Wheelhouse Weekly, October 5, 2021

Volume 27… Number 40… October 5, 2021


In This Issue:

Plan Office Update:

Mark Your Calendar:


Polar Code and IGF Operations:



  • MITAGS-West Looking for Personnel for Marine Firefighting/Damage Control Programs
  • MM&P Closed on Columbus Day
  • COVID-19 Vaccination and Masking Required for All MITAGS Students
  • MITAGS East Academic Notes
  • MITAGS West Academic Notes

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    The presidents of six maritime unions have signed a joint statement urging their members to protect themselves, their families, their shipmates and the maritime industry by choosing to get vaccinated against Covid-19.

    “Our members aboard vessels remain in grave danger with the Delta variant on the loose,” the union presidents wrote in the joint statement, which was issued on Sept. 29.

    “Many of our organizations have lost members to ravages of the disease, including some who have lost their lives while aboard ship.”

    “Several ships have had serious outbreaks over the last 18+ months, even as recently as this month.”

    The six wrote that they are calling on members to get the vaccine “primarily for the safety of our shipmates and family members, but also to mitigate the effects of Covid-19 on the industry.”

    “It is a matter of future industry stability and mariner job security,” they wrote.

    “Labor is working together and using every advantage to both protect your health and safeguard your rights.”

    “Your dedication, professionalism and perseverance are recognized, and your efforts are best honored by ensuring your own safety and the safety of others aboard ship by getting vaccinated.”

    The letter was signed by MM&P President Don Marcus, AMO President Paul Doell, MEBA President Adam Vokac, MFOW President/Secretary-Treasurer Anthony Poplawski, SIU President Mike Sacco and SUP President Dave Connolly.
    Back to Stories Covered


    Slowdowns at ports in the US, Asia and Europe are expected to last into at least the beginning of 2022.

    “We advise customers to plan their supply chains well ahead, particularly for the upcoming holiday rush,” Maersk wrote in its Sept. 27 Asia Pacific market update.

    “Disruptions continue at every node of the supply chain,” Gene Seroka, executive director of the Port of Los Angeles, told Bloomberg News in a recent interview.

    Seroka said that despite the fact that capacity has increased 30 percent on the major trans-Pacific routes and vessel productivity in the port is up 50 percent, “dwell time” for containers at ports and warehouses has increased.

    He added that the problems will continue in coming months because “significant volume [is] headed our way throughout this year and into 2022.”

    Seroka said truck capacity at the port has only risen eight percent since the surge began and as many as a third of truck reservations are going unused.

    A pilot program at the Port of Long Beach offering truckers the option of picking up containers between 3 and 7 am has not attracted any takers, according to a spokesperson for TTI, a large terminal operator.

    Maersk said it has been working to rationalize its schedules and reposition empty containers. It also plans to reduce the number of port calls on some routes.

    But the company sees little cause for optimism in the short-term.

    “Inventory levels in Europe and the US remain at their lowest levels on record, leading to stock outs on some products,” a spokesperson said.

    “This means even once retail demand declines, we will see cargo volumes continue to remain strong as inventory levels need to be rebuilt.”

    “There’s no quick fix here,” Josh Brazil of project44, a company that specializes in supply chain logistics, told Container Management.

    “Unless demand drops significantly after the holiday rush, this could be a multi-year problem.”
    Back to Stories Covered


    The Coast Guard said today that the pipeline that spilled 125,000 gallons of crude oil into the ocean off Orange County last weekend may have been struck by an anchor of one of the vessels waiting to berth at the ports of Los Angeles/Long Beach.

    “These ships are anchored and many are awaiting entry into the San Pedro Bay Port complex… and it is possible that they would transit over a pipeline,” said Captain Rebecca Ore, captain of the port and commanding officer at USCG Sector Los Angeles-Long Beach.

    Supply chain problems linked to the coronavirus have led to queues in San Pedro Bay of 60-70 vessels anchored or drifting nearby.

    The spill was first reported on Friday evening, but the Coast Guard’s Los Angeles station did not receive word or begin to mount a response until about 0900 hours the next morning.

    The source of the spill has now been secured, the authorities said.

    Fourteen vessels are involved in recovery operations, four aircraft have been dispatched on overflight and monitoring missions, over 4,000 gallons of oil have been recovered and about one and a half nautical miles of containment boom has been deployed.
    Back to Stories Covered


    The number of seafarers stuck on ships after their contracts have expired continues to fall, while the number who say they have been vaccinated against Covid-19 continues to rise.

    The news was reported by Maritime Executive based on data compiled by the Neptune Declaration, a group that includes hundreds of multinationals, unions, shipping companies and international organizations that have been calling on governments to address the Covid-19 humanitarian crisis at sea.

    The data show that in September, the number of seafarers aboard vessels beyond the expiration of their contracts fell from 8.9 to 7.9 percent.

    The number of seafarers aboard vessels for over 11 months also decreased, from 1.2 to 1.0 percent.

    The statistics reflect the fact that more seafarers were able to complete crew changes on schedule during the summer months.

    The percentage of international seafarers who reported that they had received a Covid-19 vaccination also increased last month, from 21.9 to 31.1 percent.

    The rates for both crew change and vaccination are higher for mariners who sail on US- or European Union-flagged vessels.

    Ship managers who submitted data for the report said that travel bans and border restrictions persist in certain areas.

    They also said there are problems linked to whether individual countries have given approval or not to specific vaccines.

    Another issue: Some seafarers who have received two-dose vaccines have had to get each dose in a different country.

    “It is encouraging to see the vaccination rate for seafarers going up and the number of seafarers onboard their vessels beyond the expiry of contracts decreasing slightly,” said Kasper Søgaard, managing director and head of institutional strategy and development for the Global Maritime Forum.

    “However, lockdowns, flight cancellations, and travel restrictions persist, thus posing continued challenges to crew changes globally.”
    Back to Stories Covered


    Any mariner who submitted an application for a medical certificate to from Sept. 21, 2021, through Sept. 28, 2021, should resubmit their application package.

    Due to a technical issue, medical certificate applications submitted during this period were not received at the National Maritime Center and are not being processed.

    The issue has been resolved and is now available to receive medical certificate applications.

    Please note that you will not receive a response of application receipt upon resubmission.

    The NMC sincerely apologizes for the inconvenience.

    The NMC Customer Service Center is available from 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. EST, Monday through Friday.

    Mariners can reach the NMC call center at 1-888-IASKNMC (427-5662) and
    Back to Stories Covered


    The October 2021 issue of The Global Seafarer has been posted on the Nautilus Federation website:

    In this issue:

    — Nautilus and the ITF work to improve industry standards and to put the wellbeing of mariners at the center of the transition to a green economy;

    — leaders of the International Labor Organization acknowledge the negative impact of Covid-19 on the world’s seafarers;

    — last year, ITF inspectors recovered nearly $45 million in crewmembers’ unpaid wages;

    — new Seafarer Workforce Report reveals growing global shortfall of STCW-qualified officers;

    — the worsening crisis of seafarer abandonment.

    The Global Seafarer is published on behalf of MM&P and the other 22 Nautilus Federation affiliate unions.
    Back to Stories Covered


    The Plan Office has noticed significant delays—sometimes of as long as two or three weeks—at some of the Quest Labs.

    When the Plan contacted Quest, the company said that there is a backlog due to the volume of Covid-19 tests.

    If you need to take a drug test for a job or to upgrade or renew your license, the Plan Office recommends that you take the test at least three or four weeks in advance of when you need the results.
    Back to Stories Covered


    There will be an in-person membership meeting at the MM&P NY/NJ hall on Thursday, Oct. 7 at 1100.

    MM&P President Don Marcus, Secretary-Treasurer Don Josberger and Atlantic Ports Vice President Tom Larkin will be in attendance.

    The New York/New Jersey Hall is located at 570 Broad Street, Ste 701, Newark, NJ 07102. The phone number is 201-963-1900.
    Back to Stories Covered


    Don’t delay in registering for the 95th Annual International Propeller Club Conference, which will be held online on Oct. 13 and 14.

    This year’s theme is: “Open for Business in 2022—What Will It Look Like?”

    The agenda includes keynote addresses from IMO Secretary-General Kitack-Lim and Coast Guard Commandant Adm. Karl Schultz.

    Join your maritime colleagues from around the world and register here!

    Students and faculty can register for free.

    The conference will include the following panels:

    — “Large Port Issues,” moderated by President/CEO of the American Association of Port Authorities Chris Connor, will address supply chain delays, congestion, and worker shortages caused by Covid-19;

    — “Cyber Security,” moderated by Port of Vancouver Information Security Analyst Chris Carter and with a keynote address by USCG Cyber Command Commander Rear Adm. Michael Ryan, will discuss the Port of Houston cyberattack and what companies are doing to protect themselves and their assets;

    — “The Maritime Workforce,” moderated by ITF Seafarers’ Section Chair Dave Heindel, will discuss the pandemic’s impact on the supply chain and key workers in the maritime industry;

    — “Inland and Great Lakes Shipping,” moderated by Inland Rivers, Ports, and Terminals Executive Director Aimee Andres, will address the impact of the pandemic on the inland towing industry and in the Great Lakes.

    Join your maritime colleagues from around the world and register here!
    Back to Stories Covered


    Earlier this week, a man from Port Angeles, Wash., pleaded guilty to federal charges stemming from shining a laser pointer at a Coast Guard helicopter aircrew in 2016.

    Randall Muck, 35, who pleaded guilty to one count of assault on a federal officer, was sentenced to 90 days of home confinement with electronic monitoring, one year of probation and a $1,000 fine.

    He admitted that he had shone a green laser light at an MH-65 Dolphin rescue helicopter crew while they were on final approach to Air Station Port Angeles on Sept. 26, 2016.

    Coast Guard flight rules require that aircraft must abort their mission if a laser is shined in the eyes of an aircrew member.

    “These types of incidents can be very dangerous to the safety of our aircrews and disrupt our ability to respond as a search and rescue asset,” said Cmdr. Mark Hiigel, former commanding officer of Air Station Port Angeles.

    “In this case, the aircrew was medically grounded for approximately two hours. This resulted in Naval Air Station Whidbey Island and Sector Columbia River, located in Warrenton, Ore., covering our area of responsibility until the Port Angeles aircrew was medically cleared.”

    “The danger of playing with green laser lights goes beyond medical risks to our aircrews,” Hiigel said. “It places all mariners at risk due to delayed response times should they become in distress.”

    Aiming a laser pointer at an aircraft or vessel is a felony that carries a potential sentence of five-to-ten years in prison and a fine of up to $2,500.

    In recent years, the Coast Guard has pursued cases against people who aimed laser pointers at a Washington State ferry, at merchant vessels and a pilot boat transiting the Chesapeake Bay and at SAR helicopters, including one that was in the middle of a rescue hoist.
    Back to Stories Covered


    The Coast Guard has published:

    — Change 1 to CG-MMC Policy Letter 02-18, Guidelines for Qualifications of Personnel for Issuing STCW Endorsements for Basic and Advanced Polar Code Operations; and

    — Change 1 to CG-MMC Policy Letter 01-21, Guidelines for Qualifying for STCW Endorsements for Basic and Advanced IGF Code Operations.

    Change 1 to CG-MMC Policy Letter 02-18 revises the policy letter to add a discussion of the requirements for renewal of Basic and Advanced Polar Code Operations endorsements and to remove transitional provisions that expired on July 1, 2020.

    Change 1 to CG-MMC Policy Letter 01-21 revises the policy letter to add an additional method to renew the endorsement by providing evidence of being a qualified instructor of a Basic or Advanced IGF Code Operations course.

    This change also reduces the seagoing service required to renew an STCW for Basic or Advanced IGF Code Operations.

    These policy letters and changes are posted on the Coast Guard Merchant Mariner Credentialing policy website.

    Mariners and other interested parties may contact the Mariner Credentialing Program Policy Division at or (202) 372-2357 with questions or feedback.
    Back to Stories Covered


    The Maryland Board of Pilots is accepting applications for Pilots-in-training through Dec. 31, 2021, for the current selection process.

    Applications received after that date will not be accepted for the current selection process.

    If you are interested in a career as a Maritime Pilot, please visit our website for more information:

    When you are on the site, click on “Licensing Applications” and then on “Apply to be a Pilot-in-training.”

    You can also email your request to:

    The application fee is $25 and is non-refundable.

    Applications should be sent to the Maryland Board of Pilots, 500 N. Calvert Street, Room 308, Baltimore, MD 21202.

    For assistance, please contact the Board at: 410-230-6261 or Fax: 410-962-8483.
    Back to Stories Covered


    MITAGS-West is looking to quickly fill three open positions in its Marine Firefighting/Damage Control Programs.

    The three are:

    Program Manager;

    Lead Instructor; and

    Assistant Instructor.

    If you are interested in learning more or applying for these positions, please click on the links above and submit a cover letter with your resume to Human Resources Manager Jane Sibiski at
    Back to Stories Covered


    All MM&P union halls, the MM&P Plan Office, the MM&P Federal Credit Union and MM&P headquarters will be closed on Monday, Oct. 11, for Columbus Day.
    Back to Stories Covered


    Effective August 23, full COVID vaccination will be mandatory in order to attend training on campus at MITAGS East.

    Full vaccination is mandatory for all students unless you have a documented medical exemption or claim a religious/philosophical exemption.

    Documentation either of full COVID vaccination or a written claim of exemption must be submitted to Admissions in advance of your course.

    Additionally, beginning on Aug. 9, face-masks are required in all public spaces on campus, regardless of vaccination status.

    Scans, photocopies, or electronic images of your COVID-19 vaccination cards (records) or certification by a medical provider are acceptable.

    The vaccine and masking policy is already in effect at MITAGS West.

    We appreciate your cooperation during these very trying times.
    Back to Stories Covered


    \\Classes are 5-day unless otherwise noted\\

    Class dates followed by an * are full

    AB – Able Seaman (5-Day) – Not Currently Scheduled
    AIS-1 – Automatic Identifications Systems Orientation (1-Day): Not currently scheduled

    ARPA-OIC (4-Day) – Automated Radar Plotting Aids: 2/1/22

    AZIPOD (2-Day) – 2/3/22

    BRM – Bridge Resource Management (5-Day): 10/25/21, 3/7/22

    BRMP –Bridge Resource Management for Pilots (2-Day): 11/9/21, 2/4/22, 2/28/22, 3/14/22

    Online: Not currently scheduled

    BRMP-EMR –Bridge Resource Management for Pilots with Emergency Shiphandling – (Now also included in BRMP-Refresher) (3-Day): 3/16/22

    BRMP-Refresher (Now including Emergency Shiphandling for Pilots) (3-Day) – Not currently scheduled

    BT – Basic Safety Training (5-Day): 10/11/21, 1/31/22

    BT-Revalidation (2-day) (Must have 1 year of sea service in last 5 years) – 10/25/21*, 12/13/21, 2/22/22, 3/22/22

    BT-Refresher (3-day) – 12/13/21, 2/22/22

    CHS-OIC – Cargo Handling Basic (5-Day): 11/29/21

    [CMM – Chief Mate and Master Courses]

    ADVSTB-CMM – Advanced Stability (5-Day): 10/18/21, 1/17/22, 3/21/22

    ADVWX-CMM – Advanced Meteorology (5-Day): 10/11/21, 12/6/21, 1/10/22

    CHS-CMM – Advanced Cargo Operations (10 Days): 10/25/21, 3/28/22

    CM-OPS 1 – Chief Mate Operations – Week 1 (5-Day): 11/29/21, 2/28/22

    CM-OPS 2 Maersk – Chief Mate Operations II Maersk Specific (5-Day): 12/6/21, 3/7/22

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

    ECDIS – Electronic Chart Display Information Systems (5-Day): 11/29/21, 1/24/22

    LMS – Leadership and Managerial Skills (Management Level – Formerly MCL-CMM) (5-Day): 11/8/21, 12/13/21, 1/31/22

    MPP-CMM – Marine Propulsion Plants (5-Day): 3/14/22

    (DCS-1 available on request – contact Admissions)

    SEC-APPS – Practical Defense Tactics: Not Currently Scheduled

    SHMGT-CMM- Ship Management (5-Day): 2/28/22

    SHS-ADV-I-CMM – Advanced Shiphandling (week 1) (5-Day): 10/11/21, 11/1/21*, 11/29/21, 1/17/22, 2/14/22, 3/21/22

    SHS-ADV-II-CMM – Advanced Shiphandling (week 2) (5-Day): 10/18/21, 11/8/21*, 12/6/21, 1/24/22, 2/21/22, 3/28/22

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

    VPEN-CMM – Voyage Planning & Electronic Navigation (5-Day): Not currently scheduled

    WKP-CMM – Advanced Watchkeeping (5-Day): 3/7/22

    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) – 1/17/22

    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) – Online: 12/9/21

    CNAV-OIC (15-Day) – Celestial Navigation: 11/1/21

    CRISIS-COMMS – Crisis Communications (1-Day): 3/18/22

    CRSMGT – Crisis Management and Human Behavior (1-Day) – 2/18/22

    CDMGT – Crowd Management (1-Day) – 2/17/22

    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 (5-Day) **NOT covered by the MATES Program ** – Not currently scheduled

    Cyber-MAR-ONL – Cyber Skilled Mariner, Management of Information & Systems Security (Online Seminar) **NOT covered by the MATES Program ** – Not Currently Scheduled

    DDE – Great Lakes (20-Day): 2/27/22

    ECDIS for Pilots (2-Day) – 11/11/21

    ERM – Engine Resource Management (5-Day): 12/6/21

    ADV-FF – Advanced Fire-Fighting (4-day) – 3/28/22

    FF-BADV – Fire Fighting Combined Basic & Advanced (5-Day): 10/11/21, 1/31/22

    FF-ADV-Rev (1-day) (Must have 1 year of sea service in last 5 years) – Advanced Fire Fighting Revalidation: 10/27/21, 12/16/21, 2/21/22, 3/24/22

    FF-ADV-REF (2-day) – Advanced Fire Fighting Refresher: 12/11/21, 2/25/22

    FSM – Fatigue, Sleep, & Medications (1-Day): 10/22/21

    Online: Not currently scheduled

    GL-Pilot – Great Lakes Pilotage Familiarization (2-Day): 1/21/22

    GMDSS – Global Maritime Distress and Safety System (10-Day): 1/10/22

    HAZ – Hazardous Materials (5 day): 11/15/21

    IEN – Integrated Electronic Navigation (3-Day) – Not currently scheduled

    LAP – License Advancement Program for Mate to Master (20-Day): 10/18/21, 3/7/22

    LAP-Great Lakes – License Advancement Program – Great Lakes (15-Day): 1/24/22

    LAP-ORG3rd – License Advancement Program for Original 3rd Mate, Oceans, Any Gross

    Ton License (15-Day): Not currently scheduled

    LEG – Legal Aspects of Pilotage (1-Day): 11/9/21

    LNG-TPIC (10-Day) – Not currently scheduled

    LTS –Leadership and Teamworking Skills (Formerly MCL-OIC) (1-Day): 3/14/22

    MEECE – Management of Electrical and Electronic Control Equipment (Assessments not included): 11/29/21

    MED-PIC – Medical Person in Charge (10-Day): 11/29/21*, 1/17/22

    MED-PIC-REF– Medical Person in Charge Refresher: 11/15/21, 1/10/22

    MED-PRO – Medical Care Provider: 1/17/22

    MED-DOT-DA – Dept. of Transportation Drug & Alcohol Testing (1-Day): 10/28/21, 11/14/21, 12/4/21, 12/17/21, 1/15/22, 3/25/22

    [MSC – Military Sealift Command Courses]

    MSC-CBRD-1 – Military Sealift Command Chemical, Biological, Radiological Defense Orientation (Basic) (1-Day): 10/31/21

    MSC-DC – Military Sealift Command Damage Control (2-day): 10/29/21

    MSC-ENVPRO (1-Day) – 11/9/21

    MSC-FF-HELO (2-Day) – 10/25/21*

    MSC-SMA – Military Sealift Command Small Arms Qualifications (4-Day): 11/1/21*, 1/10/22, 3/14/22

    MSC-Security Watch Basic (1-Day/ 8-hour) – 11/1/21 (Evening)

    MSC-Security Watch Advanced (1-Day) – 11/5/21*, 1/14/22, 3/18/22

    MSC-Ship’s Reaction Force (3-Day) – 11/6/21*, 1/15/22, 3/19/22

    NDMS-ENAV – Navigational Decision Making Series – Best Practice in eNav (3-Day) – 11/8/21

    NSAP-MMP – Navigational Skills Assessment Program-MM&P (2-Day) – 11/15/21*, 11/17/21*, 12/13/21*, 12/15/21*, 2/1/22, 3/28/22

    PSC – Personal Survival Craft (5-Day) – Contact Admissions

    PSC-REF – Personal Survival Craft Refresher (2-Day) – 12/16/21

    RFPNW – Ratings Forming Part of a Navigational Watch (3-day) – Not currently scheduled

    ROR-1 – Radar Observer Renewal (1-Day): 1/31/22

    ROR-1N – Radar Observer Renewal Evening Classes (1-Night): 12/15/21

    ROU-OIC – Radar Observer Program – Unlimited: 3/7/22

    SAR – Search & Rescue – (Now with OIC and CMM assessments) (3-Day): 12/6/21

    SHS-BAS-OIC – Basic Shiphandling: 2/28/22

    SHS-EMR5 – Emergency Shiphandling (5 Day) – 11/15/21, 12/13/21, 2/7/22

    STB-OIC – Ship Construction and Basic Stability: 2/14/22

    TCNAV/CO – Terrestrial Navigation and Compasses (15-Day): 1/24/22

    TPIC – Tankerman Person in Charge: 3/7/22

    TRAC-TUG-2 (2-Day): 11/9/21

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

    VPDSD – Vessel Personnel with Designated Security Duties (1-Day): 3/3/22

    VSO – Vessel Security Officer (3-Day): 2/28/22

    WKP-OIC – Watchkeeping (Operational Level) (10-Day): 2/7/22

    WX-OIC –Meteorology (Operational Level): 2/21/22
    a href=”#storiesCovered”>Back to Stories Covered


    Schedule of Courses – Please also see our schedule and enroll online at For Registration Contact our Admissions Department: 206.441.2880 or

    October 2021

    11-15 Ship Constructions & Basic Stability
    18-5 Celestial Navigation
    25-26 Basic Training Revalidation
    27th Advanced Firefighting Revalidation

    November 2021

    1-5 Basic Training
    8-11 Advanced Firefighting
    8-12 Basic Shiphandling
    8-12 Leadership & Managerial Skills
    15-17 Security Officer – Vessel, Company and Facility
    15-18 ARPA
    17-18 Basic Training Revalidation
    19th Advanced Firefighting Revalidation
    22-24 Search & Rescue

    December 2021

    29-10 GMDSS
    6-7 Basic Training Revalidation
    8th Advanced Firefighting Revalidation

    Back to Stories Covered

    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©2021. 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

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