Wheelhouse Weekly – October 05, 2001

October 5th 2001

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Bridging the Information Gap With E-News You Can Use

VOLUME 4. . . . . NUMBER 2. . . . . January 14, 2000





In a speech before the Kings Point Club in Washington DC, on Thursday, MM&P President Capt. Tim Brown said that, In order to compete more realistically with the nation’s foreign competition, the White House, Congress and the US maritime industry must look at this country’s current maritime policies and make changes.

Capt. Brown advocated, among other things, a 10-year extension of the Maritime Security Program (MSP) and expanding the current 47 vessels enrolled in the program. There is a cost involved. Even doubling the current cost of MSP would be a lot less than having the fleet re-flag, Brown told the luncheon gathering.

He said that, It has been estimated that for the Dept. of Defense to duplicate the existing capability provided by the current Maritime Security Fleet, taxpayers would have to foot a bill of more than $900 million annually for the vessels alone, exclusive of crew and operating costs. The reality is that current budgetary constraints argue for a larger MSP.

Capt. Brown called on Congress to take a serious look into current tax laws that affect the maritime industry. As for the current mandate calling for a 50-percent duty on US vessels being repaired in foreign yards, the MM&P president said that this statute is the most ridiculous law on the books. We can close the gap between US and foreign mariners, he concluded.

Attending the meeting was former Congresswoman and longtime maritime ally Helen Bentley who updated the audience on port security legislation currently before the Senate. Floor action could come as early as next week, she noted. She did say that training programs directed for ports may be extended to include the Merchant Marine Academy at Kings Point.

Also attending the gathering was Acting Maritime Administrator Bruce Carlton. He said that MARAD is not currently activating vessels in the Ready Reserve Force, although some testing has recently been done to assure that RRF vessels will be ready for action.



The USCG is providing information to the maritime industry regarding the status of port security around the country via Internet web sites. The websites are:; and



The Congressional Information Bureau reports that a number of ships moving up and down the St. Lawrence River will be traveling in secrecy from now on.

The St. Lawrence Seaway Management Corp, following a bi-national decision by its US and Canadian members, says it will no longer provide the public with a list of all vessels traveling through the Iroquois Lock and the Seaway, or the estimated time of arrival and departure times from the lock. The decision is a result of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks in the US. Authorities have also asked that the same info be restricted on the Great Lakes & Seaway Shipping website.

Some vessels will still be listed but the whereabouts of many, including tankers and tanker barges carrying potentially explosive petroleum products or chemical materials, will not be announced because of the high risk on this type of vessel. It is the first time in the seaway’s 42-year history that such a step has been taken

Other vessels that will now move along the seaway unannounced are government, military and Coast Guard vessels, along with vessels from the St. Lawrence Seaway’s own fleet.


On the morning of Sept. 11, five crewmembers from the MM&P-contracted US Army Corps of Engineers’ dredge MCFARLAND (Karl Van Florcke, Master, James Holcroft, Asst. Master, Jake McCauley, Chief Mate, Mitch Tillyard, 2nd Mate, and James Davidson, 3rd mate) were at Caven Point, NJ to attend training. While in class, they were told that a plane had hit the World Trade Center.

Here’s what Capt. Van Florcke had to report:

Right before our eyes, the second tower collapsed. My feelings were almost unexplainable. I tried to call my wife but couldn’t get through.

About that time, we heard reports that people were jumping in the Hudson River, and we started to get on the Corps of Engineer boat to head for Manhattan. Jake McCauley, Jim Davidson, myself, the STCW instructor Rick Ariza (who I cadet shipped with in 1981) got on the driftboat HAYWARD, with her regular crew and headed for the Battery.

Once underway, we prepared the boat for water rescue as far as breaking out life rings and lowering a net over the side. En route, we all decided that we would not collect bodies, that we were looking for people still alive. Luckily, there were no people in the water. However the dock was completely lined with people looking to escape the city.

I was very proud of how all of the boat operators coming to assist (tug, ferry, pilot, etc.) handled their operations under such chaotic conditions. There were no collisions or yelling. When a space opened at the dock, the next boat in line would move in to take on evacuees.

When we got to the dock, the people were standing there completely covered with dirt. There was paper carpeting the entire area. Police, firefighters, and EMTs were everywhere. We loaded the boat with 141 people, all ages and all sizes. Some people didn’t have shoes, some had dogs, some looked like families sightseeing the Big Apple.

Once loaded, we took everyone to Ellis Island, where there were more EMTs than you could count. And they were ready for us. Once we unloaded, we went back to Manhattan. Our new mission was to transfer fuel to a fireboat, which was actually decommissioned but had a very large pump on board. I was told by a firefighter that the fireboats were supplying water since the mains downtown were not working.

Later in the day, we were called back to the Dredge in Philadelphia, in case we were needed to get underway. I was able to get back to my home on Long Island on Thursday night. Only to be called back to NY on Saturday morning by Emergency Operations, with Jim Holcroft, David Cribbs, 2nd engineer, Michael Whitney, 3rd engineer, and Robert Mason, Launch operator. We mainly filled in for the regular crews, so that they could operate their boats 24-hours a day.

We were moving people, supplies, and removing floating debris in the harbor. Some of us were released on the 20th, while the rest were released on the 24th.

We were gratified to be thanked by people who didn’t know us when they learned what we had been doing. It really helped. The experience has made us closer, especially the guys who were there the first day.

If any MM&P members on the tugs and ferries read this account, I would like them to know that I am extremely proud of the way everyone responded that day, and that if they ever see the MCFARLAND, they should stop by and we can further discuss the events of those extraordinary days over a cup of coffee.



The USNS COMFORT returned from providing assistance to rescue workers in New York City to its layberth in Baltimore on Wed., Oct.3. During its two-week deployment, the USNS COMFORT provided about 15,000 meals, 1,500 beds per night and cleaned over 3,000 pounds of laundry for disaster relief workers in New York City.

The crew of Navy hospital ship USNS COMFORT received a visit Sept. 20 from more than 40 members of the US Senate. The senators were in New York to show their support for the recovery efforts and tour Ground Zero at the site of the attack on the World Trade Center when they stopped to visit USNS COMFORT for a tour of the ship and a hot meal. Sailors were given the opportunity to escort senators from their home states on the tour and talk with them during lunch.

Fox Sports broadcasts from USNS COMFORT

ABOARD USNS COMFORT IN NEW YORK CITY…Fox Sports, the National Football League and the Navy teamed on Sun., Sept. 23, to let the nation know that terrorism will not win and life will return to normal. Former NFL quarterback Boomer Esiason broadcast his show, NFL Sunday, from the flight deck of the COMFORT.

The show focused on the NFL’s return and the impact of the terrorist attacks on professional football and sports in general. Esiason explained why it was important to broadcast from COMFORT. “I’ve had a close association with the Navy my entire life. I had an uncle on board the NEVADA at Pearl Harbor, and I’ve had the chance to work with the Navy ships ENTERPRISE, KENNEDY and WASP. In times like this, we lean on our military for comfort and security, and when the opportunity came to do the show from COMFORT, I was all for it. It shows our support …”

Esiason had another connection to the terrible events of Sept. 11. His foundation, the Boomer Esiason Foundation, was headquartered at the World Trade Center. Fortunately none of the foundation’s staff was in the office at the time of the attacks. Esiason’s offices were headquartered in space around the Cantor Fitzgerald Financial Services. Cantor Fitzgerald lost more than 700 people in the attack.



November 1-2 has been set for the Offshore Membership Group Shipping Rules Committee to meet at MM&P HQ. Members wishing to provide input or who have interest in committee service should contact their area Offshore Membership Group vice president. Atlantic: Richard May at; Gulf: Robert Groh at; and Pacific: Donald Marcus at



Openings in classes through the end of this year:

10/13: ROR-1; 10/22-25: SMA;

10/22-26: SHS-INT II, COMP-NET, BRM; 10/27: CBRD-1, ROR-1; 10/29-11/2: BRM, WX-HWA; 11/5-7: BRMP;

11/12-16: FF-ADV, BRM, VPM; 11/12-15: SMA;

11/26-12/7: GMDSS; 11/26-30: BRM, TPIC, HAZ;

12/3-7: BRM, FF-ADV; 12/10-21: GMDSS;

12/10-14: BRM, ARPA, COMP-NET, DCS;

12/17-21: BST, FF-ADV, ARPA, COMP-MAR; 12/17-20: SMA.

STCW-95 CERTIFICATE: Remember that merely having completed all required  courses does not satisfy the STCW95 requirement.  You will need to have the certificate in hand in order to sail on February 1, 2002.  Processing times at Coast Guard Regional Examining Centers are already long and the workload will only increase between now and the first of the year.  MITAGS will continue to make every effort to expand capacity to accommodate demand but it is still possible that you may end up with all requirements complete except for one: the STCW95 certificate itself!  Don’t delay!

COURSE EQUIVALENCY: Before submitting requests for equivalencies, members should ensure that their submissions are in accordance with established policy. Policy can be found in hard copy at the halls or on the MITAGS website at: under Training Policy & Procedures.

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



Openings in classes through December:

10/15-19: ARPA; 10/22-26: ECDIS; 10/29-11/2: BRM;

11/5-99: ARPA; 12/3-7: ARPA;

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

For more info on courses or PMI, visit their website at



PMI Director Gregg Trunnell reports that ECDIS has proven to be very popular in Seattle. PMI expects to be running the course monthly starting February 25, 2002.

PMI would also like to announce the addition of the Medical Person-In-Charge course in Seattle. The first course will commence on February 18th, 2002. Captain Richard Brooks will be the instructor. Richard comes with 30 years of experience in Sea-Land. His enthusiasm for medical knowledge and training will make him an ideal instructor for the upcoming course. 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 NW Maritime Institute, 2333 Third Avenue, Seattle, WA 98121-1711. Phone: 206-239-9965; Fax: 206-441-2995;


DOW: 9060.80 (+379.40 for week); NASDAQ: 1597.31 (+136.60)

Vanguard 500 Index Fund (VFINX): 98.71

Vanguard Extended Market Index Fund (VEXMX): 20.11

Vanguard International Growth Fund (VWIGX): 13.90

Vanguard Morgan Growth Fund (VMRGX): 13.20

Vanguard Windsor II Fund (VWNFX): 25.37

Vanguard GNMA Fund (VFIIX): 10.56

Chase Growth Fund (CHASX): 14.42

Fidelity Asset Manager (FASMX) 15.02

Fidelity Growth and Income (FGRIX) 35.95

Fidelity Magellan Fund (FMAGX) 96.77

Spartan US Equity Index Fund (FUSEX) 37.88




//NFL Schedule Week 4//

Ten at Bal, Ari at Phi, Chi at Atl, Cin at Pit, Min at NO, NE at Mia, SD at Cle, Was at NYG, Jac at Sea, KC at Den, NYJ at Buf, Dal at Oak, GB at TB, Car at SF. Mon: StL at Det.

//NFL Results Week 3//

KC 45 Was 13, StL 42 Mia 10, NYG 21 NO 13, NE 44 Ind 13,

Min 20 TB 16, GB 28 Car 7, Pit 20 Buf 3, Atl 34 Ari 14,

Cle 23 Jac 14, SD 28 Cin 14, Oak 38 Sea 14, Bal 20 Den 13, Phi 40 Dal 18. Mon: SF 19 NYJ 17.


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 and is posted on our web page under “News” at: