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Contents 20

Case Study:

GMATS/USMMA Synergy and Separation Define the Relationship Between an Industry Asset and the Nation’s Most Productive Source of U.S. Merchant Marine Officers by Joseph Keefe


Executive Interview:

VADM Joseph Stewart Captain John Hanus A Conversation With Vice Admiral Joseph D. Stewart, Superintendent of the United States Merchant Marine Academy at Kings Point, and Captain John Hanus, Director of the Global Maritime and Transportation School (GMATS) by Joseph Keefe

16 | LOST at Sea The Importance of Ratifying the Law of the Sea Treaty by Joan Bondareff and John Kimball

36 | CMES: Online, Long Distance and Leading the Way Creating Convenience for Mariners and Member Companies by Joseph Keefe 42 | Standing Up: OGMSA Office of Global Maritime Situational Awareness Setting New Standards For Information Sharing by Joseph Keefe 46 | Basic Safety Training MITAGS Delivers Value on a Key Requirement by Joseph Keefe 52 | International Maritime Schools MarEx Reviews International Training and Education Centers by MarEx Staff

MarEx Departments Executive Achievement

8 | Harrison Brothers Dry Dock William H. Harrison III The Oldest Continuously Operating Dry Dock and Shipyard in the Country by MarEx Staff Washington Insider

14 | Congress Pursues New Maritime Legislation House of Representatives Passes Coast Guard Bill by Larry Kiern Upgrades and Downgrades

18 | Making a Lee in Heavy Weather Commodities Are Still Going Full Blast, Good for the Companies That Transport Them by Jack O’ Connell 64 | MarEx Crossword by Myles Mellor

60 | Ship Arrest Prioritizing, Handling, Settling and Avoiding by Barry Parker AUGUST 2008 | 3


Editor in Chief Tony Munoz :: Managing Editor Joseph A. Keefe :: Senior Copy Editor John J. O’Connell, Jr. :: Art Director Evan Naylor :: Assistant Art Director Daniel Bastien :: Senior Vice President Sales & Marketing Brett Keil :: Advertising Sales Manager Bill Yacona :: Sales Associate Irena Ortlani :: Sales Associate Tom Darr :: Sales Associate - Germanic Europe Hansjorg Brans :: Director of Sales, Nordic Countries Eero Lehtinen :: Internet Services Manager Matthew Miller :: Circulation Manager Elizabeth Johnson :: Published by TM Marketing Group, LLC The Maritime Executive, LLC (ISSN 1096-2751) 3200 S. Andrews Avenue, Ste. 100 Fort Lauderdale, FL 33316 Telephone: (866) 884-9034 Fax: (954) 848-9948 For subscriptions please visit

EDITORIAL Taking the Maritime Executive Back to School…

Joseph Keefe Managing Editor

Joseph Keefe can be contacted at jkeefe@maritime-executive. com with comments, input and questions on this editorial or any other piece in this magazine. The Maritime Executive welcomes your participation in our editorial content. 6 | AUGUST 2008

This issue of The Maritime Executive is, as you probably already know, focused on education. There’s more to the book than just that, of course. As you turn the pages, you’ll find compelling articles and opinion pieces, spanning the world of maritime security, admiralty law and legislative issues affecting the bottom line of your business. Of course, you also get all our regular features, as well. And, on that next business trip, pull out this magazine and solve the now-famous MarEx Crossword Puzzle. The first one to do so and submit a completed, correct puzzle to MarEx will score a complimentary ¼ page AD in our next edition. There’s your homework assignment. Get to work. Education as it relates to the maritime world means a lot of things. Most people concentrate on the obvious, low hanging fruit. But an increasingly intrusive and global regulatory protocol has arrived at the doorstep of mariners, dockworkers and anyone else with a reason to go down to the waterfront. All of those people must be trained and “educated.” The net effect of all of this training – the cost, the time and psychological impact on the worker and eventually his or her employer – should be studied more closely. And today, a critical shortage of trained mariners and shipyard workers shows us that it is the CEOs of maritime businesses who are (also) desperately in need of “education.” Both of my parents and one of my five sisters were educators. In my father’s case, he eventually migrated into the administrative end of the business where he was responsible for science education (K-12) in one of the largest cities in New England. I distinctly remember him talking about evaluating student teachers and also those on the brink of tenure. Anyone who showed up without a meticulously prepared lesson plan was “toast,” as far as he was concerned. Those lesson plans are still very important today, especially in the curriculum of mariners. However, as I found out recently in a STCW mandated Basic Safety Training class at MITAGS; lesson plans have changed radically in the last thirty years. As you read this magazine, you may be astounded at what you do not know about maritime education. What you thought you knew about certain programs – well, think again. On this month’s cover are two maritime schools: The United States Merchant Marine Academy and the Global Maritime and Transportation School (GMATS). Both programs, domiciled at Kings Point, NY, are defined by their synergy – and their separation. Read on and find out how. Also in this edition, we chronicle the continuing saga of a 50-year old mariner (that’s me) who has decided to re-qualify his “continuity” U.S. Coast Guard license. The journey of the pre-STCW mariner back to sea is not an easy one. Maritime employers should be paying closer attention to find out why. On the other end of the spectrum is a cutting-edge learning system pioneered by the Calhoon MEBA Engineering School (CMES). In a world where inflation is slicing into your bottom line in any number of ways, CMES has found a way to deliver STCW-mandated course material in an online setting, eliminating travel expenses and reducing the time and hassle involved with all of that. As one of the first to take the only Coast Guard-approved online STCW course in April, I can attest to its value and utility. Chuck Eser of CMES told MarEx in June, “There’s more than one way to skin this cat.” Indeed, what works in one hemisphere may not be a good solution for another. The commonality of all maritime training today, however, rests in the ever-changing technology that is transforming an industry that no longer can rely on just solid seamanship alone. Perhaps it was Boysie Bollinger who put it best, more than one year ago, when he said, “…now, we build ships to do different things. Before, maybe you built a little bigger or a little bit faster. The technology is allowing us to do so much more.” That’s only possible, though, with better and up-to-date maritime training. As an industry, we are now collectively back at school, too. Twenty-eight years after departing the Massachusetts Maritime Academy, it is obvious, at least to me, that maritime education has kept pace. How that training is delivered, packaged and priced is even more important. In the future, the savvy maritime executive will pay just as much attention to the challenge of professional education as he or she gives to the headache of finding warm bodies to crew a particular platform. Without a doubt, solving the latter problem without first addressing the former, is bound to be a Mar Ex painful and expensive lesson.

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Executive Achievement By MarEx Staff

Harrison Brothers Dry Dock has a small company environment with big yard capabilities. William Harrison told MarEx in July that “Most of our employees would rather work in a smaller yard. They feel they see their individual contributions more easily here.”

William H. Harrison III

President, Harrison Brothers Dry Dock 113 Years of Repeat Customers and consistent service: The oldest continuously operating dry dock and shipyard in the country also boasts an unusual leader. William H. Harrison III is probably the only CEO of an active marine business who lists a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology as one of his (many) qualifications. That he is the third Harrison to take over and lead this unique Alabama enterprise speaks volumes to the long lineage of Harrison family shipyard workers. Since 1895, the Harrison Brothers Dry Dock & Repair Yard, Inc. in Mobile, AL has provided service to the maritime community. The company known locally and throughout the Gulf Coast as the “small shipyard with the large dock,” deals with all manner of repairs, from mast to keel. The full-service shipyard has two dry docks with capacities of 700 and 2,000 tons each, as well as a full complement of derrick cranes, tugs, floats, compressors and other equipment to accomplish the efficient repair of vessels. 8 | AUGUST 2008

Size Does Matter – But It’s Not What You Think Harrison Brothers Dry Dock has a small company environment with big yard capabilities. William Harrison told MarEx in July that “Most of our employees would rather work in a smaller yard. They feel they see their individual contributions more easily here.” That type of philosophy embodies the Harrison way of doing business. With virtually all of Harrison’s business of a repeat nature, the yard prides itself on tailoring its capabilities around one or two customers at a time. Says Harrison, “No doubt if I had ten dry docks, I couldn’t do that.” The lion’s share of business at this Alabama mainstay is vessels of up to 2,000 lightship tons. Still, and in a competitive domestic repair market, the Harrison Brothers facility often finds itself with business from larger marine operators, who prefer the 22-foot-draft, protected slip for various repairs they might otherwise have to queue up for at a mediumsized facility. Recently, Harrison took on the refurbishment of a 300-foot barge,

which the owners wanted to transform into a large crane-handling platform. Before Katrina, Harrison says that perhaps 80 percent of his workforce had been with the firm for ten years or more. Today, many of those workers are still with Harrison, working in this happily non-union shop for more than twenty years. Harrison puts his permanent workforce at about 40 employees but says that number can swell to 60 if needed.

History, Style and Management William Harrison has been at the shipyard for 21 years but only recently took over for his 88-year old father, who finally retired in 2007. His father, William H. Harrison, Jr., had operated the shipyard from the day he returned from government service in 1946. The elder Harrison had been rejected for military service during the war (perforated eardrums) but insisted on providing service to his country in Panama, where he honed his ship-repair skills during the war. His experience also included time spent building Victory Ships.

Executive Achievement

AUGUST 2008 | 9

Executive Achievement …I can tell you that we deliver what we promise, when we say it will be completed and on budget. We deliver honesty.” In 1895, Harrison’s grandfather – along with two older brothers who had emigrated from England – started the shipyard. At first they used hand winches to pull the boats out of the water. Eventually, they had enough money to buy horses for that task. The same yard has operated continuously ever since – with a brief 45-day recovery period during the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina – and has seen the business change in many ways, from rivets to welding and the technology that has transformed the small workboat market in recent years. Today, the youngest Harrison, an Auburn graduate, inserts a unique management style into day-to-day operations. Says Harrison, “I like to think I bring a different perspective to the business.” It might be his psychology background that leads him to add, “I don’t think it’s the competition that kills you in this business – it’s the internal issues that

have to be managed better. My style is to use diplomacy and respect with my employees – both of which promote selfmotivation.”

Harrison Looks Ahead Harrison Brothers Dry Dock & Repair Yard, Inc. has been a full service ship repair company since the 1800s, but last year saw the completion of a new construction facility within the yard. That infrastructure has not, to date, yielded a newbuild contract, but William Harrison is content to wait until the right assignment comes along. When it does, he says, it will be a good fit for his yard and the customer. When asked what they are known for in the business, Harrison answered, “It may seem a little vague, but I can tell you that we deliver what we promise, when we say it will be completed and on budget. We deliver honesty.” The

discipline to become the industry’s most ethically driven company hasn’t necessarily turned the yard into an industry powerhouse, but Harrison’s outfit has become a viable alternative to bigger yards for smaller operators who want to be “more than a number” during the repair process. The small bureaucracy, personal attention and ability to devote the lion’s share of resources to just one or two simultaneous jobs has always provided the yard with more than its share of repeat business. As the third generation of Harrison men to run this storied outfit, we thought it only appropriate to ask the current President who might be next in line to carry on the tradition. Harrison paused for a moment before replying, “Well, I haven’t asked my nine-year old daughter if it is something she might want to do, but I wouldn’t rule it out, either.” Neither would we. Mar Ex

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WashingtonInsider Congress Pursues New Maritime Legislation House of Representatives Passes Coast Guard Bill

On April 24, 2008, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the Coast Guard Authorization Act of 2008, H.R. 2830, by a vetoproof majority of 395 to 7. The bill has been sent to the U.S. Senate, which has crafted its own bill, S.1892. Unfortunately, the Senate bill, which has been unanimously reported out by the Senate Commerce Committee, has been held up by two senators ostensibly opposed to the certain budgetary impact of the bill and what they have characterized as “earmarks.” The House-passed bill proposes more significant changes to the laws governing the maritime industry than does the Senate Commerce Committee bill. Indeed, the Bush Administration opposed several of these House proposals and even threatened a presidential veto over the LNG vessel/terminal security provision. However, considering the lopsided majority that passed the bill in the House and the need for unanimous consent in the Senate, it seems unlikely that a veto will be issued by the president.

The New House Leadership Puts Its Stamp on Safety It is apparent that the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee views the Coast Guard as part of its broader transportation function rather than principally a part of the homeland security apparatus. Chairman James Oberstar (D-MN) has asked why the maritime industry is treated differently from other transportation modes when it comes to safety. And that view is reflected in the House measure. Additionally, in this bill the Committee has emphasized accountability and expertise because the Coast Guard has admittedly lacked the exper12 | A U G U S T 2 0 0 8

tise required for performing critical marine safety inspection and investigation functions. Chairman Oberstar received input from marine industry leaders that the Coast Guard has lost its expertise in marine safety. Consequently, the bill features key provisions that address these pressing needs. Marine Safety. Title XI of the bill reflects Chairman Oberstar’s view that the Coast Guard’s marine safety program warrants a statutory foundation and vigorous congressional oversight. The provision would require the program to be led by a Rear Admiral or a civilian from the Senior Executive Service. It mandates minimum staffing levels, qualifications of key personnel, the development of a marine industry training program, the establishment of a Center for Expertise for Marine Safety and other provisions to improve the quality of the program. Marine License Reform. Following criticism of the Coast Guard’s marine safety license suspension/revocation system, the bill would provide mariners whose license has been denied, suspended or revoked a right of appeal to the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB). This appeal mechanism would allow the NTSB to review Coast Guard license decisions de novo, that is, it would not be bound by the findings of fact by a Coast Guard administrative law judge (ALJ). It also would allow the NTSB to set aside Coast Guard interpretations of law as arbitrary and capricious and it would stay license decisions against a mariner unless the Coast Guard could show that an emergency exists. The Coast Guard opposed this measure and can be expected to press for revisions as the legislative process proceeds.

Cruise Ship Crimes. Title VII includes provisions to require cruise ships to include in their advance notices of arrival information about any criminal act or omission resulting in death or bodily injury, all sexual assaults, all missing persons and other specified incidents. The bill was also amended on the floor in response to a proposal by bipartisan House members to require that the Coast Guard maintain an Internet site containing a numerical accounting, updated quarterly, of missing persons and alleged crimes committed on cruise ships. Cruise lines would also be required to include a link to the site on their own Web pages. In the Senate, Senator John Kerry (D-MA) recently held a hearing on this issue and issued a call for similar legislation mandating truthin-reporting of such crimes. On June 26, 2008, Representative Doris Matsui (D-CA) introduced a comprehensive proposal to protect American citizens from crimes on cruise ships, and on June 28, 2008, Senator Kerry followed suit in the Senate. Fishing Vessel Safety. Following on the heels of more tragic losses of life in the fishing industry, the bill establishes longoverdue safety equipment standards for all commercial fishing vessels operating beyond the three-mile limit and establishes much needed design and construction standards. The bill also requires new fishing vessels over 79 feet in length to have a load line, requires fishing vessels under 50 feet in length operating beyond the three-mile limit to provide an equivalent level of safety to that of recreational vessels, and authorizes the Coast Guard to examine vessels that operate beyond the three-mile limit.

WASHINGTON INSIDER Key Environmental Measures Impose New Requirements The House-passed bill also contains key provisions that would change environmental regulation of the maritime industry in important respects: Vessel Air Emissions. Title VI of the bill, entitled “The Maritime Pollution Prevention Act of 2008,” implements MARPOL Annex VI, which regulates air emissions from large vessels in international commerce by amending the Act to Prevent Pollution from Ships (APPS). The provision was previously passed by the House of Representatives as a stand-alone measure, H.R. 802. It represents a considerable expansion of Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) power over vessel regulation. It expands the jurisdictional reach of APPS for purposes of Annex VI to the exclusive economic zone of the United States, i.e., out to 200 miles offshore. It empowers both the Coast Guard and the EPA to designate “by order” areas “from which emissions from ships are of concern with respect to the public health, welfare, or the environment.” It expands EPA’s power to include MARPOL Regulations 12, 16, 17 and 19 (ozone-depleting Recruitment ad:Layout 1 10/12/2007 substances, incineration, reception facilities,

platforms and drilling rigs) without consulting with the Coast Guard. It also grants the EPA far-reaching enforcement power over reception facilities, fuel quality and any matter referred by the Coast Guard. Importantly, on June 26, 2008, the Senate passed its own version of H.R. 802, which largely mirrors the House version but clarifies the right of innocent passage and adds a citizen suit provision applicable to the EPA. The House accepted the Senate’s amendments and passed it by voice vote on July 8, 2008. The President signed the act into law on July 21, 2008. The Bush Administration had stated that implementing legislation was required 90 days before the International Maritime Organization’s proceedings in October for the U.S. to participate. But this was not done, and Chairman Oberstar had lamented the Senate’s delay as threatening “unfortunate consequences for the United States.” Ballast Water Treatment. Title V of the bill is entitled “The Ballast Water Treatment Act of 2008.” The title would provide for a national ballast water standard that would preempt the states from implementing their own individual 10:36 Page standards but1would still allow the states to

pursue independent enforcement schemes not preempted by the legislation. However, the legislation leaves unaddressed the regulatory threat presented to the industry by regulation of discharges incident to vessel operation via the Clean Water Act (CWA). The CWA permitting system has been found applicable to vessel discharges in the federal district court decision, Northwest Environmental Advocates v. EPA, 36 Envtl. L. Rep. 20,194, (N.D. Cal. 2006) The decision was upheld by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit on July 23, 2008. In response to this threat, on July 22, 2008, Congress demonstrated uncharacteristic speed in passing the Clean Boating Act of 2008 (S. 2766) and another bill (S. 3298). The Clean Boating Act provides a narrow CWA exemption for discharges during the normal operation of recreational vessels. S.3298 establishes a two-year moratorium on the proposed EPA requirement for all fishing vessels and small commercial vessels to obtain permits for similar discharges. Both measures will be sent to the President for his expected signature. Congress’ action followed the EPA’s decision not to await a decision by the Ninth Circuit because of a district-court-ordered deadline.

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WASHINGTON INSIDER es Regulation 12A under Annex I of MARPOL for all U.S.-flag vessels with an aggregate capacity of 600 cubic meters or more of fuel oil that are constructed under a contract entered into after the date of enactment. That regulation requires double-hull-equivalent protection for fuel tanks. Senators Lautenberg (D-NJ) and Feinstein (D-CA) have proposed a similar measure in the Senate.

EPA published a proposed rule that would mandate new requirements governing discharges incident to the operation of vessels in the waters of the United States. This regulatory regime would govern virtually all vessel discharges, not just ballast water, and like the air emissions legislation represents a major new regulatory burden on the maritime industry. While Congress has now provided relief to recreational boaters and certain small commercial vessels, there is no relief in sight for other vessel operators who are left to the mercy of the EPA. In the Senate, the leading version of ballast water legislation is Senator Inouye’s (D-HI) bill, S.1578. Like the House bill, his legislation seeks to preempt state regulation to avoid the balkanization of ballast water regulations. Additionally, it seeks to address the problem presented by the CWA-permitting approach to discharges incident to the operation of vessels as it applies to aquatic nuisance species. Therefore, if the two bodies reach a conference on competing Coast Guard bills, this topic will likely prompt intense negotiations. Fuel Tank Protection. Following the Cosco Busan incident in San Francisco, the bill impos-

e th ve te Sa Da

Jones Act Provisions Support the Industry and Mariners The 358-page House bill contains many other provisions of interest to the maritime industry. They are too numerous to cover here, but key provisions of interest to the Jones Act community and its offshore component include the following: Jones Act Enforcement. The bill grants authority to the Coast Guard to enforce the Jones Act, including the application of the Jones Act “to vessels that support the exploration, development, and production of oil, gas, or mineral resources in the Gulf of Mexico.” It also requires the Coast Guard to establish a program to enforce the Jones Act and to


submit a report within a year of enactment of “the enforcement strategies and enforcement actions taken to enforce the coastwise trade laws.” The provision is apparently rooted in concerns that, compared to Customs and Border Protection, the Coast Guard is in a better position to enforce the Jones Act. But the measure does not contemplate how the Coast Guard and Customs would coordinate their enforcement efforts. Offshore Industry Provisions. The bill also includes other provisions of importance to the offshore industry, including amendments to Title 46 of the U.S. Code governing offshore supply vessels and development of an interim clearance process with respect to the issuance of merchant mariner documents “to enable a newly hired seaman to begin working on an offshore supply vessel or towing vessel” if the Coast Guard makes “an initial determination that the seaman does not pose a safety and security risk.” Limitation on States’ Taxation of Mariners. The bill clarifies that mariners on vessels “operating on navigable waters in 2 or more States” are exempt from state taxation.

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WASHINGTON INSIDER The Senate Commerce Committee Version of the Coast Guard Bill Although the Senate has not yet passed its own version of the Coast Guard bill, the Senate Commerce Committee has reported out a bill unanimously. And it is this bill that will likely pass the Senate, setting the stage for negotiations by the House and Senate. The Senate bill includes additional provisions of interest to the industry that will likely form the basis for bargaining between the two bodies. For example, the Senate bill includes a provision requiring a report from the Coast Guard concerning its process for making vessel-rebuild determinations under the Jones Act, which has recently been the subject of vigorous litigation between important members of the Jones Act community. Considering the response of key members of the House of Representatives to a recent hearing conducted by the House Coast Guard Subcommittee, it would not be surprising to see the House embrace the Senate proposal or perhaps even seek to enhance it to require a review of the Coast Guard’s process.

Additionally, the Senate bill includes extensive proposals for oil pollution prevention offered by Senators Maria Cantwell (D-WA) and John Kerry. These include proposals aimed at addressing the root cause of most oil spills, human error, as well as many other preventative measures, including expediting and enhancing regulations for vessels towing tank barges. Furthermore, considering the proposals offered by Senators Lautenberg and Feinstein, it seems likely that there will be substantial support in the Senate for the House-backed proposal to require double-hull-equivalent protection of fuel tanks. Importantly, the bill includes provisions aimed at strengthening further the Coast Guard’s enforcement efforts targeted at intentional discharges of oil waste from vessels. Over the past decade, these criminal prosecutions have grabbed the headlines as the Coast Guard and the Department of Justice have pursued over 60 major cases against all manner of shipping companies, leading to multimillion dollar fines and jail time for mariners. The Senate bill proposes enhanced detection technologies for these intentional oil discharges and joint

enforcement operations by the Coast Guard with the international community.

Conclusion Considering what the Congress has passed already and proposed for enactment, this Congress has the potential to go down in history as having produced landmark maritime legislation. To be sure, if anything close to what is proposed is eventually enacted into law, the fields of marine safety and pollution prevention will be profoundly affected. Additionally, many of the measures affecting the Jones Act community appear ripe for enactment because the House-passed provisions appear to have industry support. The real challenge will be for the Senate to pass a bill so that the leaders of the two bodies can roll up their sleeves and work out a measure that they both can enact into law. Mar Ex Larry Kiern is a partner at Winston & Strawn LLP, an international law firm of 900 lawyers. His practice concentrates on maritime issues, including legislative, regulatory, and litigation matters.

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Missed Opportunity LOST at Sea

By Joan M. Bondareff and John D. Kimball, Blank Rome LLP

The maritime community is missing the boat by not standing up more forcefully and urging the Senate to ratify the Law of the Sea Treaty (LOST or Treaty) this Congress. LOST is languishing in the Senate and may not be brought to the floor for a vote this year – unless the maritime community takes a more prominent stand and communicates to the Senate the Treaty’s importance to vital U.S. maritime and energy security interests. A handful of senators has blocked its consideration on the theory that LOST is inimical to U.S. interests. This couldn’t be further from the truth, as we shall explore in this editorial. The United States was the principal proponent of negotiating a treaty to establish rules for carving up the international seabed and delimiting foreign claims to expansive sea power grabs. Thus it is ironic that the opponents of the treaty now view it as negative to those interests. In fact, LOST protects all U.S. navigational interests and stands to enlarge U.S. areas of resource development including an expanded continental shelf and, when the occasion arises, beneath the Arctic Ocean. In brief, LOST limits foreign claims over territorial seas (within which nations claim the most sovereignty) to 12 nautical miles; over adjacent contiguous zones to 24 nautical miles; and over exclusive economic zones, in which fisheries and other resources can be developed, to 200 nautical miles. The U.S. has benefited from these delimitations by declaring that these zones reflect “customary international law.” However,

the best way to protect these resource and territorial zones around the world is to codify them into treaty law. More importantly, LOST protects the freedom of navigation for U.S. naval carriers and commercial ships around the world by declaring that they have the freedom to navigate in, on and over all critical shipping lanes, including transit through international straits such as the Strait of Hormuz, a major shipping route for oil from the Middle East. Only the maritime community can fully appreciate the importance of freedom of the seas and the fact that our economy depends on keeping sea lanes open for the international trade of vital goods and services, including oil, gas and other essential commodities. As a major exporting nation, we must also have access to the ports of foreign countries. The Treaty provides this and also protects the authority of the U.S. as a port state to regulate the safe entry of foreign vessels into our own territorial waters and ports. On the energy and national security front, the Treaty will enable the U.S. to establish its claims to potential oil and

gas resources in an extended continental shelf and under the Arctic Ocean, if the time comes to develop these resources. The United States is best able to claim an expanded continental shelf of more than 200 nautical miles if it demonstrates to the Treaty’s Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf (Commission) that its geologic surveys permit it to do so. The Commission has already begun to meet and review the claims of other nations, but the U.S. can not take its reserved seat at the table until it ratifies the Treaty. Other nations that abut the Arctic, including Russia, are already making claims to an expanded continental shelf under the Arctic Ocean. These claims compete with potential U.S. claims in the region. The U.S. Geological Survey estimates that about one quarter of the world’s undiscovered oil and natural gas lies beneath the Arctic’s waters. With global warming, access to these resources may soon become technologically feasible and provide valuable new supplies of energy. The U.S. may well have an excellent claim to these resources, based on many years of

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MARITIMELAW …LOST limits foreign claims over territorial seas (within which nations claim the most sovereignty) to 12 nautical miles; over adjacent contiguous zones to 24 nautical miles; and over exclusive economic zones, in which fisheries and other resources can be developed, to 200 nautical miles. submarine surveys; but unless we ratify the Treaty, we will not be able to protect our claim to the fullest or challenge other nations’ claims to this region. Finally, market conditions may soon permit the exploitation of mineral resources from the deep seabed. The U.S. needs to protect the exploration done by U.S. companies and to take its now guaranteed seat at the International Seabed Authority (ISA). The difficulties with the so-called Part XI of the Treaty – that President Reagan initially objected to – were rectified with a new Agreement that now protects U.S. interests and assures us a permanent seat on ISA’s governing Council. The opponents of LOST proclaim that it will somehow infringe on U.S. sovereignty and has to be rejected or further amended. But as Deputy Secretary of State John Negroponte stated

in testimony before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, just the opposite is the case: “It is rare that a treaty actually increases the area over which a country exercises sovereign rights, but this treaty does.” The difficulties of Part XI have now been remedied. There is no mandatory transfer of U.S. technology. The U.S. has been guaranteed seats on important LOST bodies such as the ISA’s governing council and the Commission. Any revenue sharing from energy production is limited to an extended continental shelf and only comes into effect in the sixth year of production. The best way to change the Treaty as developments occur is from within, not without, the Treaty. Of utmost importance to the maritime industry, the Treaty helps keep the sea lanes open around the world and guarantees access to important interna-

tional straits. The time has come for the U.S. to rejoin the international community of 155 nations who have already become parties to LOST and accept the benefits that membership will bring the country and especially the maritime community. MarEx

Note: This article reflects developments through June 27, 2008. The views expressed herein are those of the authors, do not necessarily reflect the opinion of the firm or other members of the firm, and should not be construed as legal advice or opinion or a substitute for the advice of counsel. Please contact Joan M. Bondareff ( at (202) 772-5911 or John D. Kimball (JKimball@ at (212) 885-5259 if you have questions or desire assistance.

Following on from the success of the 2nd Green Shipping meeting in Miami, USA, ACI’s 3rd Green Shipping conference will address how ship owners and managers are now driving environmental programmes forward throughout their organisation and shipping activities. In this event, you will hear from your peers on how to ensure sustainable practices from ship building, operations through to recycling. Session experts will also explore the ROI and commercial benefits of investing in a green fleet. This high-level event will bring to attention the most topical environmental issues facing ship owners and managers and the most costeffective methods in dealing with them.

The programme will focus on key topics including • • • • •

Is Going Green Good Business? Encouraging a Proactive Approach Amongst Ship-Owners Maximising Commitment to Training Throughout the Company Reducing Emissions While Maximising Profits Overcoming the Operational Challenges in Running a Green Fleet

Among the panel of speakers: • • • • • • • • •

Lasse Kragh Andersen, Environmental Manager, A.P. Moller- Maersk Anders Sellgren, Fleet Manager, Rederi AB Transatlantic Joseph J. Cox, President & CEO, Chamber of Shipping of America Hans- Joachim Koblischke, Barwil Unitor Product Manager, Wilhelmsen Maritime Services Ronaldo Valadares Fonseca, Operational Affairs, Shipowners Association of Netherlands Clay Maitland, Founding Chairman, NAMEPA Reinhard Luken, Community of European Shipyears’ Associations Melanie Moore, Global Head of Environment And many more…

To get a full brochure or to register contact Anais Donnee on: +44 207 981 2503 or I

A U G U S T 2 0 0 8 | 17

Jack O’connell

Upgrades Downgrades Making a Lee in Heavy Weather No place to hide. That’s the dilemma facing investors these days. Cash would be a good place, but it’s a little late to exit positions that are down 15-20 percent year-to-date. With the Dow having officially entered bear market territory (defined as a 20 percent drop from the previous 52-week high) in early July and the Nasdaq and S&P not far behind, what’s a poor investor to do? Don’t bother to look overseas – those stocks have done even worse. China and India, the two emerging market darlings, are down 50 and 35 percent, respectively, year to date, after recording spectacular gains over the previous two years. European bourses are faring little better, trailing even the U.S. markets. A bleak picture, indeed. But wait. There is one place where you could at least hold your own and perhaps even make a buck or two along the way. I’m referring, of course, to shipping stocks, this column’s favorite subject. Commodities, and anything related to

them, are still going full blast, and that’s good for the companies that transport them. Take oil, for instance. Its price has doubled in the last 12 months. Natural gas is no different – up 60 percent this year. Coal prices have doubled, and steel and iron ore are up 80 percent. All of these products move by ship, and freight rates have moved up in tandem with the increase in commodity prices. Let’s start with oil, and look at the price of those companies that make a living finding and producing the stuff – the offshore service stocks. They’ve handily beaten the averages in 2008, as shown in Chart 1. The boat companies have done well, but the drillers – and those companies that offer construction and underwater services – have done even better, as witness Nabors and Ensco and Pride, the top three names on our list. These companies have benefited from the boom in deepwater drilling, as have the top two boat companies, Gulfmark and Hornbeck, whose vessels work Chart 1: OFFSHORE SERVICE STOCKS primarily in COMPANY (Symbol) 12/31/07 PRICE RECENT PRICE % Up/(Down) the deepwaNabors (NBR) $27.59 $45 63.1% ter fields in Ensco (ESV) 59.62 72 20.8 places like Pride (PDE) 34.13 41 20.1 the Gulf Gulfmark (GLF) 46.79 55 17.6 of Mexico, Hornbeck (HOS) 44.95 51 13.5 Angola, the Tidewater (TDW) 54.86 61 11.2 North Sea Transocean (RIG) 142.90 145 1.5 and SouthSeacor (CKH) 92.74 89 (4.0) east Asia. Trico (TRMA) 37.02 35 (5.5) Gulfmark, Source: Barron’s, MarketWatch. not previ18 | A U G U S T 2 0 0 8

ously mentioned in these pages, is an interesting company. Historically rooted in the North Sea, where it is a dominant player, and Southeast Asia, it has expanded into West Africa and Brazil, two of the hottest deepwater oil plays in the world. More recently, it agreed to acquire Rigdon Marine, whose modern fleet of 23 vessels gives it an immediate and much-needed presence in the deepwater Gulf of Mexico, where it previously lacked a presence. The addition of Rigdon, scheduled for completion in the third quarter, makes Gulfmark one of the world’s premier offshore companies with a combined fleet of some 90 vessels (with 16 more due for delivery by 2010) operating in every major offshore market. As Allen Brooks pointed out recently in one of his excellent Musings From the Oil Patch, the performance of oil service stocks has historically closely tracked the price of oil. As long as oil stays high, these stocks should continue to do well.

The Best of the Rest OK, what about the companies that transport crude oil? The Frontlines and OSGs of the world. And the drybulk companies that transport iron ore and coal and fertilizer and cement? How have they done? They’ve beaten the averages too, but not by as much as the offshore stocks, as shown in Chart 2. Tanker stocks have generally outperformed the drybulk companies, but volatility is the name of the game here. Companies like Frontline, with heavy

Jack O’connell Chart 2: TANKER AND DRYBULK STOCKS exposure to the spot market, have fared better COMPANY (Symbol) 12/31/07 PRICE RECENT PRICE than those with more balKnightsbridge (VLCCF) $24.15 $32 anced charter strategies, Frontline (FRO) 48.00 63 like Tsakos, but this is a Genco (GNK) 54.76 62 double-edged sword that GenMar (GMR) 24.45 26 can change at any time. Eagle (EGLE) 26.41 28 Frontline’s stock has varied Overseas Ship. (OSG) 74.43 76 wildly while Tsakos tends DryShips (DRYS) 77.40 76 to trade in a relatively narTsakos (TNP) 37.03 36 row range. In the drybulk Excel (EXM) 40.19 38 sector, volatility is even Source: Barron’s, MarketWatch, Capital Link. more prevalent as the Baltic Dry Index, which tracks sources of crude. This clearly is not a freight rates on major routes, swings stock for the faint of heart. between a high of 11,400 and a low of Volatility aside, these stocks – and 7,500. Take Genco, for example, which, their offshore brethren – have performed like GenMar, is controlled by Peter remarkably in the face of declining Georgiopoulos. It began the year at 55. In equity markets worldwide. They have May, just as the Baltic Dry peaked, it sold provided a safe haven for investors in four million new shares at 75. Today it increasingly choppy investment waters. is trading at 62. DryShips is even harder on the stomach. After quadrupling in Follow-Up 2007, it has fluctuated in 2008 between In my last column I talked about divia high of 131 and a low of 46. That’s dends and their importance in an overall right, 46! It currently trades at 76 and is down slightly for the year. What makes this stock even more intriguing (some would say puzzling) is its investment in Ocean Rig, ASA, an operator of ultra-deepwater rigs. Rather than investing all its cash in additional drybulk carriers, it is making a big bet on the ultra-deepwater market and trying to cash in on the worldwide search for new Baltic Dry Index (courtesy: Capital Link)

investment strategy. Especially in a down market, % Up/(Down) dividends provide a margin 32.5% of safety against declin31.3 ing stock prices, and most 13.2 tanker and certain drybulk 16.3 companies pay some of the 6.0 highest dividends around. 2.1 Another potential benefit (1.8) for shareholders lies in the (2.8) recent move toward con(5.5) solidation among companies in the maritime sector. Seacor’s successful purchase of Seabulk three years ago was an early precursor of this, and so far in 2008 we have seen Excel Maritime Carriers acquire Quintana Maritime, Gulfmark Offshore acquire Rigdon Marine, and Frontline increase its stake in Overseas Shipholding Group. These companies are discovering that, with record prices for newbuildings, it’s cheaper (and quicker) to buy additional tonnage by swallowing up a smaller competitor. Stay tuned for further developments. MarEx Jack O’Connell, the senior copy

editor of this magazine and a former maritime executive, is a private investor who may own shares in some of the companies mentioned in his columns. The views expressed in this column are his and his alone and are not in any way to be construed as investment advice.

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Case Study:

GMATSand the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy

Synergy and Separation Define the Relationship Between an Industry Asset and the Nation’s Most Productive Source of U.S. Merchant Marine Officers By Joseph Keefe

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hink you know all about the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy at Kings Point and the continuing education program known as GMATS? Think again. In a complicated era of global mariner shortages and an increasingly high-tech maritime environment, the need for expanded and up-to-date maritime education at all levels is paramount. Today, on 82 acres located on Long Island’s northern shores and international locations far beyond the physical constraints of the historic campus, two programs are providing real utility to the global maritime industry. Working side by side, these efforts are defined by their separation, but also by their synergy. Baseline: The Real Story… The U.S. Merchant Marine Academy at Kings Point, New York, is operated by the Department of Transportation’s Maritime Administration. It trains men and women as merchant mariners, and all graduates are required to serve either in the U.S. maritime industry or in the U.S. Armed Forces. While most maritime industry insiders are familiar with the school, few are aware that this federal service academy boasts the lowest cost per graduate among its four counterparts. The real utility of this national asset is even less obvious. Kings Point graduates get three things: a license, a bachelor’s degree and a commission. All three of those are inextricably linked. The class valedictorian who fails to satisfy the license exam and/or the armed services commission requirement(s) will also fail to graduate. The obligations – in exchange for this highly regarded undergraduate education – are many. With state maritime schools averaging just 59 percent of their graduates in license-track programs, the nation’s federal academy turned out 211 licensed mariners this spring. USMMA graduates still under obligation are required to serve, if called, during time of crisis. As such, the occasional rumblings that question the value of the school have pretty much dried up – much like the available pool of qualified mariners. Throughout its storied 64-year history, commercial and military organizations alike have hired Kings Point graduates based on the simple premise that they’ll get a good, physically fit graduate who also knows how to lead. In the most recent graduation ceremony and knee-deep in the richest sellers’ market that commercial mariners have seen in over a half century, the academy commissioned officers into every one of the services: Army, Navy, Air Force, Coast Guard and Marines. No doubt the logistics-savvy aspect

of the school’s graduates holds special attraction for these armed services. Located on the same campus is the Global Maritime and Transportation School (GMATS). Its primary mission is to prepare government, military and private sector professionals to be global leaders and innovators in maritime operations, intermodal systems and transportation security. GMATS is a “non-appropriated fund instrumentality.” In other words, it receives no federal funding for its operations. Instead, GMATS captures and leverages the assets on campus. In doing so, it is necessary to maintain a strict firewall between the work of the academy and that of GMATS. Perhaps no accounting system in the Department of Transportation itself has been more closely scrutinized in the recent past. That it survives the test of that oversight is ample testimony to its integrity. GMATS, employing an airtight accounting system, reimburses the academy for all costs incurred for the use of its campus. The salaries of GMATS’ staffers are paid from a commercial bank. Beyond this, the faculty – and there are very few full-time faculty – are almost all hired to teach a particular course. When USMMA undergraduate faculty teach for GMATS, they are required to take leave from their government jobs. Founded in 1994, the program has grown exponentially over the past 15 years and now boasts an annual throughput of more than 3,000 students. Today, GMATS’ reputation for education, global outreach and expert consulting services is arguably unmatched by any maritime continuing education program. What it gives back to its federal hosts is not easily measured, often misunderstood and most certainly exceeds the value of what it receives in return. A U G U S T 2 0 0 8 | 21

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Real Utility: GMATS Focuses on the Working Mariner The original GMATS program – under a different name then – grew out of the need to train Chief and First Engineers in diesel engineering. Later, after the Exxon Valdez accident, there was a surge in the need for PIC/tankerman training. So the academy offered those choices, in small quantities. But in 1994 the idea of leveraging some of the federal assets to provide maritime training in a variety of other areas was born. Today, course offerings are separated into three main areas: Nautical Science, Marine Engineering, and another which is called Transportation, Logistics and Management. The latter offering caters to a more senior or executive student. A fourth discipline, Research and Special Projects, is rapidly being developed. About 30 percent of GMATS’ business is related to professional education, with the balance in core competencies of maritime education. The demographics of mariners have changed radically over the past twenty years. Nowhere is this more apparent than on board sophisticated workboat platforms which have impacted the tugboat industry in particular. When McAllister Towing came for help in bringing its deckhands into the wheelhouse, GMATS’ response was immediate and effective. Today, the GMATS’ Crew Advancement Program is one of the best examples GMATS’ efforts to help alleviate the shortage of qualified manpower on the water. Program participants also receive

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Today, course offerings are separated into three main areas: Nautical Science, Marine Engineering, and another which is called Transportation, Logistics and Management. The latter offering caters to a more senior or executive student. A fourth discipline, Research and Special Projects, is rapidly being developed. About 30 percent of GMATS’ business is related to professional education, with the balance in core competencies of maritime education. college credit for their efforts. As companies try to grow organically from within, GMATS stepped up and provided training for deckhands that takes place in the ports where companies need it, not on campus.

Global Outreach – Local Benefits Brian Holden has been at GMATS longer than almost everyone on board today. GMATS’ Manager of Research and Special Projects knows that his purview may be the least visible of GMATS’ missions but is nevertheless one of its most important outputs. He ought to know. His efforts extend around the globe as an unofficial arm of sorts of the U.S. effort to help other countries in need. Contracted by the Commissioner of the Bureau of Maritime

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Affairs for Liberia, GMATS has developed feasibility studies and strategic business plans for the re-establishment of the Liberia Marine Training Institute (LMTI). The idea is to produce quality Liberian seafarers and foster economic development and poverty reduction. The program developed with the support of the Liberian Registry and the U.S. State Department and its embassy in Liberia. Holden adds, “Liberia is committed to this – they’ve bought into the importance and long-term value of this effort.” They have, along the way, also bought into GMATS’ services. Other noteworthy but virtually unknown international projects include GMATS’ effort in putting together the Maritime Academy of Asia and the Pacific in the Philippines. John Hanus told MarEx in July that, “In the Philippines, they wanted help in setting up a school very similar and patterned after the Kings Point four-year undergraduate program. We are also working with the International Maritime University of Panama.” All of that involved “boots on the ground” in these remote locations. Closer to home, GMATS was asked by the NYC Department of Transportation to provide an operational assessment of its Staten Island ferry operations after the well-publicized 2003 ferry accident that claimed several lives. GMATS’ consulting effort, leveraging its subject-matter experts, helped to answer important questions such as “How do we best operate this ferry system?” That report, delivered to Mayor Bloomberg, was eventually incorporated into the operating plan for the city’s ferries. Eventually, Holden hopes to exploit the wealth of cutting-edge ideas and expertise resident within the Academy and GMATS communities. Graduate-level thesis papers and projects are suddenly yielding exciting proposals about “green” engine technologies. If and when GMATS can turn those nascent ideas into viable research projects, the full spectrum of its capabilities will have been realized. C








Federal Assets: Economies of Scale for the Federal Government The U.S. Merchant Marine Academy and GMATS provide economies of scale to the federal treasury in any number of missions. And MARAD Administrator Sean Connaughton told MarEx in July, “Every effort is made to ensure that there is complete separation and that GMATS is not impinging upon other training institutions.” GMATS’ course offerings do overlap peripherally with those of some of the union “trust” schools. But the training often goes more toward specialized, custom-course offerings. GMATS has trained Crowley engineers in reefer technology and GE locomotive people in the world of diesel-electric propulsion, just to name a few. GMATS’ best customer is the federal government itself, followed by industry professionals taking courses in Fuel Management, Intermodal Freight Transportation, Principles of Chartering and Brokerage, and others that cater to narrow military requirements. Other missions are even more obscure, but just as important.

What can Crowley’s Technical Services group design for you? With over 40 newbuilds in 15 different classes since 1996, Crowley’s exceptional team of naval architects, marine engineers and maritime professionals have the capability to find economical and technical solutions for our client’s vessel design, conversion and retro-fit requirements. Contact Crowley today to find out how we can help with your technical design needs.

(904) 727-2159 A U G U S T 2 0 0 8 | 23

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GMATS’ best customer is the federal government itself, followed by industry professionals taking courses in Fuel Management, Intermodal Freight Transportation, Principles of Chartering and Brokerage, and others that cater to narrow military requirements. Other missions are even more obscure, but just as important. GMATS runs NOAA’s Basic Officer Training school, a 16-week program for college graduates transitioning into NOAA service. GMATS runs NOAA’s Basic Officer Training school, a 16-week program for college graduates transitioning into NOAA service. Here, esoteric MIT graduates, perhaps, will learn navigation skills and military doctrine in an atmosphere that promotes that behavior. It is difficult to argue that the taxpayers are not getting their money’s worth from the physical plant at Kings Point. GMATS also teaches navigation and shiphandling skills at the Navy’s Surface Warfare Officers School in Newport, RI, with additional on-site training for the Navy at Norfolk, VA and San Diego, CA. While some of these courses involve undergraduate subjects for Kings Point cadets, they also need to be taught to new officer candidates and working professionals. In this way, the undergraduate curriculum has new utility, applied to working professionals who now need the knowledge.

Engineering Change Through GMATS Peter Kahl is the Engineering Division Manager at GMATS. Kahl is representative of the many subject-matter experts at the school. A Kings Pointer himself, he spent 14 years at sea, raising

his license to Chief Engineer. Today, Kahl leverages his seagoing knowledge, an MBA from Hofstra and Port Engineer experience at SeaLand to write and manage programs to train a wide variety of personnel. Kahl’s primary customers include Military Sealift Command mariners who aspire to their QMED rating, as well as a Navy reserve and civilian component. Says Kahl, “We like that reserve component.” Other outlets for the GMATS Engineering program include the American Military University. The fully accredited online school has a marine transportation (with engineering emphasis) Master’s program, and AMU utilizes GMATS to teach four one-week courses in engine room, shipyard, fuel and project management. The offerings at GMATS are current and up-to-date. GMATS diesel-electric propulsion program, for example, excels in that way. Recently, he sent instructors to the UK to learn how to better teach the technology to his students. Kahl admits, “We can’t necessarily support an instructor full-time, but that’s a good thing – those people go out and back to industry and learn more and come back and bring that to us.” He also knows

Maritime Accident and Incident Investigation Training Comply with the new OCIMF Tanker Management and Self Assessment 2, Best Practices, Element 8 New training being offered by the Maritime Group at Robson Forensic. These courses will cover the fundamental principles necessary to use effective investigation, reporting and follow-up methods to learn from significant accidents and incidents, and thus prevent recurrence. 2, 3, 4, or 5-day courses available, at any location, and are customizable to the needs of your organization. Who should attend: vessel owners/operators, shore management, shipboard personnel, and those responsible for conducting or reviewing marine accident/incident investigations for their organization

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Engineers, Architects, Scientists & Fire Investigators

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that he has to be flexible in his delivery of service. So when a client with an offshore FPSO in Cameroon wanted customized service, a course was designed and an instructor dispatched to West Africa. GMATS’ consulting work is not necessarily confined to the Special Projects group. Kahl’s department works with the Navy’s Surface Forces, trying to give them a sense of the maritime component of how diesel ships operate. Kahl explains, “A diesel-powered naval vessel has a different role than does, say, a merchant ship. The Navy wants to know how the merchant marine can keep a ship in service 24/7, for 365 days a year with very little down time.” In the end, says Kahl, “We help bridge the gap between the sealift component and the naval forces.”


Femenia cautions those who would take the program lightly. “This is a hard-core engineering program.” Every week features two lessons America’s First Master of Marine Engineering Program online, and all lectures and – Online/Distance Learning videos are posted online. Once a week there is a oneWhen Jose Femenia stepped down hour live session where all from the Kings Point Engineering students and an instructor Department in February of 2007, he did anything but retire. His goal, now are online…one required fully realized at Kings Point, was to start course is called Maritime and bring to fruition the first Master of Policy” because, as Femenia Marine Engineering (MMarE) Program explains, “Technocrats know a lot about technical matin the United States. The program is ters but very little about how focused on supporting the American maritime industry, but operates under policy is formulated.” A Ph.D. in maritime history teaches the auspices of the Academic Dean, the class. remaining separate from GMATS. C








As President of SNAME, Femenia lamented the lack of marine engineering graduate programs. As the curriculum at Kings Point was formulated, they decided against residence programs because, although the shipyards and others wanted and needed the program, they also could not afford to send their people to it. Hence, Femenia began looking at distance learning. The tuition-based program, which has never taken a penny of appropriated funds, took about $500,000 to get rolling. The Kings Point Alumni Association, Lloyds Register, General Dynamics, DNV and private contributions created the lion’s share of that seed money. The first class of nine professionals is now getting ready to graduate, with a third group of ten getting ready to kick off in the near future. Femenia cautions those who would take the program lightly. “This is a hardcore engineering program.” Every week features two lessons online, and all lectures and videos are posted online. Once a week there is a one-hour live session where all students and an instructor are online. The session, given at night and during the day to accommodate all schedules, responds to student input and provides help with homework. Curiously, one required course is called ” because, as Femenia explains, “Technocrats know a lot about technical matters but very little about how

What can Crowley’s Technical Services group build for you? When it comes to building vessels there are no substitutes for experience and capability. Since 1996 Crowley has overseen the building of 40 vessels throughout the Western Hemisphere providing contract administration, construction oversight and delivery management. Contact Crowley today and let us know what we can build for you.

(904) 727-2159 A U G U S T 2 0 0 8 | 25

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policy is formulated.” A Ph.D. in maritime history teaches the class. The innovative program is, by all appearances, doing very well. Already, thesis papers involving “carbon capture” or an innovative way to weld gas turbine blades are being noticed outside the Academy and over at GMATS, where the effort to turn these thesis papers into live research projects is now underway. The focus of the Master’s degree program is aptly described as “Marrying academia and industry.” The availability of this type of degree could also address the lack of credentialed people who want to become faculty at maritime academies. In real terms, the nation’s first (and only) Marine Engineering Master’s Program aims to improve industry through education first and then through research.

Separate Funding and Mutual Goals: Reciprocal Benefit A great deal of scrutiny is given to ensuring that the physical plant that affords GMATS its base is not abused, financially or otherwise. In reality, not enough focus is given to the amount of value given back. For example, GMATS leveraged industry contacts to assist in the development of an undergraduate towing program, so that they can have that endorsement when they graduate. Similarly, the GMATS U.S. Coast Guard-approved LNG program was also used as a model in the development of the undergraduate course.

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GMATS itself benefits from having undergraduate professors available to teach continuing education classes. Because these professors receive feedback from industry professionals who attend continuing education classes, the benefits become a twoway street. As the professors change hats – and payrolls again – this information is fed back to their undergraduate students at Kings Point. The cycle creates more value for the academy, all of it directly related to GMATS and little, if any, of this intangible good is recognized in GMATS’ bottom line.

Crossroads: Federal Funding Lags Infrastructure Needs Kings Point visitors often marvel over state-of-the-art equipment built and delivered by Transas and Kongsberg Maritime Simulation. Lost in all of that is the inadequacy of funding for the nation’s fifth federal academy. Full Mission Simulators and “desktop” laboratory and laptop-based simulators abound. And recently delivered Steam Simulator licenses are running on the cadets’ laptops from a central file server. Still, at least one dormitory seemingly remains under construction at all times. Looking forward, the President’s proposed budget for MARAD does not allow for needed repairs. Vice Admiral Joseph Stewart, the soon-to-be-retired Superintendent of the Merchant Marine Academy, has done his best to bring Kings Point into financial parity, but the most costeffective of the five federal schools remains as the most poorly

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“We could be putting more kids through this school, but we don’t at this time have the capacity.” Today, the nation’s only maritime academy (with 100 percent license-track graduates) ranks low in the federal budget priority queue at a time when the nation is literally crying out for more qualified mariners. funded. Ten years after Stewart’s arrival, the academy is a more professional place, but the occasional $15 million appropriation for needed infrastructure rehabilitation is, at best, inadequate. Stewart laments, “We could be putting more kids through this school, but we don’t at this time have the capacity.” Today, the nation’s only maritime academy (with 100 percent license-track graduates) ranks low in the federal budget priority queue at a time when the nation is literally crying out for more qualified mariners. As Stewart prepares to retire, his biggest successes and deepest regrets revolve around the academy’s infrastructure. He looks back and says, “The biggest change has been that we’ve been able to focus on improving the quality of life and the appearance of the place. Until a few years ago, we were using radars in our Radar Lab that people never see on a ship. It’s the same in the machine shop for the engineers. We’ve modernized a lot of things here. And the money we got for the infrastructure, we simply would not have gotten were it not for our alumni. They are active, involved, and they help us out significantly. We’ve got more than a few who are well-placed, and they’re not afraid to use that influence to help us out.” As an advocate for both the academy and GMATS, Stewart will clearly be missed. C








Synergy and Separation It would be a stretch to say that one institution could not live without the other, but, in the case of GMATS and the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy, each would be a lesser entity without the input and help of the other. So, too, would the nation’s maritime industry, the military’s sealift machine and its cadre of mariners and shoreside professionals. Without the GMATS outreach that effectively functions as an unofficial ambassador for the State Department in faraway lands, it is likely that certain foreign policy missions would fail as well. Without a doubt, it would not be a stretch to say that there are few places in the federal government that deliver more value to the taxpayers than Kings Point. Although GMATS itself receives no appropriated funds, that institution is a key part of the metric. A focused, two-day visit to the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy is enough to dispel many incorrect assumptions about many things. Think you know all about Kings Point and GMATS? Think again. MarEx

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Executive interview



On the cover of this issue of The Maritime Executive are two important, but not always visible leaders in the U.S. maritime world. Although Vice Admiral Joseph D. Stewart, Superintendent of the United States Merchant Marine Academy at Kings Point, has announced his retirement from government service, his 10 years at Kings Point make for an interesting conversation. Prior to his tenure as Superintendent, VADM Stewart served in the U.S. Marine Corps, achieving the rank of Major General. He has held many command billets, culminating as Deputy Chief of Staff for Installations and Logistics, but his effect on the academy and midshipmen has been just as profound. Captain John Hanus is Director of the Global Maritime and Transportation School (GMATS). A 1988 graduate of the academy, he has been with GMATS in various capacities since 1992. Under his steady hand, the program has grown exponentially and is now regarded as one of the country’s premier maritime training centers. Follow along as we uncover the truth about America’s best-known maritime academy and, perhaps, its best-kept secret.

Captain VADM John Joseph Hanus Stewart Director of the Global Maritime and Transportation School (GMATS) 28 | A U G U S T 2 0 0 8

Superintendent of the United States Merchant Marine Academy



Executive interview

I think that the pendulum has swung to an atmosphere that is a little more rigorous. Right now, though, I think we are at a good place with an appropriate balance. We’re never going to be West Point…And I don’t think we want to be. It’s not so much the military aspect that you take away from the regiment – it is the responsibility of belonging. MarEx: ADM Stewart, why don’t we lead off here by telling the readers, in your own words, how you came to be Superintendent of the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy? Your background, after all, isn’t exactly “merchant marine.” ADM Stewart: Well, I’m a Naval Academy graduate and a long time ago I went into the Marine Corps. So I don’t have a great maritime background, but at one time I was part of the maritime prepositioning program. That assignment gave me a great respect for the merchant marine and how that job gets done. At one time, I was the Commander of Marine Corps Logistics Bases and that included two Marine Corps bases, and a maritime prepositioning command in Jacksonville, FL. In any event, I retired from the Marine Corps in 1998 and had always had an interest in going into education, and I came across the advertisement for this position. Quite honestly, the job description was perfect for a retiring military person. For myself, I knew it would be an adventure and I’ve been here now for ten years. MarEx: Okay, how about you, Captain Hanus? Tell us a little about how you landed here. Captain Hanus: I graduated from King’s Point in 1988 as a dual major, so I graduated with a degree in Marine Transportation and Marine Engineering as well as Third Mate and Third Assistant Engineer licenses. I eventually sailed on both licenses for about five years. After that, I started teaching part-time – here and elsewhere – and eventually got hired as Associate Director of GMATS in 1994. I’m also a Navy Reservist, and after 9/11 I was mobilized for a year to work at Naval Intelligence headquarters in Washington. I was appointed to serve as “Acting” Director in 2004, and then promoted to Director the following year. In 1994, it was called USMMA Continuing Education. We then changed the name to GMATS, and that’s where we are today. MarEx: Admiral, you are out of the Marine Corps, a pretty strict place in its own right. You’ve been here for ten years and have your own style; tell us about it. How do you see your role as Chief Executive in a place like this? ADM Stewart:First of all, it has always been a well-run school. And so I approached it as sort of a Marine Corps thing where you get a job, do it well, and then move on. I didn’t come here to do a complete makeover, but I did want to leave it a better place than what I found when I got here. I will say that I try to be a participating leader, inclusive in my management style, and that I regularly work with the staff. I don’t like micro-managers, and I don’t like to be handled in that fashion either. We have a leadership group that meets from time to time, and we work out decisions together for the most part. MarEx: Tell the readers a little about your first impressions of King’s Point.

ADM Stewart: This is a simple focus, but I still remember the first day I got here and I went over and had breakfast with the midshipmen and asked this one young man what bothered him about King’s Point. He said that he didn’t feel like he was proud to be here. Then he said, “I’ll show you why.” So after breakfast we walked down and saw this ratty old building (the Wooster Building, as it turned out), and he said, “We walk by this building all the time and it looks awful.” So my first thoughts during that week were that the school needed to be spruced up a little bit. MarEx: Okay, so you concentrated on the infrastructure when you got here. But I’ve seen MARAD’s proposed budget this year and there have been some funds appropriated for improvements here. ADM Stewart: Yes, I think it is a nicer and more professional place from that standpoint now. I certainly wouldn’t criticize anyone in the Department of Transportation, but I don’t think a lot of people there understood what it meant to run a federal academy. In terms of the budget, in the current fiscal year, we did okay. In the next fiscal year, we didn’t do well. Beginning in 2001, we started getting a separate line item just for the infrastructure, and that’s really helped us. We put together a master plan with the help of the Maritime Administration, and that really helped us. MarEx: As a military man, are you comfortable with the level of regimentation here or would you, perhaps, like to see things tightened up to a more “Marine Corps”-style atmosphere? ADM Stewart: I think that the pendulum has swung to an atmosphere that is a little more rigorous. Right now, though, I think we are at a good place with an appropriate balance. We’re never going to be West Point with military parades, etc. And I don’t think we want to be. It’s not so much the military aspect that you take away from the regiment – it is the responsibility of belonging. Our senior midshipmen have more responsibilities than they do at a lot of the other academies. One of the reasons for that is that we don’t have a whole lot of people – less staff coverage and so forth. And they do drop the ball from time A U G U S T 2 0 0 8 | 29

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I’d say that about 30 percent of what we do goes to the professional type of education, and 70 percent relates to our core competencies in maritime education. We balance education with training. That means we introduce quite a bit of theory but also require a hands-on approach to that learning. to time, but that’s how you learn. So the day they depart from here, they haven’t just thought about responsibility, they’ve exercised that duty. MarEx: Let’s swing back over to the GMATS side of the equation for a little while. John, you’ve run the GMATS program for the last five years. But you’ve got a management style as well. This program has changed a great deal. Tell us how, and why. Captain Hanus: The program itself grew out of the need to train Chief and First Engineers in diesel engineering. Later, after the Exxon Valdez accident, there was a surge in the need for PIC/tankerman training. So the academy offered those choices, in small quantities. In 1994, I came here and was asked to leverage some of the federal assets to provide maritime training in a variety of areas. We operate on a cost-recovery basis, so no appropriated funds support GMATS. We changed the name to GMATS to better capture what our subject areas were. We have deep roots in our maritime training origins, but that now extends much further into other intermodal means of transportation. MarEx: These different course areas – especially the logistics and management segments – really set this place apart from other schools. What percentage of your course offerings would you say are on the logistics side of the equation? Captain Hanus: I’d say that about 30 percent of what we do goes to the professional type of education, and 70 percent relates to our core competencies in maritime education. We balance education with training. That means we introduce quite a bit of theory but also require a hands-on approach to that learning. MarEx: Okay, let’s ramp up right into the hard questions. From time to time, the general public and industry in general will talk about whether or not this place is worth keeping open, in terms of the taxpayers and industry getting their money’s worth. Talk about all of that from the undergraduate side of the equation. ADM Stewart: Let’s start out by saying that I haven’t heard

Forensic experts:

anybody talking about closing the academy for a really long time. I know that was part of the national performance review and perhaps it is still out there rumbling a little bit, but we just in February met with our congressional Board of Visitors. We hadn’t done that since 1992, which is kind of disappointing. But that meeting was anything but an orientation to the academy. These were long-term, senior people – Senators Inouye and Lautenberg and so forth, and the discussions revolved around increasing enrollment and getting more funds. So I think people are on board with the concept that Kings Point is a national asset. The graduates give back to the country. They have an obligation, and tracking that obligation has gotten a lot better in recent years. The absolute requirement for a license here is a firm selling point. And the military is becoming increasingly aware that they get a good graduate. This year, we commissioned midshipmen into every one of the services. The Coast Guard and Marines got a ton of people. The Army has really ramped up here. MarEx: Earlier we talked about capturing and leveraging the assets that are here at Kings Point for the GMATS program. How that works in practice and how you keep the firewall up between the federal assets and work that you do here in terms of GMATS. Captain Hanus: We reimburse the academy for the costs that it incurs for our usage of those assets. It is a pretty tight accounting system. We even make the GMATS payroll from a commercial bank. Beyond this, the faculty that we hire – we have very few full-time faculty –are almost all hired to teach a particular course. Some are undergraduate faculty members, but when they teach for us they have to take leave from their government jobs. MarEx: There is another side to the GMATS program, isn’t there? You train NOAA OCS candidates and other federal employees. What’s the economy of scale for the government to bring them here as opposed to another facility? Captain Hanus: We are very careful to use only the excess capacity at the academy without negatively affecting the mid-


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The Exxon Valdez grounding, for example, resulted in the scrutiny of the oil tanker business, its training requirements, and then the passage of the Oil Pollution Act of 1990. After 9/11, of course, there was a huge focus on maritime security. Today, the next area of scrutiny will be air pollution, especially as it emanates from the maritime footprint. shipmen training programs. That’s why I report directly to the superintendent, and I also have a board of directors that he appoints. Now, many of those directors are department heads around the academy. But let’s take it a step further. One of the advantages of having the undergraduate faculty teach for us is that, when you are also teaching continuing education, you want to be using the most current methods for whomever you are instructing. Because our teachers also learn a great deal from their continuing education students, this information is then fed back to their undergraduate students at King’s Point. MarEx: Talk about some trends that you’ve seen and adjusted to, in terms of education. Captain Hanus: Unfortunately, the focus in maritime training sometimes seems to be reactive in terms of the aftermath of major events. The Exxon Valdez grounding, for example, resulted in the scrutiny of the oil tanker business, its training requirements, and then the passage of the Oil Pollution Act of 1990. After 9/11, of course, there was a huge focus on maritime security. Today, the next area of scrutiny will be air pollution, especially as it emanates from the maritime footprint. MarEx: Talk about research programs. It’s difficult to

teach about technologies that haven’t been developed. Specifically, where do you see GMATS going to address future challenges? Captain Hanus: Good question. You heard me talk earlier about the three training divisions at GMATS. We also have a fourth called “Research and Special Projects.” MarEx: Okay – give the readers some specific examples of these “special projects.” Captain Hanus: Sure. We’ve done research projects in the areas of pollution and another dealing with increasing operating efficiencies. Obviously, with fuel prices where they are now, there are ways to become more economical but also ways to reduce the carbon footprint. We hope to expand on these efforts and develop others as well. MarEx: Great. The undergraduate curriculum here is benefiting working professionals in the real world. Give me an example of that. Captain Hanus: One of the most recent programs that we’ve set up is for the near-coastal tug industry. What we’ve seen is that the ability to move from a deckhand to get a license and work in the wheelhouse is getting more and more difficult. The size of the vessels, sophistication of the technology now in use

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Executive interview

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We’ve done research projects in the areas of pollution and another dealing with increasing operating efficiencies. Obviously, with fuel prices where they are now, there are ways to become more economical but also ways to reduce the carbon footprint. We hope to expand on these efforts… and increasingly complex propulsion systems, combined with the public’s growing intolerance for accidents and mistakes all make the process more challenging. This training for deckhands primarily takes place in the ports where the companies participating need it. MarEx: So this is outreach to the maritime industry itself, yes? Captain Hanus: Yes, we responded to an industry need. A company, McAllister Towing, came to us with specific needs: to provide college credit, a route for deckhands to get a license, and a way to have the majority of the training done at their facility. They wanted to minimize transportation costs, among other things. That program is customized to fit their schedules, not ours. So our program with McAllister – and others now – provides not only training but a career path from being on deck to being in the wheelhouse. We started this program about a year ago with 20 people. It’s a two-year program on average, depending on their work schedules. We’re getting ready to start another class in the near future of perhaps another twenty. MarEx: Admiral Stewart, we’ve talked about the need to bring more mariners in the business. You’ve said that one of the things that you are trying to do is increase undergraduate enrollment. Could you put another 150 kids into the dorms? ADM Stewart: We could – but we’ve got to have all the dorms on line. We’ve got a renovation going on here right now so we pretty much always have one dormitory that’s being renovated. We’ve got three more to go and, once that gets done, we could increase enrollment by about 200. We’re locked by the Code of Federal Regulations as to our maximum enrollment. So that would have to be changed. But this class coming on 10 July will be as large a class as I have seen: 312 – if they all show up. We’re pleased about that, but we’re going to be overcrowded. MarEx: Admiral, you have been here ten years now. First,

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what is the biggest change you’ve seen since getting here and, secondly, what do you think your biggest impact on this institution of higher learning has been? ADM Stewart: I hate to dwell on infrastructure, but I do think the biggest change has been that we’ve been able to focus on improving the quality of life and the appearance of the place. We’ve modernized a lot of things here. Beyond this, and maybe it is my imagination, but I do think the graduates are better. As for myself, I try not spend all day sitting in a comfortable office. I teach math here as well. MarEx: John, from the GMATS’ side of the ledger, the program is bigger and certainly more successful than it was ten years ago. Could you ramp up to expand even further? Could the federal government, for example, make better use of your facilities? Captain Hanus: Yes. The fact of the matter is we have excess capacity here. We are also able to conduct courses outside Kings Point locations – throughout the world. And we’ve shown ourselves adept at hiring outside subject-matter experts to ramp up to outside needs. Several years ago, we helped put together the Maritime Academy of Asia and the Pacific in the Philippines. We’re working with the Liberian Bureau of Maritime Affairs and the Liberian Registry on re-establishing maritime training in Liberia. We are also working with the International Maritime University of Panama. Beyond that, we do training for the U.S. Navy at Norfolk, San Diego and Newport, RI. MarEx: I think that it is important to note that the campus is part of the MARAD budget, and you are helping to put people back on the boats. That’s part of MARAD’s goals and missions – and it should be yours as well. Captain Hanus and ADM Stewart: Absolutely. MarEx: Let’s finish up by asking you what the biggest thing on your wish list is right now? ADM Stewart: A bigger budget. Again, I hate to focus on infrastructure, but the longer it takes us to put the infrastructure in place, the longer it is going to take to put mariners at sea. And let’s face it: We compete with the Naval Academy and all the others. The kids come to look before they choose their route. If they don’t like what they see, then they’ll concentrate elsewhere. Quite simply, we need to bring our physical plant up to “federal academy” standards. MarEx: I’m grateful for the opportunity to expand the maritime industry’s understanding of the academy, GMATS and the unique relationship between the two. I know that MarEx readers will find all of it fascinating.



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Front: CMES Distance Learning System front page. Back: Online course materials page.

CMES: It shouldn’t be surprising that an internationally certified (DNV) Maritime Simulator and Training Center is the recognized leader in distance learning for professional mariners. It also shouldn’t be surprising that this same school has developed the only online distance learning system for STCW applications that has been approved by the United States Coast Guard. The fact that this Distance Learning Management System (patents applied for) isn’t considered by its inventors to be a panacea for most maritime training applications shouldn’t necessarily raise your eyebrows either. What all of this could eventually mean to the world of professional maritime training, however, just might. And it should.

Ideas and Requirements Somewhere in the heartland of America, an American kid with access to decent bandwidth is playing sophisticated, interactive video games with someone in Europe. The scope of what can be accomplished online or through a computer is no longer a difficult thing 36 | A U G U S T 2 0 0 8

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Online, Long Distance And Leading the Way

for most people to comprehend. That type of technology can and is applied to learning. Only recently, however, did the practice begin to impact the world of regulated, mandated STCW and U.S. Coast Guard requirements. Chuck Eser, Manager of Academic Affairs for the Calhoon M.E.B.A. Engineering School (CMES), says, “This isn’t rocket science. Other industries have adopted distance learning standards – but it is new for the maritime industry and the Coast Guard.” In the case of the all-new CMES Distance Learning Management System, he might be understating the case just a tad bit. In early April, I became one the of first industry professionals to take the Crowd Management course through this Coast Guard-approved distance learning environment invented by CMES. A couple of weeks later, I traveled to Easton, MD to take the final examination. Coincidentally, and much earlier in October of 2007, I also visited the United States Coast Guard’s new National Maritime Center in Kearneysville, WV. The three events have a lot to do with one another,

because as one organization begins to ramp up its automated processes for mariners, another – for totally different reasons altogether – has already shown them the way out of the woods. The trustees and directors of this well-respected school had a simpler mission: Create convenience for mariners and member companies and save money in airfare and travel expenses. Because distance learning applications were already in use at CMES, the educators there knew of its power and utility. The concept had been tested over time, on non-Coast Guard-required but nevertheless important courses from the standpoint of member companies. With that baseline in place, a CMES project team, led by Captain Dan Noonan, began the process of building a robust and verifiable training tool intended to withstand the regulatory requirements for STCW applications. Ten months later, the United States Coast Guard approved the first online distance learning management system. The very first course to be packaged

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in this innovative distance learning environment is the CMES online Crowd Management program. Because it was (a) short - four hours, and (b) one with real market appeal to existing cruise lines, the choice was an easy one. Cruise lines, some with a fair bit of turnover in their unusually large crews, needed a way to train a lot of people to a required standard, quickly and without incurring huge travel expenses. As it turns out, CMES had the perfect answer. Getting that product to market was just a little bit harder.

Standardizing Delivery, Verifying Participants, Protecting Privacy – And a Host of Other Things Too… From the outside looking in, the one-year period in which CMES got the job done to the satisfaction of the Coast Guard and DNV might seem very short. But Dan Noonan told his CMES colleagues, “I think I can take this school into the 21st century.” And, remarkably, the Coast Guard gave approval to the concept just three months after receiving the full package and vetting the course through actual online learning sessions (and other methods). During that period, the Coast Guard determined that, among other things, the new learning system provided: ƒƒ Validation of the privacy of the individual taking the course; ƒƒ Verification that the instructor is who he says he is and that he is there (with biometrics); ƒƒ A backed-up system supported by redundant servers and IT on call at all times;


ƒƒ All actions logged (opening and closing a form/leaving a lecture, etc.); and ƒƒ Electronic routing/ signatures and a completely paperless system. The first meeting with the Coast Guard took place early in 2008 at their Martinsburg location. The CMES Distance Learning Crowd Management online course front page. Manual was delivered mean, mean what you say, and prove it.” at that meeting and provided a description of the individual systems and, more Probably more important to the CMES importantly, how those systems interact team was that, as revolutionary as the with one another. That three-hour distance learning concept was, it still had meeting, with a skeptical Coast Guard to be as good as and in fact better than team attending, eventually yielded “brick and mortar” methods. Check Eser fruit. Initially, the National Maritime adds, “A lot of things are different, but Center vetters had no requirements but some things are very much the same. plenty of reservations. In the end, they Delivery of consistent course content, embraced the concept fully. Says Chuck vetting instructors, verifiable privacy for Eser, “They could see how CMES was students – all of these things need to be as robust as the traditional ‘brick and delivering and testing and verifying. I mortar school house.’ Then you need a think they were waiting for something process for continuous improvement.” like this.” Eser also says, “We also had The CMES Distance Learning apour “t”s crossed and our “i”s dotted proach allows for a self-paced environwhen we went to see them.” ment in which the student interacts with Quality of Delivery: the USCG instructor at his or her own Just as Important as speed, which avoids wasting the time Certifying the Course of 22 other people in the class who are CMES delivers as many as 45 courses to also proceeding at their own particular its students, each one as important as the rhythm. And yet the system and course next. As the distance learning concept are DNV-audited. A CMES Distance was being developed, the old ISO 9000 Learning Manual lays out how the analogy was very much in play when processes will be carried out. Course dedealing with the Coast Guard and its velopment, of course, also requires subDNV certifying body: “Say what you mittals to the NMC. Dan Noonan told

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Crowd Management online video lecture.

MarEx, “You’ve got to develop interesting course material that conveys knowledge but doesn’t bore people to death. You’ve heard of ‘Death by PowerPoint?’ We wanted to avoid that at all costs, both here at the school and online. So the goal, from the start, was to get the students engaged and not to give a mind-numbing instructional experience.” Noonan says that this is not the first time they’ve used these new technologies. When he did submittals for his Advanced Meteorology course, he used the technology on the student side of the equation – very similar to the lecture part of the online Crowd Management course. “To my enjoyment – and not necessarily my complete surprise – the course was engaging.” The key, says Noonan, is to provide a ten-minute segment of “exchange of information” that is engaging, visually and intellectually, and use that as an instructor, and then go back over things to say, for example, “Okay, do you remember what was taught to you?” In this way, students get a fuller understanding of what the material is.

Defining the Learning Management System: The CMES Way CMES had to get the Distance Learning Management System approved before any course could go into that curriculum. But what is a learning management system? According to Chuck Eser, a learning management system is software that automates the training event and the administration, launches the learning content, tracks the learner’s content and 38 | A U G U S T 2 0 0 8

m a r i t i m e sequences the learning content. The CMES suite of functions (a) delivers the course, (b) manages the content and (c) manages interaction with the system and does the performance assessment. All of this, backed by a robust Biometric Instructor Identification, was successfully demonstrated to the U.S. Coast Guard to internationally recognized standards. Within the Distance Learning System, CMES will observe a strict 12:1 studentto-teacher ratio. And the verification of that metric is robust. Coast Guard auditors will have unlimited privileges to come and go online as they please, monitoring courses, instructors and students at any time. This audit function exceeds that which they would normally be afforded during “brick and mortar” classes – and is a lot cheaper. The only thing that cannot be done online is the final examination. Fortunately, there are independent testing organizations – Prometrics, for example (3,700 locations around the country), who give proctored final exams. Of course, the student can also come to CMES or any STCW assessment center in person.

In Actual Practice In April, I took the CMES online Crowd Management course. Sitting in my office, I completed the four modules, lectures and associated quizzes in about three hours and 45 minutes. This included time for a couple of coffee breaks and a quick telephone call between lectures. I am told that this coincided nicely with the “brick and mortar” method of teaching. But when the instructor popped up on my screen a couple of times to let me know I was doing “okay” or to ask me for my input on a particular area of “crowd management control,” the experience was (at first) a little disconcerting. But like a chat session or “IM” string with a purpose, this aspect of the course eventually gave a real human feel to the process. I found the lectures to be engaging

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and interesting, even though some of the terminology and lesson content was clearly intended for a lower level, perhaps unlicensed mariner. Eventually, in mid-April, I traveled to Easton, MD and took the final examination, proctored by none other than Dan Noonan, the father of this cutting-edge teaching tool. We conducted the final interview after he presented me with my first-ever STCW certificate.

One Size Does Not Fit All Chuck Eser readily admits, "Someone else could have skinned this cat a different way." And what if the Coast Guard had said no? He paused briefly before answering, “We would’ve been disappointed, but we would’ve also said, fine – it still supports what we are doing here at the school.” He also says that the online distance learning tool is not for all courses. While teaching a student about pollution and giving examples of why that is important would be a good target for this tool, subjects involving knowledge and motor skills might not be. Teaching how to pull the head on the engine without having that engine nearby would not be the best idea. Dan Noonan adds, “Courses need to be screened very carefully. You need to ask, ‘Can you accomplish all of the objectives?’ Maybe not. And for a lot of what we do here, the answer is no.” As the CMES team looks ahead, they can see promising areas of application for their Learning Management System. One such area might be ARPA courses and related simulation areas, but Chuck Eser cautions, “That will require a teaming effort in the future between manufacturers and the schools.” In the end, the Learning Management System will not be a panacea for everything. Having said that, it’s all the more remarkable that a “hands-on” type of engineering program – like CMES, for example – ultimately decided to pioneer it. What’s Next? Without a doubt, the CMES team would like to grow the program to support a much larger student body. But if a giant cruise line decided to sign up 600


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people at once, the capacity does not yet exist to handle that volume of students. Maintaining the Coast Guard-mandated teacher-to-student ratio would be one of the problems. An IT professional must be on call at all times when the course is up and running. And finding instructors is difficult. Only Masters with experience on a passenger ship can teach the Crowd Management course, for example, and they are in decidedly short supply here in the United States. On the other hand, the instructor can be anywhere and this creates yet another economy of scale, because as long as the instructor logs in biometrically, he is in compliance with the protocol. Finally, a student has three days to complete the Crowd Management course, so the instructor will always have to be available. As Chuck Eser says, “Be careful what you wish for – you just might get it.” In the future, an auditing group such as DNV might want to base its standards of maritime-based learning on a particular protocol. And since CMES is the

first to come out of the gate with a Coast Guard-approved system, whatever comes later arguably will be at least partly based on what came first. In the end, the effort took foresight – and guts. Dan Noonan explains, “We bought the servers, software, and spent the tens of thousands of dollars in outlay to put it together. There was tremendous risk involved with that: Including salaries, before the first test course was put out, the outlay was certainly more than $100,000, with no guarantee that the Coast Guard approvals could be obtained.” Eventually, on the platform that more than 70 students used to complete another “proficiency” course over the space of four months, the Crowd Management course became the first Coast Guard-approved, longdistance online STCW offering.

Imitation: The Sincerest Form of Flattery No doubt any number of other schools will be looking to duplicate the CMES online training effort. And some will

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eventually succeed. But perhaps no outfit is looking harder at the proven concept than the Coast Guard itself. In October of 2007, NMC Commanding Officer Captain David Stalfort told MarEx that his goal was to eventually make the bulk of the mariner certification and renewal process “a paperless process which would allow for e-filing of documents.” Just a few months later, the CMES team probably gave them new hope that it could be accomplished. As the new NMC in West Virginia ramps up and continues to absorb one local Regional Exam Center (REC) after another, Dan Noonan’s labor of love may well have made that process – however indirectly – just a little easier. Back in Easton, the brain trust is back at it again, packaging old courses in new and exciting ways and, in the process, making things just a little easier and more accessible for students and customer companies. Without a doubt, the world of maritime training and education will never be the same. MarEx

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standingUp By Joseph Keefe

Office of Global Maritime Situational Awareness (OGMSA) Commercial Shippers Will Soon Learn That Maritime Security Means Global Information-Sharing as Defined by OGMSA In late August, the National Office of Global Maritime Situational Awareness (OGMSA), in conjunction with the Department of Justice and the U.S. Fleet Forces Command, will sponsor a Global Maritime Information-Sharing Symposium (GMISS) at the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy (USMMA) at Kings Point. If you don’t know what any of those acronyms mean or who exactly the players are that will be involved, then you can for the time being be forgiven. In the world of ocean commerce, however, anyone who does not very quickly come up to speed on all of this will be at a severe disadvantage, both in terms of maritime security and commercial viability.

Standing Up OGMSA: No Small Task When Tom Ridge first stood up the Department of Homeland Security a little more than five years ago, many observers said that his would be one of the most difficult tasks in the history of the United States government. Bringing together a wide range of players from other departments and marrying them into one cohesive force was a tall order. Arguably, Secretary Ridge showed himself to be an able leader and a more than competent manager. Almost four years after Ridge stood up the DHS, Rear Admiral Lee J. Metcalf, USN was designated to serve as the inaugural Director of the interagency Office of Global Maritime Situational Awareness. Although physically much smaller – and far more obscure in terms of international visibility – Metcalf’s task in standing up OGMSA may actually be far more difficult. So what is OGMSA and what does it do – and more importantly, why? In response, RADM Metcalf sums it up neatly: “Look, it took six or seven months just to get traction: staff, governance, processes in place. This first year has been consumed with learning what people are doing and educating people on who we are. Ask me in six months – if I don’t have any big victories, then shame on me. We are on the front edge of being able to engage several important things.” That having been said, the big picture is still more complicated. 42 | A U G U S T 2 0 0 8

In May, MarEx Managing Editor Joseph Keefe sat down with RADM Metcalf to get the full story on the most ambitious interagency information-sharing effort in more than fifty years. The success or failure of this broad-reaching endeavor will have a profound effect on the commercial shipping world, here and abroad. Follow along to find out why.

Missions and Players According to the Web site of OGMSA, the Mission of the Director of Global Maritime Situational Awareness is to facilitate the creation of a collaborative global, maritime, informationsharing environment through unity of effort across entities with maritime interests. Achieving global maritime situational awareness will increase the discoverability and share-ability of information relevant to those engaged in managing the security, safety, environment and commerce associated with the maritime domain. OGMSA additionally says that this mission is broadly defined by the following strategic goals: ƒƒ Make maritime-related information available to enable accurate, dynamic and confident decision-making. ƒƒ Make information searchable. ƒƒ Facilitate development of a dynamically tailorable, networkcentric virtual information grid. ƒƒ Facilitate the improvement and alignment of resources, capabilities, and activities related to global maritime situational awareness. ƒƒ Maritime Domain Awareness (MDA): An effective understanding of anything associated with the maritime domain that could impact the security, safety, economy, or environment of the United States. (Source: National Plan to Achieve MDA) ƒƒ Global Maritime Situational Awareness: Results from the persistent monitoring of maritime activities in such a way that trends and anomalies can be detected. (Source: National MDA CONOPS) ƒƒ Office of GMSA: Acts as catalyst for and among all maritime entities to make information available and searchable, by

standingUp Within the government, advocating standards the potential for leveragand protocols. ing different assets across To be fair, OGMSA’s first year was more about many areas is gathering gaining credibility than steam. And while some would question why a fairly anything else. But Metcalf benign outfit like NOAA is quickly put the real involved with OGMSA, the situation into perspective for MarEx readers: “The partnership is ultimately first thing was to set up a very logical one. Metcalf outlines the strategy nicely the infrastructure itself. by explaining, “Part of So we stood ourselves what I think we have an up; right on the heels of that, we set up the opportunity to accomplish is to look at the resources interagency structure, that various government taking the whole range agencies bring to the party. of players and framing One of the objectives is to them under the National “We’ve seen the evolution of – we call them increase our ability to see MDA Stakeholder Board.” centers of gravity – that have emerged and are Metcalf goes on to say, increasing cooperation across the U.S. government.” what’s out there on the oceans. In our efforts to “We’ve seen the evolution encourage information-sharing, you need to understand the of – we call them centers of gravity – that have emerged and are motivating force for international partners as well as other U.S. increasing cooperation across the U.S. government. Now you agencies to buy in.” have single points of contact, Executive Agents, talking about A country in the Caribbean might be most interested in, their enterprise. It makes the process better, much more effecsay, early tsunami warning and the sensor systems that provide tive. as we try to isolate what the priorities are.” And Metcalf that safety net. Although the technology guys in the U.S. are says that the latter process is moving right along. talking to them about that, another agency that’s interested in The Secretary of the Navy is designated as DOD MDA safety and security on the high seas may not even be thinking Executive Agent and is implementing a broad reaching MDA about the crossover application. On the surface the two misframework that enables Navy missions and is helping close nasions have little to do with one another, but better communitional MDA gaps. Metcalf says that this work is something that cation links might open up the possibility of greater payback OGMSA is clearly linked to. He continues, “At DOT, where Sean with the same system. Connaughton is the MDA Executive Agent, they are integrating a ton of information that’s coming out of maritime sources. Taking it one step further, part of the OGMSA mission down They are trying to enable decision-makers as well and have put the road might be to find out who has the information and a lot of time and effort into a system that went live in July and where that information could be shared. Along the way, Metcalf your readers will have access to, called MARVIEW. Additionally, says it is not uncommon to find that more than one agency in at DHS, where the Coast Guard Commandant is the designated the government is working on the same thing. In the end, havMDA Executive Agent, there are a wide range of MDA initiatives. ing two people collecting the same data where one person or agency could do it and then share that information interagencyBut there are twenty-something agencies…we’re all trying to get wide is a colossal waste of time. to the same spot: ‘a highly collaborative, effective informationsharing construct.’ This inter-agency effort is addressing info Metcalf takes it even further. The Integration Ocean Obsersharing issues for cargo, people, vessels and infrastructure. More vation System has the unenviable acronym, “I-OOS.” But that importantly it is helping decision makers make sense of the data IOOS structure, just around North America, has some 44,000 and use it to make good decisions. sensors. In the Caribbean alone, there are 5,000 – most of them “wave-height indicators” and that genre of device. The budget Getting Specific: Real Results for this infrastructure is estimated at two to three billion dollars, Through Economy of Scale spread across some 13 different agencies. The standardization Metcalf sees no end to the possibilities for OGMSA, but he is issue alone cries for help. The variations in the category of the also realistic about how to get there: “There are not enough “date-stamp” are simply unbelievable. There are some 23 difresources around for everybody to do everything that we want. ferent ways to do that date stamp. Standardizing a little of this And there are different perspectives, depending on the vanwould make the information more easily shared. In the end, tage point.” But Metcalf and his relatively small group also feel says Metcalf, “OGMSA aims to help the IOOS community hook that the use of a common office is the perfect way to gain real up with other stakeholders and realize how to better leverage economy of scale both within and outside government. their data.” And as equipment comes to its retirement age, the A U G U S T 2 0 0 8 | 43

standingUp overarching interagency investment strategy has to be defined. Outside government, OGMSA is partnering with companies like Maersk, which are getting more inquiries from more U.S. agencies – in some cases, for the same data – than they can handle. “At the very least,” says Metcalf, “that kind of thing is a distraction. So how do we help them manage the demand signals that come out from across the breadth of the U.S. government?” Eventually, and sooner rather than later, Metcalf’s OGMSA hopes to streamline that process so that information is only given once and never again. The concept of eliminating redundancy is very much what OGMSA is all about.

The government’s use of AIS extends to being able to track down ships that make illegal discharges. Reports come in about an oil plume in the water. The Coast Guard gets a sample of the oil, fingerprints it, then uses the AIS to find all the ships in the area and track them to the next port. By matching this ‘fingerprinting” pier side, they nail the culprit. Metcalf sends a signal of caution, however, when he says, “We don’t know where this information sharing is going, but if we are good stewards of this information, we are going to discover huge advantages, and part of our role is to explore the opportunities.”

A “Need to Know”: But Who Decides? A common complaint often heard from the commercial maritime community is that it has a lot to offer but the government doesn’t seem interested. The marine information exchanges, in particular, have been particularly vociferous about this. But it is not quite that simple. While some commercial entities do have a wealth of data and information, these cargo and logistics databases are proprietary in many cases, ad hoc and stovepiped in others. The question arises: Who is entitled to the information and why? Any ship that’s coming in and out of the United States has a lawful obligation within 96 hours of arrival to show that data to specific agencies. Accordingly, there are agreements associated with what CBP, as the recipient of that data on behalf of the United States government, can do with it. CBP, in turn, is required to ensure that the other federal agencies who get that data act in kind. Metcalf’s OGMSA therefore works with both the lawyers and the risk managers to mediate options without breaking the law or contracts. He adds, “We’re bringing groups together to focus the expertise to discover solutions that have been overlooked in the past.”

Structure, Chain of Command and Funding: Showtime for OGMSA OGMSA’s billet structure now allows for 32 individuals. Metcalf reports formally to the Navy and Coast Guard – the MSPCC, the interagency body that oversees the policy for maritime security. Additionally, a key role is played by the National MDA Stakeholder Board, Executive Steering Committee, which includes the Departments of State, Justice, Transportation (MARAD), Homeland Security (specifically, the Coast Guard), Defense (the Navy) and Commerce. This interagency group grades OGMSA on whether it is living up to its directives. Housed at Coast Guard headquarters in Washington, OGMSA takes funding from a multitude of organizations, including Coast Guard, Navy and the Maritime Administration which are currently providing resources out of hide. Metcalf adds, “We are so new that they are still structuring a game plan right now as to how to manage this long term. In a town where the roadside is littered with good ideas that Beltway players had no patience to bring to fruition, this is a critical moment for OGMSA. When asked if he felt pressure to show immediate dividends in the face of that kind of scrutiny, Metcalf replied, “To be blunt – yes. But that’s just how everything else is looked at every year too. When you are something new, they are looking at you twice as hard. Trying to establish collaborative, effective relationships is a day-to-day effort, and we are making headway. Some would say that we’re not moving ahead fast enough, and still others are amazed at the pace we are going.” Metcalf hopes to leverage the energy coming out of DOD, DOT and DHS and create synergy between these groups so that the level of security, safety, environmental protection and commerce that we all aspire to can be a reality. But he also denies being interested in creating another Washington-based monolith. He insists, “I made the decision early on that it is not productive for us to either go after major authorities or budget frameworks. If I can’t show the merits to the current organizations that are authorized to do certain things, then shame on me. We’re trying to help the resources become aligned across government and use the authorities that they have.” He might be on to something here: responsibility, accountability and economy of scale. Doesn’t sound a lot like Washington to us, but it does sound like a good idea.

What’s in It for ME? Virtually every department of the U.S. government is looking at its mission and ensuring it doesn’t get inadvertently tasked with something it wasn’t budgeted to do in the first place. Metcalf is aware of the friction but also says, “Yes, there are concerns. But all participants have signed that document – the National MDA CONOPS. It talks to the need and the commitment to do exactly what it describes. It’s not going to be without bumps as people try to figure out how to blend priority sets within different agencies.” The stage, therefore, just might be set to do this far better than in the past. OGMSA is also actively involved in helping the U.S. government take a more comprehensive look at a National Strategy for engagement with AIS (Automatic Identification System). With countries around the world collecting AIS data and sharing that data at no cost, OGMSA finds itself at the beginning of a framework similar to what happened in the aviation arena. In that case, the International Civil Aviation Organization eventually stepped up to help coordinate air IFF (Identification Friend or Foe) worldwide. Metcalf claims, “What will happen now with ocean commerce is exactly the same commercial steps.” 44 | A U G U S T 2 0 0 8



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Keefe: more than he bargained for.

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MarEx hero in action.

By Joseph Keefe

MITAGS Delivers Value on a Key Requirement: Underscoring the Impact of STCW on the 21st Century Mariner - And His Employer About six months ago, Managing Editor Joseph Keefe announced his intention – with the help of some industry friends – to bring his “continuity” license into compliance with Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping (STCW) protocol. In June and in conjunction with all of that, he attended and completed the Basic Safety Training (BST) course given at the Maritime Institute of Technology & Graduate Studies (MITAGS) in Linthicum, MD. Keefe is not the first 49-year-old, former mariner to try to re-qualify his credentials, not by a long shot. Nevertheless, the effort sheds significant light on what has always been a confusing and mysterious journey for many mariners – and their employers. It also highlights the importance of STCW and shows why this requirement is not just another silly acronym created by a well-meaning and clueless regulatory machine.

Getting Started: And Getting Good Advice… I had toyed with the idea on many occasions. Going back to sea was probably not an option at this point in my life, but the maintenance of my marine license had always been a source of pride. It’s also a big part of my credibility as an editor in the commercial maritime world. Still, the knowledge that my license, while still valid, would no more allow me to go back to sea than, say, my wife, was a constant nagging reminder that wouldn’t go away. Beyond this, I was firmly entrenched in the camp of (former) mariners who had come ashore before the STCW protocol came into force. Eventually – and largely due to his sage advice and encouragement – Glen Paine convinced me that I could and should do it. The Executive Director of the Maritime Institute of Technology & Graduate Studies (MITAGS) at Linthicum, MD, also agreed to make MITAGS available to be a primary facilitator of training during my STCW journey. On a “space-available” basis and allowing for my editorial calendar deadlines, I made it my goal to accomplish this task within 12 months. At this point, that goal was clearly too aggressive. But the effort has thus far 46 | A U G U S T 2 0 0 8

generated more than its share of industry attention and also ignited a personal excitement that, perhaps, had been missing for some time. From the outset, Glen Paine provided a welcome and steady guiding hand in formulating this idea. He also advised me to first get an expert assessment of my credentials and documentation so as to accurately quantify exactly what training and documents I would need. I turned to Andy Hammond of Maritime Consulting, LLC, who examined my documents and let me know where I stood. Hammond is a former Coast Guard Regional Exam Center (REC) chief, who probably knows more about the general process than most. He’s also a licensed mariner. Now, and as principal of Maritime Consulting, Andy assists mariners with issues or challenges that they may be faced with during the Coast Guard certification process, from document review and examination training to problem resolution and physical competency review. When Glen Paine told me some months ago that BST would be the most appropriate and perhaps most important place to start, he wasn’t kidding. There are many reasons for this, but he also advised in no uncertain terms that the training can be quite strenuous. Almost 24 years after and 32 pounds heavier than my last 26-mile marathon effort, I now know that he was right. The general school of thought there was that if an aging mariner couldn’t hack the physical aspects of the BST portion of STCW training, there was little point in going through the balance of the requirements. After completing – and passing – the BST portion, I couldn’t agree more.

BST: Expectations and Reality When I traveled to Linthicum, MD in June, I don’t know what I thought I would encounter, but my first surprise was the vast diversity in our class of 17 students. Initially, I was a little surprised to find that I was not the oldest person in the room. In fact, I think there were three others senior to me in the class. Comprised of 14 men and three women, the backgrounds of

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Putting the wet stuff on the red stuff.

A demonstration of competence and the individuals in that group could When Glen Paine told me some months an examination assessment are key not have been more different. We ago that BST would be the most aphad sailing blue water mariners, propriate and perhaps most important parts of the process. For those who would go to the course expecting to tugboat professionals, an AB from place to start, he wasn’t kidding. There coast through it all, I am here to tell the Great Lakes, two tall ship are many reasons for this, but he also you that, short of being an omnisailors, a U.S. Coast Guard Marine advised in no uncertain terms that the Safety Officer, and U.S. Navy active training can be quite strenuous. Almost scient, active, sailing marine profesduty and reserve personnel. sional, you’ll need to pay attention 24 years after and 32 pounds heavier STCW is touching virtually and take notes. On more than one than my last 26-mile marathon effort, I occasion – especially during the every sector of the maritime industry. A marine biologist headed for now know that he was right. “practical” assessments – various a six-week adventure on a British research vessel found herself individuals were required to demonstrate skills repeatedly, until in need of training and, no doubt, this was the first time she the instructors were satisfied that the requirements for compehad ever righted an upside-down life raft after leaping into tence had been satisfied. It happened to me at least once. the pool from an elevated platform. She became (much to her The BST course at MITAGS is a well-oiled machine. Monday surprise) our first “life raft captain” as we all donned immersion morning always kicks off with a general meeting of all students suits and “abandoned ship.” While it was unclear as to whether for all classes, where Glen Paine, the Executive Director, welher participation was an absolute “regulatory requirement,” she comes everyone with key information. After that, we broke up made it clear to me at lunch one day that she would not have into our individual groups. MITAGS was busy that week – the been able to sail with the vessel had she not been enrolled in the MM&P Convention was in full swing, along with some other class. seminars and, by my count, at least six or seven other maritimeBasic Safety Training encompasses many things, including but related courses. Nevertheless, we soon got into the routine and not limited to: honed in on the focused curriculum. Punctuated by a score of ƒƒ Compliance With Emergency Procedures; Shipping Operations Cooperative Program (SOCP) technical ƒƒ Personal Survival Techniques; videos, the course was current and encouraged input from the ƒƒ Basic Firefighting; class. Frankly, I can now see why it is required. ƒƒ Elementary First Aid; and Personal Survival ƒƒ Personal Safety and Social Responsibilities. Just 23 years ago and as I was getting ready to be laid off from a All the requirements of the course are mandated by the tanker headed to its ultimate demise in Bangladesh, rubberized, STCW protocol, and every module involves some sort of testing.

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Don Merkle does and teaches too.

so-called “Gumby” survival suits By lunch, I had serious reservations as to the class, especially those of us a were just being introduced (at whether I could complete the day’s exercises. little long in the tooth. By lunch, least to the fleet I was sailing on). But by pacing myself (and I am not making I had serious reservations as to whether I could complete the Prior to my BST experience, I this up) and discovering that, if you fully had tried one on briefly but had open the air supply to your breathing appa- day’s exercises. But by pacing never trained in its use, and I ratus, the smoke crawl and the indoor fire- myself (and I am not making this up) and discovering that, certainly had never jumped into fighting go a lot smoother… On the other fully open the air supply a life raft or been in the water hand, a couple of the really young mariners iftoyou your breathing apparatus, wearing it. Without a doubt, no were having way too much fun. the smoke crawl and the indoor one should go to sea without this firefighting go a lot smoother, I made it through. On the other indoctrination. My job, on this day and after leaping into our hand, I distinctly remember (and not with any happiness) that newly inflated life raft, was to be the injured seaman as we prea couple of the really young mariners were having way too pared to “survive” unassisted for God only knows how long. Dutifully, I moaned about the pain from my (pretend) broken arm much fun. and begged for water (no one gets any for the first 24 hours) until the other 16 survivors threatened to throw me overboard if First Aid and Social Responsibilities I didn’t stop. Just in time, I slipped into a coma… Jim Clements is the Chief Instructor for Medical Training at MITAGS. His meticulous attention to detail, especially in terms Firefighting School of CPR and Automated External Defibrillators (AED), was The firefighting portion of the BST course was an eye-opener worth the price of admission in itself. Like Merkle, Clements for this old-timer. I learned that the fire “triangle” is now is walking proof that those who “can,” often “do,” and these called the fire “tetrahedron.” Fair enough. I also found out that people often teach as well. Recognized in a surprise presentaSTCW-mandated firefighting training far exceeds the scope of tion (during this particular class) for his role in saving the life the two other firefighting courses I took almost 25 years ago. of one of his colleagues in the MITAGS dining commons not We traveled to Piney Point, MD, where we conducted the practoo long ago, Clements puts what he teaches into practice every tical aspect of this module. Aside from being an exhausting day, day as a paramedic, firefighter and certified EMT. In my eyes, he it served notice to me that I’m no longer 25 years old and that – showed himself to be the ultimate “subject-matter expert.” just perhaps – the new U.S. Coast Guard standards for minimal Not to be forgotten was the Social Responsibility portion physical health for mariners have a place in the overall picture. of the week’s activities. For me, it hit home in more than a few In the classroom and in the field, we were taught primarily ways. In 1980, I graduated with the last all-male maritime acadby veteran firefighter Don Merkle, whose CV is far too long emy class in the United States. At sea, I rarely saw a woman on and impressive to list within these pages. Suffice it to say that board, unless maybe the Chief Engineer had decided to bring his wife along for a trip. Those events would tend to clean up he is globally recognized for his knowledge, has worked with the Coast Guard to develop National Evaluation Standards the language in the Officer’s Saloon for a sea passage, but little for STCW firefighting training, and is the author of a marine more. At BST, I was reminded that the days of the crude and firefighting textbook. Beyond this, he was, on more than one ribald ship’s Master are on the way out, as well as a few other drill, advancing into the fire right alongside me as we learned bits of common courtesy that all workers – afloat or ashore the required “technique.” The entire experience got my heart – should employ on a daily basis. The module is an essential pumping, but I never at any time felt unsafe. addition to the STCW quiver of arrows. As the temperatures soared well into the 90s, we donned and stripped down from full firefighting gear at least seven times. Bottom Line: Looking Forward The heat from the fires and the realistic drills took their toll on Tougher licensing standards, including the STCW protocol 48 | A U G U S T 2 0 0 8

Fulfil your ambition to reach the top with the world’s premier Executive MBA designed specifically for busy professionals in the shipping and logistics industry... Work through the internet from anywhere in the world on this unique modulebased Shipping and Logisitcs EMBA, joining up for just 8 one-week sessions spread over 22 months.


Executive MBA in Shipping and Logistics The only part-time executive MBA in the world directly addressing the challenges for the maritime sector, including:

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• Globalization • Environmental issues • Strategic planning

Start of the next class: 28 September 2009. For further information please contact Irene Rosberg by e-mail: or phone: +45 3815 3355.




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Practice makes perfect.

and, of course, the Coast Guard’s new medical standards, are quickly becoming just two of the key reasons why some choose not to go sea and still others are prevented from doing so. And STCW is now touching anyone who goes to sea for any reason. Just as the federal government’s Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT) is now impacting the cop married to the registered nurse, STCW is now impacting stewards on cruise ships and, yes, marine biologists headed for research missions. Today, the problem of securing competent mariners in sufficient numbers and then retaining those people is “job one” for every marine employer. A lot of people simply don’t want to go to sea anymore. This might be because of the increased training requirements, the cost of those requirements, the chances of being snared in a criminal prosecution in response to an honest mistake, the new medical standards for mariners or a host of other impediments. More than 22 years since I last signed onto a merchant vessel, I am officially on my way to becoming “certified to go to sea.” Whether or not I can re-qualify for service in a marine environment that bears little resemblance to that which I left 22 years ago – both in terms of regulatory oversight and advances in technology – is, however, beside the point. Highlighting the journey for others is far more important. In a future article, we’ll talk to those who have accomplished the task and have actually gone back to sea after doing so. Maybe it will be you. Far too often, today’s human resource managers focus only on getting warm bodies onto their marine platforms. And, the intensity and level of training and the added variable of “reduced manning” is reducing the pool of people who want – and can – go to sea. Now, when those mariners step off the boat, they only find another “training” requirement awaiting them during their holiday period. There are a lot of reasons not to go back to sea. STCW shouldn’t be one of them. The seasoned mariner does have a place at sea in today’s merchant fleet. But if the implementation of this protocol makes the deck of the average commercial vessel a safer place, then I’m in favor of extending its requirements to a wider range, size and genre of vessel. STCW was a long time in coming. I’m glad it’s here. MarEx


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By MarEx Staff

Professional Maritime Training: A Global Perspective The shipping business is a complex arrangement of ships, ports, trucks and railroads, which often combine resources to move containerized and bulk cargoes in an intermodal system. On the marine side, vessels and crews often operate in the hazardous conditions of the ocean, along coastlines, and in congested port complexes, and must be well trained in the standards of seafarer compliance, which are certified and monitored by coast guards around the world. Regulations and compliance have become the backbone of the industry, which spends millions upon millions training and educating its workers. Since 2000, the industry has gone about modernizing global fleets with bridge electronics, dynamic positioning systems, and navigational and communications equipment which could rival systems in a space shuttle. Today’s modern mariner, operations manager and administrator have complex jobs that require continuous education and enhanced skills. So MarEx set out around the world to review a few of the best training and educational centers designed to hone the aptitudes, knowledge and skills of maritime executives, pilots, captains and seafarers.

Copenhagen Business School’s Executive MBA in Shipping and Logistics “The Blue MBA”: A Success Story The shipping industry has long been an all-traditional industry. However, in today’s intensely competitive and fast-changing global environment, we need to move beyond traditional leadership development models and become more active in identifying, grooming and recruiting the next generation of leaders and building a vibrant and creative business community.   The creation of the Executive MBA in Shipping and Logistics at the Copenhagen Business School was a response to the challenge of everincreasing demands on executive management 52 | A U G U S T 2 0 0 8

skills within the shipping industry. The program aims at giving participants up-to-date insight into shipping economics and modern management theories and their application in the maritime sector. In order to provide a complete understanding of the challenges in this sector, the program adopts a holistic view of shipping, integrating commercial, technological and financial aspects as well as maritime law, supply-chain management and leadership challenges. This is a modular program with eight weeklong modules spread over 22 months and supported by a virtual platform, where individual/ group assignments and group discussions enhance the learning process. Participants, who are mainly mid- to senior-level managers within the shipping industry, apply the theory learned during each module to a work-related topic and bring back value to their company on a continuous basis. The last six months of the program are devoted to the final project (thesis), which is based on a comprehensive analysis of a strategic issue relevant to the participant’s company.

CBS Research Center The newly established CBS Research Center for Maritime Transport, Management and Logistics, which is an integral part of our Blue MBA, serves as the research base for the program, providing support and ensuring the curriculum is up to date. The Research Center will play a major role in meeting current and anticipated needs within the industry. “We make efforts, both through our Blue MBA as well as through our Research Center for Maritime Transport, Management and Logistics, to contribute to the Danish national aspiration to make Denmark the Shipping Capital of the World,” says Irene Rosberg. Brief Profile: Irene Rosberg, Director, Executive MBA in Shipping and Logistics (The Blue MBA) Irene Rosberg is responsible for the design, development and coordination of The Blue MBA. She has a fundamental role in building global relationships and networks within the maritime industry on behalf of Copenhagen Business School. She also promotes research

that could identify challenges and future issues for the maritime industry as a whole.

For further information, contact Irene Rosberg via email at or visit the CBS website at

St. Pierre De Bressieux, France Port Revel Shiphandling, Arthur De Graauw, Director Many years ago a San Francisco Bar Pilot told about an exciting training program in Grenoble, France. He said the training took place on a lake with ship models in which the participant sat while in controlled currents. It was a lot of fun, said the pilot, and being in France was not bad either. Port Revel is on a man-made lake of about 10 acres that was remodeled to reproduce real sailing conditions. At scale 1/25, the lake area represents a navigational zone of approximately three by two nautical miles, allowing several models to sail at the same time at normal maneuvering speeds. “Since 1967, we have trained approximately 6,000 pilots, captains and officers,” De Graauw said.” Nature is at work on the scale models, with random effects similar to those encountered in real-life situations. The unforeseeable character of squalls, shallows, currents and waves calls for an immediate and appropriate reaction, without any repeat or automatic response.” In the ‘60s and ‘70s the center mostly trained blue-water captains, but during the ‘80s ship pilots began coming to the lake due to its shallow-water training. ““The center offers an opportunity to experiment with all kinds of emergency maneuvers, which would not be allowed on a real ship but might save her someday,” De Graauw said. “Manned models sharpen the shiphandlers’ natural senses of perception and anticipation and enable the ship’s behavior to be appreciated.”

To learn more about Port Revel, contact

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Arthur De Graauw via email at port. You may also visit the Port Revel website at

London, United Kingdom Informa Trade and Energy/ IBC Global Academy Informa (UK) Ltd., Christopher Atwell, Director of Education and Training

Informa has operated IBC Global Academy and IBC Global Conferences for over 30 years and the distance learning group for 12 years. Approximately 2,500 international students use the distance learning programs offered by Informa each year. In addition to owning the daily newspaper Lloyd’s List, the company also owns Lloyd’s Maritime Academy in the UK, and Washington Policy & Analysis, AchieveGlobal, ESI and Datamonitor, among other companies in the United States. Informa Trade & Energy is the leading global provider of specialist information to the supply, logistics and energy markets through publishing, events and training. IBC Global Academy delivers open and enterprise-specific learning and training solutions for the ports, logistics, energy, nuclear, environmental and safety industries, assisting individuals and organizations to achieve goals by developing skills, knowledge and performance. “Students receive certificates for course participation, which are accredited by various institutions,” Chris Atwell said. “For instance, the Harbor Masters’ specific course is accredited by the UK National Sea Training Center and is recognized by the International Harbor Masters Association. At Lloyds Maritime Academy, the maritime law courses are accredited by London Metropolitan University. All of our courses have an academic qualification that goes with them. Lloyd’s Maritime Academy focuses on maritime and vessel-related subjects, such as crew management, marine insurance and practical bunker management, among others.” Some of the courses offered by IBC Global Academy in its distance learning program include Harbor Masters, Port Management and Logistics Management. Additionally, a Certificate in Terrorism Studies is currently being offered

in conjunction with St. Andrew’s University. The course has an international student base of those on the front line of counter-terrorism activities, including police and military forces, and is delivered totally online. This course includes an elective module on maritime terrorism and security. Full details and a course outline are available at

For more information on IBC Global Academy, please contact Chris Atwell via email at You may also visit the IBC website at www.

Asia Pacific, Singapore Rasmussen & Simonsen International Pte Ltd. (RSI), Amanda Rasmussen, Chief Executive Officer RSI is an industry-specific training and consulting company that focuses on providing best-in-class learning and development solutions for the global logistics and transportation industry. The company’s solutions are tailored to the specific business needs and requirements of the industry and are delivered by experienced experts in the specific field of endeavor. Currently we support programs with customers based in Asia Pacific, Europe and the Middle East. “We are currently expanding RSI throughout China, the Middle East, Europe and the United States,” Rasmussen is quick to point out. “We are delivering the hard and soft skills for increasing our customers’ productivity. For instance, we can provide sales training for a logistics or transportation company using industry-specific skills. The learning opportunity is maximized by combining both the required soft skills and industry-specific competencies within a uniquely tailored program.” The way RSI creates value for its customer is by developing core organizational talents and maximizing employee skill levels. The training can be delivered to operations, sales or customer service staff by using-off-the-shelf products or customized products with an objective in mind. While learning and development are RSI’s core businesses, the firm also does job modeling to further enhance employee skills. RSI is committed to not only creating value on a company basis but on an individual basis as well. It recently launched the online community,, an industry-specific

globalPerspective networking, content and opportunity portal. In 2005 RSI received the Award of Excellence from the Global Institute of Logistics for work in training and development within the logistics industry. RSI was the first company to receive this prominent award.

To learn more about RSI, contact Amanda Rasmussen via email at You may also visit the RSI website at        

Houston, Texas CONVERTEAM Technical Training Center, Doug Olson, Technical Training Manager DP systems have been around the marine industry since the late ‘70s. However, since 2000 and the onslaught of next-generation offshore boats being built, dynamic positioning has been a hot topic. Doug Olson, CONVERTEAM’s Technical Training Manager, says he drove oil exploration vessels back in the ‘80s that were equipped with DP systems. However, the difference today is that the new vessels have dieselelectric power, which saves fuel, and DP units have moved from DP-1 to DP-2 and DP-3 class certifications. CONVERTEAM is a power conversion company that also builds DP systems. While some of the students don’t actually work on CONVERTEAM systems, they still come to the school to learn. “People simply come to the center to become better and more efficient DP vessel operators,” says Olson. “Not only do they come here because of our proximity to the Gulf and the pricing of our courses, but also the equipment is good and we like to think it’s due to the high level of instruction offered here.” Olson admits if a company uses CONVERTEAM systems on its vessels, chances are the crews will come to the training center. But he also points out that the science and technology are similar among manufacturers. The center has two simulation compartments with DP-2 class systems, and central to these is an instructor station. This setup allows multiple people to work different ships on different exercises. The training center also teaches Variable Speed Drive courses. Olson says the drilling rig vessels have had electrically controlled thrusters for quite some time, while the offshore support vessels had engine-driven thrusters. A U G U S T 2 0 0 8 | 53

globalPerspective With the high cost of diesel, the diesel-electric system has fewer engines running to power the thrusters, which means less fuel is being burnt. Under benign conditions, controlled speed thrusters are simply more efficient due to fuel savings, Olson points out. In terms of qualified personnel for DP vessel operators, Olson says there is not a shortage of people – there is a shortage of trained and experienced DP operators. “Due to the price of oil, the industry is continuing to have a massive building program,” Olson said, “If vessel operators think there is a shortage today, just wait.”

To learn more about CONVERTEAM’s DP Systems and AC Variable Speed Drive courses, contact Doug Olson via email at You may also visit CONVERTEAM’s website at

MITAGS-PMI Workboat Mate Program Seattle, Washington – Gregg Trunnell, Director Linthicum Heights, Maryland – Victor Tufts, Program Manager The Workboat Mate Program is an innovative program that attracts motivated non-mariners seeking a career in the workboat industry. Successful graduates who complete the intensive two-year, on-the-job-training and a regimented classroom curriculum earn a USCG 500- or 1600-ton mate’s license. More importantly, they are indoctrinated in the sponsoring company’s policies, procedures and culture. As recruitment and retention issues impact marine companies around the globe, the Workboat Mate Program is an excellent source of qualified and competent personnel.

m a r i t i m e “The quality of our trainees has been impressive and, because there are many more applicants than places on board, boat companies get to pick and choose the best,” said Trunnell. “It’s the most cost-effective way for companies to find good people who are willing to invest a great deal of time and money to become a workboat mate.” The program’s success is inevitable as more companies recognize the benefits and open up onboard training billets,” Trunnell concluded. The Seattle-based division of the Workboat Mate Program recently graduated its first class of six mates. Trunnell said, “The captains and mates onboard the tugs and supply vessels were excellent mentors to the cadets once they bought into the program. With almost 80 cadets in the program today, experienced mariners have been instrumental in the program’s success.” The MITAGS-PMI Workboat Mate Program takes two years to complete, with 25 weeks of shore-based instruction and 52 weeks of onboard training.  Upon graduation the trainee receives a Mate 500-1600 Gross Tons license, with Towing Endorsement (if serving on tugs), STCW-95 Officer in Charge of a Navigational Watch, and an Able-Bodied Seaman Limited endorsement.

To learn more about the Workboat Mate Program at PMI, contact Gregg Trunnell at For Victor Tufts at MITAGS, You may also visit the Workboat Academy website at

Fort Lauderdale, Florida Maritime Professional Training – Masters, Mates and

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Engineers, Inc., Amy Beavers, Managing Director

MPT offers all levels of certification, license and document-study programs. Many of these offer in-school testing and are USCGapproved and recognized by many foreign administrations. The school is DNV ISO 9000 and a DNV-Certified Marine Training Center, which gives it international recognition. Additionally, the school has been certified by the Maritime Coast Guard Agency of the United Kingdom. MPT training programs are designed to meet or exceed IMO standards and are STCW-95 compliant. The campuses include over 45,000 square feet of classrooms, deck and engineering training labs, a Ship’s Store, and student service facilities. In addition to the Main Campus, MPT operates a modern SMART Simulation Center, Marine Tech Shipboard Firefighting Site, the Sea Survival Training Facility, and the MPT Fleet of Training Vessels Center. “MPT began 25 years ago training limited tonnage license candidates, and over the years we have worked our way up to training unlimited ocean licenses,” said Beavers. “We were the first school to graduate OICNW’s under the new hawsepiper route, but that was five years ago. However, numerous OICNW candidates have completed our six-month AB to Mate curriculum since that time.” MPT trains approximately 6,000 mariners each year and provides many more certificates. MPT is in the process of securing a Nautical Institute accreditation for dynamic positioning training.

To learn more about MPT, contact its administrative offices via email at info@ You may also visit its website at

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Calhoon MEBA Engineering School

The California Maritime Academy

RTM STAR Center is the primary training provider for mariners represented by AMO and the top choice of maritime professionals. Located near Fort Lauderdale, Fla., STAR Center is ISO 9001:2000 certified and provides state-of-the-art simulation, SIGTTOcertified LNG training and a full range of Coast Guard certified courses.

The Calhoon MEBA Engineering School is a private educational facility for training members of the Marine Engineers Beneficial Association, as well as all maritime industry professionals. Since 1966, CMES has provided quality training and has worked steadily to develop the necessary courses to satisfy emerging technologies and regulatory training requirements.

Cal Maritime offers undergraduate degrees and required maritime licensure in: Marine Transportation, Marine Engineering Technology, Mechanical Engineering, Maritime Business Administration, Global Studies & Maritime Affairs, and Facilities Engineering Technology.

Since 1977, CMES has been the leader in LNG training for Deck and Engineering officers. Beginning with the operation of the first US LNG carrier and spanning a period of four decades, the MEBA has provided six LNG companies with Merchant officers. CMES continues to provide the training required by regulatory agencies for all officer-billets in today’s modern international LNG industry.

Cal Maritime’s Extended Learning delivers onsite and Web-based maritime operations, safety and security skills training for workers needing license upgrades, recertification, and expanded skills. Our Career Development Center coordinates co-op work/study programs and industry job recruitment.

CMES offers more than USCG approved forty courses, covering a wide range of marine and engineering technologies. RTM STAR Center

Calhoon MEBA Engineering School

The California Maritime Academy

Toll-Free: 800-445-4522 Tel: 954-921-7254 Fax: 954-920-4268

27050 St. Michaels Road Easton, MD 21601 Tel: 410-822-9600 (x338) Fax: 410-822-7220

200 Maritime Academy Drive Vallejo, CA 94590 Phone: 707-654-1000 Extended Learning

Compass Courses Maritime Training

Copenhagen Business School

Compass Courses Maritime Training is a USCG/ STCW approved school located only 15 minutes north of Seattle in beautiful downtown Edmonds, Washington only 2 blocks from the Port of Edmonds!!

Executive MBA in Shipping and Logistics

The Compass Courses team represents over 100 years of experience in the maritime industry for the benefit of its students. Compass Courses is a Certified Vocational/Technical School supported by Washington State WorkSource Training.

T he program aims at giving participants up-to-date insight into shipping economics and modern management theories and their application in the maritime sector. It takes students to a top international level in business administration, reflecting the needs of the industry in a world where globalization, enhanced competition, market understanding, strategic planning, and the speed of technological change place ever-increasing demands on executive management skills.

Compass Courses opened in 2001 and currently has 15 USCG/STCW approved courses. Today Compass Courses is excited to expand its offering to include two additional courses; Radar and Radar Renewal!!

...a holistic view of shipping, integrating commercial and technological aspects as well as maritime law, supply-chain management, and leadership challenges.

Start of the next class: 28 September 2009 (with an optional pre-MBA program 23-25 September).

Global Maritime and Transportation School The Global Maritime and Transportation School (GMATS) at the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy is a World Leader in Professional Maritime and Intermodal Transportation Education and Training. Located in Kings Point, New York, we are an ideal location for training and conferences. We offer more than 140 professional education and training programs. In addition, GMATS specializes in developing customized education and training programs that meet the specific needs of any transportation organization. With nearly 4000 students annually attending its programs, GMATS has become an important supplier of maritime and transportation training for personnel from numerous government, military, and commercial entities.

Compass Courses Maritime Training

Copenhagen Buisness School

Global Maritime and Transportation School

110 W. Dayton St. Ste.101 Edmonds, WA 98020 Toll-Free: 877-SEA-BUOY Tel: 425-778-1923 Fax: 425.778.2843

Phone: 516-726-6100

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International Marine Contractors Association The marine contracting industry offers an exciting future for anyone with a taste for adventure, engineering, cutting edge technology, teamwork or travel. Members of the International Marine Contractors Association (IMCA) are recruiting now across all positions. Find out more about the wide range of careers through the IMCA website – packed with information on careers and a route to members’ own recruitment sites. Find out more about the exciting possibilities at

Lloyd’s Maritime Academy Lloyd’s Maritime Academy aims to be the trusted brand for professional development, working with leading academic and industry bodies to provide accredited education and training where it is much needed; delivering learning and development opportunities to several thousand international participants every year. We continue to research new topics to provide you with the qualifications required for a successful career; supporting a safer, cleaner and more efficient shipping industry. Using several delivery methods to match your needs - seminars, advanced level training masterclasses and distance learning certificate, diploma and postgraduate diploma courses as well as in-house corporate training programmes - we are confident we have a learning solution for you. Why not let us help you to achieve your potential?

Marine Safety International MarineSafety International designs, develops, and conducts simulator-based research and training for the maritime industry. Since its inception in 1974, MarineSafety has provided operational research for shipping companies, pilot organizations, port authorities, and government agencies, both in the US and abroad. MarineSafety provides customized training to companies with special training needs and also offers US Coast Guard approved, STCW compliant training for ships’ pilots, masters, and mates in Ship Handling, BRM, ECDIS, ARPA, radar, and other skills.

International Marine Contractors Association

Lloyd’s Maritime Academy

Marine Safety International

5 Lower Belgrave Street London, SW1W 0NR, United Kingdom Tel: +44 (0) 20 7824 5520 Fax: +44 (0) 20 7824 5521

Telephone House, Paul Street, London, EC2A 4LQ, United Kingdom Tel: +44 (0) 20 7017 5510 Fax: +44 (0) 20 7017 4981

Tel: (718) 565-4180

Maritime Protective Services, Inc.

Massachusetts Maritime Academy

MPS specializes in maritime security regulatory compliance consulting and training. A Recognized Security Organization for three countries, MPS has been approved as a Maritime Security Consultant by Bureau Veritas. Our MTSA/ISPS Code courses have been approved by the U.S. and U.K. governments and are additionally accredited by the Florida Institute of Technology.

For over 100 years, Massachusetts Maritime Academy has been preparing women and men for exciting and rewarding careers on land and sea. The Center for Maritime Training expands upon that expertise with continuing education opportunities for the professional mariner.

Maritime Professional Training

Maritime Protective Services, Inc.

Massachusetts Maritime Academy

1915 South Andrews Avenue Fort Lauderdale, Florida 33316 Tel: 954-525-1014 Fax: 954-764-0431

Tel: US (561) 274-8860) UK +44(0)1202684686 Fax: US (561) 330-2260 UK +44(0)1202684687

101 Academy Drive Buzzards Bay, MA 02532 Tel: 508-830-5005 Fax: 508-830-5018

Maritime Professional Training MPT offers courses for all levels of licensing and certification requirements including an affordable AB to Mate Program and Towing Vessel Courses. Training modules are IMO/STCW Compliant, USCG Approved, and recognized by many countries. Our Fort Lauderdale Campus hosts over 45,000 square feet of classrooms, deck & engineer training labs, ship’s store and features one of the most technologically advanced fullmission simulation centers in the world! Go to our website for our virtual school tour. Call now for your free copy of the 84 page MPT Career Reference Manual.

Our 40-hour Advanced Shiphandling in Manned Models provides pilots and management-level officers to experience valuable hands-on training in advanced shiphandling techniques. Other program offerings include STCW Basic Safety, ARPA, BRM, GMDSS, Radar Endorsements & Renewals, OPA-90 Qualified Individual Training and 100 Ton Master License courses.

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Mid-Atlantic Maritime Academy Mid-Atlantic Maritime prepares mariners to work with competence and confidence. We offer STCW, USCG certified and customized classes on every level for engineering & deck. Complete deck training provided from Entry to Unlimited Masters. Labs house Radar, ARPA, ECDIS, GMDSS and Liquid Cargo simulation. Engineering classes include Fundamentals, Coast Guard certified DDE 1000 to Unlimited HP and QMED. Hydraulics, electromechanical, refrigeration, and pumps training equipment provide hands’ on learning. Full Engine Room Simulator interacts with Full Bridge Mission Simulator for integrated ship handling experience.

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MITAGS The Maritime Institute of Technology and Graduate Studies (MITAGS) exist to enhance the professionalism of mariners through the development of quality maritime advancement, training, education, and safety programs. MITAGS is situated on an 80 acre campus located in Linthicum Heights, Maryland, minutes from major transportation facilities; the Baltimore Washington Airport and the adjacent Amtrak train station. The MITAGS curriculum encompasses more than one hundred and forty different courses with programs that include an entry level to deck officer track, an AB to officer track and all of the programs that allow a junior officer in charge of navigation watch to move to the management level of chief mate or master.

PMI The Pacific Maritime Institute is a non-profit vocational training center for individuals seeking to enter the maritime profession and for professional mariners seeking to advance their careers. We provide quality training using new technologies and teaching techniques –we prepare our students skills to succeed in today’s merchant marine. The primary goals of PMI: 1) Providing training programs and courses to facilitate entry into the merchant marine. 2) Providing training and courses to professional mariners for advancement in the merchant marine 3) Providing continuing education courses to meet regulatory and industry demand for advanced training 4) Providing customized courses and related services based on the specific needs of industry in solving advancement, training, educational and safety issues.

Mid-Atlantic Maritime Academy



5705 Thurston Avenue Virginia Beach, VA 23455 Toll-Free: 866-775-8382 Office: 757-464-6008 www.MamaTrains.Com

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Port Revel

Seagull America, INC.

Since 1967, the Port Revel Shiphandling Training Centre has been used for manned model training of thousands of pilots, masters and officers.

Seagull is the world leader in computer based training (CBT) modules based on statutory regulations and industry requirements. The Onboard Library is “a classroom at your fingertips” for comprehensive onboard maritime training. All courses are self-directed, multi-media computerbased training. Each course has defined learning objectives and is organized into short, accessible chapters. The content is delivered through sound, illustration, animation and informative text. A multiple choice learning assessment is carried out at the end of each course. A final report indicates how much training has been completed, the length of time spent and the final assessment score. Described in the following section, the Training Library feature within the Seagull Training Administrator lists all available Seagull CBT courses.

The courses are provided by highly experienced instructors: former maritime pilots. The shiphandling course: applies to pilots, masters and chief mates. The refresher course: applies to masters and pilots who, having already attended manned models, want to perfect their professional knowledge (e.g. with tugs or pods). Some tailored exercises can be performed. The lake features extensive shallow water areas, channels, a Suez-sized canal and many berths. It also includes wave, wind and current generators. The fleet reproduces 20 different vessels, including a ship with pods.

Texas Engineering Extension Service As the OSHA Training Institute Southwest Education Center, the Professional and Regulatory Training division of the Texas Engineering Extension Service, or TEEX, is the recognized leader in championing worker safety and health. TEEX’s Certified Safety and Health Official certificate program (CSHO) has proven beneficial to professionals in the fields of human resources, risk management, safety, health and environmental protection. CSHO tracks include general industry and construction safety, with specialty tracks in oil and gas, petrochemical, aviation, emergency response and, now, maritime safety. TEEX is committed to providing maritime-specific training to include topics in OSHA standards, crane safety, confined space, and fall protection.

Port Revel

Seagull America, INC.

Texas Engineering Extension Service

3500, route de Revel - 38870 St Pierre de Bressieux,France Tel: +33 474 20 02 40 Fax: +33 474 20 12 29

241 Water Street New York, NY 10038

Texas A&M University System 301 Tarrow College Station, TX 77840-7896 Toll-Free: 877-833-9638 Tel: 979-458-6800

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By Barry Parker

Prioritizing, Handling, Settling – And Avoiding:

Vessel Arrests

Slow Start for a Fast Boat: In June 2004, the Bahamian-flagged catamaran Spirit of

Ontario began a twice-daily, fast-ferry service linking Rochester, NY with Toronto, Ontario. Perhaps a harbinger of things to come (prior to startup) was its widely publicized April 2004 allision with a New York City pier. In early September, a scant three months after startup, the owners suspended service. By the end of September, a fuel supplier began legal action to collect on outstanding receivables totaling approximately $373,000. The actual arrest of the vessel is one step in a larger process. In the Spirit case, the arrest by the U.S. Marshal followed a court complaint (in this case, by the fuel vendor to the U.S. District Court for Western New York). In this pivotal part of the legal process, an Admiralty Court (with a unique body of laws) gains jurisdiction over the matter at hand. After an initial vessel arrest, vessel owners will typically post bond through insurance or banking channels, and the vessel will usually be released. If they do not post a bond, federal rules detail a process whereby a notice must be posted, often in a trade newspaper, allowing others who may have claims against the now-seized vessel to “intervene,” or file motions expressing their interest against the vessel. In addition, the Court may order an “Interlocutory Sale” – an auction which will provide the funding to settle claims.

Priorities, Priorities Bruce Paulsen, a partner at New York attorneys Seward & Kissel, who was heavily involved in the legal actions that unfolded in Rochester, told MarEx, “This was the last major maritime foreclosure in the U.S.” In February 2005, five months after the actual arrest, the vessel was auctioned in a U.S. Marshal sale for $32 million. Ironically, the buyer was the City of Rochester, which tried and failed to revive the Lake Ontario ferry. Two years later, the Australian-built vessel was sold to a European investor group, which deployed her in runs across the English Channel. Paulsen, who teaches courses as part of lawyers’ Continuing Education classes, uses the case to explain the intricacies of prioritizing and settling the numerous claims that often arise in maritime cases. Another expert, Don Soutar, a UK lawyer who is the Director of National Marine Services’ (NMS) commercial ship arrest and custody business, based in Fort Lauderdale, described several well-known cases handled by his firm. NMS manages the nuts and bolts of vessel seizures, custody (while a vessel is under arrest) and auctions for the U.S. Marshals Service as well as for various state and local jurisdictions. Its clients include admiralty 60 | A U G U S T 2 0 0 8

lawyers, insurance companies and leading ship-finance banks. Soutar, in explaining NMS’s role, told MarEx, “We prefer to be involved from the outset, even before legal action.”

Logistical Challenges A view from the principals’ side came from Captain Ulf Huzell, who runs South Florida-based Nordic Ship Consultants, a service provider procuring and operating vessels for projects around the world. He told MarEx about a case from the late 1990s where a shipowner, having difficulties performing a time-sensitive voyage from Korea to the U.S. East Coast, hired an ocean-going tug to tow the vessel through the Panama Canal and around to its destination. The vessel and cargo configuration made for slow going and little progress moving across the Pacific. At a stop in Honolulu, the shipowner who had contracted for the tug, filed a breach-of-contract suit. After consulting with the local maritime community, the tug’s owner discovered that various repair providers and suppliers had not been paid on the ship’s previous calls in Hawaii and “The tug owner and the other parties made a joint decision to place an arrest order through the court in Honolulu, under the custody of the U.S. Marshal. Guards were placed aboard for 24 hours a day.” Soutar also described a group of other recent cases involving commercial vessels. In a 2004 bank foreclosure, the 2001-built container feeder vessel Shamrock, with perishable cargo aboard in refrigerated containers, was arrested at Portland, Maine. Soutar told MarEx, “We were able to work well in conjunction with the bank’s counsel to resolve the matter and get a most favorable outcome for the bank, recovering almost 100 percent on the dollar.” The ship was eventually bought by Torontobased investors, who began operating her between Florida and the Cayman Islands. He also described two important cases where cruise ships were arrested: the gaming vessel St. Tropez, arrested in Port Everglades in June 2005, and the Regal Empress, arrested at Port Manatee in April 2003. Soutar told MarEx, “In the St. Tropez


case, we managed the sale based on a court-ordered auction.” Where cruise ships are arrested, repatriation of foreign crews presents formidable logistical challenges. If passengers from distant locales are involved, as in the case of the Regal Empress, additional transportation arrangements must be made.

Motions, Interventions and Necessaries Bruce Paulsen provided an overview of the legal process following a vessel arrest, with real examples from the Spirit of Ontario case. Motions to intervene were quickly filed by two claimants with preferred vessel mortgages, followed by seamen who had served on the vessel and other vendors to the vessel. He explains, “Wages of the crew of a vessel have priority over all claims on the vessel. Wage liens have been characterized as ‘sacred’ in admiralty law, and that seamen have a secret lien,” meaning that seamen need not actually file the lien. In fact, arrests related to crew wages are often instigated by seamen’s unions and sometimes the ITF (International Transport Workers Federation). In the case described previously by Captain Huzell, he noted, “The bank elected not to participate in the actual arrest but filed the mortgage claim with the court in Honolulu after the joint arrest had taken place.” Huzell added that the vessel sat in Honolulu for 14 months before “the local court dissolved the lawsuit against the tug’s owner and ordered the vessel to be sold through a marshal’s auction.” He said that “The German bank holding the mortgage on the ship was the lucky party, taking the largest share of the funds created by the sale.” Local service providers were reimbursed for roughly 50 percent of the amounts owed to them, but the tug’s owner “drew the short straw” due to contractual technicalities surrounding a London arbitration clause. He added, “The London arbitrators advised that an effort toward a settlement could not be started with a shipowner’s only asset sitting in Hawaii – way outside the London jurisdiction.” Lawyer Bruce Paulsen also described an important distinction in U.S. admiralty law between U.S.-registered vessels, where preferred mortgage holders’ liens take precedence over nearly everything else, and foreign-flag ships, where “necessaries” (which include vessel repairs, drydocks and towing services, among other things) stand in front of preferred mortgage liens. Paulsen pointed out that the “secret lien” concept applies not only to seamen’s wages, but also to other “necessaries” and contract liens. Don Soutar’s firm sometimes steps into the role of substitute custodian for an arrested vessel (not yet auctioned). He explains, “Either the lender or claimant will ask us to use their preferred lawyer, or we can suggest a suitable firm if they are not aware of one in any particular location at home or abroad.” After the lawyers secure the arrest order from the court, the

“Wages of the crew of a vessel have priority over all claims on the vessel. Wage liens have been characterized as ‘sacred’ in admiralty law, and that seamen have a secret lien,” meaning that seamen need not actually file the lien. In fact, arrests related to crew wages are often instigated by seamen’s unions and sometimes the ITF (International Transport Workers Federation). U.S. marshal will go aboard and attach the warrant and court order to the vessel and then call for the custodian and repossess or store the vessel. Soutar added, “We will do a full inventory walk-through and take still and video pictures and, once this is done, we sign the ‘USM-102’ (a document recording the chain of custody), and the marshal leaves us in charge of the vessel.” The final pecking order of the creditors is determined through established legal “priorities” but can be finalized by a combination of negotiations among the plaintiffs and the ruling of the judge. The bunker supplier who triggered the Spirit matter was considered a provider of “necessaries;” however, the software provider was not. Paulsen told MarEx, “If that software company had been providing electronic charts, for example, that were integral to a vessel’s navigation, the judge may have ruled differently.”

Keeping the Lights On The U.S. Marshals Service is not set up to provide husbandry for an arrested vessel. In the Spirit of Ontario case, a substitute custodian was appointed in response to a request from the two large security holders. Some firms – NMS for example – can provide this type of service, which includes aspects of technical management such as securing insurance coverage, handling crewing matters (including repatriations) and assure that the vessel is properly maintained. The sale of a vessel at auction – the culmination of the legal process following the foreclosure action set in motion by the vessel arrest – cleanses the vessel of all other claims. As a practical matter, once the foreclosure process begins, a court auction may be the only way forward. Paulsen cautions that “Potential buyers’ concerns about secret liens could inhibit the sale of the vessel by other means, or could require a discount in price or an agreement to indemnify.” Soutar, citing a recent case where a vessel had a lien claim (even though it had been sold privately to an innocent third party) said, “The vessel was arrested and sold to pay the prior claim.” Busts Follow Booms Although Paulsen and Soutar focus on specific matters at hand, A U G U S T 2 0 0 8 | 61


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“Many times, a lenient attitude allowing shipowners to carry on (with creditors contemplating seizure) has helped a shipowner survive and pay his debt, even though most times at a slower than contracted schedule.” both are mindful of the cyclical nature of international shipping markets. Seward & Kissel’s Paulsen explained to MarEx that his legal practice also includes courtroom litigation in securities and regulatory cases, “which provides plenty of work while the admiralty business is less active.” The intersection of maritime law and ship finance can be seen from the title of a 2007 article that Paulsen wrote for a leading maritime law journal: “New Horizons: An Analysis of Public Markets Financing of Shipping Ventures and the Impending Wave of Shipping Securities Litigation.” Soutar’s work at NMS spans the spectrum from smaller boats to larger vessels. He tells MarEx that “About 75 percent of our business directly relates to arrest and repossession of boats and ships.” Both he and Paulsen know that today’s boom will inevitably be followed by tomorrow’s downturn. Soutar, who earlier worked for well-known London firms Norton Rose and Clifford Chance, opined that “There will soon be an oversupply, when all the present newbuilding activity starts to come online. With the expected slump in world trade, there will be a fall in freight rates, leading to banks and other lienholders increasing arrests to secure or realize their investments.”

Start Planning Now Sometimes it’s best to work out solutions and Huzell often advises attorneys and others on how to come to a factual solution. He adds, “Many times, a lenient attitude allowing shipowners to carry on (with creditors contemplating seizure) has helped a shipowner survive and pay his debt, even though most times at a slower than contracted schedule.” Don Soutar offered a similar viewpoint. “The claimant will usually be amenable to an agreement for payment in full or installments rather than arrest. So usually arrest is a last-resort action. But even when the marshal is ready to pounce, we can agree to a settlement at the last minute.” Ship managers need to pay particular attention, especially when times are good. Bruce Paulsen insists, “Executives should be proactive; thinking about cash flows, budgets, and how to keep their creditors happy when the market does slip, since history shows that earnings move downward as well as up.” Captain Huzell added, “The typical reasons for arrests are poor financial planning, poor voyage planning, or technical problems that lead to delays and demurrage situations.” Seward & Kissel’s Bruce Paulsen offered a simpler formula: “The best way to avoid a vessel arrest is to pay your bills.” MarEx



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Marexcrossword 1








9 11



16 19














31 34







33 37











Solution to previous edition’s puzzle 40







51 53





52 54

Crossword by Myles Mellor Across 1. Interagency office designed to enhance informationsharing 4. Acquired by Excel 9. MTSA is one 11. Line for fastening rigging 13. Three-way 14. Every sea has one 15. Spars 17. It acquired Rigdon Marine 19. Boat mover 21. Area the wind is blowing towards 23. Treaty that needs ratification in the Senate which would enlarge US areas of resource development 25. Knotted again 26. Sailor abbr. 27. Time zone 28. Lookout duty 29. Slant 31. International org. controlling the assignment of rights to exploration of sea beds 32. It’s controlled by Peter Georgiopoulos 34. Deck worker 37. Course direction perhaps 38. Event controller 40. Under a proposed Bill, the Coast Guard would be responsible for enforcing this Act 42. Act relating to ballast water and its disposal 64 | A U G U S T 2 0 0 8

44. ___ the line 45. Chairman of House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee 49. Ship areas 51. Free work, with pro 52. Fishy feature 53. First school to get approval from the Coast Guard for a distance learning course 54. The Achilles’ heel in maritime security procedures (2 words)

Down 1. Commodity that has been booming 2. Cargo list 3. DryShips invested in Ocean Rigs ___ 5. Data collection 6. Arranged cargo 7. Company that benefited from the boom in underwater drilling 8. Pro 10. Tidewater’s ticker symbol 12. Unit of latitude or longitude 15. Strong wind 16. In the direction of Antarctica, e.g. 18. Cost 20. Region 22. They launched C-TPAT

24. Govt. dept. dealing with workplace standards of health and safety 26. Dawn time 28. Ship letters 29. Hit deliberately 30. The US could expand its claims to oil and gas here if 23 across was ratified 31. Words of accord (2 words) 33. Just built 34. Courageous 35. Northeast state 36. Asian economic grouping 39. Tanker, for one 41. The Coast Guard Bill would give an appeal line to this Board for mariners whose license was suspended or revoked 43. Check on security procedures and their accuracy and effectiveness 46. Wind direction, sometimes 47. Tug action 48. Steal 50. Naval rank 52. Southerly state Crossword solution to be published in a future online edition of the MarEx e-newsletter. The first five persons who submit a correct, completed puzzle will receive a oneyear subscription to The Maritime Executive.

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