Wheelhouse Weekly – Sept. 15, 2015

September 18th 2015

Volume 20 . . . Number 37. . . Sept. 15, 2015


In this issue:


News for MM&P Members:


Job Opportunity:


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The crew of the Alaska Marine Highway System (AMHS) ferry LECONTE rescued six men from a capsized fishing boat on Sept. 3.

The rescued men reported that their anchor had gotten stuck as they attempted to raise it. A powerful electric anchor winch kept pulling the anchor line, lowering the bow of the boat. At that point, a wave hit the bow and the boat turned over.

As the LECONTE rounded Point Couverden, the mate on watch spotted the overturned boat. The fishermen were standing on the hull, freezing and soaking wet.

Because the ferry’s fast rescue boat would have been overcrowded with two crewmembers and the six fishermen, the LECONTE launched one of its 50-passenger lifeboats.

“I was quite proud of the crew; they did their job real well, and we expect nothing less,” Captain Kevin Dickman told a reporter for the Juneau Empire. “It was very satisfying; just the look in those guys’ eyes… they knew they dodged a bullet, and we were happy.”

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The newest edition of the MM&P video magazine Notice to Mariners has been posted This edition focuses on the work being done in Washington, D.C., to educate members of Congress and government officials about the importance of the American Merchant Marine to our country’s security, economy and national defense.

Interviewees include Jim Patti, president of MIRAID, the Washington advocacy arm of MM&P and its contracted employers, who describes the work his office has carried out on behalf of members since 1980. “We fight 24/7 to get American mariners the salaries and benefits they deserve,” he says.

Ed Wytkind, president of the AFL-CIO Transportation Trades Department (TTD), describes the broad coalition of transportation unions that stands with MM&P in the Capitol Hill arena. MM&P and the other 31 TTD member unions “speak with the collective voice of several millions of transportation workers,” he says.

To view the newest edition of Notice to Mariners, go to and click on the TV icon in the top right-hand corner of the page.

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The firm that operated the SEAMAN GUARD OHIO, the vessel seized by Indian authorities along with its 35-man crew in 2013, has effectively abandoned the men still facing trial in India, according to a report broadcast last week by the BBC.

The firm, U.S.-based AdvanFort, operates anti-piracy escorts in high risk areas. It has a shady past of unpaid bills and questionable legal practices. Its owners refused to be interviewed for the BBC story.

The MV SEAMAN GUARD OHIO was transporting security guards between missions when it was boarded by Indian police and its crew arrested on suspicion of illegally possessing weapons and illegally taking on fuel.

E-mail exchanges from inside the company, delivered anonymously to the BBC, indicate it ordered an illegal delivery of fuel. Ships needing to refuel at sea must use regulated sources but AdvanFort managers are accused of purchasing fuel from a local fisherman. In the e-mails, managers at the company ordered the captain to hide the fuel and to not discuss the delivery.

MM&P Chief of Staff Klaus Luhta, who was interviewed for the broadcast, said this indicates that AdvanFort is “wilfully culpable” in the case.

“They [AdvanFort] knowingly and wilfully were culpable in directing the captain to violate the law of the nations they were visiting,” he said. The firm’s behavior is “reprehensible,” he said. “The fact that they have abandoned these crewmembers in a country with no legal defense for more than two years is astonishing.”

Two years on, the men have spent months in Indian jails and been barred from leaving the country as the case wends its way through the courts. They have not been paid since their arrest and the company has also failed to pay any of their mounting legal costs. They are living off contributions from charities and their families.

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The Maritime Administration (MARAD) has issued Advisory 2015-02 with regard to possible contamination by hazardous materials due to the explosions that occurred last month in Tianjin, China. The agency warns that potentially hazardous ash, debris or residues could remain on vessels or cargo. The U.S. Coast Guard and Customs and Border Protection are monitoring all U.S. bound cargo and vessels that were in the port of Tianjin on or after Aug. 12. Masters are requested to report to the nearest USCG Captain of the Port as soon as possible if they suspect any hazardous conditions, illnesses or unknown substances on board. Masters should be prepared to answer questions on the weather conditions at the time of loading, the subject cargo and measures taken by the vessel to ensure the cargo was not contaminated.

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“Increasingly, seafarers of all ranks find themselves objects of a criminal investigation as a result of their professional activities, often for incidents beyond their control,” reports Seafarers’ Rights International (SRI), which has produced a compelling new video on the topic of “criminalization.”

Criminalization is not rampant, but the fear of being targeted in an investigation through no fault of one’s own has already become a significant deterrent to those considering a career at sea. A 2012 SRI study found that 8 percent of seafarers and 24 percent of masters surveyed had faced criminal charges at some point in their careers.

To view the video, go to and click on the TV icon in the top right-hand corner of the page.

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On behalf of the members of MM&P, MEBA and the employees of APL Maritime, a wreath was laid Sept. 8 at the Tomb of the Unknowns in Arlington National Cemetery by APL Regulatory and Government Affairs Director Tim Perry, MIRAID President C. James Patti and MEBA Director of Government Affairs Matt Dwyer.

The Tomb contains the remains of unknown American soldiers from World Wars I and II, the Korean Conflict and (until 1998) the Vietnam War. Each was presented with the Medal of Honor at the time of interment and the medals, as well as the flags which covered their caskets, are on display inside the Memorial Amphitheater, directly to the rear of the Tomb.

The Tomb is guarded 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, by specially trained members of the 3rd United States Infantry (The Old Guard). The inscription on the Tomb reads: “Here Rests in Honored Glory an American Soldier Known but to God.”

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As reported in previous editions of The Wheelhouse Weekly, the MM&P New York/New Jersey Hall, including the headquarters of both the Offshore Group and the Atlantic Maritime Group (AMG), has moved to Newark. The phone number for the AMG Office is now (201) 830-3406. The fax number for the AMG is now (201) 748-5151. The phone number and fax number for the Offshore Group remain the same as before the move: (201) 963-1900 (phone) and (201) 963-5403. The new address is 570 Broad Street, Suite 701 Newark, NJ 07102.

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Join the Coalition of Labor Union Women (CLUW) in November when hundreds of union activists will be converging in Sacramento at CLUW’s 18th Biennial Convention to address issues including equal pay for equal work, health care and family leave. Exceptional speakers have been invited, stimulating panels have been planned and over 21 workshops are scheduled to entice all interests. All convention information can be found on the coalition’s convention page on the CLUW website.

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The Maritime Institute of Technology & Graduate Studies (MITAGS) is seeking a full-time instructor for the NAV Systems & License Advancement Department. The instructor is responsible for developing courses in the maritime field and providing quality classroom instruction to students. He or she will ensure course content is current, consistent with latest directives from regulatory authorities and practices in the maritime industry.

Qualifications include maritime command experience, license at the captain and chief mate level, experience with bridge systems and teaching, computer skills, outstanding presentation skills before a variety of groups, supervisors, peers and students. For more information, send an e-mail or call 443-989-3258.

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MITAGS-PMI is seeking a program manager to work under the director of the Workboat Academy in Seattle. The program manager provides operational and managerial support to the programs at both campuses. He or she maintains confidential records, edits and proofreads, acts as the main contact person during the absence of the director, maintains the filing system, maintains a tracking system of responses to proposals, updates databases and mailing lists and helps in the orientation of new cadets, among other tasks.

Qualifications include office admin skills, ability to mentor young people and a passion for helping the next generation of mariners reach their full potential, five years of sea service on near coastal or ocean going vessels, license as mate/master 1600 near coastal or oceans license or equivalent military rank. If you are interested, please send a resume to or call 443-989-3258.

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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 Kelly Michielli, 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 – 10/12/15

AIS-1 – Automatic Identifications Systems Orientation: Contact Admissions

ARPA-OIC – Automated Radar Plotting Aids: 9/22/15, 1/26/16, 4/5/16

AZIPOD 2-Day – 10/1/15, 2/29/16

BRM-35 – Bridge Resource Management: 10/19/15, 2/1/16, 4/4/16

BRMP –Bridge Resource Management for Pilots: 11/9/15, 2/29/16

BRMP-EMR –Bridge Resource Management for Pilots with Emergency Shiphandling: 9/28/15, 3/2/16

BT – Basic Safety Training: 10/5/15, 1/25/16, 2/22/16

BT-Revalidation –11/3/15

CHS-OIC – Cargo Handling Basic: 10/26/15

[CMM – Chief Mate and Master Courses]

ADVNAV-CMM – Advanced Navigation (=ECDIS & VPEN): Contact Admissions

ADVSTB-CMM – Advanced Stability: 9/28/15, 1/25/16, 3/28/16

ADVWX-CMM – Advanced Meteorology: 10/19/15, 1/4/16, 3/7/16

CHS-CMM – Advanced Cargo Operations (2 weeks): 10/5/15

ECDIS – Electronic Chart Display Information System: 9/21/15, 10/5/15, 11/2/15, 12/7/15, 1/11/16,2/22/16, 3/21/16

LMS – Leadership and Managerial Skills (Management Level – Formerly MCL-CMM): 9/21/15, 9/28/15,10/26/15, 11/2/15, 11/9/15, 11/16/15, 11/30/15, 12/7/15, 12/14/15, 1/18/16, 2/15/16, 3/14/16, 4/4/16,4/11/16, 5/23/16, 6/27/16

MPP-CMM – Marine Propulsion Plants: 11/16/15

SEC-APPS – Practical Defense Tactics: 10/12/15, 3/28/16

SHMGT-CMM- Ship Management (2 weeks): Contact Admissions

SHS-ADV-I-CMM – Advanced Shiphandling (week 1): 10/5/15, 11/9/15, 11/30/15, 1/11/16, 2/8/16,3/14/16

SHS-ADV-II-CMM – Advanced Shiphandling (week 2): 10/12/15, 11/16/15, 12/7/15, 1/18/16, 2/15/16,3/21/16

VPEN-CMM – Voyage Planning & Electronic Navigation: 11/30/15, 2/29/16

WKP-CMM – Advanced Watchkeeping: 11/9/15

CNAV-OIC – Celestial Navigation: 11/9/15

CONT PLNG – Contingency Planning Workshop: Contact Admissions

CRISIS-COMMS – Crisis Communications: 3/2/16

DDE – Great Lakes: 2/1/16

DPA – Contact Admissions

ECDIS-OIC – Contact Admissions

ECDIS-Pilots – 11/12/15, 3/2/16

ERM – Engine Resource Management: 9/21/15, 10/19/15, 11/9/15, 12/14/15, 1/4/16, 2/8/16, 3/21/16,4/18/16, 5/9/16

FF-BADV – Fire Fighting Combined Basic & Advanced: 10/5/15, 1/25/16, 2/22/16

FSM – Fatigue, Sleep, & Medications: 11/11/15, 1/26/16

GL Pilot – Great Lakes Pilotage Familiarization: 1/22/16

GMDSS – Global Maritime Distress and Safety System: 3/7/16

HAZ – Hazardous Materials (5 day): 11/16/15

LAP- 4/4/16

LAP-Great Lakes – License Advancement Program – Great Lakes: 1/25/16

LAP-ORG3rd – License Advancement Program for Original 3rd Mate, Oceans, Any Gross
Ton License: 11/30/15, 3/7/16

LEG – Legal Aspects of Pilotage: 11/10/15, 1/27/16, 3/1/16

LNG-TPIC – 12/7/15

LTS –Leadership and Teamworking Skills (Formerly MCL-OIC): 9/21/15

MEECE – Management of Electrical and Electronic Control: 10/12/15, 11/2/15, 12/7/15, 1/11/16, 2/22/16, 3/28/16, 4/25/16, 5/16/16

MED-PIC – Medical Person in Charge: 12/7/15, 1/4/16, 3/21/16

MED-PIC-REF– Medical Person in Charge Refresher: 9/28/15, 2/1/15, 3/14/16

MED-PRO – Medical Care Provider: 10/12/15, 12/7/15, 1/4/15, 2/15/16, 3/21/16

MED-DOT-DA – Dept. of Transportation Drug & Alcohol Testing: 11/5/15, 12/12/15, 1/9/16, 1/31/16, 3/19/16

MSA –Maritime Security Awareness: Contact Admissions

[MSC – Military Sealift Command Courses]

MSC-CBRD-1 – Military Sealift Command Chemical, Biological, Radiological Defense Orientation (Basic): 10/29/15, 3/8/16

MSC-DC – Military Sealift Command Damage Control: 10/27/15, 3/5/16 (March is 4 evenings)

*MSC-ENVPRO – 10/31/15, 2/28/16

*MSC-FF-HELO – 2/22/16

MSC-SMA – Military Sealift Command Small Arms Qualification: 10/19/15, 10/31/15, 1/4/16, 2/29/16

*MSC-Security Watch Basic –10/17/15, 2/26/16

*MSC-Security Watch Advanced –10/23/15, 10/30/15, 1/8/16, 3/4/16

*MSC-Ship’s Reaction Force –10/24/15, 11/4/15, 1/10/16, 3/5/16

ROR-1 – Radar Observer Renewal: 9/21/15, 1/25/16, 5/9/16

ROR-1N – Radar Observer Renewal Evening Classes: 9/30/15, 10/14/15, 10/28/15, 11/3/15, 11/11/15, 11/18/15, 12/2/15, 12/10/15, 1/6/16, 1/13/16, 2/3/16, 2/10/16, 2/24/16, 3/9/16, 3/16/16

ROU-OIC – Radar Observer Program – Unlimited: 1/18/16, 2/1/16

SAR-OIC – Search & Rescue – 10/19/15

SHS-BAS-OIC – Basic Shiphandling: 11/2/15, 2/15/16

SHS-EMR5 – Emergency Shiphandling-5 Day: 9/28/15, 1/25/16, 3/7/16

SMS – Contact Admissions

STB-OIC – Ship Construction and Basic Stability: 2/8/16

TCNAV/CO – Terrestrial Navigation and Compasses: 1/4/16

TPIC – Tankerman Person in Charge: 2/22/16

TRAC-TUG-2: Contact Admissions

TTT – Contact Admissions

VPDSD – Vessel Personnel with Designated Security Duties: Contact Admissions

VSO – Vessel Security Officer: 10/7/15, 10/17/15, 2/15/16

WKP-OIC – Watchkeeping (Operational Level): 9/28/15, 3/21/16

WX-OIC –Meteorology (Operational Level): 2/29/16

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Please also see our schedule and enroll online at For registration contact our registrar, Jennifer Pitzen: 206.838.1126 or

September 2015

21-25 ECDIS
21-25 Leadership & Managerial Skills (waitlist only)
21-2 Celestial Navigation
28-30 Security Officer – Vessel, Company, and Facility
28-2 MEECE

October 2015

5th Radar Renewal
5-9 Leadership & Managerial Skills (waitlist only)
5-9 Medical Care Provider
5-9 Basic Shiphandling
5-9 Engine Resource Managemet
12-16 ECDIS
12-16 Leadership & Managerial Skills
12-23 GMDSS
19-23 Radar Observer Unlimited
19-23 Leadership & Managerial Skills (waitlist only)
19-23 MEECE
26-30 Leadership & Managerial Skills (waitlist only)

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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 © 2015. Articles can be reprinted without prior permission if credit is given to The MM&P Wheelhouse Weekly. For address changes, send an e-mail to Back issues of The Weekly are posted on