News

Wheelhouse Weekly – September 13, 2010

September 13th 2010

 

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

Volume 14 . . . . . Number 37. . . .September 13, 2010

STORIES COVERED

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


THE JONES ACT MUST BE MAINTAINED, U.S. NAVY SAYS

In response to legislation introduced in Congress by Sen. John McCain and others who are seeking to repeal the Jones Act, the U.S. Navy and the U.S. Navy League have issued statements citing the importance of American mariners and American vessels to our country’s national security.

“For decades, U.S. merchant mariners have provided essential support for the U.S. Navy during times of war and national crisis,” the Navy said in an official statement. “Repealing the Jones Act would remove that support at a time when we are fighting two wars and facing a continuing threat from international terrorism.”

The statement comes within days of comments by Daniel B. Branch Jr., president of the Navy League of the United States, underlining “the importance of a strong commercial maritime industry to a maritime nation like the United States. The Jones Act must be maintained so that the more than 8,000 U.S. citizen mariners can continue to provide the economic and military support that is critical to our national interests,” Branch said.

The news that the U.S. Navy and the U.S. Navy League have publicly reiterated their support for the Jones Act and their opposition to attempts to repeal it was applauded by the Maritime Cabotage Task Force, the national coalition that represents the U.S.-flag fleet engaged in domestic waterborne commerce.

The Jones Act establishes a U.S. merchant marine of skilled seafarers and U.S.-flag ships essential for maintaining the flow of domestic and foreign waterborne commerce capable of serving as a naval and military auxiliary in times of war or national emergency. Besides being vital to national security, the Jones Act is directly responsible for half a million U.S. jobs.


SEALAND INTREPID OFFICERS AND CREW RESCUE FISHING BOAT CAPTAIN

In a dramatic night-time rescue in thick fog, the officers and crew of SEALAND INTREPID saved a fishing boat captain whose boat had sunk for unknown reasons off the California coast. The rescue took place on Aug. 25, as the SEALAND INTREPID was approaching San Francisco. “I commend the officers and crew of the INTREPID for their quick response in the middle of the night and their professional handling of the situation from start to finish,” said SEALAND INTREPID Master Douglas Fifield. The other MM&P officers aboard the SEALAND INTREPID at the time of the rescue were Chief Mate Kyle Hamill, Second Mate Jason Edwards and Third Mate Nathan Woodward. SEALAND INTREPID is operated by Maersk Lines, Limited.


MM&P MEMBERS GET KUDOS IN MILITARY SEALIFT COMMAND MAGAZINE

Members of the MM&P Federal Employees Membership Group are featured in the most recent issue of the Military Sealift Command magazine, “Sealift,” for rescuing a group of shipwrecked fishermen, responding to a fire aboard an Indonesian ferry and participating in the multinational naval exercise known as RIMPAC.

Over the course of the summer, the civil service mariners serving aboard fleet replenishment oiler USNS JOHN ERICSSON and MSC hospital ship USNS MERCY “distinguished themselves by their heroism in responding ably to those in distress,” according to an article in “Sealift.” Civil service mariners aboard ERICSSON rescued five Filipino fishermen from the South China Sea 10 miles off the coast of Subic Bay on July 14. The fishermen had been adrift for nine hours after their boat capsized in rough seas as Typhoon Conson passed over the island of Luzon. MERCY, under the direction of Capt. David Bradshaw, took the lead in firefighting operations for MV WETAR, a small Indonesian passenger ferry, on July 29. 

Capt. Michael Murphy, civil service master of MSC fleet replenishment oiler USNS YUKON and Daniel Glazier, YUKON’s chief mate, were among those interviewed for an article on RIMPAC, the world’s largest multinational maritime exercise, which took place from June 23 to Aug. 1. During the exercise, 32 ships, five submarines, 170 aircraft and more than 20,000 military personnel spent one week in port and three weeks underway conducting operations at sea and on land to simulate the aggression and defense of fictitious navies.

While the simulated ‘war’ raged on, replenishment and logistics support was provided by civil service mariners working aboard YUKON and four other MSC ships: USNS BRIDGE, USNS GUADALUPE and fleet ocean tugs USNS SIOUX and USNS NAVAJO. “Doing operations on a scale like we do for RIMPAC is all about coordination and planning,” commented Andrew Strosahl, cargo mate on BRIDGE. “Working together is the key to our success.”


ANTI-PIRACY PETITION SURPASSES HALF-MILLION SIGNATURE MARK

Well over half a million people have signed the international online anti-piracy petition, so the sponsors are raising the bar. The goal is now to collect 750,000 signatures worldwide by Sept. 23, which is World Maritime Day.

Please forward this link to your friends http://www.itfseafarers.org/petition.cfm and ask them to lend their voice to the call for stronger action from governments to stop piracy.

The petition is being sponsored by a global coalition of labor unions and shipping organizations, including the International Transport Workers Federation, of which MM&P is a member, and the International Chamber of Shipping. The petition demands that governments “dedicate significant resources and work to find real solutions to the growing piracy problem, take immediate steps to secure the release and safe return of kidnapped seafarers to their families and work within the international community to secure a stable and peaceful future for Somalia and its people.”


OBAMA ADMINISTRATION SENDS SIXTH BILL TO BP FOR GULF OIL SPILL

The Obama Administration last week sent BP a sixth bill, in the amount of $128.5 million, for response and recovery operations relating to the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. The preceding five bills, for a total of $389.9 million, have all been paid in full by BP and other responsible parties, including Transocean, MOEX and Andarko.

Responsible parties are financially liable for all costs associated with oil removal, including efforts to stop the leak at its source, reduce the spread of oil, protect the shoreline and mitigate damage to the public health or welfare. The Administration said federal response activities not subject to billing at this time, including future activities, will be billed to the responsible parties through subsequent invoices. The government bills do not include any other costs for which BP and the other responsible parties are liable to any other party.

In related news, BP last week released the results of an internal investigation into the causes of the disaster. The company said it had found numerous failures leading up to the April 20 explosion. Among the findings: the cement slurry placed by a Halliburton subsidiary at the bottom of the well allowed gas and liquids to flow up the production casing; BP and Transocean erred in accepting the results of the negative pressure test when the integrity of the well had not yet been established; the Transocean rig crew failed to take timely action on a dangerous influx of hydrocarbons into the well; the blow-out preventer and other equipment failed to operate.

“To put it simply, there was a bad cement job and a failure of the shoe track barrier at the bottom of the well, which let hydrocarbons from the reservoir into the production casing,” commented outgoing BP Chief Executive Tony Hayward. “The negative pressure test was accepted when it should not have been; there were failures in well control procedures and in the blow-out preventer; and the rig’s fire and gas system did not prevent ignition.”

“We are determined to learn the lessons for the future and we will be undertaking a broad-scale review to further improve the safety of our operations,” said BP’s incoming CEO Bob Dudley. “It will be incumbent on everyone at BP to embrace and implement the lessons learned from this tragedy.”


UIG-PMR REP RON BRESSETTE APPOINTED TO ALASKA GOVERNOR’S ADVISORY BOARD

Alaska Governor Sean Parnell has appointed Ron Bressette, who represents the MM&P United Inland Group-Pacific Maritime Region in Juneau, to the state’s Marine Transportation Advisory Board. The board issues recommendations to the governor and the Alaska State Department of Transportation on the mission, core values, objectives, initiatives and performance goals of the Alaska Marine Highway System (AMHS). Bressette, a retired pilot and master, worked at AMHS for 34 years.


MSC MEDICAL SERVICES OFFICERS NOW VOTING FOR MM&P REPRESENTATION!

MM&P is seeking to represent the Medical Services Officers (MSOs) employed by Military Sealift Command, a unit of maritime professionals who have been without union representation for many years. A secret ballot election, under the auspices of the Federal Labor Relations Authority (FLRA), will take place between Sept. 13 and Dec. 13. MM&P will be certified as the MSOs’ bargaining representative if “yes” votes are cast by 50 percent + 1 of all the eligible voters who vote in the election.

The FLRA will conduct the election using a new electronic voting process which MM&P believes is necessary considering deployment schedules. Eligible voters will receive a unique identification code via e-mail (personal and/or .mil accounts). They can use the code to place their vote by telephone or over the internet.

Votes will be tallied by the FLRA on Dec. 14. MM&P requested this lengthy period to avoid problems of bandwidth or connectivity. Since MSC has assured MM&P that all .gov and .org websites and e-mail addresses will not be restricted, the union does not anticipate problems with use of this voting process.

We urge all MSC Medical Services Officers to vote to certify MM&P as the bargaining representative for the MSO unit! A vote to certify the Masters, Mates & Pilots as your bargaining representative is a vote to protect and advance your terms and conditions of employment. If you have questions about MM&P representation or the voting process, please contact MM&P Government Fleet Representative Randi Ciszewski: communications@bridgedeck.org.


MM&P FEDERAL EMPLOYEES MEMBERSHIP GROUP MEMBERS ENCOURAGED TO APPLY FOR JOBS ON OFFSHORE DIVISION GOVERNMENT CONTRACT VESSELS

Patriot Contract Services is accepting resumes for deck officer positions on four LMSRs currently in ROS status. All MM&P members are encouraged to apply for these jobs. If you are a CIVMAR member and are interested in applying for one of these jobs, please contact MM&P New Orleans Representative Sue Bourcq: (985) 626-7133.

All members are urged to keep up their government training in order to remain eligible for employment aboard vessels in the MM&P government contract fleet. Of particular importance are small arms training, damage control, helo fire-fighting, helo control officer, CBRD-level 1 and Shipboard Security Team training. Early identification of all officer crewing is vital because a SECRET security clearance is required for senior officers and training certification is required prior to assignment to the ships. Please send your resume, including most recent training, to Patriot Contract Services by e-mail to the following contacts:

John Howe, Program Manager: john.howe@asmhq.com or fax to (866) 340-3072.
Michael Gillihan, Logistics Manager: michael.gillihan@asmhq.com or fax to (866) 340-3072.

Please also send your most recent resume and contact information to MM&P New Orleans representative Sue Bourcq: sbourcq@bridgedeck.org.


HONOLULU HALL TUESDAY JOB CALL AT CAPITOL BUILDING RALLY

The MM&P Honolulu Hall job call will take place on Tuesday, Sept. 14 at the State Capitol Building in front of the statue of Father Damien, where MM&P members will be demonstrating in support of the 40,000 residents of Hawaii who are unemployed. MM&P members are encouraged to don their MM&P hats and shirts and join the demonstration, which begins at 10:00 a.m.


MM&P OFFSHORE DIVISION SHIPPING AND WORK RULES COMMITTEE MEETS OCT. 19-21

The Offshore Division Shipping and Work Rules Committee is scheduled to meet at MM&P headquarters in Linthicum Heights Oct. 19-21. During the meeting, the committee will address the Offshore Division Shipping Rules and Work Rules. Please submit recommendations for rule changes by Tuesday, Oct. 5 at the latest, to the Offshore Division Shipping and Work Rules Committee c/o the International Secretary-Treasurer.

Procedure for Submitting Items to Amend Offshore Shipping & Work Rules

All Shipping & Work Rule changes for consideration by the Rules Committee must be submitted to the International Secretary-Treasurer no later than at least ten (10) days prior to the first day of the Rules Committee meetings. Submissions must include the following to be accepted for submission by the Rules Committee: the page number of the proposed change/addition; the section heading of the Rule being changed; the paragraph (ex: 2. (a) (iii) ¶3 etc.) to be changed; the wording of the change/addition; the purpose of the change/addition; the name(s) of the submitter(s).

Resolutions received after the cut-off date will be considered for submission by the Rules Committee on a case-by-case basis. The cut-off date for submitting resolutions to the Rules Committee is Oct, 5, 2010. If you are interested in serving on the Rules Committee, contact your area Vice President.


PIRACY UPDATE

European Union naval forces have reported that Somali pirates last week hijacked the MV OLIB G, a Malta-flagged cargo ship. The vessel was seized while transiting a protected corridor of the Gulf of Aden. There have been no reported communications with the ship since it was seized, and there is no word on the safety of the 18 members of the crew.

In related news, two-dozen U.S. marines boarded a German-owned containership in the Gulf of Aden Thursday and recaptured it from nine pirates who had tried to seize control of the ship on Wednesday. The Navy said the ship was recaptured without shots being fired. The crew had locked themselves in a safe room and turned off the engine when they saw the pirates approaching.

Meanwhile, the International Maritime Bureau has asked the Indonesian government to step up security patrols in the South China Sea because nine ships have been attacked there by pirates in the course of the past month. There have been 26 reported pirate attacks in the South China Sea this year.


FISHERMAN RESCUED BY CONTAINER SHIP AFTER THREE WEEKS ADRIFT

A 20-year-old fisherman who said he was swept out to sea while fishing alone for tuna was rescued from his overturned leaky boat last week by the crew of an Australian container ship, the ANL WANGARATTA. The fishermen, Benedict Jor, said he had sheltered under banana leaves and survived on coconuts and rain water as he drifted in the St Andrew Strait north of New Britain Island. He told his rescuers that several ships had passed him before he was spotted by a deck hand aboard the container ship. To save him, the crew turned the fully-loaded container ship about-face to bring it to within 40m of his capsized boat and throw him a life ring. He was taken to the ship’s hospital, where he was treated for dehydration and hypothermia, but pronounced otherwise in remarkably good condition. “If the ship had passed at night there was no way he would have been seen,” said a crew member of the container ship.


COURSE EQUIVALENCIES FOR REQUIRED COMPANY TRAINING

Given the number of required company training courses, it is extremely important for new members to request a transcript review to determine whether they meet the course equivalency requirements.  The courses that are eligible for equivalency are listed in the MITAGS Trust Student Guide located on www.mitags.org in the MM&P Member Section. You may also request a copy from Diane Ford (dford@mitags.org or call 443-989-3238). Remember, the dispatcher in the union hall cannot assign you a job unless you meet the company’s training requirements!


MITAGS ACADEMIC NOTES

Between now and the end of September 2010, the following courses are scheduled at MITAGS.  For class availability or information on MITAGS courses and programs, contact admissions toll free at 866-656-5568 or e-mail: admissions@mitags.org.

BRM- Bridge Resource Management: 9/27

[CMM – Chief Mate and Master Courses]

CMM-ADVSTB – Advanced Stability: 9/20

CMM-CHS I – Advanced Cargo Operations (week 1): 9/27

CMM-SHS-ADV-I – Advanced Shiphandling (week 1): 9/27

CMM-SHS-ADV-I I – Advanced Shiphandling (week 2): 9/20


EP – Emergency Procedures: 9/15

[LAP – Must be USCG Approved for the Licensing Test to attend]

LAP – License Advancement Program for Chief Mate & Master: 9/20

LEG – Legal Aspects of Pilotage: 9/20

MED-PIC – Medical Person in Charge: 9/27

MED-PRO – Medical Care Provider: 9/27

MED-DOT-DA – Dept. of Transportation Drug & Alcohol Testing: 10/2


TPIC – Tankerman Person in Charge: 9/27

WKP-BAS – Basic Watchkeeping: 9/27

WX-BAS – Basic Meteorology: 9/20

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

Check the MITAGS website at www.mitags.org for course descriptions associated with the course title abbreviations, and schedule revisions. For class availability or info on MITAGS courses and programs, contact admissions toll-free at 866-656-5568 or e-mail: admissions@mitags.org


PMI ACADEMIC NOTES

Schedule of Courses – Please also see our schedule online at www.mates.org

For registration, call our registrar, Jennifer Pitzen, at (206) 838-1126

September 2010

14-16  Security VCF
20-24  Basic Construction & Stability
20-22  Fast Rescue Boat
27       Radar Renewal
27-1   Basic Shiphandling
27-1   ECDIS

October 2010

4-8       Tankerman Person-in-Charge
4-15      Basic Watchkeeping with BRM
11-22    GMDSS
12-15    ARPA
18-29   Celestial Navigation
18-22   Medical Care Provider
18-29   Medical Person-in-Charge
23         Med DOT
25-27   Fast Rescue Boat
27         Radar Renewal


MM&P MARKET WATCH AS OF 9-10-10

D O W N A S D A Q S & P 500
10,415.24 2,242.48 1,109.55
Fund Name & Trading Symbol
 Closing
Price
 Vanguard Asset Allocation Fund (VAARX)
50.41
 Vanguard 500 Index Fund (VFINX)
102.57
 Vanguard Extended Market Index Fund (VEXMX)
34.24
 Vanguard International Growth Fund (VWIGX)
17.20
 Vanguard Morgan Growth Fund (VMRGX)
15.27
 Vanguard Windsor II Fund (VWNFX)
22.98
 Vanguard GNMA Fund (VFIIX)
11.00
 Vanguard Growth Index Fund (VIGRX)
27.14
 Vanguard High Yield Corporate (VWEHX)
5.63
 Vanguard LifeStrategy Conservative Growth (VSCGX)
15.69
 Vanguard LifeStrategy Growth Fund (VASGX)
19.97
 Vanguard LifeStrategy Income Fund (VASIX)
13.88
 Vanguard LifeStrategy Moderate Growth (VSMGX)
18.25
 Vanguard Target Retirement 2005 (VTOVX)
11.47
 Vanguard Target Retirement 2015 (VTXVX)
11.72
 Vanguard Target Retirement 2025 (VTTVX)
11.62
 Vanguard Target Retirement 2035 (VTTHX)
11.81
 Vanguard Target Retirement 2045 (VTIVX)
12.22
 Vanguard Total Bond Index (VBMFX)
10.78
 Vanguard Total Stock Market Index Fund (VTSMX)
27.59
 Chase Growth Fund (CHASX)
15.37
 Fidelity Asset Manager (FASMX)
14.27
 Fidelity Growth and Income (FGRIX)
15.77
 Fidelity Intermediate bond Fund (FTHRX)
10.65
 Fidelity Magellan Fund (FMAGX)
61.54
 Fidelity Value Fund (FDVLX)
59.23
 Fidelity Equity-Income II Fund (FEQTX)
16.14
 Fidelity Blue Chip Growth Fund (FBGRX)
37.92
 Fidelity Diversified International Fund (FDIVX)
27.01
 Fidelity Dividend Growth Fund (FDGFX)
23.66
 Fidelity Freedom Income (FFFAX)
11.00
 Fidelity Freedom 2000 (FFFBX)
11.67
 Fidelity Freedom 2010 (FFFCX)
12.76
 Fidelity Freedom 2020 (FFFDX)
12.74
 Fidelity Freedom 2030 (FFFEX)
12.49
 Fidelity Freedom 2040 (FFFFX)
7.18
 Fidelity Freedom 2050 (FFFHX)
8.32
 Fidelity Total Bond Fund (FTBFX)
10.97
 Spartan Extended market Index Fund (FSEMX)
31.76
 Spartan US Equity Index Fund (FUSEX)
39.42
 Domini Social Equity Fund (DSEFX)
26.01



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

© 2010, 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: lrosenthal@bridgedeck.org. For changes of address, contact Lisa Rosenthal at lrosenthal@bridgedeck.org.