ISMA Members are on Facebook
(Private group for ISMA members only)

Some documents on this site
require Adobe Reader® to view.

Free download:




Updates on the EL FARO investigation can be found on gcaptain

AMO sets El Faro Memorial Fund to aid officers' families

Seaman's Church Institute El Faro Family Relief Fund


11-23-15:  Lodge Newsletter and Schedule of Events

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

The Calendar of Events page has been updated.  Our next lodge meeting will be December 8, 2015 at Dossin Museum. 

Obituary: Richard A. Feldtz, ISMA Pennant No. A-11555.  Retired fleet superintendent of Oglebay Norton Company and member of Cleveland Lodge No. 4. 

The National Transportation Safety Board’s Safety Research Division is conducting a study to assess the effectiveness of Vessel Traffic Service (VTS) systems operated by the U.S. Coast Guard. As part of the study, comments are being solicited from the public. (Please also consider sharing your comments with the ISMA Navigation Legilsative and Engineering Committee).      Comments are requested by December 1, 2015Click Here for more information. 
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. 

Photos from the Great Lakes Memorial Service have been posted on the photo page

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.

10-20-15:  The 35th Annual Marine Mart will be held at Dossin Museum on Saturday, November 21.   Click Here for printable flyer

10-07-15:  An 875-square mile area of Lake Michigan, extending from Port Washington to Two Rivers, has been identified as a possible marine sanctuary.  Public meetings will be held in Manitowoc on November 17; Port Washington on November 18; and Sheboygan on November 19. Written comments must be received by January 15, 2016.
     Chicago Tribune story        NOAA Press Release              Notice in Federal Register

10-01-15: USCG announces implementation of updated mariner credentialing forms
As of October 1, 2015, the National Maritime Center has implemented new CG-719 series forms (B, C, K, K/E, P, and S) that will replace forms displaying a June 30, 2012, expiration date.  With the exception of forms K and K/E, the Coast Guard will not accept outdated CG-719 forms after April 1, 2016.  For the K and K/E forms, those signed by a physician after December 31, 2015 must be on the new version of the form.

September-October Grand Lodge Newsletter

Lodge member Arlene Earl has moved to Hospice Care.  Notes & cards may be sent to her at Bluewater Hospice; 2795 Edison Dr.; Marysville, MI  48040-2068.  Phone 810-982-8809.

09-19-15:  Lodge member Sam Buchanan featured in ad for GM RenCen

Detroit Free Press:  Despite Soo shutdown, new lock a long shot

Detroit Free Press: Let's Save the Bob-Lo Boat  (Article & Video)

Georgian-Bay Huronia Lodge No. 15 has launched a raffle with multiple prizes, including a Grand Prize valued at $11,000:  An 8-day Arctic Cruise for 2 on board the M.S. EXPEDITION, departing from Spitzbergen, Norway in 2016.   See arctic wildlife, polar bears, whales, glaciers, fjords, icebergs, and experience life in Norway.  For additional details and order form, Click Here.   

The USCG is proposing to discontinue 62 DGPS (Differential Global Positioning System) sites across the country, 6 of which are on the Great Lakes.  Comments on this proposal will be accepted until November 16, 2015. 

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

July-August Grand Lodge Newsletter

Lodge Newsletter

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

The Lake Carriers' Association has released its State of the Lakes report for 2015.

07-01-15:  Obituary: Barry A. Hiscocks - ISMA Pennant No. A-12187
Member of Port Huron Lodge No. 2;   Memorial Service to be held August 29, 2015.

Lodge member Bob Thibaudeau, Captain on the M/V Paul R. Tregurtha, is featured in a week-long series of articles in the Detroit Free Press.  

May-June Grand Lodge Newsletter

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

The US Coast Guard proposes to amend its Great Lakes Regulated Navigation Areas to include two new safety zones to close waters for recreational users.  Specifically, waters of Saginaw Bay and waters of Lake Erie in the vicinity of the South Passage and Erie Islands.  They are also proposing three new Regulated Navigation Areas to manage vessel traffic in ice-prone waterways.  Specifically, the Maumee Bay Entrance Channel; the Straits of Mackinac; and Green Bay.  The full text of the proposal can be found HERE.  Comments must be received by July 6, 2015.

05-04-15:  Thomas Rayburn Joins Lake Carriers’ Association in newly created position of Director of Environmental and Regulatory Affairs    News Release

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 

March-April Grand Lodge Newsletter

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

04-08-15:  The Great Lakes Maritime Task Force, of which ISMA is a member, has issued its annual report for 2014.  

At its meeting today, the Board of Governors of Detroit Lodge No. 7 approved donations to the Noble Odyssey Foundation, Dossin Great Lakes Museum, and the Lost Mariners Remembrance event, scheduled for November 10, 2015 at Dossin Museum.

The USCG is changing the way in which it makes Light Lists available to the public. Electronic versions will continue to be made available free of charge by means of the Internet, but the Coast Guard will no longer produce printed Light List volumes.  Click Here for the official notice

03-29-15:  Grand 2nd Vice President Lee Barnhill welcomes first ship of the season at Stoneport, MI
News Video      Picture

Lodge Newsletter & Updated Schedule of Events

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

President’s Fiscal Year 2016 budget provides $69 million for Great Lakes projects

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

02-12-15:  Obituary:  Dorothy Martin "Dottie" Crowley -Widow of lodge member Jerry Crowley.  Passed away on Saturday, February 7, 2015 at age 91. 

Obituary:  Capt. Warren F. Fuller - ISMA Pennant No. 9857.  Passed away on January 26, 2015 in Tucson, AZ at the age of 95.  Capt. Fuller was a member of Detroit Lodge No. 7 for 54 years. 

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

01-22-15:  January-February Grand Lodge Newsletter

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

01-09-15:  Lodge Newsletter

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

Obituary: Past Grand President Jeremiah 'Jerry' Bissette of Niagara District Lodge No. 20 passed away on Monday, January 5, 2015 in St. Catharines, Ontario at the age of 84.  Arrangements are being handled by the Haine Funeral Home in Thorold, Ontario.  Captain Bissette served as Grand Lodge President in 2009. 

Lodge Newsletter

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. 

In Memory of Oscar Rosso August 8, 1928 - December 10, 2009

November-December Grand Lodge Newsletter

11-29-14:  Lodge Newsletter & Schedule of Events

11-25-14:  Lodge member Jay Downen is featured in Wall Street Journal article.

10-28-14:  Past lodge president Jerry Crowley, who passed away in 2012, was a noted marine artist and a longtime member of Detroit Lodge No. 7.  A special event, billed The Art of Jerry Crowley has been announced. The Opening Reception and Sale will be held on Thursday, November 6 with the Exhibition and Sale to follow on Friday and Saturday, November 7 & 8 at the Provencal-Weir House in Grosse Pointe. Proceeds will benefit the Grosse Pointe Historical Society. Click here for a promotional flyer

Obituary: Capt. Andrew F. Rajner, Sr. - ISMA Pennant No. 10072. A member of Toledo Lodge No. 9; he passed away October 27, 2014 at the age of 89.  Capt. Rajner sailed with Oglebay-Norton Company for 30 years, retiring in 1976.  

Lodge Newsletter

  Obituary: Past Lodge President Frederic E. Weber - ISMA Pennant No. A-1293. A member of Detroit Lodge No. 7 for over 50 years, Mr. Weber passed away on October 19, 2014 at the age of 89.  In honoring Fred's wishes, there will be no funeral or visitation.  

The National Transportation Safety Board has released its report on the bridge accident involving Detroit’s Jefferson Avenue Bridge and the S/S Herbert C. Jackson in May 2013.

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. 

September-October Grand Lodge Newsletter

Obituary: Capt. Donald C. Schmidt - Pennant No. 10663; Passed away September 23, 2014 at the age of 74.  Long-time owner-operator of Michigan Marine Salvage on the Clinton River in Harrison Township.  Capt. Schmidt was a member of Detroit Lodge No. 7 for 33 years: from 1980 to 2013. 

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 US Coast Guard issued a notice stating that it, the US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) are seeking feedback on the 21st Century / Future of Navigation initiative. 
(Brought to our attention by Bryant's Maritime Consulting).

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).

09-24-14:  U.S. Rep Duncan Hunter (R-CA) has introduced H.R. 5609, the Vessel Incidental Discharge Act, which would establish a nationally uniform framework for the regulation of ballast water and other vessel discharges. It is a companion bill to S. 2094, which was approved by the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee in July.  H.R. 5609 will replace the current regulatory system in which two federal agencies and more than two dozen states regulate vessel discharges in overlapping and sometimes contradictory ways with a uniform, federal framework.  The ISMA Navigation Legislative and Engineering Committee has contacted most Great Lakes legislators in support of this bill.    

A new publication, the U.S. Coast Guard Navigation Rules and Regulations Handbook has replaced the U.S. Coast Guard Navigation Rules, International-Inland (COMDTINST M16672.2D). Besides containing updated material to the previous book, it has additional pertinent navigation regulations, such as Vessel Traffic Management rules.  The handbook is freely available at the U.S. Coast Guard’s Navigation Center website, but is not available in government printed form. Future changes to the handbook will be published in the USCG Local Notices to Mariners.

American Maritime Partnership: Domestic American Maritime Industry is Booming

Lodge member Garrett Myers is interviewed for Detroit Free Press article about the Erie Canal.

08-06-14:  The Transportation Security Administration has announced the agency's 'OneVisit' program is now a
vailable everywhere.  Under this program, Transportation Worker Identification Credential (TWIC) cards can be mailed directly to an applicant's home address or other location, rather than applicants having to return to an enrollment center to pick up the card.   For additional details, visit the TWIC website

07-28-14:  Lodge member Sam Buchanan interviewed by the Detroit Free Press regarding the services provided by J.W. Westcott Company on the Detroit River.  Click Here for article & video

Great Lakes Maritime Task Force:  Lakes Legislators Play Key Role in Boost to Corps Funding

Lake Carriers' Association: Lakes Water Levels Coming Back, But Not Full Loads

WDIV in Detroit airs story about the U.S. Naval Sea Cadet program and interviews lodge member Luke Clyburn.   Click here for story & video

Coalition calls on Senate Committee to consider Vessel Discharge Legislation.
S.2094 would create a uniform, science-based national framework for the regulation of ballast water and other vessel discharges.

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

The National Maritime Center has advised mariners to submit applications for renewals at least 90 days prior to credential expiration.  Click Here for the complete announcement.  

05-28-14:  The US Coast Guard is proposing to establish a special load line-exempted route along the eastern shore of Lake Michigan between Calumet Harbor and Muskegon.  Comments should be submitted by August 25.  The ISMA Navigation Committee has not taken a position on this issue.

Eleven Great Lakes senators press Army Corps of Engineers on evaluation of Soo Locks replacement project

05-15-14:  The White House has released a video in which Vice President Biden discusses why investment in American ports is important to the US economy. 

05-03-14:  Obituary: Capt. Robert Bruce Hull - ISMA Pennant No. 10597.  Passed away unexpectedly on May 2, 2014.  Capt. Hull was a 1976 graduate of Georgian College, and worked as a pilot with the Great Lakes Pilotage Authority-District 3.  Capt. Hull and his wife Julianne were regular attendees of recent ISMA conventions, and strong supporters of the ISMA.  At the 2014 convention in Sault Ste. Marie, Capt. Hull was appointed Grand Lodge Chaplain.  He was a member of Georgian Bay-Huronia Lodge No. 15, where he currently held the office of secretary-treasurer.   

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.

03-12-14:  CNBC reports from US Coast Guard Cutter Hollyhock (2 video clips).

03-04-14: The USCG has revised its list of buoys & lighthouses they propose to discontinue.  Additions to the list include 4 buoys in Cleveland Harbor, and 4 buoys in Conners Creek area of the Detroit River.  Due to opposition from the maritime community, Rock of Ages light has been removed from the list.  Although the Rock of Ages lighthouse structure has been transferred to the National Park Service, the Coast Guard will continue to operate the Federal aid to navigation.

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.   

02-25-14:  The Navigation, Engineering and Legislative Committee is asking all U.S. ISMA members to contact their Senators & Representative and ask that more capable helicopters be assigned to the two USCG Air Stations on the Great Lakes.     Sample Letter     
To find the names and addresses of your representatives, Click Here.

NOAA has announced that PDF versions of their nautical charts will become a permanent product, free to the public.   NOAA Press Release

Coalition asks for USCG rule change allowing river barge traffic in Port of Muskegon.
ISMA has not taken an official position on the proposed change.
  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. 

01-22-14:  The USCG has issued a Medical Certificate NVIC (Navigation and Vessel Inspection Circular) providing guidance for the issuance of medical certificates under the STCW code.

01-22-14: The USCG has issued a Basic Training NVIC (Navigation and Vessel Inspection Circular) providing guidance for qualification and revalidation in Basic Training (BT), formerly known as Basic Safety Training (BST). 

01-15-14:  New Nautical Chart Issued for St. Marys River - The first edition of Chart 14887 (St. Marys River – Vicinity of Neebish Island) is available this week as a paper print-on-demand chart, PDF, and raster navigational chart. The electronic navigational chart will be available by March.

01-10-14:  Medical Certificate Issuance - In response to changing procedures associated with the  STCW Convention, the Coast Guard is issuing separate medical certificates to certify mariner compliance with minimum medical standards. For more information, click here.

10-22-13:  NOAA announces discontinuance of traditional paper nautical charts.

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

05-09-13:  C&G News: U.S. Navy Cuts Funding to Regional Sea Cadet Program
Note: At this time of federal budget cuts, the Sea Cadet program is reaching out to the public for financial assistance.  To make a tax deductible contribution, visit  

04-09-13:  Detroit Lodge No. 7 reiterated its support of Senate Bill 0266 and House Bill 4489, which have been introduced in the Michigan Legislature. Both bills would bring Michigan's ballast water regulations in-line with laws of neighboring states and provinces.  The lodge intends to contact various senators & representatives in support of this legislation. Sample letter to Senator
Sample letter to Representative

04-05-13: A recent Detroit News article details how Mariners’ Church of Detroit helped sailors and guided escaped slaves to freedom.  Lodge member Fr. Rich Ingalls, Jr. is quoted in the article along with Fr. Jesse Roby.

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.

03-31-13: Help Save the SS United States.  Join the global effort! Visit an interactive website to explore the SS United States, learn her history and select a piece of America's Flagship to call your own.

03-28-13:  State Senator advocates easing Michigan's Ballast Water Restrictions

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.   (Brought to our attention by Bryant's Maritime Consulting).

01-22-13:  Lodge member Larry Stephenson and his wife Carol write article for Grosse Pointe Yacht Club's magazine about crossing Lake Michigan aboard the carferry Badger with Past Grand President Capt. Dean Hobbs. 

11-05-12:  The USCG has issued a Marine Safety Information Bulletin advising owners, operators, and masters of US vessels operating in Canadian waters of changes to engineer manning requirements. Effective October 26, 2013, Canada will require US vessels, under their Marine Personnel Regulations, to perform an engineering watch on vessels having a propulsive power of at least 750 kW (1000 HP). The Canadian regulations will apply to vessels en route to and from a Canadian port. These regulations will not apply to US vessels transiting through Canadian waters from one US port directly to another. The Canadian regulations will primarily affect US uninspected vessels such as towing vessels, but have the potential to affect certain small-passenger vessels falling below the US tonnage threshold for a Chief Engineer.

10-15-12: The US Coast Guard has issued a Final Rule stating that speed limits will no longer apply to the 2.5 mile section of the Detroit River between Detroit River Light and Light D33.  The ISMA Navigation, Legislative, and Engineering Committee (NELC) has been advocating for this change.



Copyright © 2009-2015 International Ship Masters' Association Detroit Lodge No. 7, Inc.
All Rights Reserved