Wheelhouse Weekly – October 13th, 2020

October 14th 2020

Volume 25… Number 41… Oct. 13, 2020


In This Issue:


MM&P Eligible Voters & All Ports:

Cybercriminals Target Maritime Industry:



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Some US Customs and Border Protection officials are denying requests by foreign mariners to disembark their ships and fly home from the US—even in cases in which US regulations allow them to do so.

In other cases CBP officials allow crew changes but require that the seafarers involved be constantly guarded or that the ship remain in port until the crewmembers’ flights home have taken off.

MM&P has joined a group of unions, the American Pilots’ Association, MITAGS and the Chamber of Shipping of America in asking for the intervention of leaders of the congressional committees with jurisdiction over CBP.

The White House issued a presidential proclamation in May that specifically exempts air and sea crews with the requisite paperwork from Covid-19 border restrictions.

In their letter to Congressional leaders, the group notes that some CBP field offices have shown flexibility, for example by allowing crew to depart from non-local airports.

But in these cases, officials may impose requirements such as constant guarding and preventing ship departures until after the crewmembers’ flights leave.

“CBP personnel cite security concerns as a primary rationale for denying repatriation requests,” the group wrote.

“But despite multiple requests over the years, CBP will not provide data that supports treating every repatriating mariner as a threat to national security.”

The group asked Congressional homeland security committees to direct CBP leadership to ensure all crew change requests are granted at any port requested, unless specific intelligence suggests an individual seafarer may pose a security threat.

For the duration of the pandemic, and perhaps beyond if experience warrants it, they said CBP should allow repatriating crew to take flights with domestic connections so as to expand options for seafarers to return home as quickly as possible.

If CBP grants a repatriation request and the flight is missed or cancelled, CBP should allow overnight hotel stays so the crewmember can board the next available flight, the on-signing seafarer can join the ship, and the ship can continue on its voyage as scheduled.

Finally, they said, CBP should allow for innovative solutions to the worsening problem, such as allowing seafarer welfare organizations or others to charter flights for groups of mariners without the normal restrictions mentioned above.

“Industry recognizes the possibility that relaxing these requirements may result in a seafarer attempting to remain in the country illegally,” they wrote.

“But CBP and other agencies have processes in place to respond to such incidents.”

The potential that this could take place “should not hamper all crew changes any more than a security breach at one marine terminal should result in the closure of all ports.”

The group also called for CBP to give field personnel leeway to implement the suggestions above and to standardize procedures wherever possible.

The letter was sent to Sen. Ron Johnson, chairman of the Senate Committee on Homeland Security & Governmental Affairs and Sen. Gary Peters, ranking member; and to Rep. Bennie Thompson, chair of the House Committee on Homeland Security and Rep. Mike Rogers, ranking member.

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The AFL-CIO has filed a complaint with the International Labor Organization charging that the US has violated international labor standards during the Covid-19 pandemic.

The administration’s policies have forced American workers to risk infection with Covid-19 or lose their jobs and potentially the right to collect unemployment benefits, the AFL-CIO said.

“Covid has laid bare what we already knew,” AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka told Eli Rosenberg of The Washington Post in a recent interview.

“It has demonstrated that not only is the US violating workers’ rights, but those violations are resulting in people dying. It became so outrageous that we wanted to file a complaint.”

The complaint cites the administration’s systematic weakening of worker safety measures, as well as the fact that the 1935 National Labor Relations Act does not afford protections to the gig workers and contractors who make up a growing share of the country’s workforce.

As an example of specific actions taken by the administration that have harmed workers during the pandemic, the complaint cites White House executive orders deeming industries such as meatpacking essential, forcing them to stay open even as workers were getting sick and dying in coronavirus outbreaks.

“These executive orders gave a green light for employers to force workers to report for work and risk their lives or lose their jobs,” said the complaint, which was signed by Trumka and Mary Kay Henry, president of the Service Employees International Union.

“This is tantamount to forced labor.”

The complaint also cites recent actions by the National Labor Relations Board, including a ruling that companies can fire workers who express concerns about safety issues related to the pandemic.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration, the agency tasked with protecting the safety and health of America’s workers, has been largely absent as the Covid-19 crisis has developed.

According to data reported by The Washington Post, from March to early August, OSHA received 1,744 complaints from workers who said they had been retaliated against for expressing safety concerns during the pandemic.

OSHA investigated only 348 of them and resolved only 2 percent.

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James Weakley, president of the Lake Carriers’ Association, touched on key issues affecting Great Lakes shipping in a wide-ranging interview with Marine Log’s Heather Ervin.

LCA represents most of the US-flag Great Lakes fleet, which moves millions of tons annually of iron ore, stone, coal, cement, grain salt, and sand—the essential building blocks of America’s industrial infrastructure.

“Our priorities are the vessel operators, the crews of the fleet, a safe and efficient navigation system, and the Great Lakes themselves,” Weakley says.

This year, a number of Great Lakes ships and their crews have been sidelined by the impact of Covid-19 on the raw materials trade.

“Due to the seasonal nature of Great Lakes shipping, crews were just beginning to arrive for ‘fit out’—the process of getting the vessels ready to sail following winter layup and maintenance—when Covid-19 started hitting the country in March,” he says.

Since the CDC and the USCG had not yet addressed the ramifications of the pandemic for the domestic maritime industry, LCA’s 11 member companies and the mariners on their 46 vessels worked together to keep the fleet sailing, developing protocols for quarantining, testing, and protecting crewmembers’ health.

Weakley says the group circulated operations briefs on a daily basis, developing their own resources while maintaining a continuous dialogue with the CDC and the USCG.

The shortage of icebreakers is an ongoing challenge which has existed for decades: the Coast Guard’s icebreaking fleet has fallen to nine vessels, down from 14 in 1979.

“Due to insufficient icebreaking on the Great Lakes in three out of the past seven years, maritime commerce has lost over $2 billion and more than 10,000 jobs,” Weakley says.

“The Coast Guard has justified this reduction by modifying performance measures to only count icebreaking in four small waterways, not the Great Lakes in their entirety.”

“That means 46 of our vessels could be stuck for a month in ice in Lake Superior and it would not count as a negative impact to the USCG performance measures.”

LCA is calling on Congress to give the Coast Guard the funds it needs to acquire a second MACKINAW-class heavy icebreaker.

Sens. Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.), Todd Young (R-Ind.) and Gary Peters (D-Mich.) have introduced bipartisan legislation that aims to increase icebreaking capacity on the lakes.

Another crucial issue that US Great Lakes shipping companies are being forced to address: a bid by Canada to require all vessels to install new, expensive, untried ballast water treatment equipment—even if a discharge will not take place in Canadian waters.

This “effectively regulates what American vessels do in American waters,” Weakley says.

… “[I]t makes no sense until you really dig into what the Canadian ploy is, complete economic control of the cross-lakes trade,” he explains.

Complying with Canada’s demand would cost $639 million for technology that has not even been shown to work at keeping out invasive species, he added.

Another issue, this time on the positive side, is the continuing work on a new Poe-sized lock.

Over 90 percent of the 80-plus million tons of raw materials that move to and from Lake Superior ports each year transit the largest lock at Sault Ste. Marie, Mich.

So far, $241.6 million has been invested in the seven to 10-year project to construct a new lock.

“The good news is the Army Corps of Engineers is moving faster than anticipated,” Weakley says.

But since the Administration’s budget request for the new lock was only $123.2 million, there is now a $101.2 million shortfall.

That isn’t necessarily bad news, Weakley says, it just means “there is more work to be done” to get the Corps and Congress to close the gap.

To read the interview, go to:

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The Navy League of the United States has presented its Vincent T. Hirsch award to Congressman Rob Wittman (R-Va.), one of our industry’s strongest Congressional supporters.

In his capacity as ranking member of the House Seapower Subcommittee, Wittman has been at the forefront of virtually every significant maritime policy initiative affecting the US-flag merchant marine and American merchant mariners.

“I was incredibly honored to receive the Vincent T. Hirsch Award from the Navy League in recognition of my dedication to the American maritime industry,” Wittman said in accepting the award.

“If 2020 has taught us anything, it’s that the world can be an unpredictable and dangerous place.”

“But thanks to the service of our maritime forces, we can rest well knowing that the best and brightest are serving on the seas under our nation’s flag.”

“I want to say thank you to the dedicated professionals of the merchant marine, the maritime industry and the US Navy League. I assure you that I will continue to advocate for the American maritime industry in Washington.”

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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.

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The International Maritime Organization said last week that its website and intranet had been disabled by a cyberattack sophisticated enough to overcome the “robust security measures” it had in place.

The IMO said that its information technology staff had shut down its website and web-based services for several days to protect them from further damage.

The maritime industry has recently been subjected to a series of cyberattacks targeting large carriers including Maersk, Cosco and Carnival, as well as ports and related organizations.

The attack against the IMO was the second to affect the maritime sector in only a week.

CMA CGM Group reported on Sept. 28 that hackers had penetrated its network with malware. External booking systems and other applications were taken offline to limit its spread.

“As soon as the security breach was detected, external access to applications was interrupted to prevent the malware from spreading,” the company said in a Twitter post.

“Our teams are fully mobilized and access to our information systems is gradually resuming,” it said later in the day.

Later, the shipping giant said it suspected a data breach and reported it was “doing everything possible to assess its potential volume and nature.”

Two weeks on, the company has reported that its worldwide network and all agencies and offices are back online and fully operational. Experts are working to identify those involved in the attack and to further strengthen security.

Reports of ransomware, malware and phishing have been increasing this year, in particular since the beginning of the pandemic.

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The Coast Guard is seeking several experienced, senior-level mariners to participate in job task analysis of the following management level endorsements/licenses:

— Master, Unlimited (non-route specific) for determination of all core competencies exclusive of those associated with specific vessel operating routes;

— Master, Unlimited (Oceans and Near Coastal) for supplementation to core competencies with oceans and near coastal route specific competencies;

— Master, Unlimited (Great Lakes and Inland) for supplementation to core competencies with Great Lakes and inland route specific competencies;

— Master, Unlimited (Rivers) for supplementation to core competencies with river route specific competencies;

— Chief Mate, Unlimited (Oceans and Near Coastal) for determination of all core and oceans and near coastal route specific competencies.

The work of the panels is to develop, refine, and validate the duties and tasks performed by unlimited Masters and Chief Mates.

The task lists will be used to develop surveys. The data collected in the surveys will be used to inform the development of credentialing examinations and training curriculum standards.

Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the current plan is for each core competency panel to be conducted remotely over the course of 1 to 2 days via teleconferencing.

For the senior managers wishing to participate in a route-specific supplemental panel, only a time commitment of several hours would be required.

For those interested, please submit your CV/resume to along with your stated preference for panel participation.

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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) – 10/28/20, 12/15/20, 2/9/21

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

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

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

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

ECDIS – Electronic Chart Display Information Systems: 11/9/20, 4/5/21

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

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): 11/2/20, 11/30/20, 1/30/20, 1/11/21, 2/1/21, 2/22/21, 3/15/21

SHS-ADV-II-CMM – Advanced Shiphandling (week 2): 10/19/20, 11/9/20, 12/7/20, 1/18/21, 2/8/21, 3/1/21, 3/22/21

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

VPEN-CMM – Voyage Planning & Electronic Navigation: 11/2/20

WKP-CMM – Advanced Watchkeeping: 10/26/20

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: 11/2/20

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): Not currently scheduled

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: 10/27/20, 12/17/20, 2/8/21

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

FSM – Fatigue, Sleep, & Medications (1-Day): Not currently scheduled
Online: 10/15/20

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): Contact Admissions

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

LNG-TPIC (10-Day) – 11/30/20, 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

MED-PIC-REF– Medical Person in Charge Refresher: 10/19/20, 1/11/21

MED-PRO – Medical Care Provider: 11/30/20*, 1/25/21

MED-DOT-DA – Dept. of Transportation Drug & Alcohol Testing (1-Day): 10/26/20, 12/5/20, 12/18/20, 1/16/21, 1/30/21

[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

MSC-DC – Military Sealift Command Damage Control (2-day): 10/30/20, 2/25/21

MSC-ENVPRO (1-Day) – 11/1/20, 2/28/21

MSC-FF-HELO (2-Day) – 10/28/20

MSC-SMA – Military Sealift Command Small Arms Qualifications (4-Day): 11/2/20, 1/11/21, 3/1/21

MSC-Security Watch Basic (1-Day) – 11/2/20, 3/1/21 (Evening)

MSC-Security Watch Advanced (1-Day) – 11/6/20, 1/15/21, 3/5/21

MSC-Ship’s Reaction Force (3-Day) – 11/7/20, 1/16/21, 3/6/21

NDMS-ENAV – Navigational Decision Making Series – Best Practice in eNav (3-Day) – 11/30/20

NSAP-MMP – Navigational Skills Assessment Program-MM&P (2-Day) – 10/26/20*, 10/28/20*, 12/14/20*, 12/16/20*, 1/18/21, 3/15/21

PSC – Personal Survival Craft (5-Day) – 10/19/20

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

ROU-OIC – Radar Observer Program – Unlimited: Not currently scheduled

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

SHS-BAS-OIC – Basic Shiphandling: 10/19/20, 5/3/21

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

STB-OIC – Ship Construction and Basic Stability: Not currently scheduled

TCNAV/CO – Terrestrial Navigation and Compasses (15-Day): Not currently scheduled

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

TRAC-TUG-2 (2-Day): Not currently scheduled

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

VPDSD – Vessel Personnel with Designated Security Duties (1-Day): Not Currently Scheduled

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

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

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

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

For Registration Contact our Admissions Department: 206.441.2880 or

October 2020

12-16 ECDIS
12-16 Ship Construction and Basic Stability
12-16 Basic Training
12-16 Medical Care Provider
12-23 Medical Person-In-Charge
19-20 Basic Training Revalidation
19-6 Celestial Navigation
21st Medical DOT
22nd Advanced Firefighting Revalidation
26-29 Advanced Firefighting
26-30 Advanced Shiphandling I

November 2020

2-6 Advanced Shiphandling II
2-6 Radar Observer Unlimited
2-6 Basic Training
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