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Tell congress you support the Jones Act.  The Navy League is hosting an easy-to-use advocacy link where you can send a message to your senators & representative, reminding them that the Jones Act is about American jobs and homeland security.   Click here to send a message to your elected officials. 


The USCG has issued Policy Letter 01-18 which provides detailed guidelines for those mariners who wish to harmonize the expiration dates of their original or renewed Merchant Mariner Credential (MMC) and Medical Certificate.

The US Coast Guard issued a news release stating that it and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) have teamed up to incorporate the amalgamated International Regulations for the Prevention of Collisions at Sea (72 COREGS) and the Inland Navigation Rules into NOAA's US Coast Pilot publications.

02-16-18:  The ISMA convention, held in Toledo earlier this month, was mentioned in a Toledo Blade article

Job openings:  Eastern Michigan University in Ypsilanti has two Stationary Engineer positions available. 

Detroit Free Press article about Grand President's awards presented to Ryan Gazdecki & Joe Buchanan of the J.W. Westcott Company.   

January-February Grand Lodge Newsletter

01-17-18:  The US Coast Guard has issued an advisory stating that the Department of Transportation (DOT) Drug Testing requirements have been changed to include semi-synthetic opiates, effective  January 1, 2018.

01-13-18:  The American Merchant Marine Veterans site has been added to our LINKS page. 

Lodge election results and 2018 appointments have been posted on the officers page. 

Message from newly-elected lodge president John Mantyk.

Obituary:  John H. Earles, Sr. - ISMA Pennant No. A-11465.  Passed away on Sunday, December 31, 2017 at the age of 73.  Mr. Earles had been a member of Detroit Lodge No. 7 for the past 21 years, and was Vice-President of KBC Tools in Sterling Heights.  

Expansion of U.S. DOT drug testing takes effect January 1, 2018.  The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) drug testing program will soon require testing for four semi-synthetic opioids (i.e., hydrocodone, oxycodone, hydromorphone, oxymorphone).

12-08-17:  November-December Grand Lodge Newsletter

12-05-17:  Available for purchase:  Paper Model Kits of the Pilot Boat Huron Spirit.  $25.00  (makes a great Christmas Gift) All Proceeds Donated to the Community Foundation of St. Clair County ‐ Maritime Fund.

11-27-17:  Obituary:  Dr. Thomas W. Baumgarten, M.D., ISMA Pennant No. A-10589.  Passed away on Wednesday, November 22, 2017 at the age of 93.  Dr. Baumgarten had been a member of Detroit Lodge No. 7 for nearly 33 years, having joined on Dec. 11, 1984.  He is survived by his wife, Cathy.  Together they attended many lodge events over the years.   
Cathy & Tom Baumgarten in 2007 photo    
Photo of Tom at one of the summer ISMA picnics he & Cathy hosted at their Harsens Island home

  The US Coast Guard has issued a Safety Alert announcing recall of 134 different models of Kidde brand plastic handle and plastic push-button fire extinguishers. Units with metal handles/valve assemblies are not included in the recall.

Mariners’ Church celebrates 175 years in Detroit

Mariners' Church of Detroit Anniversary Weekend October 19-22

10-10-17:  September-October Grand Lodge Newsletter

A memorial service for Shelly Hammarskjold is planned for Saturday September 30, 2017 at 11:00 A.M with visitation starting at 10:00 A.M. at the Henry Ford Village Chapel, 15101 Ford Rd. (at Greenfield Rd.) in Dearborn.  Click Here for details

Obituary:  James N. VanDongen - ISMA Pennant No. 10796.  Passed away on Monday, September 11, 2017 at the age of 73.  Captain VanDongen served as the Secretary-Treasurer of Muskegon Lodge No. 21, and retired in 2004 from American Steamship Company, where he last served as captain on the Indiana Harbor

08-22-17:  Obituary:  Past Grand President (1986) James E. Daleski of NE Michigan Lodge No. 19.  Passed away on Saturday, August 19, 2017 at the age of 87.  Captain Daleski received the Lewis Ludington Award in 2016, and also attended the 2017 Grand Lodge Convention in Alpena (Photo).   

A full obituary can be found on the funeral home website.   

Obituary:  Shelly Yaroch-Hammarskjold, wife of lodge member Steve Hammarskjold.  Passed away on Friday, August 11, 2017 at the age of 61.  Visitation on Wednesday, August 16, and funeral on Thursday, August 17.  See the Funeral Home Obituary for details.  
Photo of Steve & Shelly at the 2015 Lodge Dinner Dance.   

On The Detroit River, America's Only Floating Post Office Blends Tradition And Technology

July-August Grand Lodge Newsletter

08-01-17:  The National Maritime Center (NMC) is requesting feedback regarding their new website, which was launched on June 29, 2017.  Click Here for more information. 

07-24-17:  Message from lodge president regarding funding of ISMA flag at Soo Locks.

The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) issued the report of its investigation of the May 27, 2016 grounding of the Roger Blough near the Gros Cap Reefs Light in the St. Marys River.  The report can be found here

Secretary-Treasurer Ray Oset has received a new supply of lodge baseball caps.  The hats are $25 each.  If you would like one mailed to you, there is an additional charge of $6.95

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Congratulations to member Lynne Kogel upon receiving her 100-ton masters license.   

06-16-17:  The USCG National Maritime Center (NMC) issued a notice announcing that, on 29 June, it will be transitioning from its old website to a new website hosted by the Department of Defense. Feedback on the transition is appreciated.  
(Thanks to Dennis Bryant for bringing this to our attention).

May-June Grand Lodge Newsletter

The US Coast Guard issued a Safety Alert regarding the dangers of a fuel spray fire and actions that can be taken to reduce the risk of such an occurrence on your vessel.

Obituary:  Kimberly Anne Getin of Niagara Lodge No. 20.  Kim and her husband Capt. Dino Dini have attended many Grand Lodge conventions over the years. 

News Video:  Port of Toledo to host 2018 Grand Lodge Convention

New Shipping Container Kiosk On Riverfront To Teach Students About The Great Lakes

Detroit News article: Delivering mail, saving lives aboard the J.W. Westcott

04-20-17:  Air Station Traverse City welcomes first of three Jayhawk Helicopters

Lodge Member Ryan Gazdecki rescues pregnant woman from Detroit River
Fox 2 Video

March-April Grand Lodge Newsletter

03-21-17:  Discount for ISMA members now available at Great Lakes ACE Hardware stores

An article in Detroit Historical Society's Telescope magazine describes recovering an anchor from the SS Greater Detroit in November of 2016.  Several ISMA members are mentioned in the article, including Grand President Lee Barnhill, Sam Buchanan, Jim Hogan, Paul Jagenow, John Jamian, Mac McAdam, John Polacsek, and Neil Schultheiss.    Additional photos 

ISMA participates in 2017 Maritime Industry Congressional Sail-In. On March 1, NELC chairman Scott Skrzypczak joined more than 90 officers and representatives from U.S.-flag shipping companies, American maritime labor unions and related maritime organizations and associations meeting in Washington DC.   

The Great Lakes Maritime Task Force has issued its Annual Report for 2016.
(ISMA is a member of the Great Lakes Maritime Task Force).

Twenty-three Senators have sent a letter to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) registering their opposition to the proposed $1.3 billion reduction to the Coast Guard's FY 2018 Presidential budget request.

03-05-17:  Obituary:  Capt. Thomas J. Schnell - ISMA Pennant No. 10301.  Passed away on March 4, 2017 at the age of 77.  Capt. Schnell was retired from Lakes Pilots Association and had been a member of Detroit Lodge No. 7 for the past 36 years.   

Op-Ed:  Our maritime industry is too important to ignore - by Rep. John Garamendi, ranking member of the Coast Guard and maritime transportation subcommittee.

Article about the future of Great Lakes shipping quotes Chicago Lodge No. 3 member Bill Strauss. 

Obituary: Michael Bruce Crittenden, 62, of Alpena passed away Sunday, Feb. 5, 2017.  He is the step-father of newly installed Grand President Lee Barnhill.  Mike suffered a heart attack just after attending the ISMA Grand Lodge convention.  He helped at the bean bag toss which made over $475.00 for the scholarship fund.  Funeral Home obituary and on-line guest book.  
02-06-17:  With video: Alpena television news covers ISMA Convention

Michigan Senator Gary Peters addresses ISMA Grand Lodge Convention in Alpena.  Click Here for Video

Alpena News article covering 2017 ISMA Grand Lodge Convention

January-February Grand Lodge Newsletter

Port Huron Lodge No. 2 has introduced a Proposal to be introduced at the Grand Lodge Convention in Alpena on February 3. 

01-17-17:  Lodge Newsletter

National Maritime Center:  Merchant Mariner Credential Processing Delay Update

Obituary:  Arlene M. Earl - Pennant No. A-11795
The Flower Lady of the Great Lakes passed away on December 20, 2016 at the age of 78.
Funeral Home Obituary

12-18-16:  Detroit Free Press interview of lodge member Sam Buchanan (with video)

Obituary:  Capt. Michael T. Patterson of Port Huron Lodge No. 2;  Pennant No. 10659

12-12-16:  November-December Grand Lodge Newsletter

11-29-16:  Obituary:  Arthur B. McWood, Jr. - Pennant No. A-1454.
Member of Detroit Lodge No. 7 for 30 years (1972-2001).  Served as lodge president in 1976.  

10-30-16:  Detroit Lodge No. 7 has made arrangements with Office Depot & Office Max for a discount program available to ISMA lodges and individual members.  The program offers substantial discounts on products and services, including print services.  For additional details, click here.  

Detroit Free Press article about sailing on the Great Lakes included comments by Ken Gerasimos of Twin Ports Lodge No. 12 (Ken was originally a member of Detroit Lodge No. 7) and Frank Frisk of Port Huron Lodge No. 2.

The US Coast Guard issued a Safety Alert reminding mariners of the Samsung Galaxy Note 7 Smartphone recall.  Bringing these phones on vessels is discouraged and, if brought aboard, they are to be turned off and disconnected from any charging equipment.

The U.S. Coast Guard has announced that three MH-60T Jayhawk helicopters will be assigned to the Great Lakes Region beginning in April of 2017.  (At the 2014 ISMA convention, the Grand Lodge called on the USCG to bring the larger, more capable Jayhawk to the Great Lakes.  The proposal from the 2014 Grand Lodge convention can be viewed HERE.)  
Additional newspaper article with pictures

10-11-16:  Obituary: Past Grand President (1998) Capt. John A. Cork - ISMA Pennant No. 10811

Lodge secretary Ray Oset has secured a new local vendor for ISMA pennants:  Embroidery and Much More in St. Clair Shores.    Click Here for details.   

September-October Grand Lodge Newsletter

Obituary: Barbara Ternan-Vallier, widow of lodge member William Vallier. Barb passed away on Thursday, September 22, 2016 at the age of 82. 

Lodge members Joel Stone & John Polacsek are mentioned in a Detroit News article about a missing Fresnel lens from the old Belle Isle Lighthouse.  

The USCG has issued a safety alert reminding mariners of the importance of performing periodic maintenance on the inflatable life jackets.
The National Transportation Safety Board has released its annual summary of marine accidents and the lessons learned from them.  To view the report, click HERE.

08-24-16:  Lodge 20 member Brett Walker is featured in a Windsor Star article about great lakes pilots.    

New York Times article about J. W. Westcott Company mentions lodge 7 members Jim Hogan, Bill Redding, Sam Buchanan, and lodge 20 member Fred Hoffe. 

08-06-16:  Individual ISMA Burgee is now available for purchase (ideal for use on smaller vessels).
Note:  The burgee is a novelty item and not meant to replace the official ISMA Pennant described in section 20 of the ISMA constitution. 

Old-fashioned glasses with the ISMA logo are now available for purchase. The glasses, which are made in the USA by a small business, are $15/each or $28/pair plus USPS flat-rate shipping. 
Orders may be placed with Lodge No. 7 member Scott Skrzypczak.    
(Click on photos to enlarge).

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Detroit Lodge No. 7 now has window clings and stickers available for purchase.

The USCG has issued a safety alert regarding the routine inspection of life jackets, especially those manufactured by "The Safeguard Corporation".

Atlas Obscura article about the J.W. Westcott Company mentions lodge members Jim Hogan, Bill Redding, Sam Buchanan, and Ryan Gazdecki. 

07-05-16:  Coast Guard releases updated CG-2692 form for marine casualty reporting.

Obituary: Roberta Sand-Principe, wife of lodge member Dominick Principe
Roberta passed away on Monday, June 13, 2016 at the age of 69.

05-23-16:  Lodge No. 7 President Scott Reynolds interviewed for article about Detroit's Fireboat, Curtis Randolph.  (Congratulations to Capt. Reynolds on his recent promotion to Captain of the Curtis Randolph).

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) issued a reminder that the Maritime Mobile Service Identity (MMSI) number programmed into a vessel's VHF radio transmitter should match the MMSI number on record.  (Thanks to Dennis Bryant for bringing this to our attention).

Kannad Marine has issued a recall of all Safelink EPIRBs due to possible defect that could result in the beacon not operating in emergency situations.   Click Here for the bulletin.  

The US Coast Guard has issued a news release regarding the expanded Automatic Identification System (AIS) requirements that went into effect on April 7, 2016.  Most commercial vessels operating on US waterways are now required to have and utilize AIS while underway.

Animation:  Understanding the Importance of the Jones Act

04-05-16: The US Coast Guard has issued a safety alert addressing abrasion and chafing of electric wires on marine generators caused by vibration. 

Lexington Institute: Jones Act Critical to U.S. Border Security

Michigan's Governor congratulates Detroit Lodge No. 7 on its 125th Anniversary.  

The U.S. Maritime Administration has announced plans to close the Great Lakes Fire Training Center in Swanton, Ohio.  The last training class will be held June 20-24, 2016.  In a statement, MARAD said the center will close due to an adequate number of private entities offering the same type of training.   

03-25-16:   The ISMA committee for Membership and Outreach, which was appointed at the 2016 Grand Lodge Convention in Chicago, has started a new ISMA page on Instagram

USCG announces new design for Merchant Mariner Credential Booklets

Great Lakes Maritime Task Force: Too Few Icebreakers and Lack of a Second Poe-Sized Lock Threaten Great Lakes Shipping

02-16-16:  Strengthening Border Security: Look No Further Than the Jones Act (OpEd)

Chicago Tribune Article: Lodge member Mark Stevenson recognized for his work with at-risk youth.  (Captain Stevenson, a long-time member and past president of Lodge No. 3, recently joined Lodge No. 7 as well).

Lodge member Larry Stephenson has written an article about the Detroit Boat Club and its long history.  To read the article, Click Here.  

02-10-16:  U.S. Coast Guard approves the use of electronic charts

01-20-16:  The US Coast Guard has issued a Safety Alert reminding mariners of the dangers of relying solely upon global navigation satellite systems (GNSS), such as GPS, for navigation and positioning. These systems are subject to natural, accidental, and intentional interference.

12-25-15: Video: Santa pilots J. W. Westcott II to take live lobsters to tug Ken Boothe Sr.

12-22-15:  To help with U.S. & Canadian freezing spray forecasts, NOAA and Environment Canada are requesting that vessels submit freezing spray observations. 
              Flyer with more information.               Online Reporting Form

12-18-15:  Congratulations to Capt. Dino Dini and the crew of the M/V Algoway for receiving the USCG Capt. David P. Dobbins Award following the rescue of recreational boaters off Lorain, Ohio last August.   Algoma Central Newsletter         Photos are on the ISMA Facebook Page

Obituary: Donna M. Dubbs - wife of former ISMA member Paul Dubbs. Donna & Paul Dubbs attended many ISMA conventions over the years.

12-15-15:  Boat U.S. article: Virtual Navigation is here, like it or not

11-23-15:  Great Lakes senators call for new Mackinaw-size icebreaker for Great Lakes. 

Our thoughts and prayers are with the Detroit Fire Department and the friends and family of Fireboat Captain Walter R. Szelag, who passed away November 20, 2015 while on duty.  
Memorial Service Information        Funeral Home Notice

11-16-15:   Funding approved for new study of 2nd Poe-size lock at Sault Ste. Marie

The Seaway Task Force has produced a video which details the urgent need to construct a 2nd Poe-sized lock at Sault Ste. Marie. 

11-10-15:  Detroit Free Press article:  In the 40 years since the Edmund Fitzgerald loss, advances in technology have made the Great Lakes safer for ships.  

The USCG has issued a safety alert regarding unapproved lights on recreational and commercial vessels.  Of particular concern are light emitting diode (LED) lights in addition to required navigation lights being installed on vessels.  

08-30-15:  Detroit Free Press:  Despite Soo shutdown, new lock a long shot

08-07-15:  Detroit Free Press:  New Great Lakes Icebreaker far from certain

07-14-15: Detroit News: Push is on for completing second Poe-size lock at Sault Ste. Marie

06-21-15:  The American Great Lakes Ports Association in partnership with the Lake Carriers’ Association, Fednav Ltd. and the Saint Lawrence Seaway Development Corp. have jointly sponsored a new binational public affairs program called The Great Lakes Seaway Partnership.

06-05-15:  With Video: Canadian Coast Guard moves communications from Thunder Bay

05-03-15:  Detroit Free Press:  Crowds Pack St. Anne's Parish during mass mob event 
Lodge 7 Co-Chaplain Fr. Russ Kohler greets parishioners                Fr. Kohler Poses for Photo 

04-23-15:  USCG denies proposed river-barge route from Calumet Harbor to Muskegon

The North Channel from a different prospective by lodge member Larry Stephenson and his wife Carol, was recently published in Grosse Pointe Yacht Club's quarterly publication, The Grosse Pointer.  The article details an overland trip to the North Channel by the Stephenson's with lodge member Jim Ramsey & his wife Marney. 

04-09-15:  National Public Radio: Icy Traffic Jam On Lake Superior Has 18 Ships Stuck

Newspaper article: Capt. Bob Hull receives Lewis Ludington award posthumously

03-09-15:   The US Coast Guard posted a Fact Sheet regarding the recent final rule expanding the carriage and utilization requirements for the automatic identification system (AIS) so as to be consistent with provisions of the SOLAS Convention.  (Brought to our attention by Bryant's Maritime Consulting). 

02-24-15:  Coalition calls for action on vessel discharge regulation

02-23-15:  The U.S. Coast Guard has compiled a complete list of all their Safety Alerts issued from 1996 through 2014.  

02-07-15:  Capt. Joseph Walters is sworn in as Grand Lodge President.  
           Duluth News-Tribune Article               Video           

01-16-15:  Congressman Duncan Hunter (R-CA) Implores Senate Leadership to Support Jones Act

Senator Mazie Hirono (D-HI) takes to senate floor to defend Jones Act (Video)

Coalition of Great Lakes interests - including ISMA - rise to defend the Jones Act

01-06-15:  Lake Carriers Association calls for a 2nd MACKINAW-class icebreaker on the Great Lakes

12-12-14:  Congress Reaffirms Support for Jones Act and U.S. domestic maritime industry

Member Fr. Russ Kohler interviewed for Detroit News artcile about Most Holy Trinity Church and its programs to help needy children. 

10-14-14:  Lodge member Bill Redding is interviewed by Michigan Public Radio for a report about the J.W. Westcott Company and its long history serving the Port of Detroit.  Click Here for Audio

Detroit Lodge No. 7 member Jim Anderson and his wife Patti have announced a $25 million gift to Wayne State University's College of Engineering.  Detroit Free Press article

10-05-14:  Crain's Detroit Business interviewed John Loftus, the new executive director of the Detroit/Wayne County Port Authority, who said the agency will concentrate its efforts on maritime issues rather than seeking broader economic development powers away from the Detroit River.       Click here to read the full article

Detroit Free Press article and video featuring lodge member Arlene Earl (aka The Flower Lady).  Lodge members Paul Jagenow and Jack Callahan are also interviewed. 

09-26-14: The National Transportation Safety Board has published Safer Seas 2013: Lessons Learned from Marine Accident Investigations, a 43-page summary of the 21 incidents investigated by the NTSB in 2013.  To read the entire report, Click Here

09-24-14:  The Canadian Shipowners Association (CSA) has issued a statement in support of Canada's cabotage law, amid concerns that it may be jeopardized in the current negotiations with the European Union.  Four U.S. maritime unions have also issued a statement in support of Canada's domestic shipping industry.  (ISMA has repeatedly supported cabotage laws in both the U.S. and Canada).

06-15-14:  President Obama has signed the Water Resources Reform and Development Act (WRRDA) into law.  The Great Lakes Maritime Task Force and ISMA have been advocating for the passage of this legislation, which, among other things will recognize the Great Lakes as a single navigation system, giving the system a greater presence.       News Article           Video

03-27-14:  "American maritime industry a strong asset to U.S. economy, national security"
A commentary in the March 25 edition of the Washington Times by Congressmen Duncan Hunter (R-CA) and Steve Scalise (R-LA).  

03-21-14:  The National Transportation Safety Board has issued the investigative report of an engine room fire aboard the towing vessel Marguerite L. Terral in June of 2012 on the Lower Mississippi River.  Several lessons can be learned from this incident.

National Maritime Center to begin issuing automatically post-dated mariner credentials

National Maritime Center changes merchant mariner appeal process.

03-01-14:  The U.S. Coast Guard has presented lodge member Norman Raymond with the Captain David P. Dobbins Award for his role in rescuing two persons from the Detroit River on August 11, 2013.  Click Here for the news article.   

02-16-14:  Lodge member Capt. Luke Clyburn receives the Chairman's Medal from the U.S. Naval Sea Cadet Program.

02-13-14: Meeting in Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan for its annual convention, the ISMA Grand Lodge unanimously approved a proposal to advocate for the assignment of longer-range Jayhawk helicopters to the USCG air stations on the Great Lakes. 

02-13-14:  Meeting in Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan for its annual convention, the ISMA Grand Lodge approved a proposal advocating the construction and use of portable gangways at the Soo Locks. 
08-28-13:  Lodge No. 7 & Great Lakes Maritime Institute work to preserve relics from storm of 1913

08-22-13:  National Transportation Safety Board releases report on fire aboard the Patrice McAllister (formerly known as the tug Cleveland) which occurred on Lake Ontario on March 27, 2012.  Five crewmembers were injured and the Chief Engineer lost his life in this incident.

07-30-13:   Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-CA), Chairman of the House Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation Subcommittee cited the critical role of America’s domestic maritime industry in an op-ed at

04-05-13:  Joseph Cabadas of the Detroit Athletic Club (DAC) wrote a Feature article on  Mariners’ Church of Detroit.  The article summarizes Mariners’ history along with member connections to the DAC, including Ivan Ludington, who for many years presented the Captain Lewis Ludington Award at Mariners’ Blessing of the Fleet services.

03-03-13: Newspaper article mentions ISMA, Capt. Seann O'Donoughue, and the pending closure of Thunder Bay Coast Guard Radio. 

02-16-13:  The Maritime Administration (MARAD) issued a news release stating that overall US maritime cargo volumes on the Great Lakes are recovering from the extreme lows experienced in 2009. The report, Status of the US-Flag Great Lakes Water Transportation Industry finds that the US Great Lakes maritime industry is generally healthy and providing efficient, safe, and environmentally friendly transportation services.   (Brought to our attention by Bryant's Maritime Consulting).

02-14-13:  Important Announcement regarding the Grand Lodge Newsletter moving to electronic format.  Members are urged to have a valid e-mail address on file with their local lodge secretary.  E-Mail updates and corrections can be sent to

02-12-13: Study says Great Lakes Shipping is the most carbon friendly, efficient mode of transportation

02-01-13:  The U.S. Coast Guard has posted an 85-page compilation of safety alerts, safety advisories, and lessons learned from 2008-2012. 



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