Wheelhouse Weekly – October 6th, 2020

October 7th 2020

Volume 25… Number 40… Oct. 6, 2020


Crew Change:



Coast Guard Updates:


Member News:


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Hundreds of thousands of seafarers who are stuck at sea beyond the internationally agreed 11-month maximum service term are being denied their human rights, the Nautilus Federation said in a statement.

It has called on ports to detain ships when members of the crew have been forced to work past the time limits set by international treaties.

“The failure of governments, industry and flag states to name seafarers as key workers and get them off ships and home to loved ones has led to a humanitarian crisis that can no longer be tolerated,” says Nautilus Federation Director Mark Dickinson.

“This is a wholly predicted—yet avoidable—humanitarian crisis, and we call for action against governments who deny seafarers their fundamental rights.”

MM&P is one of the 22 maritime unions that belong to the Nautilus Federation.

“Maritime and shipping professionals, at sea and on inland waterways, have had enough,” the group said in its statement, which was released on Sept. 24 to coincide with International Maritime Day.

“We will continue to push for an international solution, together as Nautilus Federation affiliates and as affiliates of the International Transport Workers Federation, so that the key workers of the world’s seas and rivers are able to get to and from their vessels without delay.”

The unions said industry and governments must prepare for the disruption to global supply chains that would result from detaining ships in ports to facilitate seafarers’ repatriation.

In the statement, the federation also pointed out that many of the world’s largest flag states have not acted decisively to enforce seafarers’ rights during the pandemic.

The unions noted that major flag states have the ability to resolve the crisis simply by refusing to allow seafarers on their ships to be denied their fundamental human rights.

While many of these flags-of-convenience quickly ratified the Maritime Labor Convention 2006, the “ease and speed by which many… subsequently ignored the rights of seafarers is a stain on the entire maritime industry,” they said.

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The International Transport Workers’ Federation and its employers group have released a joint statement warning shipowners, charterers and manning agents not to penalize seafarers who are trying to return home after their contracts have expired.

“The crew change crisis has… highlighted growing concern that seafarers will be blacklisted if they stand up and speak for their rights,” wrote ITF General Secretary Steve Cotton and IMEC Chairman Belal Ahmed in the joint statement.

“[A]s an industry, we can only help move the world forward from this pandemic, and continue to transport the world’s vital goods, if working conditions on ships comply with international maritime regulations.”

“That’s because these regulations guarantee the health, safety, security and welfare of the heart of our industry: the world’s seafarers.”

The employers group said its affiliated companies “have worked tirelessly to facilitate crew changes at great financial cost, yet over 400,000 seafarers remain stranded on vessels, forced to extend their tours of duty due to border and travel restrictions imposed by many governments around the world, as well as the scarce availability of international flights brought about by the pandemic.”

The employers group said it was joining the ITF in asking “ship owners, charterers, management companies, manning agents, hiring partners and all other stakeholders to commit to not applying pressure on seafarers or coercing them in any way to extend their contracts.”

“It is important that seafarers are not disadvantaged for merely standing up for themselves when they have completed their contracts and are mentally and physically not ready to continue to work safely,” Ahmed added.

The ITF and the JNG asked all parties involved to allow charter agreements to be modified without penalty so that ship owners and managers can divert ships to ports where crew change is possible.

Cotton urged all industry stakeholders to support crew change wherever and whenever they can.

“Seafarers have a real fear that if they speak or stand up, their careers could be over,” he said.

“Given the mental and physical fatigue caused by extended time on board, it is more important than ever during this crew change crisis that seafarers are able to speak up.”

“We will be coming down hard on anyone in the industry who think they can get away with targeting seafarers who use their rights to reject contract extensions.”

“Our industry is better than that.”

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On Friday evening—the same day that President Trump, the First Lady, and at least three US senators all tested positive for the novel coronavirus—the US Department of Transportation rejected a petition by the Transportation Trades Department, AFL-CIO and its 33 member unions for an emergency order requiring masks on all forms of commercial public transportation.

TTD President Larry Willis issued this statement in response:

“It is unfathomable that in the midst of a global pandemic which has killed more than 209,000 Americans and left millions more sick and potentially facing lifelong side effects—including the president of the United States—the US Department of Transportation would outright reject such a simple, science-backed, lifesaving measure.”

“The DOT’s decision is heartbreaking, and in light of yesterday’s news, frankly, shocking.”

“Since Covid-19 first touched American shores, the president and his administration have shown callous disregard for human life in response to this virus.”

“Failure by this DOT to issue a common-sense federal mask mandate for all modes of commercial passenger transportation is only a continuation of that failed response.”

“Sadly, it is working people who will suffer because of this decision.”

“Already, tens of thousands of frontline transportation workers—our members—have become ill or perished due to Covid-19 exposure.”

“A federal commercial passenger transportation mask mandate would have offered an additional layer of protection not only for these workers, but the passengers they serve.”

“In too many cases, those passengers are other essential workers just trying to get to their jobs on the frontlines of the pandemic, or working families on their way to get groceries, medical appointments, or check in with loved ones.”

“It is beyond clear that Covid-19, and the public health crisis it has created, is not going away anytime soon. In the absence of real, federal leadership from the Trump Administration, transportation labor will continue fighting for the health and safety of our members.”

“We call on Congress to do what the DOT refused to and pass life-saving legislation requiring masks on all forms of commercial public transportation. “

“The people who have risked their lives to see us through this crisis by serving on the frontlines of our transportation system deserve no less.”

During a town hall event with the Amalgamated Transit Union Saturday, Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden said DOT “made a gigantic mistake” by refusing to require masks. He said his administration “will insist on it” and would provide PPE to transit workers.

“[T]his is not about freedom, it’s about patriotism,” he added.

“You wear a mask to protect the person next to you. You wear a mask to protect the bus driver. You wear a mask to protect the person you’re sitting next to on the bus.”

“To reject the chance to do the easiest possible thing to save lives, I find it appalling. I promise you that my Department of Transportation will insist on it,” he added.

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“The Jones Act provides a ready manpower pool of mariners in case of national emergency and keeps an active, viable shipbuilding base in our country,” MM&P Honolulu Representative Randy Swindell says.

He enumerated these and other benefits of the Jones Act during a Sept. 24 forum held by Kai Kahele, a Democratic candidate for the US House of Representatives.

Kahele’s Republican opponent, Joseph Akana, wants to change the Jones Act.

During the event, which was covered by the Hawaii Free Press, Swindell said that contrary to misinformation spread by groups seeking to open our domestic market to unfettered flag-of-convenience shipping, the Jones Act does not restrict foreign ships from trading in the US.

“But they cannot load cargo in a US port and transport it to another US port,” he explained.

Why is the Jones Act necessary? Besides providing a ready manpower pool of mariners in case of national emergency and keeping an active, viable shipbuilding base in our country, it:

— preserves valuable shipbuilding skills;

— ensures a secure, unimpeded, dedicated supply chain between the mainland and Hawaii;

— provides well-paying middle class jobs to Americans who pay taxes;

— provides ships and crews for military sealift.

Swindell added context to his remarks with lessons from the past:

— “Teddy Roosevelt and the Rough Riders in the Spanish-American War in 1898 had to leave one-third of their force behind in Tampa because of a lack of sealift”;

— “thanks to the shipyard manufacturing base the Jones Act maintained, the US was able to step up production in World War II to the point where we could build ships faster than the Germans could sink them,” he noted.

“To this day, the men and women of the US merchant marine continue to serve the interests of our country,” Swindell said, “from supplying our troops in far-flung places to fulfilling domestic shipping needs in the current Covid-19 crisis.”

Ninety-one other countries have cabotage laws like the Jones Act on their books.

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The Coast Guard has published new guidance on credentials, medical certificates and course approvals.

Merchant Mariner Credentials

— National Endorsements: Under 46 USC Section 7507, MMCs may only be extended for up to one year from their date of expiration. National Endorsements that expire between March 1, 2020 and Dec. 31, 2020 are now extended until the earlier of:

— June 30, 2021; or

— One year after the expiration date printed on the credential.

Mariners working on expired credentials that meet the extension criteria must carry the expired credential with a copy of this notice.

— STCW Endorsements: MMCs with STCW endorsements that expire between March 1, 2020 and Dec. 31, 2020 are extended until the earlier of:

— June 30, 2021; or

— One year after the expiration date printed on the credential.

Mariners working on expired credentials that meet the extension criteria must carry the expired credential with a copy of this notice.

— Until July 1, 2021, for mariners who have met the requirements for initial competency in survival craft and rescue boats other than fast rescue boats (PSC), PSC-limited, fast rescue boats (FRB), basic training (BT), and advanced firefighting (AFF) and who are renewing MMCs that expire between March 1, 2020 to June 30, 2021, the Coast Guard will accept shipboard experience in fire, emergency, and/or abandon ship drills for demonstrating continued competence in PSC, PSC-Ltd, FRB, BT, and/or AFF provided they have obtained at least 360 days of relevant service within the past five years.

Relevant seagoing service is determined as described in NVICs 4-14, 05-14, 08-14 and 09-14.

— Mariners who do not have at least one year of relevant service in the past five years can only renew their STCW endorsements by demonstrating continued competence for PSC, PSC-Ltd, FRB, BT, and/or AFF as specified in 46 CFR 12.613(b)(4) or 46 CFR 12.615(b)(4) and NVIC 04-14 (for PSC and PSC-Ltd); 46 CFR 12.617(b)(4) and NVIC 05-15 (for FRB); 46 CFR 11.302(e), 12.602(e), and NVIC 08-14 (for BT); and/or 46 CFR 11.303(e) and NVIC 09-14 (for AFF).

These mariners need to complete original or “refresher” training for PSC, PSC-Ltd, FRB, BT, and/or AFF, as appropriate. The agency said shorter and less comprehensive “revalidation” courses are not acceptable.

— Medical Certification. The NMC said that since it is processing applications for medical certificates within normal time frames, the guidance on extending medical certificates has not changed.

— National Medical Certificates. Medical certificates with a national expiration date between March 1, 2020 and Sept. 30, 2020 are extended until Dec. 31, 2020.

Mariners working on expired medical certificates that meet the extension criteria must carry the expired credential with a copy of this notice.

— STCW Medical Certificates: Medical certificates with an STCW expiration date between March 1, 2020 and Sept. 30, 2020 are extended until Dec. 31, 2020.

Mariners working on an expired medical certificate that meet the extension criteria must carry the expired certificate with a copy of this notice.

— Pilot annual physical examinations. The Coast Guard does not intend to enforce this requirement given the current pandemic and its impacts on health care providers. It said this posture applies until Dec. 31, 2020, irrespective of when the medical certificate expires.

— Course and program approvals that expire between Jan. 1, 2020 and Dec. 31, 2020 are extended for six months from their current expiration date. The NMC will not issue new course approval letters or certificates; it will update its records to ensure the acceptance of course completion certificates issued during the extension.

The agency advises mariners to check the National Maritime Center website in case additional guidance is issued in the future:

For questions, use the NMC online chat system, email or call 1-888-IASKNMC (427-5662).

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The Coast Guard said that as part of its continuing evaluation of the impact of Covid-19 on the maritime industry, it is directing mariners who want guidance on Awaiting Information, Qualified Assessor and Designated Examiner letters to the National Maritime Center website (

The agency supplied the following information on current expiration date windows and extension dates:

— AI letters associated with an application for a merchant mariner credential or endorsement that expire between March 1, 2020 and Dec. 31, 2020 are extended until March 31, 2021.

— QA letters and DE letters that expire between March 1, 2020 and Sept. 30, 2020 are extended until Dec. 31, 2020.

For questions, contact the National Maritime Center Customer Service Center at 1-888-IASKNMC (427-5662) or

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Bryan Boyle, who ships out of MM&P’s Charleston union hall and has been regularly sailing as second and third mate with Maersk Line Limited, shares videos of shipboard life on his YouTube channel:

Check out his recent footage of dolphins surfing a cargo ship. Or relax with “Anchored in the Abyss,” a series of aerial drone shots–accompanied by a relaxing sound track–of a cargo ship at anchor in the fog.

Remember: MM&P wants to share your photos and videos in our publications and on our social media platforms! Let us know what you’re up to:

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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 Monday, Oct. 12, for Columbus Day.

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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

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
Online: Not currently scheduled

BRMP-EMR –Bridge Resource Management for Pilots with Emergency Shiphandling – (Now also included in BRMP-Refresher) (3-Day): Not currently scheduled

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

BT – Basic Safety Training: 10/12/20, 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

ADVWX-CMM – Advanced Meteorology: 12/7/20

CHS-CMM – Advanced Cargo Operations (10 Days): 10/12/20

CM-OPS 1 – Chief Mate Operations – Week 1: 11/9/20

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

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

ECDIS – Electronic Chart Display Information Systems: 11/9/20

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: Not currently scheduled

SHS-ADV-I-CMM – Advanced Shiphandling (week 1): 10/12/20, 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: 10/14/20

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): Not currently scheduled

CRSMGT – Crisis Management and Human Behavior (1-Day) – Not currently scheduled

CDMGT – Crowd Management (1-Day) – Not currently scheduled

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): Not currently scheduled

ECDIS for Pilots (2-Day) – 12/3/20

ERM – Engine Resource Management: 12/7/20

ADV-FF – Advanced Fire-Fighting (4-day) – Not currently scheduled

FF-BADV – Fire Fighting Combined Basic & Advanced: 10/12/20, 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): Not currently scheduled

GMDSS – Global Maritime Distress and Safety System (10-Day): Not currently scheduled

HAZ – Hazardous Materials (5 day): 11/16/20

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): Not currently scheduled

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): Not currently scheduled

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

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

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

MSC-ENVPRO (1-Day) – 11/1/20

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

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): 10/14/20, 11/30/20

SHS-BAS-OIC – Basic Shiphandling: 10/19/20

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

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: Not currently scheduled

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