Wheelhouse Weekly – September 10, 2013

September 10th 2013


– Bridging the Information Gap With E-News You Can Use –

Volume 17 . . . Number 37 . . . Sept. 10, 2013


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


MM&P members seeking employment on the eight Watson-class LMSRs awarded to Patriot Contract Services can view a sample resume format on the home page. Completed resumes should be sent to MM&P Gulf Ports Vice President Wayne Farthing as “Point of Contact,”, and to the MM&P International Secretary-Treasurer’s Office,

The contract to operate the vessels should begin on approximately Oct. 1, 2013. It has a term of one-year firm, with four one-year options. “Patriot would like to thank its labor unions for their hard work in helping prepare a winning proposal,” said Patriot Executive Vice President and General Counsel Tim Gill. Further information will be available soon in the halls. MM&P looks forward to working with Patriot to crew and operate these vessels.


After two recent shipboard safety inspections in which gas meter alarms sounded before entry into a confined space, the Coast Guard has issued a marine safety alert. Confined spaces are one of the leading causes of shipboard accidents. The dangers of confined spaces include oxygen deficiencies, toxic fumes and flammable atmospheres.

In 2011, three people died aboard a container ship in port while overhauling a leaky storm valve because of poison gas trapped inside a line. As soon as the valve was removed, the toxic gas escaped into the confined space tunnel. A member of the engineering department and a pipe fitter collapsed instantly. Another member of the crew who tried to save them also died of suffocation.

The Coast Guard reminds all shipboard personnel and those associated with inspections, surveys or audits of vessels worldwide that hazardous atmospheres are frequently present onboard vessels and pose a great risk to personal safety. Beside the use of a personal gas meter for immediate protection, the Coast Guard reminds all organizations to have policies and procedures in place on accessing these areas and to make appropriate safety equipment available to personnel.

When open flame or heat-producing work is conducted, the work-site must be inspected by qualified personnel and found to be safe to enter without the use of an air-purifying or supplied air (SAR/SCBA) respirator. Regardless of location, a confined space must be ventilated before entry to ensure an adequate supply of breathable air. Eye, sound and respiratory protection are needed and proper care should be given to the use of electronic equipment.


Panama has submitted to the International Maritime Organization (IMO) the results of its investigation into the 2009 DANNY F II disaster, in which 44 people died. 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. Now, almost four years after the accident, an IMO spokesperson says Panama has submitted its final report. But in an unusual twist, the report cannot be viewed on the IMO website and there is no word on when it will be released to the public.

The Panama-flagged 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. Rescue efforts were hampered by poor weather conditions, high waves and floating livestock carcasses. Thirty-eight people were rescued and nine bodies were recovered, including a man who was pulled out of the water alive but died before reaching a hospital. 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.

The International Federation of Shipmasters’ Associations (IFSMA) and Nautilus, the British, Dutch and Swiss officers’ union, are pressing the IMO to release the results of the investigation, and MM&P plans to do the same. “As the purpose of investigations and reports is to benefit from lessons learned to avoid future accidents, this is a strange situation,” says MM&P Pilots Group Vice President George Quick, who represents the union at IMO. “MM&P questions the ethics of investigations of maritime casualties being held in secret files.”


Rear Adm. Wendi Carpenter has resigned as president of the State University of New York Maritime College (SUNY), citing a desire to spend more time on personal and professional priorities. “I have been proud to serve alongside our dedicated students, our committed faculty and our exceptional staff,” she said in an official statement announcing her decision to resign. Carpenter had assumed the SUNY presidency in August 2011. She is the second woman to have served as president of a U.S. maritime academy. 


The new MM&P online merchandise store is now open for business. To buy MM&P mugs, t-shirts and hats that are made in the USA, visit the new online store today via the “Apparel and Merchandise” button posted at the top of or by going to The online store was established at no cost to the union.


The International Labor Organization (ILO) is carrying out a survey on pensions in the maritime industry. The goal is to explore ways to include a mandatory requirement in the 2006 Maritime Labor Convention (MLC) to enhance and secure seafarers’ conditions with a retirement/pension provision.

The ILO has requested assistance from all the maritime unions to ensure that as many seafarers as possible can provide information about their current retirement/pension plan provisions to help it build a strong argument to support the initiative and prompt discussion on changing the MLC 2006. To assist the ILO in collecting data, Nautilus has posted a link to the survey at

“The long-awaited introduction of the Maritime Labor Convention 2006 on Aug. 20 will not only provide us all with a framework for decent living and working conditions in the shipping industry, but also the building blocks for further long-term improvements in employment practices,” said Nautilus International General Secretary Mark Dickinson.

“Nautilus is assisting the ILO in conducting a survey to acquire data from seafarers globally on their current entitlements and rights to contribute to a pension scheme that would provide tangible benefits in old age,” Dickinson said. “It is therefore very much in our interests to ensure that the information collected is as comprehensive as possible.”

The survey is on a confidential basis and personal details will not be collected, but the data provided will help to build a clear and comprehensive picture of the current situation and the case for longer-term improvements in seafarers’ working conditions.


The IMO is soliciting feedback as part of an effort to eliminate “unnecessary, disproportionate or obsolete administrative burdens” on shipmasters. Comments are being collected on a web page,, until Oct. 31. In its request for feedback, the IMO said that “releasing resources from administrative tasks contributes to [our] goal of efficient regulation of safety and security of shipping and the prevention and control of pollution by ships.”

“There has long been a feeling in the industry that there is too much wasted paperwork,” said IMO Secretary-General Koji Sekimizu. “This is the start of our efforts to tackle that problem. I would urge as many people as possible to take part in this consultation, as only with a strong set of data can we meaningfully identify where changes may be necessary.”

MM&P says that the project’s goal is commendable but that its relevance will be compromised by the fact that the IMO is limiting its investigation to paperwork that derives directly from international Conventions. “The real problem,” says MM&P Pilots Group Vice President George Quick, “is operational paperwork generated by the regulatory compliance requirements imposed under those Conventions. By making that distinction, the IMO has gutted any real chance of reducing the ever-increasing paperwork burden placed on shipmasters.”


A 90-day shipping rules/work rules ballot was mailed to members of the Offshore Group on Sept. 9. For the first time, members will be able to choose between voting their ballot electronically or by mail. The deadline for voting your ballot online (or for receipt of your ballot at the Linthicum post office) is 9:00 a.m., Dec. 9.

A link to vote your ballot electronically is posted in the Members’ Only section of You can also go directly to the balloting agency’s site: To vote your ballot, you will need the PIN number included in your ballot package. After entering your vote, wait for the confirmation page to appear before closing. After you submit your vote, it will be made anonymous and you will be recorded as having voted. Complete instructions are included in the information packet that will be mailed to all Offshore members on Sept. 9. You may vote in the election between Sept. 9, 2013, at 3:00 PM ET and Dec. 9, 2013, at 9:00 AM ET.

If you do not receive a ballot, or if you accidentally lose or destroy your ballot, you may request a duplicate by contacting Beverly Gutmann at, 410-850-8700, Ext. 112, or Juli Rodriguez at 410-850-8700, Ext. 129.


The MM&P New Orleans Hall has moved. Effective Aug. 30, the new address is: 347 Girod St., Suite B, Mandeville LA 70448-5891. The phone and fax will remain the same.


The Offshore Orientation course originally scheduled for October in Los Angeles has been delayed to Nov. 13-14. If you are interested in participating in the course, please contact the Los Angeles/Long Beach Hall: 310-834-7201 or 310-834-6667 (fax). There is no sea-time requirement to take the 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.


The monthly membership meeting at the MM&P New York/New Jersey Hall will be held on Thursday, Sept. 12, instead of on Wednesday. All members in the area are encouraged to attend the meeting, which will be held at 1100 hours.


The Merchant Marine Personnel Advisory Committee (MERPAC) will meet Sept. 11-12 at MITAGS. Topics on the agenda include: crew training requirements onboard natural gas-fueled vessels other than LNG carriers and competency requirements for vessel personnel working in polar regions. To find out more, see the notice that was published in the Federal Register: 78 Fed. Reg. 51736 (Aug. 21, 2013).


Scotland’s National Union of Rail, Maritime and Transport Workers (RMT) announced that it has finally been given assurances that it can meet with workers on oil and gas platforms in the North Sea. The union said that it had been granted access in the wake of a deadly Aug. 23 helicopter crash in which four of its members died. The helicopter crashed in the sea en route from Continental’s Borgsten Dolphin rig. British air safety investigators said they have yet to identify the cause of the crash. “Following talks with employers we have secured a massive breakthrough on our core demand of workplace access which will enable us to build an organization that can fight for real collective improvements to offshore working conditions including on the central issue of safety,” said RMT General Secretary Bob Crow. “Our members shouldn’t pay the ultimate price of losing their lives as a result of going to work.”


The 2006 Maritime Labor Convention (MLC) entered into force on Aug. 20. It has been described as the fourth pillar of international shipping regulations along with SOLAS, MARPOL and STCW.  The International Labor Organization consolidated a number of previous conventions in MLC 2006. It establishes minimum standards on conditions of employment, accommodations, health and safety, medical care, crew welfare, recruitment, working conditions and social security protection. MLC will be strictly enforced during port state control inspections, including the potential for more detailed inspections and possible detention where hazardous conditions may exist if ships are not to be in compliance. Visit for more information or to register for the MLC course.


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:

AB – Able Seaman: 10/14/13

AIS-1 – Automatic Identifications  Systems Orientation: 11/21/13

ARPA – Automated Radar Plotting Aids: 9/24/13, 10/29/13

BRM – Bridge Resource Management: 12/16/13

BRMP – Bridge Resource Management for Pilots:  9/23/13

BST – Basic Safety Training: 10/7/13

CHS-BAS – Cargo Handling Basic: 10/21/13

CONSTB – Ship Construction and Basic Stability: 1/27/14

[CMM – Chief Mate and Master Courses]

CMM-ADVWX – Advanced Meteorology: 9/23/13

CMM-ADVSTB – Advanced Stability:  10/28/13

CMM-ADVWX – 11/18/13

CMM-CHS – Advanced Cargo Operations (2 weeks): 11/4/13

CMM-ECDIS – Electronic Chart Display Information System: 10/28/13, 12/16/13

CMM-MPP – Marine Propulsion Plants: 10/21/13

CMM-SHMGT – Ship Management (2 weeks): 10/7/13

CMM-SHS-ADV-I – Advanced Shiphandling (week 1): 9/23/13, 10/21/13, 11/4/13, 12/2/13

CMM-SHS-ADV-I I – Advanced Shiphandling (week 2): 9/16/13, 9/30/13, 10/28/13, 11/11/13, 12/9/13

CMM-VPEN – 9/16/13

CMM-WKP – Advanced Watchkeeping: 9/30/13, 12/16/13

CNAV – 9/30/13, 11/4/13

CONT PLNG – 11/5/13

ECDIS-ENAV – 10/1/13

ECDIS-OICNW – 10/14/13

ENVIRO-Regs Permit – Environmental Regulations Permit: 11/4/13

EP – 10/30/13

FSM – Fatigue, Sleep and Medications:  9/18/13

FF-BADV – Combined Basic and Advanced Fire Fighting: 10/7/13

GMDSS – Global Maritime Distress and Safety System: 3/17/14

HAZ – Hazardous Materials (5 day): 9/16/13, 12/2/13

LAP – License Advancement Program for C/Mate & Master: 9/23/13

LAP-ORG3rd – License Advancement Program for Original 3rd Mate, Oceans, Any Gross Ton License: 12/2/13

LEG – Legal Aspects of Pilotage: 9/25/13, 10/8/13

MCL – Management, Communications and Leadership

MEDIA-RSP – Media Response Workshop:  11/6/13

MED-PIC – Medical Person in Charge: 10/14/13, 12/2/13

MED-PIC -R– Medical Person in Charge Refresher: 11/11/13

MED-PRO – Medical Care Provider: 10/14/13, 10/28/13, 12/2/13

MED-DOT-DA – Dept. of Transportation Drug & Alcohol Testing: 9/14/13, 10/12/13, 10/19/13, 12/7/13

MSC -SMA – Military Sealift Command Small Arms Qualification:  9/30/13, 11/11/13

MSC-DC – Military Sealift Command Damage Control (4 Evenings): 9/30/13 PM

MSC-CBRD-1 – Military Sealift Command Chemical, Biological, Radiological Defense Orientation (Basic): 10/4/13

ROR-1 – Radar Observer Renewal: 9/23/13, 10/28/13

ROR-1N – Radar Observer Renewal Evening Classes: 9/11/13, 9/18/13, 10/2/13, 10/9/13, 10/16/13, 10/30/13, 11/13/13, 12/4/13, 12/11/13

ROP-5 – Radar Observer Original and Renewal: 10/21/13

SAR – 10/28/13

SEC-VSO – Vessel Security Officer: 10/14/13, 11/6/13

SHS-BAS – Basic Shiphandling:  10/7/13, 11/18/13

SHS-EMR5 – Emergency Shiphandling: 10/14/13

SHS-ESH-BRMP3 – Emergency Shiphandling and Bridge Resource Management for Pilots: 3/5/14

SEC-MSA – 9/16/13 PM, 10/17/13 PM, 11/12PM, 12/10/13 PM

SEC-VPDSD – 9/17/13, 10/18/13, 11/13/13, 12/11/13

SEC-VSO – 10/14/13, 11/6

TCNAV/CO – Terrestrial Navigation and Compasses: 1/6/14

TPIC – Tankerman Person in Charge:  8/26/13

TTT – Train the Trainer: 4/7/14

WKP-BAS – 11/4/13

WX-BAS – Basic Meteorology: 9/16/13

…And remember: If you can’t make the class, make the call.  Be courteous, don’t be a “no show.”

Check the MITAGS website at for course descriptions associated with the course title abbreviations, and schedule revisions.


Please also see our schedule online at For registration, call our registrar, Jennifer Pitzen, at (206) 838-1126.

September 2013

11-12     Designated Person Ashore
16-20     Train the Trainer
19-21     Z-Drive/Tractor Tug Training
23-27     ECDIS

October 2013

1-2          Vessel Security Officer
7-11       Radar Observer Unlimited
7-18       GMDSS
14th       Radar Renewal
15-18     ARPA
21-25     Basic Construction and Stability
21-25     Medical Care Provider
21-1       Medical Person-in-Charge
23rd       RFPNW Assessments
28-1       Emergency Procedures/Search and Rescue
28-1       ECDIS

November 2013

4th         Med DOT
11th       Radar Renewal
11-22     GMDSS
18-20     Vessel Security Officer
18-22     ECDIS

December 2013

2-6          Tankerman Person-in-Charge
2-6          Medical Care Provider
2-13       Medical Person-in-Charge
2-13       GMDSS
9-13       ECDIS
11th       Med DOT

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.

© 2013, 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