Wheelhouse Weekly – September 28, 2001

September 28th 2001


Bridging the Information Gap With E-News You Can Use

Volume 5. . . . . Number 39. . . September 28, 2001





Offshore members will need to have their STCW-95 certificate in hand in order to sail on Feb 1, 2002. Having completed required courses does not satisfy the STCW-95 requirement … you must have the certificate in your possession.

Processing times at Coast Guard Regional Examining Centers are already long and the workload will only increase between now and the first of the year. MITAGS will make every effort to expand capacity to accommodate demand but it is possible that you may end up with all requirements complete except for one: the STCW-95 certificate itself! Don’t delay.

MM&P Wheelhouse Weekly



Rep. Jim Oberstar (D-MN), Ranking Member of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee is set to introduce legislation in the near future to extend tax equity provisions to US merchant mariners serving aboard US-flag ships sailing in commercial service. The MM&P has been a strong proponent for such legislation for several years.

The proposed legislation is said to contain provisions replacing the current tax program for shipping companies and US-flag vessels operating in the foreign trades with a tonnage tax modeled after programs in Great Britain and other European nations, and to apply the existing section 911 foreign source income tax exclusion to US merchant mariners who work as regular crew members aboard US-flag vessels in the foreign trade for at least 90 days in a tax year. Rep. Oberstar explained that this provision “helps to decrease the cost of operating a US-flag vessel by granting seamen working on US-flag vessels in the foreign trade the same exclusion from taxation on their first $80,000 in income as we grant to every other citizen working overseas.”

MM&P Wheelhouse Weekly



The House of Representatives debated defense authorizations this Tuesday, 9/25. In the course of the debate, the Bush administration released a “statement of administration policy” which included a reiteration of their proposal to transfer oversight of the Maritime Security Program to the Defense Department. The DOD authorizations bill as reported by the Armed Services Committee did not include such language, but instead affirmed the action taken by Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-CA) and the Merchant Marine Panel to leave MSP under jurisdiction of the Dept. of Transportation.

MM&P Wheelhouse Weekly



On September 27, the MM&P president Capt. Tim Brown and MIRAID president C. James Patti were joined by an extensive list of union and shipping interests including the Cruising American Coalition — a national coalition of ports, travel industry groups and businesses — in sending a letter of thanks to Rep. Neil Abercrombie (D-HI) and Rep. Wayne Gilchrest (R-MD) for introducing HR 2901, the United States Cruise Vessel Act.

It was noted in the letter that HR 2901 “will put Americans to work in a variety of strategically important industries — at no cost to the United States government. The size of our nation’s commercial merchant marine will be increased through the reflagging of large, modern cruise vessels under the United States-flag, and these vessels will create significant new employment opportunities for American merchant mariners, attracting and retaining the manpower needed by the Department of Defense in time of war or other international emergency.”

The legislation’s provisions are designed to ensure that America’s shipyards and workers will be kept active through the modernization, maintenance and construction of cruise vessels. “We believe that it is essential especially in this uncertain and dangerous time for our nation that all components of America’s maritime industry, our nation’s fourth arm of defense, should be given the opportunity to expand their activities,” the coalition letter noted.

HR 2901 is modeled after the so-called Hawaii Pilot Project legislation enacted by Congress in 1997. The statute ensures that any vessels reflagged under HR 2901 operate in full compliance with US safety, labor, environmental and other laws and regulations, and ensures that tax revenues flow to the Federal government and to state and local taxing authorities rather than overseas.

Other union presidents signing onto the Coalition letter were John Bowers, ILA; Henry “Whitey” Disley, MFOW; Gunnar Lundeberg, SUP; Larry O’Toole, MEBA; Mike Sacco, SIU; and James Spinosa, ILWU.

MEBA and the ILWU have joined with the MM&P in submitting a resolution to the Transportation Trades Department, AFL-CIO, that calls for the speedy enactment of this legislation.

MM&P Wheelhouse Weekly



The MM&P and several other seagoing unions have urged DOT Secretary Norman Mineta to permanently suspend substance testing procedures that are spelled out in the newly issued regulations from the USCG that went into effect last month.

One section of the new regs that is a major area of concern revolves around employer background checks on drug and alcohol testing records. This rule says that all marine employers must, after obtaining an employee’s written consent, request drug and alcohol testing from DOT-regulated employers who have hired the worker during the two years prior to the employee’s current application.

The unions argue that since a mariner must already have a merchant mariner’s document issued from the USCG which rigorously enforces the drug and alcohol requirements, the controls are already in place. Moreover, the maritime unions strongly believe the new rule is an invasion of privacy.

If the info obtained shows that the prospective employee has violated DOT drug or alcohol regs, a marine employer can’t hire that person to perform “safety sensitive functions” on the vessel, unless the employer gets info that the individual has subsequently complied with the return-to-duty requirements.

Additionally, the unions pointed out that the background checks on testing records would cause havoc on the hiring hall system, which supplies rotary hires to shipping companies. In a letter to DOT Sec. Mineta signed by MM&P President Capt. Tim Brown as well as other maritime union heads, it was stated that, “The hiring hall system relies on just-in-time delivery of fit-for-duty merchant mariners to crew US-flag vessels. Regs for further background checks of merchant mariners who hold requisite USCG licenses or documents prior to a vessel’s sailing makes no sense in that it potentially can paralyze vessel operations.”


MM&P Wheelhouse Weekly



MM&P has initiated steps to provide its Offshore members with additional information through the MM&P website. Members now have access to shipping activity around the country and in the future will have access to some of their personnel information.

Presently, any member that has registered at the “members only” section of the web site can view the following information:

  • Shipping List — Current open registrations listed by port or type of list
  • Assignment List — Assignments made with information about port, company, vessel, rating and date.

Coming soon will be information specific AND private about each member including:

  • Course History — This information, supplied by MITAGS, will list all of the courses that a member has completed, whether at MITAGS or another school.
  • Employment History — This will provide members with a partial record of their most recent employment, vacation, and PRO history.

Again, any member-specific information is strictly private and available only to that particular member.

MM&P Wheelhouse Weekly



MM&P International President Capt. Tim Brown will be the featured speaker at the Oct.4 luncheon meeting of the Kings Point Club of Washington, DC.

The meeting will be held 12 noon at Phillips Restaurant, 900 Water St, SW. Cost is $20. For reservations or further info, contact Lee Kincaid at 410-822-5228 or via Email at or

MM&P Wheelhouse Weekly



Mariners en route to or transiting the Persian Gulf, Arabian Sea, and Northern Indian Ocean are strongly encouraged to consult the NIMA Maritime Safety Information Center Daily Memorandum online at: to obtain the most accurate and current radio navigation warnings for these areas. NIMA’s broadcast warnings should be used in addition to regularly scheduled NAVAREA warning broadcasts in the areas in which you are sailing.

MM&P Wheelhouse Weekly



Members of the ITF ‘family’ of unions marked World Maritime Day on Thursday with memorial services, meetings with government and, in London, by participating in the unveiling of a memorial to seafarers.

Some 34 countries used the day to draw attention to the debt owed by society to those who work at sea, and the dangers they face each day. Details chosen by each country to underline this message can be found at:

In London the ITF’s General Secretary, David Cockroft, attended the opening of a monument to all those seafarers worldwide who have lost their lives at sea. The ceremony took place outside the headquarters of the International Maritime Organization on the banks of the River Thames. The ITF has donated $500,000 to the cost of the memorial.

The ITF has also produced a special publication to mark the day that examines the theme selected by the IMO of Globalization and the Role of the Seafarer. Entitled “Globalization – the Cost to the Seafarer”, it can be viewed in the Internet at:

ITF General Secretary David Cockroft commented: “The ITF and its affiliates worldwide are proud to support a day that brings together governments, seafarers and employers and celebrates the vital importance to all of our lives of those who work at sea.” More details of World Maritime Day and the Memorial to Seafarers can be found at:

MM&P Wheelhouse Weekly



The following 27 individuals and organizations are on a list of alleged terrorism supporters included in an executive order signed by President Bush on Monday:

Al Qaeda/Islamic Army, Osama bin Laden’s organization.

Abu Sayyaf Group, a terrorist organization with Islamic and Filipino elements; Armed Islamic Group, Algerian and Islamic, a bin Laden-connected group that hijacked an Air France plane in Algeria in 1994; Harakat ul-Mujahidin, Pakistan-based, accused of terrorist activities in Kashmir; leades closely linked to Afghanistan’s ruling Taliban.

Al-Jihad (Egyptian Islamic Jihad), blamed for the assassination of Egyptian President Anwar Sadat.

Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan, another bin-Laden arm that was accused of criminal activities including kidnapping of four American mountain climbers; Asbat al-Ansar; Salafist Group for Call and Combat (GSPC); Libyan Islamic Fighting Group; Al-Itihaad al-Islamiya (AIAI).

Islamic Army of Aden, another bin Laden arm; in June, nine people affiliated with the group were arrested after being found with hand grenades, small arms and documents including a map of the US Embassy in Yemen’s capital.

Osama bin Laden, identified by US authorities as the mastermind of the Sept. 11 attacks and of the bombing of US embassies in Kenya and Tanzania.

Muhammad Atif (aka Sobhi al-Sitta, Abu Hafas al-Masri), commander of the Islamic Army for the Liberation of Holy Sites, responsible for the bombing of US embassies.

Sayf al-Adl; Shaykh Saiid (aka Mustafa Muhammad Ahmad); Abu Hafs the Mauritanian (aka Mahfouz Ould al-Walid, Khalid Al-Shanqiti); Ibn Al-Shaykh al-Libi; Abu Zubaydah (aka Zayn al-Abidin Muhammad Husayn, Tariq); Abd al-Hadi al-Iraqi (aka, Abu Abdallah); Ayman al-Zawahri, bin Laden’s chief deputy, an Egyptian surgeon and a leader of Jihad or al-Jihad, under sentence of death in his native country.

Thirwat Salah Shihata; Tariq Anwar Al-Sayyid Ahmad (aka Fathi, Amr al-Fatih); Muhammad Salah (aka Nasr Fahmi Nasr Hasanayn); Makhtab Al-Khidamat/Al Kifah; Wafa Humanitarian Organization, a Saudi group with operations include food distribution and construction in Kabul, Afghanistan.

Al Rashid Trust, based in Pakistan, is a charitable group espousing the same brand of Islam enforced by the Taliban in Afghanistan. The organization operates scores of bakeries, supplying subsidized food to the poor, and has built several mosques in Afghanistan.

Mamoun Darkazanli Import-Export Co.

MM&P Wheelhouse Weekly



Some 120 US Merchant Marine Academy faculty, staff and midshipmen assisted in emergency operations following the attack on the World Trade Center.

Eight midshipmen certified as EMTs were transported by water to 195 Broadway in lower Manhattan on Sept. 11. They assisted at an aid station there throughout the day.

Academy vessels ferried a number of emergency personnel into Manhattan on Sept. 11. Three Academy vessels remained on scene in New York harbor to transport emergency personnel between New York City, Brooklyn, Staten Island and New Jersey until Sept. 19.

A “triage” aid station was established at the Academy’s sailing center on Sept. 11, in response to proposed plan to evacuate the injured by water to the Academy, and then to further transport them to Long Island area hospitals. The necessity for this action did not materialize.

A group of Academy faculty and midshipmen went by vessel into Manhattan on Sept. 13 to assist the New York City Fire Department in the maintenance and repair of some of their firefighting vessels, thus freeing New York City fire personnel to engage in rescue duty.

The Academy has remained at a High Security Threat Level since the initial attacks in New York City. All measures have been taken to ensure the security of the facility, its midshipmen and the staff.

CDR Eric Wallischeck, ’84, Director of Waterfront Activities estimates the academy moved 1,500 firefighters, EMTs, police officers, and other rescue personnel. In the early days of the operation, KP midshipmen helped move several tons of food, water, rescue supplies and other materiel from various staging areas to at North Cove Marina, just west of the sight of the collapsed World Trade Center twin towers.

MM&P Wheelhouse Weekly



Openings in classes through the end of this year

  • 10/1: ROR-1
  • 10/1-5: FF-ADV
  • 10/1-12: GMDSS
  • 10/8-10: BRM
  • 10/13: ROR-1
  • 10/22-25: SMA
  • 10/22-26: SHS-INT II, COMP-NET, BRM
  • 10/27: CBRD-1, ROR-1
  • 10/29-11/2: BRM, WX-HWA
  • 11/5-7: BRMP
  • 11/5-9: ROP
  • 11/12-16: FF-ADV, BST, BRM, VPM
  • 11/12-15: SMA
  • 11/26-12/7: GMDSS
  • 11/26-30: BRM, TPIC, HAZ
  • 12/3-7: BRM, FF-ADV
  • 12/10-21: GMDSS
  • 12/10-14: BRM, ARPA, COMP-NET, DCS
  • 12/17-21: BST, FF-ADV, ARPA, COMP-MAR
  • 12/17-20: SMA

Schedule Info

Schedule through June 2002 is being maintained on the website. Hard copies of the January-June 2002 schedule have been mailed to the halls. Check the MITAGS website at: for up-to-date info. For additional course info, contact Mary Matlock at voice: 443-989-3226 or Email:

MM&P Wheelhouse Weekly



Openings in classes through December

  • 10/8-12: ARPA, BRM
  • 10/15-19: ARPA
  • 10/22-26: ECDIS
  • 10/29-11/2: BRM
  • 11/5-99: ARPA
  • 12/3-7: ARPA
  • 12/10-14: ARPA, GMDSS, BRM
  • 12/17-21: ARPA, BRM

Institute Update

PMI Director Gregg Trunnell reports that ECDIS has proven to be very popular in Seattle. PMI expects to be running the course monthly starting February 25, 2002.

PMI would also like to announce the addition of the Medical Person-In-Charge course in Seattle. The first course will commence on February 18, 2002. Captain Richard Brooks will be the instructor. Richard comes with 30 years of experience in SeaLand. His enthusiasm for medical knowledge and training will make him an ideal instructor for the upcoming course. Successful candidates will receive STCW certificates in Elementary First Aid, Medical First Aid Provider and Medical Person in Charge.

Registration is available on-line at

For further info, contact:

    Gregg Trunnell, Director Pacific Northwest Maritime Institute 2333 Third Avenue Seattle, WA 98121-1711

Phone: 206-239-9965; Fax: 206-441-2995; Email:

MM&P Wheelhouse Weekly



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MM&P Wheelhouse Weekly



NFL Schedule Week 3

  • Bal at Den
  • Mia at StL
  • KC at Was
  • NO at NYG
  • GB at Car
  • Pit at Buf
  • Ind at NE
  • TB at Min
  • Atl at Ari
  • Sea at Oak
  • Cin at SD
  • Cle at Jac
  • Dal at Phi
  • SF at NYG
  • Mon: SF at NYJ

NFL Results Week 2

  • Cin 21 Bal 10
  • Ind 42 Buf 26
  • Atl 24 Car 16
  • Cle 24 Det 14
  • Chi 17 Min 10
  • NYG 13 KC 3
  • Mia 18 Oak 15
  • SD 32 Dal 21
  • Jac 13 Ten 6
  • NYJ 10 NE 3
  • Phi 27 Sea 3
  • StL 30 SF 26
  • Den 38 Ari 17
  • Mon: GB 37 Was 0
  • Open: NO, Pit, TB

MM&P Wheelhouse Weekly

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., Linthicum Heights, MD 21090-1941. Phone: 410-850-8700; Fax: 410-850-0973; Email: For further info contact John Peige at The Wheelhouse Weekly is sent via Email to MM&P-contracted vessels at sea, broadcast worldwide via FEC marine telex andis posted on our web page under “News” at:

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