Wheelhouse Weekly – October 12, 2016

October 12th 2016

Volume 21 . . . Number 41. . . Oct. 11, 2016


In This Issue:

Coast Guard Update:


MM&P Membership Meetings:



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The plight of the crew of the SEAMAN GUARD OHIO grows every day more desperate, according to members of their families and seafarers’ welfare advocates who have spent time with them recently in India.

The vessel was a “mobile security platform” operated by a firm which has since gone out of business.

Authorities in India charged the 10-man crew and the 25 security guards aboard the ship at the time it was detained with carrying anti-piracy weapons without the required permits and illegally buying fuel from a fisherman.

Next week marks three years since the men were removed from their ship and arrested after straying into India’s territorial waters on reports of an approaching hurricane.

They were sentenced in January to five years of forced labor and are now living in abysmal conditions, according to friends and family. The 67-year-old captain was recently diagnosed with cancer. Their appeal and bail applications are pending before the courts.

Members of the maritime industry, including MM&P, have spoken out strongly and repeatedly in their defense.

“This decision makes a mockery of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea as well as the system of justice in India,” says MM&P Chief of Staff, Klaus Luhta, who has been involved in the campaign to free the men through the International Maritime Organization and the International Transport Workers’ Federation.

“This appears to be a travesty of justice for the ordinary crewmembers who we understand were not aware of instructions being passed down from the employer, and who were otherwise simply doing their job,” says David Hammond of Human Rights at Sea.

The case has recently made the front page of the national newspapers in the United Kingdom and last week it was reported that Prince Charles and Prince Harry are supporting the campaign to secure the men’s release.

A page has been set up via the Mission to Seafarers to help pay the men’s legal fees. It is aimed at the six British citizens but has been used to assist with the legal fees of the Estonian and Ukrainian mariners as well.

If you would like to contribute, please go to:

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A spokesperson for a new government unit created to enforce the Jones Act told an audience of maritime industry professionals last week that without the Jones Act, the Coast Guard and U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) would be “overwhelmed” by thousands of foreign-flagged vessels entering U.S. waterways.

Michael Hebert of the CBP’s Jones Act Division of Enforcement (JADE) made the remarks to attendees at last week’s quarterly meeting of the Offshore Marine Service Association.

The news was reported in Workboat by the publication’s senior editor Ken Hocke.

CBP has said it created JADE “in an effort to present a uniform approach on issues involving the Jones Act, working in partnership with industry stakeholders in the enforcement of the act, along with all other coastwise trade laws.”

“The Jones Act is there to protect the maritime interests of the U.S.,” Hebert, who is based in New Orleans, told the audience.

The unit’s three major goals are: providing training to Department of Homeland Security agencies and industry groups; ensuring uniformity across CBP and the industry regarding coastwise trade; and offering information and guidance.

The agency says the new unit is staffed by a team of Jones Act experts. All formal ruling requests will continue to be forwarded to Regulations and Rulings, Office of Trade. CBP enforces coastwise laws and the Coast Guard determines vessel eligibility for coastwise endorsement and issues certificates of documentation.

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A pilot died on the evening of Oct. 4 while trying to board a cargo ship in Gravesend, Kent, the Port of London Authority (PLA) has said.

A PLA spokesperson said the pilot was killed while attempting to board the Bahamas-flagged SUNMI, which was bound for Spain.

Emergency responders rushed to the scene but were unable to save the pilot’s life. No additional information on the accident has been released.

Two investigations, one by the Marine Accident Investigation Branch and one by the PLA, have been launched to determine the cause of the accident.

“Our deepest condolences are with our colleague’s family and friends at this very difficult time,” said PLA Chief Executive Robert Mortimer. “We have been in touch with the family and are offering whatever support we can.”

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MM&P joins the International Longshoremen’s Association (ILA) in mourning Thomas J. Mackell Jr., a passionate advocate for working families who served most recently as special advisor to ILA President Harold Daggett and executive director of the Maritime Labor Alliance (MLA).

Mackell has been a force in the American Labor Movement for decades. He worked in Washington, D.C., on behalf of the ILA and the MLA to combat anti-union legislation intended to strip longshore workers of their collective bargaining rights. He was also a vocal defender of the Jones Act, which protects the jobs of American merchant mariners.

A prolific writer, he advocated for “a New Deal” for pension reform in a 2008 book, “When the Good Pensions Go Away,” in which he called on elected leaders to guarantee Americans health care and retirement security. As president of the Association of Benefit Administrators and editor of its newsletter, Insights, he wrote eloquently of the need to combat income inequality and strengthen the middle class.

A frequent guest commentator on national radio and television, Mackell was also a public speaker. He was among the labor leaders who addressed the MM&P Convention in July.

“We have to vote our paychecks. We have to vote our unions,” Mackell told the delegates. “Every one of us has to be a warrior for working people.”

The financial services industry was yet another focus of his long and varied career: he managed and administered employee benefit funds and served on the board of directors of the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond, first as deputy chairman, and then as chairman.

“We have lost a great advocate for American workers of all stripes,” said MM&P President Don Marcus.

“Tom was a champion of fair pension benefits and proper health care for the 99%. His strong and eloquent voice spoke out against the injustices of our corporate plutocracy and he will be sorely missed by all–none more so than the members of the Maritime Labor Alliance who were proud to have Tom as the organization’s Executive Director.”

“I don’t know of an individual in our industry more highly regarded and respected than Dr. Mackell,” said ILA President Harold J. Daggett. “He brought a wealth experience to the table and he knew his way around Washington. This is a heartbreaking day for the ILA and the entire maritime industry.”

Funeral arrangements are as follows: wake on Wednesday, Oct. 12, from 2 pm to 5 pm and 7 pm to 9 pm at Frank E. Campbell Funeral Home, Presidential Suite, 1076 Madison Ave. (at 81st St.), New York; funeral mass at 10 am on Thursday, Oct. 13, at St. Patrick’s Cathedral, Fifth Avenue and 50th St., New York.

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The Coast Guard has announced that it is shifting its subscription messaging service from the current service provider to

The new service will provide Coast Guard information in assorted formats: via e-mail, on mobile devices and via social media.

The agency says that will allow for customized and expanded access to Coast Guard and other government information based on addressee’s specific interests.

In the coming days, the agency says, recipients of National Maritime Center (NMC) and other Coast Guard communications will receive a welcome e-mail from with more information about the new service.

Any subscriptions that you currently have with the Coast Guard will continue. When you receive the welcome e-mail, you will need to confirm your e-mail address and, for security purposes, create a password.

Recipients will be able to update their e-mail address and phone number or unsubscribe at any time.

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The Coast Guard’s vessel traffic service (VTS) is a shore-based surveillance and communications system with the authority to ensure the safe and efficient movement of vessel traffic in particularly hazardous or congested waterways in the United States.

The system’s primary mission is to reduce the risk of collisions, allisions and groundings. Twelve VTS centers make up the system, and each center is responsible for managing the traffic that operates inside its designated VTS area.

The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has examined the Coast Guard VTS system’s ability to: detect and recognize traffic conflicts and other unsafe situations; provide mariners with timely warning of such traffic conflicts and unsafe situations; and control vessel traffic movements in the interest of safety.

To read the assessment, go to

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The Council of American Master Mariners (CAMM) has issued a call for papers to be presented at the International Federation of Shipmasters’ Association (IFSMA)/CAMM Conference, April 17-21, 2017, at MITAGS in Linthicum Heights, MD.

The theme of the conference is “Today’s Master Mariner.”

Suggested topics for papers could include: interacting with IFSMA and CAMM to get information needed to be successful/safe/secure; environmental challenges/requirements in the 21st century; the new electronic age (ECDIS, ARPA, communications, e-paperwork); cyber threats to navigation, safety and cargo operations (theft, smuggling, pirate attacks, GPS vulnerability); the next generation of master mariners (training, mentoring, fostering junior mates for advancement); protecting/defending/promoting our cabotage laws (the Jones Act, cargo preference, etc.); working with the International Maritime Organization (IMO)–what’s in it for the master mariner?

Presenters will receive one-day accommodation at MITAGS with meals on day of presentation and access to remaining presentations.

Submissions accepted until Dec. 31, 2016. Selections made by Feb. 1. Send submissions via e-mail to CAMM National President Jeff Cowan:

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MM&P Offshore Vice President Atlantic Ports Don Josberger and the Vice President of the MM&P Atlantic Maritime Group (AMG) will conduct a meeting at the MM&P Boston Union Hall on Thursday, Oct. 13 at 1100.

This meeting will be open to all members and specifically concern both offshore and AMG issues.

The MM&P Boston Hall is located at Marine Industrial Park, 12 Channel St., Suite 606-A, Boston 02210. The phone number is 617-671-0769.

All Offshore and AMG members in the area are encouraged to attend the meeting.

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The next Los Angeles/Long Beach Offshore Membership Meeting will be held on Oct. 12, directly after the 1100 job call. All members in the area are encouraged to attend the meeting.

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The Offshore Familiarization Course will be held in the Los Angeles/Long Beach Hall on Wednesday and Thursday, Oct. 12-13.

The course begins at 0830 on both days.

Interested applicants should sign up for the Familiarization Course by calling the hall at 310-834-7201.

The Los Angeles/Long Beach Hall is located at 533 N. Marine Ave., Suite A, Wilmington, CA 90744.

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.

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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 Amanda Meadows, 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 – 10/17/16

AIS-1 – Automatic Identifications Systems Orientation: Contact Admissions

ARPA-OIC – Automated Radar Plotting Aids: 1/24/17, 4/4/17

AZIPOD 2-Day – 11/14/16, 3/6/17

BRM-35 – Bridge Resource Management: 10/31/16, 1/30/17, 4/3/17, 6/19/17

BRMP –Bridge Resource Management for Pilots: 11/14/16, 3/6/17

BRMP-EMR –Bridge Resource Management for Pilots with Emergency Shiphandling: Contact Admissions

BRMP-Refresher – 11/16/16, 3/8/17

BT – Basic Safety Training: 1/23/17, 4/10/17

BT-Revalidation (2-day) – 10/31/16, 3/9/17, 5/4/17, 6/22/17

BT-Refresher (3-day) – 10/30/16, 3/9/17, 5/4/17, 6/22/17

CHS-OIC – Cargo Handling Basic: 11/14/16

[CMM – Chief Mate and Master Courses]

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

ADVSTB-CMM – Advanced Stability: 10/17/16, 1/16/17, 4/10/17, 6/12/17

ADVWX-CMM – Advanced Meteorology: 11/7/16, 1/9/17, 3/13/17

CHS-CMM – Advanced Cargo Operations (2 weeks): 10/24/16, 4/17/17

ECDIS – Electronic Chart Display Information System: 11/7/16, 11/28/16, 12/19/16, 1/23/17,3/27/17

LMS – Leadership and Managerial Skills (Management Level – Formerly MCL-CMM) –10/31/16,11/14/16,11/28/16, 12/5/16, 12/12/16, 12/19/16, 1/30/17, 2/20/17, 5/22/17, 6/19/17

MPP-CMM – Marine Propulsion Plants: 4/3/17

SEC-APPS – Practical Defense Tactics: 10/31/16, 3/13/17

SHMGT-CMM- Ship Management (2 weeks): 5/1/17

SHS-ADV-I-CMM – Advanced Shiphandling (week 1): 10/24/16, 11/7/16, 11/28/16, 12/5/16,1/16/17, 2/6/17, 3/6/17, 3/20/17, 4/10/17, 4/24/17, 5/8/17, 6/5/17

SHS-ADV-II-CMM – Advanced Shiphandling (week 2): 10/31/16, 11/14/16, 12/5/16, 12/12/16,1/23/17, 2/13/17, 3/13/17, 3/27/17, 4/17/17, 5/1/17, 5/15/17, 6/12/17

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

VPEN-CMM – Voyage Planning & Electronic Navigation: 3/20/17

WKP-CMM – Advanced Watchkeeping: 5/15/17

CNAV-OIC – Celestial Navigation: 10/24/16, 4/24/17

CONT PLNG – Contingency Planning Workshop: Contact Admissions

CRISIS-COMMS – Crisis Communications: 3/2/17

CRSMGT – Crisis Management and Human Behavior – Contact Admissions

CDMGT – Crowd Management – Contact Admissions

DDE – Great Lakes: 1/30/17

DPA – Contact Admissions

ECDIS-OIC – Contact Admissions

ECDIS for Pilots – 11/14/16, 2/28/17

ERM – Engine Resource Management: 10/24/16, 11/14/16, 11/28/16, 12/5/16, 12/12/16, 12/19/16, 2/27/17

FF-BADV – Fire Fighting Combined Basic & Advanced: 1/23/17, 4/10/17

FF-ADV-REV – Advanced Fire Fighting Revalidation & Refresher: 3/7/17, 5/2/17, 6/20/17

FSM – Fatigue, Sleep, & Medications: 1/17/17, 4/4/17

GL-Pilot – Great Lakes Pilotage Familiarization: 1/6/17

GMDSS – Global Maritime Distress and Safety System: 3/6/17

HAZ – Hazardous Materials (5 day): 12/5/16, 6/26/17

LAP- 2/13/17

LAP-Great Lakes – License Advancement Program – Great Lakes: 1/9/17

LAP-ORG3rd – License Advancement Program for Original 3rd Mate, Oceans, Any Gross
Ton License: 12/5/16, 3/20/17

LEG – Legal Aspects of Pilotage: 11/15/16, 1/18/17, 3/7/17

LNG-TPIC – 12/5/16

LTS –Leadership and Teamworking Skills (Formerly MCL-OIC): 10/26/16*, 11/14/16*, 12/19/16*, 2/13/17, 4/3/17 (*2-Evening Session)

MEECE – Management of Electrical and Electronic Control: 10/17/16, 11/7/16, 11/28/16, 12/5/16, 12/12/16, 12/19/16

MED-PIC – Medical Person in Charge: 11/7/16, 12/12/16, 1/9/17, 3/20/17, 5/8/17

MED-PIC-REF– Medical Person in Charge Refresher: 1/30/17, 4/24/17, 6/26/17

MED-PRO – Medical Care Provider: 11/7/16, 11/28/16, 12/12/16, 1/9/17, 3/20/17, 4/17/17, 5/8/17

MED-DOT-DA – Dept. of Transportation Drug & Alcohol Testing: 11/12/16, 12/17/16, 1/14/17, 3/6/17, 5/1/17, 6/19/17

MSA –Maritime Security Awareness: Contact Admissions

[MSC – Military Sealift Command Courses]

MSC-CBRD-1 – Military Sealift Command Chemical, Biological, Radiological Defense Orientation (Basic): 10/17/16, 2/23/17, 6/9/17

MSC-DC – Military Sealift Command Damage Control: 10/18/16, 2/21/17, 6/7/17

*MSC-ENVPRO – 10/16/16, 2/26/17, 6/4/17

*MSC-FF-HELO – 10/31/16, 3/9/17, 6/5/17

MSC-SMA – Military Sealift Command Small Arms Qualification: 10/23/16, 1/9/17, 2/27/17, 6/12/17

*MSC-Security Watch Basic – 10/20/16, 2/24/17, 6/10/17

*MSC-Security Watch Advanced – 10/22/16, 1/13/17, 3/3/17, 6/16/17

*MSC-Ship’s Reaction Force – 10/27/16, 1/16/17, 6/17/17

NSAP-MMP – Navigational Skills Assessment Program-MM&P – 10/25/16

ROR-1 – Radar Observer Renewal: 1/23/17

ROR-1N – Radar Observer Renewal Evening Classes: 10/19/16, 11/2/16, 11/9/16, 11/16/16, 11/30/16, 12/7/16, 12/14/16, 1/11/17, 2/1/17, 2/8/17, 2/22/17, 3/8/17, 3/22/17, 4/5/17, 4/19/17, 5/3/17, 5/10/17

ROU-OIC – Radar Observer Program – Unlimited: 1/16/17

SAR-OIC – Search & Rescue – 11/7/16

SHS-BAS-OIC – Basic Shiphandling: 10/17/16, 2/20/17, 5/15/17

SHS-EMR5 – Emergency Shiphandling-5 Day – 11/28/16, 2/20/17, 5/1/17, 6/26/17

SMS – 12/19/16

STB-OIC – Ship Construction and Basic Stability: 1/9/17

TCNAV/CO – Terrestrial Navigation and Compasses: 1/30/17

TPIC – Tankerman Person in Charge: 2/13/17

TRAC-TUG-2: Contact Admissions

TTT – 12/12/16

VPDSD – Vessel Personnel with Designated Security Duties: Contact Admissions

VSO – Vessel Security Officer: 10/22/16, 2/14/17, 4/17/17, 5/22/17

WKP-OIC – Watchkeeping (Operational Level): 2/20/17

WX-OIC –Meteorology (Operational Level): 3/20/17

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

October 2016

17th Radar Renewal
17-21 Leadership & Managerial Skills
17-21 Basic Stability
18-21 ARPA
24-28 Leadership & Managerial Skills
24-28 Tankerman Person-In-Charge
24-28 MEECE
31-1 Search & Rescue
31-4 Leadership & Managerial Skills
31-4 Engine Resource Management

November 2016

7th Radar Renewal
8th Leadership & Teamworking Skills
14-18 ECDIS
14-18 Leadership & Managerial Skills
14-18 Engine Resource Management
14-18 MEECE
28-2 Medical Care Provider
28-9 Medical Person-In-Charge
28-9 GMDSS

December 2016

5th Radar Renewal
5-9 Leadership & Managerial Skills
5-9 Engine Resource Management
12-16 ECDIS
12-16 Leadership & Managerial Skills
12-16 MEECE
19-23 Tankerman Person-In-Charge

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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 © 2016. Articles can be reprinted without prior permission if credit is given to The MM&P WheelhouseWeekly. For subscriptions, address changes or messages to the editor or to MM&P headquarters, e-mail Back issues of The Weekly are posted on