Part of a Navigational Watch (3-day) – 1/13/21

ROR-1 – Radar Observer Renewal (1-Day): Not currently scheduled

ROR-1N – Radar Observer Renewal Evening Classes (1-Night): 12/14/20, 1/26/21, 4/13/21, 4/30/21

ROU-OIC – Radar Observer Program – Unlimited: 5/24/21

SAR – Search & Rescue – (Now with OIC and CMM assessments) (3-Day): 11/30/20

SHS-BAS-OIC – Basic Shiphandling: 5/3/21

SHS-EMR5 – Emergency Shiphandling (5 Day) – 11/16/20*, 12/14/20*, 1/25/21*, 4/12/21, 6/14/21

STB-OIC – Ship Construction and Basic Stability: 5/17/21

TCNAV/CO – Terrestrial Navigation and Compasses (15-Day): 6/7/21

TPIC – Tankerman Person in Charge: 3/8/21, 4/26/21

TRAC-TUG-2 (2-Day): 3/8/21

TTT – ** This course is NOT covered by the MATES Program ** Not currently scheduled

VPDSD – Vessel Personnel with Designated Security Duties (1-Day): 2/27/21, 6/15/21

VSO – Vessel Security Officer (3-Day): 2/22/21, 6/16/21

WKP-OIC – Watchkeeping (Operational Level) (10-Day): Not currently scheduled

WX-OIC –Meteorology (Operational Level): Not currently scheduled

Back to Stories Covered


Schedule of Courses – Please also see our schedule and enroll online at

For Registration Contact our Admissions Department: 206.441.2880 or

November 2020

9-12 Advanced Firefighting
9-13 Leadership & Managerial Skills
9-13 Medical Care Provider
9-20 Medical Person-In-Charge
13th Advanced Firefighting Revalidation
16-17 Basic Training Revalidation
16-18 Security Officer – Vessel, Company and Facility
16-19 ARPA
30-4 Basic Training

December 2020

4, 7-8 Basic Training Refresher
7-8 Basic Training Revalidation
7-11 Medical Care Provider
7-18 Medical Person-In-Charge
9th Advanced Firefighting Revalidation
10-11 Advanced Firefighting Refresher

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The MM&P Wheelhouse Weekly is the official electronic newsletter of the International Organization of Masters, Mates & Pilots, 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 © 2020. Articles can be reprinted without prior permission if credit is given to The MM&P Wheelhouse Weekly. For subscriptions, address changes or messages to the editor or to MM&P headquarters, e-mail Back issues of The Weekly are posted on