Wheelhouse Weekly – Sept. 16, 2014

September 17th 2014 ,

Volume 18 . . . Number 37 . . . Sept. 16, 2014


In this issue:

USCG Update:

News for MM&P Members:

Upcoming Events:

Other News:


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


Six U.S. maritime unions called on Congress last week to work with them and with U.S. shipping companies to avoid an additional decline in the number of ships in the international trades that fly the U.S. flag. They added that steps must be taken to maintain and fully fund established programs such as the Maritime Security Program (MSP) and cargo preference, which supply essential cargo to the U.S.-flag fleet, and to ensure that American ships and mariners can participate in future exports of U.S. natural gas and crude oil. MM&P President Don Marcus represented maritime labor and gave labor’s joint testimony before theHouse Maritime Transportation Subcommittee on Sept. 10.

“Over the last 35 years, the number of U.S.-flagged vessels sailing in the international trade has dropped from 850 to less than 90,” said Subcommittee Chair Duncan Hunter (R-Calif.) in his opening statement. “Less than two percent of the world’s tonnage now moves on U.S.-flagged vessels. In the same period, we have lost over 300 shipyards and thousands of jobs for American mariners. For the sake of our national and economic security, we need to reverse this trend.”

In July, Hunter and Rep. John Garamendi (D-Calif.) introduced a bill to require the Department of Transportation to promote the use of U.S.-flagged vessels for LNG exports and to prioritize applications for deep-water port terminals that would use U.S. ships. Although no action is expected on the LNG shipping bill this year, Hunter and Garamendi have vowed to press forward with the legislation next year.

“Beyond the important contributions to our economy, a healthy merchant marine is vital to our national security,” Duncan said. “It is critical that we maintain a robust fleet of U.S.-flagged vessels to carry critical supplies to the battlefield, a large cadre of skilled American mariners to man those vessels, and a strong shipyard industrial base to ensure we have the capability to build and replenish our naval forces in times of war.”

“The development, implementation and funding of programs and policies that support this fleet, enhance its economic viability and increase its ability to compete for a larger share of America’s foreign trade are extremely important to the jobs of the men and women our labor organizations represent,” said MM&P President Don Marcus, speaking on behalf of MM&P, the American Maritime Officers, the Marine Firemen’s Union, the Marine Engineers´ Beneficial Association, the Sailors´ Union of the Pacific and the Seafarers International Union.

“When we lose U.S.-flag vessels and the shipboard billets they provide, trained and experienced American mariners lose their jobs, their income, their health and other benefits, and their ability to provide for their families,” he testified. “When this happens they have no choice but to leave our industry and find employment someplace else. For our government and in particular for the Department of Defense, this means that a sufficient number of American mariners will no longer be there–will no longer be working in our industry–the next time the need to support American troops and America’s interests abroad arises. ”

Marcus thanked the members of the subcommittee and of the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee as a whole for their support of the U.S.-flag maritime industry. “Your leadership in the ongoing fight to protect and enhance the programs and policies important to the operation of U.S.-flag vessels and your commitment to the growth of our industry have been and will continue to be critically important as we go forward,” he said.

Among the other witnesses who testified at the hearing were: Niels Johnsen, chairman and CEO of International Shipholding Corporation, Matthew Paxton of the Shipbuilders Council of America and Mark Tabbutt, chairman of Saltchuk Resources.

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The captain and crew of the Kindra Lakes Towing vessel MORGAN have received an official letter of commendation from city officials in Blue Island, Ill., for providing crucial help in putting out a fire on a CSX railroad bridge. Captain Mike Szczudlo and crewmembers Patrick Tobel and Eric Sorensen sighted the blaze as the MORGAN traveled westbound on the Calumet Sanitary Canal on May 6. The fire was burning particularly hot because the bridge is constructed of creosote-soaked ties. To make matters worse, there were no fire hydrants in the vicinity.

“The fire department was having trouble reaching all the way across the burning bridge,” the captain said, “so we called the chief to ask if we could assist.” The crew fought the fire from underneath using one of MORGAN’s hoses. “We got it under control quickly by moving the boat back and forth under the bridge,” the captain said. The crewmembers, all of whom are members of the MM&P Great Lakes & Rivers Region, received the letter of commendation from city officials in the presence of Jacque and John Kindra, owners of Kindra Lakes Towing.

“With the assistance from your tug and crew, we were able to extinguish the fire much faster and long before we would have been able to with only our crews and the water supply we had,” said Blue Island Fire Chief Mark Luety. “I commend Captain Szczudlo and his crew for their unconditional assistance in helping fight this fire. They truly are professional mariners.”

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Nautilus International, the union that represents British, Dutch and Swiss ships’ officers, has appealed to the head of Panama’s ship registry to publish the results of the investigation into the loss of the livestock carrier DANNY F II in 2009. In a letter to the head of the country’s Maritime Administration, the union said promises to send copies of the report to relatives of the 44 seafarers who died on the ship–including two Nautilus members–have not been kept. The ship capsized and sank in bad weather in the Mediterranean Sea on Dec. 17, 2009, 11 nautical miles off the coast of Lebanon. MM&P submitted a paper to the IMO calling for an investigation and report by Panama on the tragedy.

The ship, which was built in 1975 as a car carrier, was renamed the DANNY F II in 1994 after being rebuilt as a livestock transporter. It sank while sailing from Montevideo, Uruguay, to Tartarus, Syria, carrying six passengers, 77 crewmembers, 10,224 sheep and 17,932 head of cattle. Captain John M. Milloy is reported to have remained on board when the ship rolled over in the high seas. In 2005, it was reported that DANNY F II had been detained at Adelaide because of defects which included holed bulkheads, defective navigation lights and radio equipment and defective watertight doors.

Although a copy of the report was lodged with the International Maritime Organization last year, it is not possible for the public to read or download it. “This attempt to impede disclosure and transparency is not only against the spirit of accident investigation and seeking to learn lessons from losses but is morally objectionable,” said Nautilus General Secretary Mark Dickinson. Nautilus and MM&P have written to IMO Secretary-General Koji Sekimizu asking that the organization support calls for transparency in the case.

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The Coast Guard has issued five new Navigation and Vessel Inspection Circulars (NVICs) as part of its STCW 2010 implementation. The most recent NVICs are: high-speed craft endorsements (NVIC 20-14); security endorsements (NVIC 21-14); tank vessel endorsements (NVIC 22-14); electro-technical officer endorsements (NVIC 23-14); and electro-technical rating endorsements (NVIC 24-14). The NVICs can be viewed on the Coast Guard’s website:

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The Coast Guard has issued the following notice. “On March 24, 2014, the Final Rule (78 FR 77796) titled ‘Implementation of the Amendments to the International Convention on Standards of Training, Certification, and Watchkeeping for Seafarers (STCW), 1978, and Changes to National Endorsements’ became effective. This rule introduced changes to the subject matter tables that form the basis of the Merchant Marine Credentialing Examinations. The National Maritime Center (NMC) has developed a new Deck and Engineering Guide for the Administration of Merchant Marine Examinations that implements those changes.

During the transition period defined in NVIC 02-14, Grandfathering and Transitional Provisions for Merchant Mariner Credentials, which provides for examination under the previous and current regulations, the NMC will maintain two Examination Guides and two sets of examination questions and illustrations to support mariners who are evaluated under the previous regulations and those who are evaluated under the new rule.

A mariner seeking endorsement based on training or service started before March 24, 2014, will be examined under the regulations in effect before that date unless they have specifically requested examination for their endorsement under the Final Rule published by the Coast Guard on Dec. 24, 2013, (78 FR 77796).

Mariners examining under the previous regulations will be guided by the Guide for Administration of Merchant Marine Examinations (Deck & Engineering Guide), dated June 2011 (MCP-MA-NMC2-03 (08).

A mariner seeking endorsement based on training or service started on or after March 24, 2014, will be examined under the requirements of the Final Rule published by the Coast Guard on Dec. 24, 2013, (78 FR 77796). Mariners being examined under these regulations will be guided by the Deck and Engineering Guide for the Administration of Merchant Marine Examinations, dated Aug. 2014 (MCP-MA-NMC2-08 (01)).

Deck and Engine examination questions and non-copyrighted illustrations are available on the NMC website. These questions and illustrations will be separated based on whether testing under the previous regulation or under the current regulation. Additional information regarding the Examination Guide may be found on the NMC website.

To maintain the examination system in place for those mariners testing under previous regulations until March 23, 2019, the NMC will be working to move those questions/modules into its new examination system. This will result in a change of module numbering but no major changes to examination content. We are targeting January 2015 for completion of this work.
Mariners and other providers should contact the Customer Service Center at or 1-888-IASKNMC (427-5662) with any questions or feedback.”

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The 2014 Congressional elections are less than three months away, and the results will go a long way in determining the fate of the most important maritime programs. Many of our strongest supporters in Congress are in extremely tight races. If they lose, our ability to obtain full funding for the Maritime Security Program, to maintain the Jones Act and to ensure U.S.-flag vessels carry a share of government cargo will be in severe jeopardy. We must protect U.S.-flag jobs. We need your help.

Without the resources to enable our friends in Congress to turn back their challengers, we won’t be able to ensure the survival of the U.S.-flag fleet and with it American jobs on ferryboats, in the international and coastal trades, on the Great Lakes, on U.S.-flag tugboats, containerships and dredges.

How much is your job worth to you? If you have already given to our Union’s Political Contribution Fund (PCF), please consider making another contribution now. If you have not contributed to the PCF in the past, now is the time to join the fight to protect your family’s future.

Please go to today and contribute to the PCF with the “One-Click PCF Contribution” button in the top right-hand corner of the home page.

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Union Plus is designed to serve the interests of working Americans by providing union members and their families with value, quality service and cost savings through unique products and services. Here are the top five benefits union members can get today: rebates of up to $100 on AT&T smartphone plans and union-made cars; grants when union members are on strike, laid-off or disabled or have large hospital bills; everyday savings on flowers, car rentals, motor clubs and more when using the Union Plus credit card; a member advocate on your side if issues arise; consumer tips to help you manage your money, be a savvy shopper, avoid scams and more. To sign up for these benefits and more, go to

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The SOCP cordially invites the maritime community to attend the SOCP Annual Fall Meeting. This event will be held at MITAGS-PMI-CCMIT, 692 Maritime Boulevard, Linthicum, MD 21090 on Oct. 29-30, 2014. A high caliber line up of speakers has been invited to this event, which will focus on upcoming regulatory issues facing the maritime industry. The meeting will include the following facilitated panel discussions to help drive future cooperative program development: Polar Code Issues and Proposed Solutions; STCW Issues and Proposed Solutions; Environmental Regulatory Issues and Proposed Solutions; Ballast Water Management; ECA Compliance; EPA’s Ports Initiative, Shorepower and Incentives; and Workforce Issues and Proposed Solutions. All maritime industry representatives are welcome to attend the meeting.

The SOCP is a non-profit organization comprised of representatives of business, government, education and workforce. This business-led cooperative includes individuals from every sector of the maritime community who explore challenges facing the U.S. maritime industry and work together in the areas of safety, security, regulations, environmental protection and workforce development. Please visit the website to view SOCP’s product offerings. MITAGS-PMI-CCMIT is conveniently located near the Baltimore Washington International Airport (BWI). Free shuttle service to the BWI Airport, MARC, AMTRAK and Baltimore Light Rail Stations is available. For more information and to register for the fall meeting, visit

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The Offshore Orientation Course will be held at the MM&P Los Angeles/Long Beach Hall on Wednesday and Thursday, Oct. 8-9. If you are interested in participating in the course, please contact the Los Angeles/Long Beach Hall at 310-834-7201 or 310-834-6667 (fax).

There is no sea-time requirement to take the Offshore Orientation Course. All Offshore applicants, potential transferees from other membership groups and other interested Offshore members are encouraged to take the course as soon as possible.

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About 500 refugees from the Middle East and Africa are said to have died after their boat was rammed last week by human traffickers. The boat sank off the coast of Malta, according to the International Organization for Migration (IOM). The refugees had reportedly set out for Europe from Damietta, Egypt. Their boat, an IOM spokesperson said, was overtaken last Wednesday by human traffickers in two vessels. Survivors of the tragedy said the smugglers rammed the boat filled with refugees, causing it to sink. So far this year, the IOM says, at least 2,200 people have died trying to cross the Mediterranean, not counting those who perished in last week’s tragedy. This would be three times the number reported to have died in all of 2013. More than 100,000 people have been rescued since January, according to the United Nations’ Agency for Refugees, most of them fleeing conflicts in Syria, Iraq and across the Middle East and Africa.

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The International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF) has condemned the government of Thailand’s attempts to criminalize a British researcher who exposed what many are calling “modern day slavery.” The ITF has demanded that all charges against human rights activist and filmmaker Andy Hall be dropped immediately. The organization describes the trial, which begins this month, as “a national and international embarrassment.”

Hall is facing a civil suit and charges of criminal defamation brought by Thailand’s Natural Fruit Company over his film “Cheap Has a High Price.” The film exposed human trafficking, child labor, forced overtime and violence against workers.

“This trial is indefensible and should be halted immediately,” said ITF President Paddy Crumlin. “Thailand should be acting against the appalling treatment of workers, not victimizing one of the people who rightly brought this awful state of affairs to wider attention.” He says Thailand itself, not the filmmaker, should be put on trial over the abuses Hall uncovered in his investigation.

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In response to requests, MITAGS has added an additional ECDIS course to the schedule. The course will be held beginning onDec. 1. All other sessions for the rest of the year are already full. Please send an e-mail to if you are interested in signing up for the Dec. 1 course.

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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 – 10/13/14, 4/13/15

AIS-1 – Automatic Identifications Systems Orientation: Contact Admissions

ARPA-OIC – Automated Radar Plotting Aids: 9/23/14, 11/18/14, 1/20/15, 3/31/15

AZIPOD 2-Day –10/9/14, 2/2/15

BRM-35 – Bridge Resource Management: 10/13/14, 1/26/15, 3/23/15

BRMP –Bridge Resource Management for Pilots: 9/22/14, 11/20/14, 2/4/15, 3/2/15, 4/13/15, 5/20/15

BRMP-EMR –Bridge Resource Management for Pilots with Emergency Shiphandling: 10/6/14, 3/4/15

BT – Basic Safety Training: 10/6/14, 1/19/15, 2/9/15, 4/6/15, 6/8/15

CHS-OIC – Cargo Handling Basic: 10/27/14, 4/13/15

[CMM – Chief Mate and Master Courses]

ADVNAV-CMM – Advanced Navigation (=ECDIS & VPEN): 11/10/14

ADVSTB-CMM – Advanced Stability: 9/22/14, 1/19/15, 4/20/15, 6/15/15

ADVWX-CMM – Advanced Meteorology: 1/12/15, 4/13/15, 6/1/15

CHS-CMM – Advanced Cargo Operations (2 weeks): 9/29/14, 4/27/15

ECDIS – Electronic Chart Display Information System: 10/20/14, 11/10/14, 12/1/14, 1/5/15, 4/6/15, 6/8/15

LMS – Leadership and Managerial Skills (Management Level – Formerly MCL-CMM): 9/29/14, 12/8/14, 1/26/15, 3/30/15,6/22/15

MPP-CMM – Marine Propulsion Plants: 10/27/14, 3/2/15

SHMGT-CMM- Ship Management (2 weeks): 10/13/14, 3/9/15

SHS-ADV-I-CMM – Advanced Shiphandling (week 1): 9/22/14, 10/20/14, 11/3/14, 12/1/14, 2/2/15, 3/9/15

SHS-ADV-II-CMM – Advanced Shiphandling (week 2): 9/29/14, 10/27/14, 11/10/14, 12/8/14, 2/9/15, 3/16/15

VPEN-CMM – Voyage Planning & Electronic Navigation: 11/17/14, 3/23/15

WKP-CMM – Advanced Watchkeeping: 11/3/14, 5/11/15

CNAV-OIC – Celestial Navigation: 11/3/14, 4/27/15

CONT PLNG – Contingency Planning Workshop: Contact Admissions

CRISIS-COMMS – Crisis Communications: 10/7/14

DDE – Great Lakes: 1/26/15, 6/1/15

DPA – 10/27

ECDIS-OIC – 2/16/15

ECDIS-Pilots – 3/2/15

ERM – Engine Resource Management: 9/22/14, 12/1/14

FF-BADV – Fire Fighting Combined Basic & Advanced: 10/6/14, 1/19/15, 2/9/15, 4/6/15, 6/8/15

FSM – Fatigue, Sleep, & Medications: 11/19/14, 4/15/15, 5/19/15

GL Pilot – Great Lakes Pilotage Familiarization: 1/23/15

GMDSS – Global Maritime Distress and Safety System: 3/16/15

HAZ – Hazardous Materials (5 day): 11/17/14

LAP- 4/6/15

LAP-Great Lakes – License Advancement Program – Great Lakes: 1/26/15

LAP-ORG3rd – License Advancement Program for Original 3rd Mate, Oceans, Any Gross
Ton License: 3/2/15, 6/1/15

LEG – Legal Aspects of Pilotage: 10/7/14, 11/20/14, 3/3/15, 4/15/15, 5/20/15

LNG-TPIC – 5/11/15

LTS –Leadership and Teamworking Skills (Formerly MCL-OIC): 10/7/14

MED-PIC – Medical Person in Charge: 11/3/14, 12/1/14, 1/5/15, 3/16/15, 4/20/15, 6/15/15

MED-PIC-REF– Medical Person in Charge Refresher: 10/13/14, 3/2/15, 5/11/15

MED-PRO – Medical Care Provider: 10/20/14, 11/3/14, 12/1/14, 1/5/15, 3/16/15, 4/20/15, 6/15/15

MED-DOT-DA – Dept. of Transportation Drug & Alcohol Testing: 10/12/14, 11/8/14, 12/6/14, 1/10/15, 1/24/15, 3/21/15, 4/25/15, 6/20/15

MSA –Maritime Security Awareness: 10/6/14 (PM)

[MSC – Military Sealift Command Courses]

MSC-CBRD-1 – Military Sealift Command Chemical, Biological, Radiological Defense Orientation (Basic): 10/3/14, 2/26/15

MSC-DC – Military Sealift Command Damage Control (4 Evenings): 9/29/14, 2/23/15

*MSC-ENV – 2/27/15

*MSC-FF-HELO – 2/10/15

MSC-SMA – Military Sealift Command Small Arms Qualification: 9/29/14, 11/10/14, 2/16/15

*MSC-Security Watch Basic – 11/14/14, 2/20/15

*MSC-Security Watch Advanced –11/17/14, 2/22/15

*MSC-Ship’s Reaction Force –11/18/14, 2/23/15

ROR-1 – Radar Observer Renewal: 9/22/14, 11/17/14, 1/19/15, 3/30/15

ROR-1N – Radar Observer Renewal Evening Classes: 9/17/14, 10/1/14, 10/7/14, 10/15/14, 10/29/14, 11/12/14, 12/3/14, 12/10/14, 1/7/15, 1/14/15, 1/28/15, 2/4/15, 2/18/15, 3/6/15, 3/18/15, 4/1/15, 4/15/15, 4/29/15, 5/6/15, 5/13/15, 6/3/15, 6/17/15

ROU-OIC – Radar Observer Program – Unlimited: 1/12/15, 2/2/15, 3/23/15

SAR-OIC – Search & Rescue –10/13/14, 4/6/15

SHS-BAS-OIC – Basic Shiphandling: 11/17/14, 2/16/15, 5/11/15

SHS-EMR5 – Emergency Shiphandling-5 Day: 10/6/14, 1/19/15, 3/2/15

SMS – Contact Admissions

STB-OIC – Ship Construction and Basic Stability: 1/26/15

TCNAV/CO – Terrestrial Navigation and Compasses: 1/5/15

TPIC – Tankerman Person in Charge: 2/23/15

TRAC-TUG-2: Contact Admissions

TTT – Train the Trainer: Contact Admissions

VPDSD – Vessel Personnel with Designated Security Duties: 10/7/14

VSO – Vessel Security Officer: 10/8/14, 10/22/14, 2/4/15, 5/20/15

WKP-OIC – Watchkeeping (Operational Level): 9/29/14, 3/2/15

WX-OIC –Meteorology (Operational Level): 2/23/15

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Please also see our schedule online at For registration, send an e-mail to our registrar, Jennifer Pitzen, at or call her at (206) 838-1126.

September 2014
22-24 Vessel Security Officer
22-26 ECDIS
29-3 Medical Care Provider

October 2014

1-3 Bridge Resource Management for Pilots with Emergency Shiphandling
6-10 Radar Observer Unlimited
6-17 GMDSS
13th Management and Teamworking Skills
14-17 ARPA
20-24 ECDIS
20-24 Basic Stability
20-31 GMDSS
27-29 Emergency Procedures
30-31 Search and Rescue

November 2014

3-7 Medical Care Provider
3-14 Medical Person-In-Charge
10-21 GMDSS
17-20 ARPA

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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: For further info or to subscribe contact Lisa Rosenthal at The Wheelhouse Weekly is sent via Email to MM&P-contracted vessels at sea and is posted on our web page.

© 2014, 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: For changes of address, contact Lisa Rosenthal at