DANIA BEACH, Fla., April 11, 2013 This weekend's observance of the 101st anniversary of the Titanic cruise liner disaster comes in the wake of a rising tide of deadly and serious marine mishaps, which the American Maritime Officers' organization says underscores the increasing need for navigational, emergency response and safety training on all commercial vessels – training that U.S. officers already have.
AMERICAN MERCHANT MARINERS MOST EXPERIENCED
"None of the recent, highly-publicized cargo and passenger ship collisions, oil-rig accidents, cruise line fires and serious mechanical malfunctions involved American-flagged ships or AMO-member U.S. mariners, who are trained to the world's highest standards," says Tom Bethel, President of American Maritime Officers, the largest organization of U.S. licensed seagoing professionals.
"Although U.S. merchant marine officers are amongst the best-trained, most experienced seafaring professionals in the world, all of whom are documented, licensed and vetted by the United States Coast Guard, they are being edged-out of some commands by officers from foreign nations because U.S. officers expect what every American expects – solid pension plans and other benefits." He adds, "Officers from foreign nations and crew members from undeveloped countries, not licensed by the U.S. Coast Guard but by governments abroad, are willing to accept less, so they are getting the jobs."
Cruise Ships: American Passengers But No American Officers or Crew Members
Whilst most of the best-known luxury cruise lines are owned by publicly-traded American companies, the ships are built overseas, fly foreign nation flags, and are under the command of officers from other countries. Bethel emphasizes, "The majority of cruise line passengers are Americans who express they would feel more comfortable and safer if there was a presence of American officers in command and on deck."
"Although cruise ship incidents have captured the world's attention, it is important to note that, on a weekly basis, there are serious at-sea mishaps occurring in waters off-the-coasts of mostly undeveloped nations between cargo and other ships that do not make headlines but are of great concern to professional mariners because these ships are aging and their crews are often undertrained," says Bethel.
"The best-known cruise ship lines provide advanced training for their officers and crew members and its vessels are equipped with the most-advanced navigational and safety equipment," says Bethel.
NAVIGATION INCIDENTS & MECHANICAL MALFUNCTIONS
The majority of nautical collisions and ships that ran aground are the results of human error, often exacerbated by fatigue and/or inadequate navigational training. Many mechanical mishaps were consequences of poor or insufficient maintenance and the inability to perform underway repairs by marine engineers and engine room crews.
AMO WANTS YOU! NOW RECRUITING ENGINEERING OFFICER CANDIDATES
Passenger, cargo and tanker lines are faced with a shortage of engineers, worldwide. "In an effort to solve the global shortage of maritime engineering officers, AMO is devising a campaign to recruit qualified U.S. high school graduates – educate, train and place them in high-paying, prestigious positions on merchant marine vessels worldwide," says Bethel. "The starting pay for an engineering officer is $100,000, annually."
ADVANCED MARITIME TRAINING AVAILABLE
"To reduce the incidences of human error, AMO's Simulation, Training, Assessment & Research (STAR) Center provides educational and certification programs that improve command communications, emergency response, engineering and navigational skills," says retired U.S. Navy Captain Philip Shullo, AMO's Director of STAR Center Safety and Education Training.
AMO STAR CENTER, DANIA BEACH FLORIDA: WORLD'S PREEMINENT MARITIME TRAINING CENTER
- Firefighting - Dynamic Positioning - Engineering - Liquid Natural Gas Transport - Navigation - Rescue -
- 79 U S Coast Guard & International Maritime Organization Training Certification Courses
- Trained 100,000 Merchant Mariners & Employees of 52 Shipping Lines
STAR CENTER FULL BRIDGE NAVIGATIONAL SIMULATOR
- Full Mission Class A Command Bridge Navigation Simulator ▪ Employs Array of Vivid Video Projectors
- Creates 360-Degree High-Tech Animated Views of Oceans, Harbors, Shipping Lanes
Shullo says, "STAR Center's full mission Class A command bridge navigation simulator produces various wave and weather conditions and can even mimic the sensation of sailing through "Iceberg Alley," where Titanic sank, 375 miles southeast of Newfoundland, 101 years ago and where ships still sail between Europe and North America."
- Shullo explains, "Unlike aircraft cockpit simulators that provide both visual and physical steering, elevation and descending movements, the actual maritime command bridge remains stationary. Yet, the 360-degree moving, high-tech animated images of waves and passing ships and land masses are so realistic they induce sea sickness."
MERCHANT MARINE ACT OF 1920 AKA: "JONES ACT"
The 1920 Merchant Marine Act legislates that only American-made, American-owned ships manned by American officers and crews can sail between U.S. seaports and on American rivers and lakes. However, increasingly, shipping entities are obtaining government waivers, which concerns American mariners. AMO implores the White House and Congress to uphold the patriotic protections of the ACT, which insures the future of American ship building and the U.S. merchant marine.
SOME EXAMPLES OF 2012-2013 NAUTICAL INCIDENTS
-NONE INVOLVED AMERICAN MARITIME OFFICERS-
- Azamara Quest Fire
- Baltic Ace Collides w/ Cargo Ship, 11 Deaths
- Carnival Dream Generator Failure
- Carnival Elation Steering Failure
- Carnival Legend Propulsion Problem
- Carnival Triumph Fire
- Costa Allegra Fire
- Costa Concordia Tragedy
- MS Thompson Majesty Lifeboat Drill, Five Fatalities
- Norwegian Star Collides w/ Royal Caribbean Explorer
- Norwegian Star Collides with USS Intrepid Museum
- Turkey Cargo Ship Collides w/ Seabus, Nine Injured
- Silver Shadow Collides w/ Vietnamese Cargo Ship -
- Scores of Other Cargo Ship Incidents, Acts of Piracy, Harbor Hold-Ups & Hostage Situations-
AMO AGENDA & FACTS
- Adherence to U.S. Maritime Act of 1920
- AMO Provides Commercial, Military Sealift
- Committed to Increasing U.S. Merchant Marine Presence on Cargo, Cruise & Service Vessels -
- Create New Private Sector Jobs on U.S. & Foreign-Flagged Ships -
- Endorses United Nations' International Maritime Organization Review of Cruise Ship Designs & Operations -
- Expand National & International Deep-Sea Trades & Missions
- Provide Expert Handling of Dangerous Cargoes In & Out of US Ports
- Provide Unique Presence in Global Liquid Natural Gas & Energy Maritime Transportation
- Provide Skilled Citizen Seafarers Delivering Defense Equipment During National Emergency & Mobilization
- Regain American Prominence in Maritime Business By Flagging New Ships with Stars & Stripes
- Strengthen Domestic & International Maritime Regulations
B-Roll & BITES
- American Vessels, Officers, Crew
- Command Bridge Simulator
- Engine Room Training
- Shipping Disaster Photos
- Shipwrecks Titanic Newspaper Clippings:
- Captain Phillip Shullo
AMERICA'S TOP PORT CITIES
- Corpus Christi
- Fort Lauderdale
- Green Bay
- Long Beach
- Los Angeles
- New York
- New York Post
- New London
- New Orleans
- Palm Beach
- Portland, ME
- Portland, OR
- San Diego
- San Francisco
- San Jose
- Wilmington, DE
- Wilmington, NC
Bryan Glazer - World Satellite Television News & Media Relations- 212-673-4400 / 561-374-1365 - Bryan@Televisionews.com
- Travel & Tourism
- American Maritime Officers
- Tom Bethel