Wheelhouse Weekly – October 24th, 2017

October 25th 2017

Volume 22… Number 43… Oct. 24, 2017


In This Issue:

AFL-CIO Convention:

National Maritime Center News:


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HORIZON SPIRIT has been deployed by shipowner Pasha to transport hundreds of containers of bottled water from the West Coast of the United States to Puerto Rico in support of hurricane relief and rebuilding efforts.

Aboard the vessel on the humanitarian run are Master Thomas C. McCarthy, Chief Mate John J. Walkup, Second Mate David Roach and Third Mate John R. Kennedy.

Pasha said in a statement that it has partnered with Lipsey Mountain Spring Water, the largest supplier of bottled water for government disaster relief, to ship to Puerto Rico approximately 800 containers filled with more than 15 million bottles of water.

HORIZON SPIRIT loaded the containers in Long Beach, Calif., on Oct. 21.

It will transit the Panama Canal on Oct. 29 and arrive in San Juan Oct. 31-Nov. 1.

“This ship being incredibly fast is of great benefit to the citizens of the U.S. in Puerto Rico,” Joe Lipsey III, CEO of the water supply company, was quoted in the statement as saying.

He called Pasha’s involvement in the relief program generous and “forward-thinking,” adding “it’s fantastic.”

After unloading operations, Pasha said, HORIZON SPIRIT will be made available in the Puerto Rico service.

“Our hearts go out to the people of Puerto Rico as they rebuild their homes and communities, and address basic needs,” said Pasha Hawaii President and CEO George Pasha IV.

“We are thankful to be of direct help to these families and businesses, especially as many of our folks who joined us from Horizon Lines Inc. have family, friends and colleagues on the island.”

“We’ve supported hurricane relief efforts via an employee giving campaign with the American Red Cross, and are glad we can offer the service of our containership.”

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CNN has reported that the USNS COMFORT, dispatched to Puerto Rico by President Trump to take pressure off local hospitals, was empty of patients as of late last week.

The licensed deck officers in the wheelhouse of USNS COMFORT are represented by the MM&P Federal Employees Membership Group (FEMG).

“There’s a hospital ship waiting for sick Puerto Ricans, but no one knows how to get on it,” wrote CNN’s Leyla Santiago and Mallory Simon.

Most beds aboard COMFORT were still empty, they reported, “amid confusion over how to transfer patients.”

Two weeks after the ship arrived, they said, only 33 of the hospital beds were being used.

Staff at clinics told the reporters that although they were overwhelmed with patients, some in desperate need of help, they were unsure as to how to begin sending people to the ship.

Doctors said transports were being held up by a rumor that in keeping with the policy of the Federal Emergency Management Association (FEMA), the U.S.-government disaster relief agency, patients had first to be admitted to a central hospital for evaluation before they could be transferred to the COMFORT.

“CNN asked Gov. Ricardo Rosselló why so many are in need of help and yet a ship with operating rooms and intensive care units sits nearly empty,” the journalists wrote.
“The disconnect or the apparent disconnect was in the communications flow,” Rosselló told them.

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Randy Swindell, who represents MM&P in Honolulu, was a panelist on a PBS Hawai’i news report produced during the anti-Jones Act media campaign that followed Hurricane Maria.

The Jones Act requires that cargo transported between U.S. ports be moved on ships that are U.S.-built, U.S.-owned and U.S.-citizen crewed.

The segment, which was broadcast on Oct. 12, included four panelists, two of whom were critical of the Jones Act.

They were asked whether the law had outlived its usefulness and should be “reviewed, reformed or repealed.”

Swindell explained that in Puerto Rico, flooding and damage to roads and infrastructure was delaying delivery of supplies and rebuilding—not the Jones Act.

In Puerto Rico as in Hawai’i, he said, the Jones Act fleet “serves the community well” and provides thousands of family-supporting, middle class jobs.

“I’m not going to apologize for an American making a living wage,” he added.

In response to statements by two panelists who called for the Jones Act “build requirement” to be lifted, Swindell said the U.S.-flag fleet had successfully fought that battle for years and was not about to knuckle down now.

“’Build foreign’ was the strategy when I first came into the industry,” he said.

“But they found out they couldn’t break our coalition: the shipping companies, the shipyards, and the people who work for them.”

To view the segment, go to:

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Maritime Administrator Mark Buzby says everyone who works in our industry should speak out in support of the three pillars that support U.S.-flag shipping: the Jones Act, the Maritime Security Program and the cargo preference laws.

“Your voice has never been more important,” he told the crowd during an Oct. 18 speech to members of the Washington, D.C., Propeller Club.

Now 45 days into his new position as Maritime Administrator, Buzby pledged to do everything possible to maintain, buttress or expand the U.S.-flag fleet, which has been steadily shrinking in size and is now at an alarmingly low level of ships.

“I’m all-in,” he said. “I don’t know how much I’ll get done–but it won’t be for lack of trying.”

As a professional mariner, he said he was extremely displeased over the misinformation regarding the Jones Act circulating in the wake of Hurricane Maria.

He noted that the Jones Act is key to our national security, and said Jones Act vessels have done an outstanding job in forwarding timely aid to the island from the very start of the storm to the present day.

He urged all participants in the industry to fight back by setting the record straight and helping people understand the significance of U.S.-flag shipping and its ties to national security.

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Hundreds of union members who traveled to Puerto Rico after the island was struck by two hurricanes found themselves trying desperately to help people in conditions that can only be described as catastrophic.

Many of the 300 volunteers—nurses, doctors, electrical workers, fire fighters and teachers—addressed the AFL-CIO Convention on Sunday, describing some of what they had seen on the island.

Nurses “had to turn into first responders,” said Bonnie Castillo, head of a 50-nurse group sent by National Nurses United.

“There was no water, no food, no roofs” on houses “and mold was beginning to set in,” she said.

“They found dehydrated babies lying in the arms of their mothers. And water is now like gold in Puerto Rico.”

According to the World Health Organization, the amount of water that the Trump administration says it has distributed to residents, including water for hospitals and dialysis centers, equates to only 9 percent of what each person needs every day.

Union members deployed to Puerto Rico said people seeking help from FEMA are required to use the Internet to fill out forms–although the island for the most part still lacks electricity and Internet access.

Only 20 percent of Puerto Rico’s power grid has been restored and around 3 million people are still without power.

“Every one of our returning nurses is saying ‘Where is our government?’” Castillo said.

Convention delegates approved a resolution demanding that the U.S. take immediate federal action to address the situation.

The resolution describes the response of the Trump administration to the disaster as “wholly inadequate to meet the critical needs faced by the 3.6 million U.S. citizens of Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.”

The AFL-CIO Executive Council said the administration’s relief efforts “have paled in comparison to its efforts following similar destruction by Hurricanes Harvey and Irma in Texas and Florida.”

Reports in the press put the death count as a result of the hurricanes at a minimum of 450 people, with many more still unaccounted for.

Illness and disease are spreading as a result of black mold and people drinking from polluted water sources.

Convention delegates commended the courage of the union members and volunteers who participated in the multi-union emergency relief mission and pledged to continue humanitarian relief and rebuilding efforts on the island.

They called on the Trump administration and Congress “to provide assistance to Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands on the scale of the damage done by the storms, to ensure full funding for FEMA in order to substantially escalate its relief efforts on the ground, to end the cap on federal funding for Medicaid in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, and to set federal matching rates for Medicaid in the same fashion as they are set in the mainland United States.”

They also called on the administration to deploy the Department of Defense and other federal agencies to provide the resources necessary to restore drinking water, electric power and telecommunications.

To free up money for short- and long-term recovery efforts, the resolution also calls on Congress to enact a long-term moratorium on payments of all Puerto Rican public debt, followed by debt forgiveness.

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Delegates representing AFL-CIO unions at the organization’s quadrennial convention votedSunday night to re-elect President Richard Trumka.

MM&P President Don Marcus is part of the International Longshoremen’s (ILA) delegation to the convention.

“I’m proud to be here participating in an event that is of great importance for American workers and their families,” he said.

Trumka, who has led the organization since 2009, ran unopposed, as did Secretary-Treasurer Liz Shuler and Executive Vice President Tefere Gebre.

“I am humbled and honored for the opportunity to serve the working families of the AFL-CIO for another four years,” he said.

Trumka said that a primary focus of the four-day convention was to develop a “Workers’ Bill of Rights.”

“The aim is to give politicians a clear view on union priorities, including the need for better wages and rethought trade agreements,” Trumka told a group of journalists.

He said politicians in both parties who support the Workers’ Bill of Rights would get the support of the organization, adding, “Those that don’t—we’re sorry.”

“We’re going to use our resources and our power to help people get elected that support the needs of workers.”

During the past year, Trumka has overseen a restructuring of the AFL-CIO, reducing the number of staffers and offices in an attempt to hone the organization’s focus on organizing, political campaigns and new legislation.

“We’re going to fight back smartly, strategically, as one united movement,” Trumka told convention delegates.

Before his first election as AFL-CIO president in 2009, Trumka became the youngest president of the United Mine Workers of America (UMWA) in 1982 and secretary-treasurer of the AFL-CIO in 1995. He was born in the small town of Nemacolin, Pa., and worked in the mines while attending Penn State and Villanova University law school.

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The Coast Guard’s National Maritime Center (NMC) last Friday launched HOMEPORT 2.0.

The revamped site has a different user interface but makes available much of the same information, the agency said.

The update did not affect the Merchant Mariner Sea Service Renewal Calculator or Merchant Mariner Certificate printing.

NMC said the following applications are available for use; however, the search functions have been modified:

— Merchant Mariner Application Status: Mariners will be able to search by Reference number (Mariner number) and Application ID.

Reference number and application ID can be found in the automated e-mails sent once a mariner’s application has been received.

“If you are not receiving status update e-mails and would like to,” the agency said in a release, “please contact the NMC via Chat, via e-mail (, or by phone at 1-888-IASKNMC (427-5662).”

— Merchant Mariner Credential Verification: NMC says users will be able to perform a Document Search by Document Number and Document Type, a Single Mariner Search by Reference Number and Last Name, and a Multiple Mariner Search by Reference Number and Last Name.

Searches using the Last Name, Date of Birth, and the last four numbers of the Social Security Number will no longer be available.

Links to the HOMEPORT Merchant Mariner Application Status and Merchant Mariner Credential Verification can be found on NMC’s homepage.

NMC advises that anyone having technical difficulties with HOMEPORT 2.0 should contact HOMEPORT at 304-262- 5971 or 877-872-4999 or via e-mail at

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MarEx has reported that authorities in Italy are investigating the disappearance of the master of the containership MSC GIANNINA.

Captain Juri Kharytonov went missing Oct. 19 during a voyage from Gioia Tauro to Genoa.

According to Italian media reports, the 54-year-old Ukrainian captain was last seen on board a few hours after the vessel left Gioia Tauro.

The other members of the crew of the Portugal-flagged ship have reportedly told investigators that he was acting normally the last time he was seen.

Officials said that an examination of the captain’s cabin showed no indication of disturbance or theft.

On Friday morning, the crew searched the waters where it was thought that he could have gone overboard.

French and Italian military forces joined the search, which covered an area between the islands of Corsica and Elba.

After finding no trace of Captain Kharytonov, the GIANNINA arrived at the Port of Genoa on Oct. 21.

There, police officers continued questioning the crew.

They also examined the vessel for forensic evidence.

The vessel and its cargo are being held while the investigation continues.

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All MM&P union halls, the MM&P Plan Office, the MM&P Federal Credit Union and MM&P headquarters will be closed on Friday, Nov. 11, for Veterans Day.

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The Merchant Marine Personnel Advisory Committee (MERPAC) and its working groups are scheduled to meet Oct. 26-7 at the U.S. Coast Guard National Maritime Center in Martinsburg, W. Va.

Although the meetings are open to the public, attendees must pre-register to be admitted.

Additional details about the location, point of contact, how to submit comments, and the agenda can be found in the Federal Register in notice document 82 FR 44433.

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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 – Contact Admissions

AIS-1 – Automatic Identifications Systems Orientation: Contact Admissions

ARPA-OIC – Automated Radar Plotting Aids: 1/16/18

AZIPOD 2-Day – Contact Admissions

BRM-35 – Bridge Resource Management: 11/13/17, 2/26/18

BRMP –Bridge Resource Management for Pilots: 11/14/17, 1/16/18, 2/22/18, 3/29/18

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

BRMP-Refresher – 3/26/18

BT – Basic Safety Training: 1/15/18, 4/9/18

BT-Revalidation (2-day) (Must have 1 year of seatime in last 5 years) – 11/8/17, 12/12/17, 2/7/18,3/6/18, 4/2/18, 4/30/18, 6/18/18

BT-Refresher (3-day) – 11/8/17, 12/11/17, 2/7/18, 3/5/18, 4/29/18

CHS-OIC – Cargo Handling Basic: 10/30/17

[CMM – Chief Mate and Master Courses]

ADVSTB-CMM – Advanced Stability: 12/11/17, 1/29/18, 4/2/18, 6/11/18

ADVWX-CMM – Advanced Meteorology: 12/4/17, 1/22/18, 3/12/18, 6/4/18

CHS-CMM – Advanced Cargo Operations (2 weeks): 4/9/18

CM-OPS 1 – Chief Mate Operations – Week 1: 12/4/17

CM-OPS 2 Maersk – Chief Mate Operations II Maersk Specific: 12/11/17

ECDIS – Electronic Chart Display Information Systems: 1/15/18, 3/26/18, 6/25/18

LMS – Leadership and Managerial Skills (Management Level – Formerly MCL-CMM): 1/8/18,2/19/18, 5/14/18, 6/18/18

MPP-CMM – Marine Propulsion Plants: 11/27/17, 3/5/18

SEC-APPS – Practical Defense Tactics: 3/12/18

SHMGT-CMM- Ship Management (2 weeks): 10/30/17, 4/23/18

SHS-ADV-I-CMM – Advanced Shiphandling (week 1): 10/30/17, 12/4/17, 1/15/18, 2/5/18, 3/5/18,3/19/18, 4/9/18, 4/23/18, 5/7/18, 6/4/18, 6/18/18

SHS-ADV-II-CMM – Advanced Shiphandling (week 2): 11/6/17, 12/11/17, 1/22/18, 2/12/18,3/12/18, 3/26/18, 4/16/18, 4/30/18, 5/14/18, 6/11/18, 6/25/18

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

VPEN-CMM – Voyage Planning & Electronic Navigation: 3/19/18

WKP-CMM – Advanced Watchkeeping: 11/13/17, 5/7/18cnav

CNAV-OIC – Celestial Navigation: 11/6/17

CONT PLNG – Contingency Planning Workshop: Contact Admissions

CRISIS-COMMS – Crisis Communications: 2/19/18

CRSMGT – Crisis Management and Human Behavior – Contact Admissions

CDMGT – Crowd Management – Contact Admissions

CSE – Confined Space Entry: 1/15/18

CSE-AWR – Confined Space Entry Awareness: Contact Admissions

DDE – Great Lakes: 1/22/18

DPA – Contact Admissions

ECDIS for Pilots – 11/14/17, 2/20/18

ERM – Engine Resource Management: Contact Admissions

FF-BADV – Fire Fighting Combined Basic & Advanced: 1/15/18, 4/9/18

FF-ADV-Rev (1-day) (Must have 1 year of seatime in last 5 years) – Advanced Fire Fighting Revalidation: 11/7/17, 12/14/17, 2/6/18, 3/8/18, 4/4/18, 5/2/18, 6/20/18

FF-ADV-REF (2-day) – Advanced Fire Fighting Refresher: 11/12/17, 12/9/17, 2/10/18, 3/3/18, 4/27/18

FSM – Fatigue, Sleep, & Medications: Contact Admissions

GL-Pilot – Great Lakes Pilotage Familiarization: 1/19/18

GMDSS – Global Maritime Distress and Safety System: 3/5/18

HAZ – Hazardous Materials (5 day): 11/27/17, 5/21/18

IEN – Integrated Electronic Navigation – 11/28/17

LAP – 2/26/18

LAP-Great Lakes – License Advancement Program – Great Lakes: 1/22/18

LAP-ORG3rd – License Advancement Program for Original 3rd Mate, Oceans, Any Gross
Ton License: 12/4/17

LEG – Legal Aspects of Pilotage: 3/28/18

LNG-TPIC – 12/4/17

LTS –Leadership and Teamworking Skills (Formerly MCL-OIC): Contact Admissions (*2-Evening Session)

MEECE – Management of Electrical and Electronic Control Equipment (Assessments not included): Contact Admissions

MED-PIC – Medical Person in Charge: 1/22/18, 3/19/18, 5/7/18

MED-PIC-REF– Medical Person in Charge Refresher: 11/13/17, 1/8/18, 4/23/18, 6/25/18

MED-PRO – Medical Care Provider: 11/27/17, 1/22/18, 3/19/18, 4/16/18, 5/7/18

MED-DOT-DA – Dept. of Transportation Drug & Alcohol Testing: 11/6/17, 12/15/17, 1/13/18, 1/27/18, 2/5/18, 3/9/18, 4/5/18, 5/3/18, 5/12/18, 6/21/18

MSA –Maritime Security Awareness: Contact Admissions

[MSC – Military Sealift Command Courses]

MSC-CBRD-1 – Military Sealift Command Chemical, Biological, Radiological Defense Orientation (Basic): 2/23/18, 5/24/18, 6/8/18

MSC-DC – Military Sealift Command Damage Control: 2/21/18, 5/22/18, 6/6/18

*MSC-ENVPRO – 2/25/18, 6/3/18

*MSC-FF-HELO – 6/4/18

MSC-SMA – Military Sealift Command Small Arms Qualifications: 1/8/18, 2/26/18, 5/14/18, 6/11/18

*MSC-Security Watch Basic – 2/24/18, 5/13/18, 6/9/18

*MSC-Security Watch Advanced – 1/12/18, 3/2/18, 5/18/18, 6/10/18

*MSC-Ship’s Reaction Force – 1/13/18, 3/3/18, 5/19/18, 6/15/18

NSAP-MMP – Navigational Skills Assessment Program-MM&P – 10/30/17, 1/22/18, 1/24/18, 3/29/18, 4/23/18, 4/25/18, 6/25/18, 6/27/18

ROR-1 – Radar Observer Renewal: 1/15/18

ROR-1N – Radar Observer Renewal Evening Classes: 11/1/17, 11/8/17, 11/15/17, 11/29/17, 12/6/17, 12/13/17, 1/10/18, 1/31/18, 2/7/18, 2/21/18, 3/7/18, 3/21/18

ROU-OIC – Radar Observer Program – Unlimited: 11/27/18, 1/8/18

SAR – Search & Rescue – (Now with OIC and CMM assessments): Contact Admissions

SHS-BAS-OIC – Basic Shiphandling: 1/29/18

SHS-EMR5 – Emergency Shiphandling-5 Day – 11/27/17, 2/19/18, 4/2/18, 5/21/18

SMS – Contact Admissions

STB-OIC – Ship Construction and Basic Stability: 1/22/18

TCNAV/CO – Terrestrial Navigation and Compasses: 1/29/18

TPIC – Tankerman Person in Charge: 2/12/18

TRAC-TUG-2: Contact Admissions

TTT – Contact Admissions

VPDSD – Vessel Personnel with Designated Security Duties: 4/12/18

VSO – Vessel Security Officer: 2/14/18, 4/9/18

WKP-OIC – Watchkeeping (Operational Level): 2/19/18

WX-OIC –Meteorology (Operational Level): 3/19/18

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Spring 2017

For registration, please contact our registrar, Mary McGhee, at 206.838.1126 or You can also view our schedule and enroll online at

October 2017

25-27 24-Hour HAZWOPER
30-10 GMDSS

November 2017

4-5 Basic Training – Revalidation
4-6 Basic Training – Refresher
6-10 Basic Training
6-10 ECDIS
9th HAZWOPER Refresher
13th Vessel Personnel w/ Designated Security Duties (VPDSD)
13-14 ECDIS for Pilots
13-16 Advanced Firefighting
13-17 Tankship Dangerous Liquids
17th Leadership & Teamworking Skills
17th Flashing Light Exam
18-19 Basic Training – Revalidation
18-20 Basic Training – Refresher
20th Radar Renewal
20-22 Security Officer – Vessel, Company, & Facility
27-29 24-Hour HAZWOPER
27-1 Radar Observer Unlimited
27-1 Basic Shiphandling

December 2017

2-3 Basic Training – Revalidation
2-4 Basic Training – Refresher
4th Flashing Light Exam
4-8 Basic Training
4-8 Leadership & Managerial Skills
4-8 Medical Care Provider
4-15 Medical Person-In-Charge
4-15 GMDSS
8th HAZWOPER Refresher
11th Radar Renewal
11th Vessel Personnel w/ Designated Security Duties (VPDSD)
11-15 Construction & Stability (Operational Level)
11-15 Engine Resource Management
16-17 Basic Training – Revalidation
16-18 Basic Training – Refresher
18-20 Search & Rescue
18-21 Advanced Firefighting
18-22 ECDIS
20-22 24-Hour HAZWOPER

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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 © 2017. 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