Wheelhouse Weekly – Oct. 14, 2014

October 15th 2014 ,

Volume 18 . . . Number 41 . . . Oct. 14, 2014


In this issue:


Coast Guard Update:

Other News:

Job Opportunity:

Upcoming Events:


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


The International Transport Workers Federation (ITF) has joined calls to quash a recently unveiled trade deal between Canada and the European Union. The agreement, known as CETA, stipulates that no participant “may adopt or maintain measures requiring that all or part of any international cargo be transported exclusively by vessels” in its national fleet. It would essentially gut Canada’s equivalent of the Jones Act, putting thousands of Canadian maritime sector employees out of work. The five years of negotiations were conducted in secret, with no opportunity for public scrutiny or involvement.

“I witnessed real anger at the secrecy of the CETA negotiations and the threat the agreement poses to maritime trade,” said ITF Seafarers’ Section Secretary Jon Whitlow. “The ITF and the European Transport Workers Federation fully endorse the importance of national cabotage, the need to retain Canadian cabotage and the necessity of further entrenching it in law,” Whitlow said in a Sept. 26 speech in Ottawa to several hundred demonstrators against the trade deal.

The demonstration was organized by the Seafarers’ International Union of Canada and the newly formed Canadian Maritime & Supply Chain Coalition. Members of the group say they are protesting “against the harmful impact the CETA agreement will have on maritime trade on both sides of the Atlantic.” Along with other U.S. maritime unions, MM&P has condemned CETA and has offered full support to Canadian maritime labor. The anti-CETA coalition is campaigning for the chapter on international maritime services to be deleted from the agreement.

A reported split between participants to the agreement, in particular over dispute settlement procedures, may keep CETA from being ratified. The section of the agreement that has generated most controversy outside the maritime industry would enable foreign corporations to sue governments directly, bypassing national court systems. “Not only would CETA put thousands of Canadian jobs at risk by opening up key parts of maritime shipping to European corporations,” the ITF says, “it would remove the rights of provinces, municipalities, schools and hospitals to get the most out of their procurement budgets by favoring local goods and services.”

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Maritime Administrator Chip Jaenichen reiterates the importance of U.S. cabotage law in the most recent edition of his Department of Transportation blog post, “Today in the Fast Lane.” Jaenichen calls the Jones Act “the cornerstone of U.S. maritime policy” since its enactment 94 years ago and credits the law with maintaining the maritime sector in our country. “While some sectors of America’s economy have seen operations and jobs shift to countries abroad, this hasn’t been the case for our maritime industry,” Jaenichen writes.

The Jones Act requires that any cargoes shipped by water between U.S. ports be transported on a vessel owned by a U.S. company, crewed by U.S. mariners and manufactured in a U.S. shipyard. A similar law has come under attack in Canada as part of recently concluded trade negotiations between that country and the European Union.

Jaenichen writes that the U.S. shipbuilding requirement in the Jones Act “has stimulated investment in the privately owned U.S. companies that run shipyards and operate the vessels that employ the best-trained crews and merchant mariners in the world.” He said the job-generating potential of the industry is a primary factor in the Obama Administration’s decision to invest more than $150 million to increase the competitiveness and efficiency of U.S. shipyards through the Maritime Administration’s Small Shipyard Grant program. “We know that increased production at our shipyards means good, middle-class jobs for Americans who not only build, but also operate these vessels,” he writes. “The United States became a maritime power even before we became a nation, and for over 230 years, marine transportation has remained a top priority for the United States,” he adds. “For this reason, this Administration remains committed to the Jones Act, as all administrations have since it was passed.”

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Hundreds of people in Honolulu participated in a conference organized by MM&P and the Marine Engineers’ Beneficial Association (MEBA) last week to promote efforts to launch a new interisland ferry system in Hawaii. “It was a good meeting and there was a lot of enthusiasm around the idea,” said MM&P United Inland Group Vice President Mike Murray, who attended the conference on Oct. 6 along with MM&P Honolulu Representative Randy Swindell and Coast Agent Jeremy Hope. The conference took place at Pier 19 in Honolulu Harbor.

Supporters of a new ferry system cited a recent newspaper poll which found that 87 percent of Hawaii voters believe the state needs an interisland ferry. A number of candidates for national and state office in Hawaii have been vocal supporters of such a service. It has been five years since the now defunct Hawaii Superferry went out of business amid a spate of lawsuits. “We don’t want to confuse the old superferry with a new interisland ferry system,” said MEBA Oakland Patrolman Christian Yuhas, an organizer of the Oct. 6 event. “I believe it’s going to be a single hull vessel, hold a couple hundred cars and a couple hundred people. It’s going to go slower and be more fuel efficient” than its predecessor, he said.

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Crewmembers of the MV SEAMAN GUARD OHIO face further detention and a possible re-trial after a last-minute appeal was lodged to overturn a July decision by the Indian High Court, which had decided to drop all charges against them. Six British members of the crew and 29 seafarers from other countries have been held in India over a year. The men were all hoping to return home last week.

The SEAMAN GUARD OHIO is used by U.S.-based maritime security firm AdvanFort International as a platform for counter-piracy guards between transits on commercial vessels traveling through the designated high risk area in the Indian Ocean. In October 2013, the ship was impounded and the crew and armed guards aboard were detained after it entered Indian waters. MM&P has protested the Indian government’s treatment of the crew and security guards.

“This has been the most terrible ordeal for all the crew and their families, and I am baffled that this has happened now,” said Reverend Canon Ken Peters, director of Justice and Welfare for the Mission to Seafarers, which has been advocating for the mariners. “It has been a complex case, but the High Court Judge dismissed all charges three months ago, so the men rightly presumed that they were at last free to go. It now transpires that the security forces have lodged a counter-appeal to have the charges reinstated. This is making the lives of all concerned a misery. I would like to make a further appeal to the good sense and sound judgment of the Indian government to please look again at this case, and assist in this matter, to allow the seafarers to return home to their families as soon as possible.”

Dudinik Valentyn, master of the SEAMAN GUARD, says he was tricked into leaving international waters by Indian Coast Guard officials who told him the ship was in the path of a cyclone. Once inside India’s territorial waters, the vessel was seized for having weapons on board without the required documents.

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In response to reports that some mortgage brokers have been misrepresenting themselves to union members as being authorized by the AFL-CIO and other labor organizations when that is not the case, Union Plus has circulated to participating labor unions a cautionary letter to publicize to members. The letter reminds union members that Union Plus mortgage program is the only program of its type endorsed by the AFL-CIO. It offers unique benefits exclusively to members of participating labor unions, including MM&P.

Through Union Plus, active and retired union members, their parents and children can enjoy exclusive benefits including: competitive rates on new mortgages; Union Plus mortgage protection during hardships such as strikes, lockouts, disability or job loss; a $500 Union Plus first-time home award; a $500 Wells Fargo My Mortgage Gift award card after closing on a purchase loan or refinancing.

Kelly Zuccarelli is the Union Plus Mortgage program manager responsible for the Southeast market and works to educate members about the benefits of the program. Kelly may be reached at To learn more about the Union Plus Mortgage program, visit

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The Coast Guard’s Merchant Marine Personnel Advisory Committee (MERPAC) has openings for new members. The openings are for positions that become vacant on June 1, 2015: two positions for marine educators, one of whom will represent the viewpoint of maritime training institutions other than state or federal maritime academies and also represent the viewpoint of the small vessel industry, and one representing the viewpoint of state maritime academies; one position for a member drawn from the general public; one position for an engineering officer who is licensed as a chief engineer any horsepower; and two positions for deck officers, one of whom is a licensed merchant marine deck officer of oceans any gross tons, the other licensed for inland or river route with limited or unlimited tonnage, and one of whom must have a master’s license or a master of towing vessels license.

MERPAC advises the Department of Homeland Security on matters related to personnel in the U.S. merchant marine, including but not limited to training, qualifications, certification, documentation and fitness. Applicants should submit a cover letter and resume before Dec. 8 to: Commandant (CG-OES–1), ATTN Merchant Marine Personnel Advisory Committee, US Coast Guard Stop 7509, 2703 Martin Luther King Jr. Ave., SE., Washington, DC 20593–7509; or by faxing (202) 372-8382; or by emailing Davis J. Breyer,

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The Coast Guard has published a Navigation Rules and Regulations Handbook that replaces the former Navigation Rules International and Inland. The new handbook includes the International Regulations for Prevention of Collisions at Sea and the Inland Navigation Rules. Other pertinent laws and regulations are also included (e.g., Bridge-to-Bridge Radiotelephone Act and Vessel Traffic Services). ALCOAST 411-14 introduces the handbook and discusses issues such as requirements to carry it. The navigation rules and additional information regarding the new handbook can be found online at the Coast Guard’s Navigation Center website by selecting Nav Rules from the upper navigation bar.

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International labor rights activist Kailash Satyarthi has been awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for his fight to end child labor. Satyarthi, a director of the International Labor Rights Forum, is credited with freeing over 80,000 children from slavery in India in the past four years. His raids have targeted construction and carpet plants, producers of fireworks and bangles, brick-kiln operations, restaurants and child trafficking rings. Satyarthi heads the Global March Against Child Labor, a group of 2,000 social welfare organizations and trade unions in 140 countries. “Children are most vulnerable physically and mentally for exploitation,” he says. “They cannot form a union, they cannot go to a court of law. The corporate sector must be honest in admitting the fact that large numbers of children are enslaved, sold and bought like animals.” He shares the Nobel Peace Prize with Malala Yousafzai, the Pakistani teenager who was shot in the head by Taliban gunmen in October 2012
for campaigning in favor of girls’ education.

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MM&P members interested in sailing on Patriot’s Watson Class LMSRs and other government-contract vessels need specialized training, physicals and security checks. Detailed information on how to qualify for these positions has been posted on under “Latest News” on the home page.

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The Oregon Board of Maritime Pilots and the Columbia River Bar Pilots are accepting applications to fill vacancies expected to occur over the next few years. Applicants must have at least one year of sea time as Master on ships over 5,000 GT to apply and two years’ sea time to be accepted. The Columbia River Bar Pilots are an equal opportunity organization looking for Captains with a broad range of experience capable of working in the demanding conditions of the winter bar. Successful applicants must have the command personality needed to make the wide range of decisions the job requires. They must also be willing and able to contribute to running the business side of the organization.

If you are interested, please contact: Susan Johnson, Administrator, Oregon Board of Maritime Pilots, 800 N.E. Oregon St. #15, Suite 507, Portland, OR 97232;; 971-673-1530 (phone); 971-673-1531 (fax).

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There will be a union meeting at the Boston Hall on Wednesday, Oct. 15 at 1300. Participants in the meeting will include MM&P President Don Marcus, Secretary-Treasurer Steve Werse and Atlantic Ports Vice President Don Josberger. All members in the area are encouraged to attend the meeting.

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In response to a high level of demand, MITAGS has added a session of LMS for the week of Nov. 17 and a course for BT Revalidation. Please check the schedule at the end of every issue of The Wheelhouse Weekly for course schedules. Send an e-mail to for more information.

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In response to requests, MITAGS has added an additional ECDIS course to the schedule. The course will be held beginning onDec. 1. All other sessions for the rest of the year are already full. Please send an e-mail to if you are interested in signing up for the Dec. 1 course.

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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 – 4/13/15, 8/17/15, 10/12/15

AIS-1 – Automatic Identifications Systems Orientation: Contact Admissions

ARPA-OIC – Automated Radar Plotting Aids: 11/18/14, 1/20/15, 3/31/15, 8/4/15, 9/22/15

AZIPOD 2-Day –10/9/14, 2/2/15, 4/6/15

BRM-35 – Bridge Resource Management: 1/26/15, 3/23/15, 5/18/15, 8/3/15, 10/19/15

BRMP –Bridge Resource Management for Pilots: 11/20/14, 2/4/15, 3/2/15, 4/13/15, 5/20/15, 6/17/15,7/16/15, 11/9/15

BRMP-EMR –Bridge Resource Management for Pilots with Emergency Shiphandling: 3/4/15, 4/8/15

BT – Basic Safety Training: 1/19/15, 2/9/15, 4/6/15, 6/8/15

BT-Revalidation –8/5/15, 11/3/15

CHS-OIC – Cargo Handling Basic: 10/27/14, 4/13/15, 10/26/15

[CMM – Chief Mate and Master Courses]

ADVNAV-CMM – Advanced Navigation (=ECDIS & VPEN): 11/10/14

ADVSTB-CMM – Advanced Stability: 1/19/15, 4/20/15, 6/15/15, 7/27/15, 9/28/15

ADVWX-CMM – Advanced Meteorology: 1/12/15, 4/13/15, 6/1/15, 8/3/15, 10/19/15

CHS-CMM – Advanced Cargo Operations (2 weeks): 4/27/15, 10/5/15

ECDIS – Electronic Chart Display Information System: 10/20/14, 11/10/14, 12/1/14, 1/5/15, 4/6/15,6/8/15, 8/17/15, 11/2/15, 12/7/15

LMS – Leadership and Managerial Skills (Management Level – Formerly MCL-CMM): 11/17/14, 12/8/14,1/26/15, 3/30/15, 6/22/15, 8/10/15, 10/26/15, 11/30/15

MPP-CMM – Marine Propulsion Plants: 10/27/14, 3/2/15, 11/16/15

SHMGT-CMM- Ship Management (2 weeks): 3/9/15, 9/14/15

SHS-ADV-I-CMM – Advanced Shiphandling (week 1): 10/20/14, 11/3/14, 12/1/14, 2/2/15, 3/9/15, 3/30/15,4/13/15, 5/4/15, 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): 10/27/14, 11/10/14, 12/8/14, 2/9/15, 3/16/15, 4/6/15, 4/20/15, 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: 11/17/14, 3/23/15

WKP-CMM – Advanced Watchkeeping: 11/3/14, 5/11/15, 11/9/15

CNAV-OIC – Celestial Navigation: 11/3/14, 4/27/15, 11/9/15

CONT PLNG – Contingency Planning Workshop: Contact Admissions

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

DDE – Great Lakes: 1/26/15, 6/1/15

DPA – 10/27

ECDIS-OIC – 2/16/15

ECDIS-Pilots – 3/2/15, 6/15/15, 7/14/15, 11/12/15

ERM – Engine Resource Management: 12/1/14

FF-BADV – Fire Fighting Combined Basic & Advanced: 1/19/15, 2/9/15, 4/6/15, 6/8/15, 8/10/15, 10/5/15

FSM – Fatigue, Sleep, & Medications: 11/19/14, 4/15/15, 5/19/15, 7/6/15, 9/15/15, 11/11/15

GL Pilot – Great Lakes Pilotage Familiarization: 1/23/15

GMDSS – Global Maritime Distress and Safety System: 3/16/15, 8/24/15

HAZ – Hazardous Materials (5 day): 11/17/14, 6/22/15, 8/31/15, 11/16/15

LAP- 4/6/15, 9/14/15

LAP-Great Lakes – License Advancement Program – Great Lakes: 1/26/15

LAP-ORG3rd – License Advancement Program for Original 3rd Mate, Oceans, Any Gross
Ton License: 1/5/15, 3/2/15, 6/1/15, 8/3/15, 11/30/15

LEG – Legal Aspects of Pilotage: 11/20/14, 3/3/15, 4/15/15, 5/20/15, 7/16/15, 9/16/15, 11/10/15

LNG-TPIC – Contact Admissions

LTS –Leadership and Teamworking Skills (Formerly MCL-OIC): 3/30/15

MED-PIC – Medical Person in Charge: 11/3/14, 12/1/14, 1/5/15, 3/16/15, 4/20/15, 6/15/15, 8/24/15, 12/7/15

MED-PIC-REF– Medical Person in Charge Refresher: 3/2/15, 5/11/15, 7/27/15, 9/28/15

MED-PRO – Medical Care Provider: 10/20/14, 11/3/14, 12/1/14, 1/5/15, 3/16/15, 4/20/15, 6/15/15, 8/24/15, 10/12/15, 12/7/15

MED-DOT-DA – Dept. of Transportation Drug & Alcohol Testing: 11/8/14, 12/6/14, 1/10/15, 1/24/15, 3/21/15, 4/25/15, 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): 2/26/15, 8/19/15, 11/1/15

MSC-DC – Military Sealift Command Damage Control (4 Evenings): 2/23/15, 8/17/15, 10/26/15

*MSC-ENVPRO – 2/15/15, 8/16/15, 10/31/15

*MSC-FF-HELO – 2/10/15, 8/3/15, 11/2/15

MSC-SMA – Military Sealift Command Small Arms Qualification: 11/10/14, 2/16/15, 8/8/15, 10/23/15

*MSC-Security Watch Basic – 11/14/14, 2/20/15, 8/6/15, 10/21/15

*MSC-Security Watch Advanced –11/17/14, 2/22/15, 8/12/15, 10/27/15

*MSC-Ship’s Reaction Force –11/18/14, 2/23/15, 8/13/15, 10/28/15

ROR-1 – Radar Observer Renewal: 11/17/14, 1/19/15, 3/30/15, 8/3/15, 9/21/15

ROR-1N – Radar Observer Renewal Evening Classes: 10/29/14, 11/12/14, 12/3/14, 12/10/14, 1/7/15, 1/14/15, 1/28/15, 2/4/15, 2/18/15, 3/6/15, 3/18/15, 4/1/15, 4/15/15, 4/29/15, 5/6/15, 5/13/15, 6/3/15, 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, 11/18/15, 12/2/15, 12/10/15

ROU-OIC – Radar Observer Program – Unlimited: 1/12/15, 2/2/15, 3/23/15, 6/1/15, 7/27/15

SAR-OIC – Search & Rescue – 4/6/15

SHS-BAS-OIC – Basic Shiphandling: 11/17/14, 2/16/15, 5/11/15, 6/22/15, 11/2/15

SHS-EMR5 – Emergency Shiphandling-5 Day: 1/19/15, 3/2/15, 4/27/15, 7/27/15, 9/28/15

SMS – Contact Admissions

STB-OIC – Ship Construction and Basic Stability: 1/26/15, 8/3/15

TCNAV/CO – Terrestrial Navigation and Compasses: 1/5/15, 7/6/15

TPIC – Tankerman Person in Charge: 2/23/15, 8/3/15

TRAC-TUG-2: Contact Admissions

TTT – Train the Trainer: Contact Admissions

VPDSD – Vessel Personnel with Designated Security Duties: Contact Admissions

VSO – Vessel Security Officer: 10/22/14, 2/4/15, 5/20/15, 6/22/15, 9/9/15, 10/7/15

WKP-OIC – Watchkeeping (Operational Level): 3/2/15, 9/28/15

WX-OIC –Meteorology (Operational Level): 2/23/15, 9/14/15

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Please also see our schedule online at For registration, send an e-mail to our registrar, Jennifer Pitzen, at or call her at (206) 838-1126.

October 2014

20-24 ECDIS
20-24 Basic Stability
20-31 GMDSS
27-29 Emergency Procedures
30-31 Search and Rescue

November 2014

3-7 Medical Care Provider
3-14 Medical Person-In-Charge
10-21 GMDSS
17-20 ARPA

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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 © 2014. 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