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MM&P Wheelhouse Weekly

Volume 29… Number 51, December 19, 2023


In This Issue:

Mark Your Calendar:

Attention All Mariners:

Job Opportunities:



The U.S. and nine other nations are launching a security force to protect ships transiting the Red Sea, the Department of Defense said Tuesday.

The U.S. will be joined in the mission by the United Kingdom, Bahrain, Canada, France, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, the Seychelles, and Spain.

The announcement comes after weeks of indiscriminate attacks against commercial ships by Houthi rebels based in Yemen.

U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said the attacks endanger the lives of mariners, violate international law, and jeopardize the flow of commerce.

“The Red Sea is a critical waterway that has been essential to freedom of navigation and a major commercial corridor that facilitates international trade,” Austin said in a statement.

“Countries that seek to uphold the foundational principle of freedom of navigation must come together to tackle the challenge posed by this non-state actor launching ballistic missiles and uncrewed aerial vehicles at merchant vessels from many nations lawfully transiting international waters.”

He said some of the countries in the new coalition will conduct joint patrols and others will provide intelligence support in the southern Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden.

The maritime industry has been calling on governments to act since the attacks began.

Major shipping companies have responded to the danger by suspending Red Sea transits.

Maersk said last week in a statement that it would reroute vessels to go around Africa via the Cape of Good Hope “to ensure the safety of our crew, vessels, and customers’ cargo.”

“We have faith that a solution enabling a return to using the Suez Canal and transiting through the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden will be introduced in the near future, but at this time it remains difficult to determine exactly when this will be,” the company said.
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With the continuation of attacks on commercial ships in the Red Sea, the International Transport Workers’ Federation is calling for the safety of seafarers to be paramount.

“We acknowledge the steps taken by a number of leading shipping companies—including Maersk, Hapag Lloyd, and MSC—to stop using the Red Sea, and many vessels have been rerouted to avoid putting seafarers’ lives at risk,” the ITF said in a statement.

“We welcome the news that BP and oil tanker group Frontline have temporarily halted traffic through the Red Sea.”

“We recognize the Red Sea route including the Suez Canal is a critical part of the global supply chain and that taking the alternative route around the Cape of Good Hope extends the journey by over 3,000 nautical miles—potentially adding weeks to the time seafarers will be at sea.”

“Rerouting will have a significant impact on tours of duty in the global supply chain, but most importantly it will reduce the risks to seafarers that the Red Sea currently brings.”

‘‘The primary concern of the ITF is the safety of seafarers,” said ITF General Secretary Stephen Cotton.

“Seafarers move the world.”

“We applaud companies that are rerouting their vessels.”

MM&P is one of the nearly 700 transport unions in 147 countries that belong to the ITF.

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Despite decades of warnings, research, and training, enclosed space accidents remain a persistent cause of death in shipping.

In the first week of December, three crewmembers and five shore workers died in confined spaces aboard ships, according to InterManager, the international trade association for ship and crew management.

Since 1996, the maritime industry has recorded more than 300 confined space deaths.

At the root of the problem is the fact that alongside the risks of confined spaces in general, many cargoes carried by ships can deplete oxygen, displace air, or emit hazardous fumes.

Unless the atmosphere is tested, the danger may be undetectable until someone enters a space and discovers they can’t breathe.

“No one should lose their life doing their job,” says InterManager Secretary General Kuba Szymanski.

“This is an industry-wide issue that everyone in the shipping community must work together to resolve.”

“It’s not enough to blame seafarers and offer additional training.”

“Accident investigators must delve deeper into why people make the decisions they do and examine what external factors impact those decisions,” he says, adding that “unrealistic time pressures to conduct high-risk tasks such as tank cleaning” are frequently a factor in confined space deaths.

“Naval architects and ship builders must work harder to ‘design out’ hazardous spaces where possible,” he says.

The International Maritime Organization is now reviewing its confined space safety regulations with the goal of finalizing additional protective measures in 2024.
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India’s Navy on Monday rescued a person who had been shot during the hijacking of a Bulgarian bulk carrier.

The crew of the destroyer INS KOCHI negotiated with the hijackers to obtain the release of the injured man, who is now being treated in a hospital.

“The injured crew member was medically managed aboard the IN ship,” India’s Navy said in a statement, “but due to urgent medical attention required, which was beyond the scope of the ship, he has been transferred to Oman.”

The Maltese-flag bulk carrier, MV RUEN, was hijacked in the Arabian Sea on Dec. 14.

According to the antipiracy task force EUNAVFOR, the ship is now located about eight nautical miles off Abo, a coastal village in the province of Puntland, Somalia.

The ship operator, Navibulgar, said in a statement that the hijacking occurred in the middle of the Arabian Sea, hundreds of miles from shore.

AIS data reportedly show the vessel was about 380 nautical miles due east of Socotra, when it stopped, changed course, and headed for the Somali coast.

A spokesperson for Navibulgar said their last communication from the onboard security officer was that the 18-person crew was no longer in control of the vessel but was safe, and that there were six unknown people on board.

The crew of MV RUEN are from Bulgaria, Angola, and Myanmar.
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Much attention is being devoted to a problem described in the industry as “a shortage of mariners.”

The reality, says MM&P President Don Marcus, is that today’s mariners, both licensed and unlicensed, are required to work in austere and isolating conditions for less money than they could earn in comparable jobs ashore.

“Quality of life, respect, and working conditions are a large part of the disincentive to embark on or continue a career at sea,” he writes in an editorial published by gCaptain and posted on the MM&P website.

All maritime employers, both foreign and domestic, are aware of the fact of that wages, benefits, living conditions, and length of seagoing tours of duty are unsatisfactory, he writes.

But “rather than deal with this reality, maritime employers around the world are doing what they have always done: seek out lower cost labor wherever it might be found.”

Hence, the flag-of-convenience system, which was developed shortly after the Seamen’s Act of 1915, which protected seamen’s rights and conditions—at a cost to U.S.-flag employers.

Recent examples include the attempt to launch a U.S. Virgin Islands second registry in the United States, and a demand by a U.S.-flag tanker executive that his company have the option of sourcing foreign labor.

“A young person today has good reason to balk at a career at sea when the terms and conditions of employment are inferior to what can be had ashore, and when the national flag industry itself is under constant attack,” Marcus says.

“Without a national maritime policy supported by Congress and extending to training, shipbuilding, tax and cargo incentives, and bilateral trade agreements connected to the economic as well as the military needs of our country, this crewing ‘crisis’ will continue.”

To read the editorial in its entirety, click here.

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The Plan Office received approval to close the year-end Internal Revenue Service and company reports and to process Vacation and PRO payments for 2023 no later than Monday, Dec. 18, 2023, at 3:30 p.m. EST.

All requests for 2023 Vacation and PRO payments received after this date and time will be held until Jan. 3, 2024, for processing and will therefore be taxable in 2024.

If you have any questions, please contact the Vacation Department at 410-850-8625 or Ken Ryan at 410-850-8617.

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All MM&P union halls, the MM&P Plan Office, the MM&P Federal Credit Union, and MM&P headquarters will be closed for the holidays on Dec. 22, Dec. 25, Dec. 29, and Jan. 1.
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The MM&P United Inland Group has jobs available with Grand River Navigation, Weeks Marine, Cetacean Marine, and Key Lakes.

At Grand River Navigation on the Great Lakes, there are:

— licensed deck jobs for those with Great Lakes pilotage;

— jobs for open water mates with a Towing Officer Assessment Record (TOAR);

— licensed engineering jobs.

GRN now offers a signing/retention bonus of $3,000 to all mates and assistant engineers who complete the 2023 sailing season and return for the 2024 sailing season.

At Cetacean Marine, there are licensed and unlicensed engineering jobs.

At Weeks Marine, there are licensed and unlicensed engineering jobs aboard their growing fleet of dredges.

WMI is offering a $3,000 new hire sign-on bonus. It is payable in three payments of $1,000 each, the first $1,000 after the successful completion of the second hitch, the second $1,000 upon successful completion of the third hitch, and $1,000 upon successful completion of the fourth hitch.

Cross-shipping rights for Offshore applicants/members are available for licensed personnel, with sea time and points counting towards upgrading Offshore membership.

Key Lakes is looking for a mate with Great Lakes pilotage and an open-water mate.

The regular relief is for 30 days but could be modified if mutually agreed on.

These are long-term, permanent jobs.

For more information, go to the Jobs page on bridgedeck.org.

If you are interested, please contact UIG Vice President Tom Bell (tbell@bridgedeck.org or 216-776-1667) with any questions.
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CM needed for HAINA PATRIOT.

Positions available aboard Patriot LMSR’s at all levels including new vessels SEAY and PILILAAU.

Members and applicants who are interested in MSC training, please sign up with MITAGS and for those who do not qualify for training benefits yet, please email Jeremy Hope, VP Gulf and Gov’t Contracts at jhope@bridgedeck.org with the subject line MSC TRAINING.
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There are openings for engineers in the MM&P Offshore fleet and the Great Lakes & Gulf Region.

For engineering jobs in the Offshore Group, contact Atlantic Ports Vice President Tom Larkin, tlarkin@bridgedeck.org, or 201-963-1900.

For engineering jobs on the Lakes, contact MM&P Great Lakes & Gulf Region Vice President Tom Bell, tbell@bridgedeck.org, or (216) 776-1667.

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MITAGS is seeking a dynamic and experienced Instructional Design/LMS Administrator to work on the East Coast campus.

The role requires instructional design expertise and technical proficiency in managing Learning Management Systems.

The ideal candidate will play a pivotal role in designing, developing, and maintaining effective learning experiences through the integration of instructional design principles and LMS administration.

The position reports to the Instructional Design Coordinator for day-to-day activities and to the directors of the East and West Coast campuses for long- and short-term development strategy and funding needs.

Duties and responsibilities include:

— developing engaging and effective instructional materials, including e-learning modules, courses, and multimedia content;

— administering and maintaining the Learning Management System;

— providing training and support to instructors, content creators, and end-users on instructional design best practices and LMS functionality;

— conducting workshops and webinars to enhance the skills of internal stakeholders in instructional design and LMS usage.

Required qualifications include:

— Bachelor’s degree in Instructional Design, Education, or a related field;

— proven experience in instructional design and development of online learning materials;

— in-depth knowledge of Learning Management Systems, with experience in administration and troubleshooting;

— familiarity with multimedia tools and e-learning software;

— experience with popular Learning Management Systems (e.g., Moodle, Blackboard, Canvas).

Preferred qualifications include:

— Master’s degree in Instructional Design, Education Technology, or a related field;

— certification in instructional design or LMS administration;

— knowledge of maritime training standards.

If you are interested in applying for this position, please contact MITAGS Human Resources Manager Jane Sibiski: jsibiski@mitags.org.

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For registration contact our Admissions Department: 866.656.5568 or admissions@mitags.org

Classes are 5-day unless otherwise noted

Class dates followed by an * are full
AB – Able Seaman (5-Day): 01/22/24, 01/29/24

AIS-1 – Automatic Identifications Systems Orientation (1-Day): Not currently scheduled

ARPA-OIC– Automated Radar Plotting Aids (4-Day): 02/05/24, 03/04/24

AZIPOD (2-Day): Not currently scheduled

BRM – Bridge Resource Management (5-Day): Not currently scheduled

BRMP –Bridge Resource Management for Pilots (2-Day): Not currently scheduled

BRMP-EMR –Bridge Resource Management for Pilots with Emergency Shiphandling – (Now also included in BRMP-Refresher) (3-Day): Not currently scheduled

BRMP-Refresher (Now including Emergency Shiphandling for Pilots) (3-Day): Not currently scheduled

BT – Basic Safety Training (5-Day): 01/15/24*, 02/12/24

BT-Revalidation (2-day) (Must have 1 year of sea service in last 5 years): 01/29/24, 03/11/24

BT-Refresher (3-day): 01/29/24

CHS-OIC – Cargo Handling Basic (5-Day): 04/15/24

[CMM – Chief Mate and Master Courses]

ADVSTB-CMM – Advanced Stability (5-Day): 01/29/24, 04/29/24, 06/24/24

ADVWX-CMM – Advanced Meteorology (5-Day): 01/22/24, 04/22/24, 06/17/24

CHS-CMM – Advanced Cargo Operations (10 Days): 02/05/24

CM-OPS 1 – Chief Mate Operations (5-Day): 02/26/24

CM-OPS 2 Maersk – Chief Mate Operations II Maersk Specific (5-Day): 03/04/24

CM-OPS 2 APL – Chief Mate Operations II APL Specific (5-Day): Not currently scheduled

ECDIS – Electronic Chart Display Information Systems (5-Day): 03/11/24

LMS – Leadership and Managerial Skills (Management Level – Formerly MCL-CMM) (5-Day): 03/18/24

MPP-CMM – Marine Propulsion Plants (5-Day): 03/11/24

(DCS-1 available on request – contact Admissions)

SHMGT-CMM- Ship Management (5-Day): 02/26/24

SHS-ADV-I-CMM – Advanced Shiphandling (week 1) (5-Day): 01/08/24*, 02/12/24, 04/08/24*, 05/06/24, 06/03/24

SHS-ADV-II-CMM – Advanced Shiphandling (week 2) (5-Day): 01/15/24*, 02/19/24, 04/15/24*, 05/13/24, 06/10/24

**SHS-ADV-I & II are now approved to include SAR-CMM assessments at MITAGS**

VPEN-CMM – Voyage Planning & Electronic Navigation (5-Day): 02/19/24

WKP-CMM – Advanced Watchkeeping (5-Day): 03/18/24

WX-HW-ATL – Heavy Weather Avoidance Routing: Atlantic Ocean (2-day) – Not Currently Scheduled

WX-HW-IND – Heavy Weather Avoidance Routing: Indian Ocean (2-day) – Not Currently Scheduled

WX-HW-PAC – Heavy Weather Avoidance Routing: Pacific Ocean (2-day) –01/27/24

CIW-DPA/IA – Continual Improvement Workshop: Designated Person Ashore & Internal Auditor (3-Day) ** This course is NOT covered by the MATES Program **

Online: Not Currently Scheduled

CIW-SMS – Continual Improvement Workshop: Successful Safety Management (2-Day) – Online: Not Currently Scheduled

CNAV-OIC– Celestial Navigation (15-Day): 05/06/24

CRISIS-COMMS – Crisis Communications (1-Day): Not currently scheduled

CRSMGT – Crisis Management and Human Behavior (1-Day): Not currently scheduled

CDMGT – Crowd Management (1-Day): Not currently scheduled

CSE – Confined Space Entry (3-Day): Not currently scheduled

CSE-AWR – Confined Space Entry Awareness (2-Day): Not currently scheduled

DDE – Great Lakes (20-Day): 02/05/24

ECDIS for Pilots (2-Day): Not currently scheduled

ERM – Engine Resource Management (5-Day): Not currently scheduled

ADV-FF – Advanced Fire-Fighting (4-day): 02/19/24, 03/24/24

FF-BADV – Fire Fighting Combined Basic & Advanced (5-Day): Not currently scheduled

FF-ADV-Rev (1-day) (Must have 1 year of sea service in last 5 years) – Advanced Fire Fighting Revalidation: 01/31/24, 03/13/24

FF-ADV-REF (2-day) – Advanced Fire Fighting Refresher: 02/01/24

FSM – Fatigue, Sleep, & Medications (1-Day): Not currently scheduled

Online: Not currently scheduled

GL-Pilot – Great Lakes Pilotage Familiarization (2-Day): 02/02/24

GMDSS – Global Maritime Distress and Safety System (10-Day): 01/15/24

HAZ – Hazardous Materials (5 day): Not Currently Scheduled

LAP – License Advancement Program for Mate to Master (20-Day): 03/04/24

LAP-Great Lakes – License Advancement Program – Great Lakes (15-Day): 02/05/24

LAP-ORG3rd – License Advancement Program for Original 3rd Mate, Oceans, Any Gross

Ton License (15-Day): 06/03/24

LEG – Legal Aspects of Pilotage (1-Day): Not Currently Scheduled

LNG-BADV – Basic and Advanced IGF Code Operations (3 Day): 01/08/24*, 02/12/24*, 03/11/24*

LTS –Leadership and Teamworking Skills (Formerly MCL-OIC) (1-Day): 04/04/24

MEECE – Management of Electrical and Electronic Control Equipment (Assessments not included): Not Currently Scheduled

MED-PIC – Medical Person in Charge (10-Day): 01/08/24*, 04/01/24, 05/13/24, 08/19/24, 09/30/24

MED-PIC-REF– Medical Person in Charge Refresher: 01/22/24, 03/18/24, 05/26/24, 07/29/24, 11/18/24

MED-PRO – Medical Care Provider: (5-Day): 01/08/24*, 04/01/24, 05/13/24, 07/08/24, 08/19/24

MED-DOT-DA – Dept. of Transportation Drug & Alcohol Testing (1-Day): 01/13/24, 01/27/24, 03/14/24, 03/23/24, 04/06/24, 05/05/24, 05/18/24

[MSC – Military Sealift Command Courses]

MSC-CBRD-1 – Military Sealift Command Chemical, Biological, Radiological Defense Orientation (Basic) (1-Day): 02/29/24, 05/09/24, 06/07/24, 08/08/24, 09/12/24, 10/31/24

MSC-DC – Military Sealift Command Damage Control (2-day): 03/01/24, 05/10/24, 06/07/24, 08/09/24, 09/13/24, 11/01/24

MSC-ENVPRO (1-Day – Evening Class): 03/01/24, 05/10/24, 06/07/24, 08/09/24, 09/13/24, 11/01/24

MSC-FF-HELO (2-Day): Not currently scheduled

MSC-SMA – Military Sealift Command Small Arms Qualifications (4-Day): 01/08/24, 03/04/24, 05/13/24, 06/10/24, 07/15/24, 08/12/24, 09/16/24, 11/04/24

MSC-Security Watch Basic (1-Day/ 8-hour): 03/02/24, 05/11/24, 06/08/24, 08/10/24, 09/14/24, 11/02/24

MSC-Security Watch Advanced (1-Day): 01/07/24, 03/03/24, 05/12/24, 06/09/24, 07/14/24, 08/11/24, 09/15/24, 11/03/24

MSC-Ship’s Reaction Force (3-Day): 01/12/24, 03/08/24, 05/17/24, 06/14/24, 07/19/24, 08/16/24, 09/20/24, 11/08/24

NDMS-ENAV – Navigational Decision Making Series – Best Practice in eNav (3-Day): Not currently scheduled

NSAP-MMP – Navigational Skills Assessment Program-MM&P (2-Day): 01/22/24*, 01/24/24*, 05/13/24, 05/15/24

PSC – Personal Survival Craft (Lifeboatman) (5-Day): 01/29/24, 02/05/24

PSC-REF – Personal Survival Craft Refresher (2-Day): 01/25/24

RFPNW – Ratings Forming Part of a Navigational Watch (3-day): 01/10/24

ROR-1 – Radar Observer Renewal (1-Day): Not Currently Scheduled

ROR-1N – Radar Observer Renewal Evening Classes (1-Night): 01/31/24

ROU-OIC – Radar Observer Program – Unlimited: 01/29/24, 02/26/24

SAR – Search & Rescue – (Now with OIC and CMM assessments) (3-Day): 04/01/24

SHS-BAS-OIC – Basic Shiphandling: 04/29/24

SHS-EMR5 – Emergency Shiphandling (5 Day): 03/04/24

STB-OIC – Ship Construction and Basic Stability: 04/05/24

TCNAV/CO – Terrestrial Navigation and Compasses (15-Day): 02/05/24

TPIC – Tankerman Person in Charge: 01/29/24, 03/04/24

TRAC-TUG-2 (2-Day): Not currently scheduled

TTT – ** NOT covered by the MATES Program **: Not Currently Scheduled

VPDSD – Vessel Personnel with Designated Security Duties: Not Currently Scheduled

VSO – Vessel Security Officer (3-Day): 02/19/24

WKP-OIC – Watchkeeping (Operational Level) (10-Day): 03/18/24

WX-OIC –Meteorology (Operational Level): 04/22/24
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You can enroll online at www.mitags.org or contact our Admissions Department 866.656.5568 or admissions@mitags.org

January 2024

8-12 Basic Training

15-18 Advanced Firefighting

22-26 Leadership & Managerial Skills

29-30 Basic Training Revalidation

29-31 Security Officer – Vessel, Company & Facility

29-2 Medical Care Provider

29-9 Medical Person-In-Charge

31st Advanced Firefighting Revalidation

February 2024

5-23 Celestial Navigation


19-23 Basic Training

19-1 GMDSS

19-23 Advanced Shiphandling I

26-27 Basic Training Revalidation

26-1 Advanced Shiphandling II

26-1 Able Seaman

28th Advanced Firefighting Revalidation

March 2024

4-8 Meteorology – Operational Level

4-8 Advanced Stability


14th Flashing Light Assessment

18-22 Basic Training

25-26 Basic Training Revalidation

25-29 Able Seaman

27th Advanced Firefighting Revalidation

April 2024

1-4 Advanced Firefighting

8-12 ECDIS

22-23 Basic Training Revalidation

24th Advanced Firefighting Revalidation

May 2024

6-10 Basic Training

13-17 Medical Care Provider

13-24 Medical Person-In-Charge

20-22 Security Officer – Vessel, Company & Facility

30-31 Advanced Firefighting Refresher

June 2024

1-2 Basic Training Revalidation

1-3 Basic Training Refresher

3rd Advanced Firefighting Revalidation

3-7 Basic Training

3-21 Terrestrial & Coastal Navigation

24-25 Basic Training Revalidation

26th Advanced Firefighting Revalidation
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The MM&P Wheelhouse Weekly is the official electronic newsletter of the International Organization of Masters, Mates & Pilots, 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©2023. Articles can be reprinted without prior permission if credit is given to The MM&P Wheelhouse Weekly.

For subscriptions, address changes or messages to the editor, send an email to communications@bridgedeck.org.