News

Wheelhouse Weekly – October 18, 2010

October 18th 2010

 

– Bridging the Information Gap With E-News You Can Use –

Volume 14 . . . . . Number 42. . . .October 18, 2010

STORIES COVERED

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


COAST GUARD CONSIDERS U.S. RECOGNITION OF FOREIGN STCW CERTIFICATES

The Coast Guard is considering a policy on recognition of foreign-issued STCW certificates for employment on certain U.S. documented vessels. The Coast Guard solicits comments on the proposed policy in a notice in the Federal Register (Vol. 75, No. 186/Sept. 27, 2010/p. 59281).

MM&P has consistently opposed the employment on U.S. vessels of foreign seafarers holding foreign certificates.

Several years ago, however, a prior Congress waived, under very limited circumstances, the citizenship requirements for employment on some U.S. documented vessels, specifically Offshore Supply Vessels (OSVs) operating from foreign ports and Mobile Offshore Drilling Units (MODUs) operating beyond the waters of the U.S. Outer Continental Shelf. At present, the master of the vessel for which citizenship requirements have been waived has the sole discretion for determining the validity of foreign certificates and the qualifications of a foreign seafarer.

The MM&P position is that, in the limited circumstances where citizenship has been waived, the Coast Guard should make the determination as to qualifications using the STCW Convention and Code provisions. This includes compliance with the requirements of the Convention regarding standards of competence and standards of training and certification quality.

In addition, MM&P takes the position that the foreign seafarer should meet the many other U.S. requirements applied to U.S.-credentialed seafarers. This includes but is not limited to appropriate knowledge of the maritime legislation and regulations of the United States and the ability to communicate as required under 46 CFR 15.730. This also includes the U.S. requirements pertaining to drug testing, driver record check in the country of domicile for DUI, background check for a Transportation Workers Identification Credential (TWIC) and medical examinations under U.S. procedures and standards. Any other approach would discriminate against U.S. seafarers.   

In order to eliminate any confusion over the scope of the authorization created by an endorsement issued to a foreign citizen holding a foreign certificate, MM&P asserts that any USCG endorsement should also cite the existing limitation to those vessels where the citizenship requirement has been specifically waived by Congress under 46 USC 8103 (b)(3 ), i.e., “an offshore supply vessel (OSV) [as that term is defined in 46 U.S.C. 2101(19)] that is operating from a foreign port; and mobile offshore drilling unit (MODU) (as that term is defined in 46 U.S.C. 2101(15a) that is operating beyond the water above the U.S. Outer Continental Shelf; and this endorsement does not apply to any vessel operating in water above the U.S. Outer Continental Shelf (as that term is defined in 43 U.S.C. 1331(a)”.

MM&P will be submitting comments to the docket on this issue. The deadline for comments is Oct. 27, 2010. MM&P’s comments will be posted as soon as they are finalized in the Members Only section of the MM&P web site, www.bridgedeck.org. To submit a comment, go to http://www.regulations.gov, click on the ‘‘submit a comment’’ box, which will then become highlighted in blue. In the ‘‘Document Type’’ drop-down menu, select ‘‘Notices’’ and insert ‘‘USCG–2010–0797’’ in the ‘‘Keyword’’ box. Click ‘‘Search,’’ then click on the balloon shape in the ‘‘Actions’’ column.


EUROPEAN UNION COUNTRIES WILL PUBLICIZE SHIPPING COMPANIES’ SAFETY RECORDS

A new rule aimed at improving the safety of ships was adopted recently by the European Commission. The rule calls for a new online registry of safety inspection results to be launched on Jan. 1. The registry will “name and shame” shipping companies that perform poorly on vital safety inspections (port state controls) and highlight for public recognition the names of shipping companies with strong safety records. In announcing the new measures, a spokesman for the European Union (EU) said port state controls “are crucial to preventing shipping disasters and the tragic loss of life and huge environmental damage that can result.” Under the terms of the new rule, shipping companies and flag states which show up as poorly performing will be subject to more intensive, coordinated inspections in EU ports.

“Safety is our first priority,” said EU Transport Vice President Sim Kallas in announcing the new registry. “We have seen the devastating effects of maritime disasters like the sinking of the ferry ESTONIA or the ERIKA or PRESTIGE in terms of tragic loss of life and massive environmental damage. I am strongly convinced about the power of transparency,” he added. “We want to shine a light on the safety records of shipping companies, flag states and certification organizations. More transparency will showcase companies with a strong safety record, giving them a competitive advantage. The register will put poor performers in a spotlight so that with tougher inspection regimes and public pressure, there is every incentive for them to raise their game rather than face a ban from EU waters.”

On Jan. 1, the port state control regime (technical safety inspections in ports) in the European Union will change significantly under EU Directive 2009/16/EC. Under the new regime, there will not only be EU-wide harmonization of port state control inspection standards, as currently exists, there will also be for the first time a fully coordinated system of all the port state safety inspections carried out in the EU.

The new EU-wide system will rely on an advanced information tool known as THETIS, which is operated by the European Maritime Safety Agency. THETIS will track all safety inspections on ships carried out in ports in the EU and provide a risk analysis which will determine the frequency and priorities for inspections by the competent authorities.

The online register will list companies whose safety performance has been low or very low for a period of three months or more. Ships which are operated by companies with bad safety records will be subject to very frequent inspections while ships operated by companies with good records will be inspected less.

Under current EU rules there are harmonized standards for inspections and EU member states are obliged to inspect 25 percent of ships that call at their ports. Ships with serious deficiencies and detentions can be blacklisted, or banned from operating in EU waters.


SEPTEMBER-OCTOBER ISSUE OF THE MASTER, MATE & PILOT NOW ONLINE

The most recent edition of The Master, Mate & Pilot has been posted on www.bridgedeck.org. In this issue of the :

  • with the national mid-term elections fast approaching, all MM&P members are encouraged to visit the Members Only section of www.bridgedeck.org to view the state-by-state list of candidates supported by the MM&P Political Contribution Fund (PCF);
  • “the Jones Act Must Be Maintained,” U.S. Navy says;
  • “extraordinary response by U.S. mariners is true story of BP oil spill;
  • MM&P United Inland Group mans King County Water Taxi;
  • Military Sealift Command Medical Services Officers now voting for MM&P representation; PLUS
  • coverage of the 83rd MM&P Regular Convention and Constitutional Convention.


    STRIKES CONTINUE IN FRANCE

    Hundreds of thousands of marchers are taking to the streets of numerous French cities as protests mount against President Nicolas Sarkozy’s plan to raise the retirement age from 60 to 62. Truckers have shut down roads and service stations are running dry. The government says half of all flights to and from Paris Orly Airport and 30 per cent of flights at Roissy-Charles de Gaulle and other French airports will be cancelled on Tuesday. Outside Paris, at a school in Nanterre, police fired tear gas and rubber bullets at young people who set a car on fire and threw rocks. A spokesman for the Confederation Generale du Travail (CGT), which represents port workers and dock workers, says strikes may continue this week because no agreement has been reached with employers. Meanwhile, industrial action in Belgium on Monday saw the cancellation of all Eurostar services to Brussels.


    COAST GUARD ISSUES WARNING ON VHF-DSC AUTOMATIC CHANNEL SWITCHING

    The Coast Guard has issued an advisory concerning the VHF-DSC automatic channel switching feature. Many GMDSS DSC radios are designed to automatically switch to the proper or requested channel. The Coast Guard warns that this feature may inadvertently change your VHF away from CH-16, CH-13 or a local VTS frequency. In addition, some units override the [USA/INTL] setting, and revert to the [INTL] mode. This may be hazardous in U.S. vessel traffic system areas. For these reasons, watch officers should pay close attention to the VHF channel following any incoming DSC call. For more information, please visit the Coast Guard website at http://www.navcen.uscg.gov/ The Coast Guard also encourages all mariners to sign up to receive Coast Guard safety alerts by e-mailing Kenneth.W.Olsen@uscg.mil.


    LONG RANGE IDENTIFICATION AND TRACKING UPDATE

    The Coast Guard has issued an update on Long Range Identification and Tracking (LRIT), the new mandatory position-reporting system for vessels on international voyages subject to the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS) Convention. LRIT allows nations to track the ships of other flag states prior to port entry, to track the vessels of their own flag, and to track all vessels in their coastal waters. LRIT is intended to enhance security, aid search/rescue operations and help protect the environment.

    LRIT compliance has been required since Dec. 31, 2008. But the International Maritime Organization (IMO) enacted a “Transitional Arrangement” resolution circular to allow a period of time to retrofit/install new units, test the system and educate industry. Equipment testing and certification of every SOLAS vessel is required and is now overdue if it hasn’t already been done.

    The U.S. Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) permits the LRIT terminal to be turned off when a ship is undergoing repairs in dry-dock, in port, or laid up for a long period of time. The master may also turn off the system if it compromises the safety/security of the vessel, or in other exceptional circumstances. If a ship turns off the LRIT terminal (or if it becomes inoperative), the officers must notify the Coast Guard and log the particulars of the failure or of the period it was secured. The only way to do this at present is to send an e-mail to LRIT@uscg.mil

    Officers sailing on vessels subject to LRIT should be familiar with the LRIT requirements, ensure that their unit is in compliance and are familiar with the unit’s operational procedures. For more information, please see the USCG LRIT website http://tiny.cc/sev7f


    WHERE TO FIND AMERICAN-MADE ELECTRICAL PRODUCTS

    MM&P thanks Roger Simmermaker, a member of the International Association of Machinists, for permission to reproduce the following copyrighted article.

    It’s not easy to find electrical and electronic products manufactured in the United States: the typical rule is that if you have to plug it in, it’s going to be difficult to find American-made. The good news is you can buy some American-made electrical products for your home: you just have to know where to look.

    Before we talk about those areas, let’s start with where not to look so you don’t end up wasting your time: as of this writing, it is impossible to find an American-made clock radio, VCR, DVD player (except as part of a Bose DVD home entertainment system), cell phone, cordless phone, TV, printer, copier, fax machine or toaster oven.

    Now let’s look at the good news: vacuums, kitchen electrical, computers and more. If you’re interested, please read on.

    If you’re looking for a vacuum cleaner, try Oreck, Riccar or Simplicity. Craftsman wet-dry vacs are made in America, too. (You can scratch Hoover off your list since it was bought by Hong Kong-based Techtronics Industries in 2007.)

    You won’t find an American-made printer, but you can find a good American-made computer. Go to www.UnionBuiltPC.com to find computers built with as many American parts as possible. Their customer service and tech support is all U.S. based as well.

    If you’re looking for a lamp, try www.decoratorschest.com, www.fabby.com, www.missiontablelamps.com or www.bestofnewengland.com.

    For air circulation and filtration, try Lasko fans (available at most home improvement and department stores) and Sun Aire air purifiers at www.betterair.com. Most Lasko fans are “assembled in the United States” and all Sun Aire products carry the “made in USA” label.

    If you’re looking for a stereo, try B&K Components at www.bkcomp.com. According to their website, B&K’s products are designed, engineered, manufactured, supported and serviced from their headquarters in Buffalo. If you want to add a new, high-quality turntable, try Sota turntables at www.SotaTurntables.com. You can add American-made JBL speakers. JBL also produces American-made speakers for the car. Bose Wave radios are also made in America, as well as are some of their DVD home entertainment systems.

    Many KitchenAid products are American-made, including three-speed blenders, the Pro 405, Ultra Power and Classic Plus stand mixers. WaringPro (a brand of American-owned Conair Corp.) also offers a professional quality bar blender. Nesco coffee roasters are also American made. The Nesco brand is made by the American-based, privately owned Metal Ware Co.

    Other honorable American-made mentions include McIntosh (www.mcintoshlabs.com) for high-end stereo amplifiers, loudspeakers, car audio, etc.; Bunn coffeemakers (www.bunnomatic.com) made and assembled in Springfield, Illinois; and Wahl electric shavers and trimmers (www.wahl-store.com). Not all Wahl products are made in America, so please check the label before you buy.

    Sure, it isn’t always easy to buy American-made electrical and electronics products for the home, but it’s good to know that it’s possible, depending on what you’re looking for.

    About the author: Roger Simmermaker is a member of the Machinists Union and the author of “How Americans Can Buy American: The Power of Consumer Patriotism.” He writes “Buy American Mention of the Week” articles for WorldNetDaily.com and for his website, www.howtobuyamerican.com. He has been interviewed on the topic of American-made goods by numerous major media outlets, including CNN and Business Week.


    ATTENTION VOTERS IN WASHINGTON STATE, CALIFORNIA, PENNSYLVANIA AND NEW HAMPSHIRE: UPDATES TO WHO WE SUPPORT SECTION OF WWW.BRIDGEDECK.ORG

    All 435 members of the House of Representatives and 37 members of the Senate face re-election on Nov. 2. If you are a member of MM&P, you can go to www.bridgedeck.org to access a user friendly, state-by-state listing of the candidates for public office who have consistently demonstrated their support for the U.S.-flag maritime industry. Just go to the Members Only section and click on the “Who We Support” link. MM&P members and retirees in Washington state, California, Pennsylvania and New Hampshire should access the site to view a recent update regarding legislators who are locked in extremely close battles for election.


    MM&P OFFSHORE DIVISION SHIPPING AND WORK RULES COMMITTEE MEETS OCT. 19-21

    The Offshore Division Shipping and Work Rules Committee will meet this week at MM&P headquarters in Linthicum Heights. During the meeting, the committee will address the Offshore Division Shipping Rules and Work Rules.


    DATE CHANGE FOR NOVEMBER D-BOOK MEMBERSHIP CLASS IN LOS ANGELES

    The D-Book Membership class will be held in the MM&P Los Angeles Hall on Tuesday and Wednesday, Nov. 9-10, and not, as originally reported, on Nov. 10-11. All applicants should complete the D-Book Membership Class as soon as possible to avoid delays in becoming members. Applicants should take the course before completing 360 days of covered employment. For more information and to sign up for the Nov. 9-10 course, please contact the Los Angeles Hall at 310-834-7201.


    PIRATES HIJACK PANAMA-FLAGGED CONTAINER SHIP, KIDNAP SOMALI OFFICIAL

    Pirates hijacked the Panama-flagged MV IZUMI and its crew of 20 on Oct. 10. The ship was on its way to Mombasa.

    In related news, pirates have released an official of the Puntland government who was kidnapped last week as he rode in a convoy. Puntland is an autonomous region of northeastern Somalia. The official, Puntland Fisheries and Seaports Minister Said Mohamed Rage, was ambushed along with his staff. A bodyguard and a civilian bystander were killed in the attack.

    Meanwhile, maritime industry actuaries have issued a report which puts the all-in cost of each successful pirate attack at approximately $9 million. The actuaries said, however, that it’s hard to prepare mathematical models to illustrate the costs of piracy because ship owners are often reluctant to release figures regarding ransoms and other costs.


    MARITIME ADMINISTRATION BUYS HAWAII SUPERFERRIES AT AUCTION

    The Maritime Administration has acquired the ALAKAI and the HUAKAI, the two high-speed ferries built for Hawaii Superferry, which went bankrupt last year. The agency said it had purchased the vessels “to protect the interest of the American people,” in that it was able to bid for the ships using the original $150 million Title XI guarantee monies that the federal government had already spent on the vessels. MARAD said it has not yet decided what to do with the two ferries, which are docked in Norfolk.


    INVESTIGATORS PROBE CAUSE OF FIRE ON LITHUANIAN FERRY

    Danish and German investigators are trying to figure out what caused the fire that almost sank the Lithuanian ferry LISCO GLORIA last week. All 249 passengers and crew were rescued, but 28 people were hospitalized for the effects of smoke inhalation. Officials said a fire on a truck in the hold of the ferry was possibly the cause of the blaze. The wreck is now anchored off the coast of the Danish island of Langeland.


    PROPELLER CLUB NAMES JIM HENRY MARITIME MAN OF THE YEAR

    The International Propeller Club has named Transportation Institute President Jim Henry as “Maritime Person of the Year.” Henry is a founding member of the Maritime Cabotage Task Force (MCTF), which promotes America’s Jones Act fleet. He is also chairman of the National Defense Transportation Association’s Military Sealift Committee and chairman of the United States Maritime Coalition.


    SUNY MARITIME COLLEGE PRESIDENT TO RETIRE

    Vice Adm. John W. Craine Jr., USN (Ret.) last week announced his plans to retire as president of SUNY Maritime at the end of this academic year. Prior to joining SUNY Maritime, Craine served for 33 years in the U.S. Navy.


    MITAGS ACADEMIC NOTES

    Between now and the end of December 2010, the following courses are scheduled at MITAGS.  For class availability or information on MITAGS courses and programs, contact admissions toll free at 866-656-5568 or e-mail: admissions@mitags.org.

    ARPA � Automated Radar Plotting Aids: 11/30

    BRM- Bridge Resource Management: 12/13
    BRMP � Bridge Resource Management for Pilots: 11/29

    [CMM – Chief Mate and Master Courses]
    CMM-ADVWX � Advanced Meteorology: 11/1
    CMM-ADVSTB – Advanced Stability: 11/1
    CMM-CHS I – Advanced Cargo Operations (week 1): 11/8
    CMM-CHS II � Advanced Cargo Operations (week 2): 11/15
    CMM-ECDIS � Electronic Chart Display and Information Systems: 11/15, 12/13
    CMM-MPP � Marine Propulsion Plants: 10/25, 11/29
    CMM-SHMGT I – Ship Management (week 1): 12/6
    CMM-SHMGT II – Ship Management (week 2): 12/13
    CMM-SHS-ADV-I � Advanced Shiphandling (week 1): 10/25, 11/29
    CMM-SHS-ADV-I I � Advanced Shiphandling (week 2): 11/1, 12/6
    CMM-VPEN � Voyage Planning and Electronic Navigation: 11/8, 12/6
    CMM-WKP � Advanced Watchkeeping: 10/25, 11/29

    ENVIRO-Regs Permit � Environmental Regulations Permit: 11/10
    ENAV � Electronic Navigation: 11/1

    FSM � Fatique, Sleep and Medications for Pilots: 12/1

    HAZ – Hazardous Materials (5 day): 11/29

    LEG – Legal Aspects of Pilotage: 11/29

    MCL – Management, Communications and Leadership: 12/6
    MED-PIC – Medical Person In Charge: 11/8
    MED-PRO – Medical Care Provider: 11/8
    MED-DOT-DA – Dept. of Transportation Drug & Alcohol Testing: 11/13


    ROR-1 – Radar Observer Renewal Evening Classes: 11/17, 12/1, 12/15
    ROR-1 – Radar Observer Renewal Day Class: 11/29
    ROP-5 – Radar Observer Original and Renewal: 11/15

    SHS-BAS – Basic Shiphandling: 11/15, 12/13
    SHS-EMR3 – Emergency Shiphandling for Pilots: 12/1

    …remember: If you can’t make the class, make the call.  Be courteous, don’t be a “no show.”

    Check the MITAGS website at www.mitags.org for course descriptions associated with the course title abbreviations, and schedule revisions. For class availability or info on MITAGS courses and programs, contact admissions toll-free at 866-656-5568 or e-mail: admissions@mitags.org


    PMI ACADEMIC NOTES

    Schedule of Courses – Please also see our schedule online at www.mates.org

    For registration, call our registrar, Jennifer Pitzen, at (206) 838-1126

    October 2010

    18-29  Celestial Navigation
    18-22  Medical Care Provider – Standby only
    23rd    Med DOT
    25-27  Fast Rescue Boat
    27th    Radar Renewal

    November 2010

    1-3       Security VCF
    1-5       Medical Care Provider
    8-12    ECDIS
    8-19    GMDSS
    15-19   Basic Construction & Stability
    15-17   Fast Rescue Boat
    29        Radar Renewal

    December 2010

    6-10    Medical Care Provider
    6-17     Medical Person-in-Charge
    6-17     GMDSS
    7-9      Security VCF
    11         Med DOT
    13-15   Emergency Shiphandling
    20       Radar Renewal


    MM&P MARKET WATCH AS OF 10-15-10

    D O W N A S D A Q S & P 500
    10,948.58 2,383.67 1,165.15
    Fund Name & Trading Symbol
     Closing
    Price
     Vanguard Asset Allocation Fund (VAARX)
    52.92
     Vanguard 500 Index Fund (VFINX)
    108.35
     Vanguard Extended Market Index Fund (VEXMX)
    37.23
     Vanguard International Growth Fund (VWIGX)
    19.10
     Vanguard Morgan Growth Fund (VMRGX)
    16.59
     Vanguard Windsor II Fund (VWNFX)
    24.16
     Vanguard GNMA Fund (VFIIX)
    11.07
     Vanguard Growth Index Fund (VIGRX)
    29.40
     Vanguard High Yield Corporate (VWEHX)
    5.76
     Vanguard LifeStrategy Conservative Growth (VSCGX)
    16.14
     Vanguard LifeStrategy Growth Fund (VASGX)
    21.19
     Vanguard LifeStrategy Income Fund (VASIX)
    14.10
     Vanguard LifeStrategy Moderate Growth (VSMGX)
    19.14
     Vanguard Target Retirement 2005 (VTOVX)
    11.89
     Vanguard Target Retirement 2015 (VTXVX)
    12.28
     Vanguard Target Retirement 2025 (VTTVX)
    12.28
     Vanguard Target Retirement 2035 (VTTHX)
    12.60
     Vanguard Target Retirement 2045 (VTIVX)
    13.03
     Vanguard Total Bond Index (VBMFX)
    10.86
     Vanguard Total Stock Market Index Fund (VTSMX)
    29.32
     Chase Growth Fund (CHASX)
    16.66
     Fidelity Asset Manager (FASMX)
    14.93
     Fidelity Growth and Income (FGRIX)
    16.81
     Fidelity Intermediate bond Fund (FTHRX)
    10.77
     Fidelity Magellan Fund (FMAGX)
    66.68
     Fidelity Value Fund (FDVLX)
    63.62
     Fidelity Equity-Income II Fund (FEQTX)
    16.85
     Fidelity Blue Chip Growth Fund (FBGRX)
    41.54
     Fidelity Diversified International Fund (FDIVX)
    29.55
     Fidelity Dividend Growth Fund (FDGFX)
    25.80
     Fidelity Freedom Income (FFFAX)
    11.27
     Fidelity Freedom 2000 (FFFBX)
    12.00
     Fidelity Freedom 2010 (FFFCX)
    13.40
     Fidelity Freedom 2020 (FFFDX)
    13.48
     Fidelity Freedom 2030 (FFFEX)
    13.31
     Fidelity Freedom 2040 (FFFFX)
    7.68
     Fidelity Freedom 2050 (FFFHX)
    8.94
     Fidelity Total Bond Fund (FTBFX)
    11.00
     Spartan Extended market Index Fund (FSEMX)
    34.64
     Spartan US Equity Index Fund (FUSEX)
    41.67
     Domini Social Equity Fund (DSEFX)
    27.82



    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. Suite B, Linthicum Heights, MD 21090-1953. Phone: 410-850-8700; Fax: 410-850-0973; Email: iommp@bridgedeck.org. For further info or to subscribe contact Lisa Rosenthal at lrosenthal@bridgedeck.org. The Wheelhouse Weekly is sent via Email to MM&P-contracted vessels at sea and is posted on our web page.

    © 2010, International Organization of Masters, Mates & Pilots. All the material contained in this publication is protected by copyright. For permission to reprint text from the Weekly, contact the MM&P Communications Department: lrosenthal@bridgedeck.org. For changes of address, contact Lisa Rosenthal at lrosenthal@bridgedeck.org.