Leading lifeboat repair & maintenance specialist SeaSafe Marine has entered into a fleetwide lifeboat servicing contract with one of the world’s largest dry bulk operators. The agreement covers statutory annual and 5-Year services, as well as unplanned services and supply of all spares.
Managing Director of SeaSafe Marine, Andrew Lemmis says, “This recent agreement reflects the trend in owners outsourcing their lifeboat maintenance and repair to third party providers and the associated growth in demand for our unique product and service delivery.”
This agreement follows a series of new business wins for SeaSafe Marine since the beginning of the year. These include other lifeboat service fleet agreements with a leading Norwegian VLGC owner and a US-based dry cargo manager and the annual servicing of lifeboats, rescue boats and davits for several major cruise and ferry operators.
Customers choose SeaSafe for a fast and efficient service at flat rates with no additional charges. SeaSafe Engineers bring years of experience and a unique understanding of industry needs from both ship owner and service provider perspectives.
Marine Director for Wallem Ship Management, Fared Khan explain why seafarers matter the most:
For the past 6 years, International Day of the Seafarer has been celebrated on 25th of June.Shipping carries more than 90 percent of world trade. Almost everything that we use in our daily lives has been directly or indirectly affected by sea transport. Making all this possible each and every day in the seven seas and thousands of ports worldwide are the 1.5 million seafarers; most often unseen.
These seafarers are responsible for operations on a variety of different ships and responsible for an even greater variety of different cargo; from the shoes that we wear and the food that we eat to complex chemicals and oil and gas which powers nations. There is no doubt that shipping is the life blood of the world economy.
The safety and wellbeing of all seafarers should be the main priority for the entire shipping industry. Seafarers dedicate themselves to life at sea, away from home, doing work that can often be challenging, lonely and even dangerous. On the other hand, it is a profession made up of very proud men and women and one full of adventure where no two days, whether at sea or in port, are the same.
At Wallem, we know that our seafarers are the oxygen of our business. We couldn’t do what we do without them and their safety and welfare is of paramount importance. We want our seafarers to do their jobs safely, feel a valued part of our teams and to return home safely to their families.
Our Wallem seafarers are made up of a great mix of people from different cultural backgrounds. All are respected and treated equal; irrespective of the colour of the passport they hold. We are strongly committed to ensuring their welfare. Training at our Wallem training centres emphasizes safety and a healthy work-life balance. We have a long-established wellness program onboard and we hold support and assistance for our seafarers and their families in high regard. In turn, the “Wallem Professional Seafarer’ is expected to have a strong safety mindset and take pride in his/her commitment to the ship they are entrusted with, their fellow seafarers, the environment, our customers and Wallem.
Wellness@Sea is a key aspect of our pre-joining safety briefings and training sessions and hard copies of the guide (in both English and Chinese) are available onboard for ready reference. The key is that we are empowering our seafarers to take care of themselves and their health, while offering them our full support. The program, which was developed in conjunction with a clinical psychologist, addresses mental and emotional health and covers every aspect of wellbeing at sea, from stress management to healthy eating and the importance of quality sleep and exercise; as well as a positive working culture and behavior. Monitoring is done to ensure that any seafarer showing signs of fatigue is not allowed to continue to work as they are risking endangering themselves, their colleagues, our owners assets’ and environment.
At Wallem we are very grateful for the constant support provided to our seafarers and their families by the various chapters of the charitable organization, Women of Wallem (WoW) in our seafarers’ communities. Knowing that their families are well taken care of and have a strong support system in their absence can bring comfort and allow the seafarers to focus on their responsibilities at sea.
Engagement and empowerment is also key to our approach at Wallem. We are committed to keeping our crews motivated and unified towards the same goal – safe and efficient operations for themselves, our customers and Wallem. We believe that making sure that our seafarers feel a part of our team is essential for their own wellbeing and to boost morale onboard. We have a strong mentorship program onboard and encouraging seafarers to raise any issues they have through Seavoice@Wallem - a confidential email portal that can be used without fear of bias and retribution. We hold events such as safety dinners onboard to increase social interaction and provide our seafarers with ample opportunities to upgrade their skills and training via our in-house training portal.
In short, focus and awareness on seafarers should not be limited to one day in a year. It should be part of an ongoing effort rather than a one off initiative. The industry has a responsibility to look after our seafarers and do everything we can to continuously support them. Seafarers matter.
Technical Director for Wallem Ship Management, Ioannis Stefanou shares his expertise on Ballast Water Treatment Systems:
The second half of 2016 brought shockwaves to some shipowners who were still in a state of denial about the need to install Ballast Water Treatment Systems (BWTS) onboard their vessels. The ratification of the Ballast Water Management Convention and the announcement of the first U.S. Coast Guard Type Approved BWTS, saw many shipowners rushing to drydock their vessels at the beginning of the year, or de-harmonise their IOPP certificates in an attempt to delay fitting a BWTS onboard their ships.
Others have already installed a BWTS onboard or have decided to install one. Much has been written on the various constraints that are to be faced for selecting and installing a system, but not much has been heard about the systems installed on board. Do they work? And by work I am not referring to if they treat the water to the desired level, I mean whether or not they are operational. The answer to this is that unfortunately many don’t, at least not in such a straightforward way as many manufacturers would like us to believe.
Within the Wallem-managed fleet we have more than 40 vessels with BWTS installed; either during the New Building stage or retrofitted. These are systems across the range of five different treatment technologies and by various manufacturers. Only two thirds of the systems installed were fully operational onboard within the first six months - on some vessels they were not fully operational even after a year. The problems weren’t inherent to a specific type of technology or manufacturer; although I have to mention that one type of technology had a 100% success rate for problem-free operations, despite different manufacturers. I don’t have any official numbers from the industry but it is understood from informal chats that issues with the installed systems is something commonly experienced.
At Wallem, when we realised the extend of the challenges that the crew and the Superintendents faced with the operation of some of the BWTS, we decided to follow a centralised approach and have one person focusing on making sure that the systems onboard had become fully operational, before handing over responsibility to the Fleet Superintendents.
Our approach to this compromises the three key elements for achieving operational excellence which are people, assets and procedures. We are focusing on crew training by the manufacturers, both onboard and ashore. We also offer familiarisation courses at our training centres as part of the pre-joining training. Lastly, we rotate some of our senior officers who are experienced with certain systems to enable them to share their knowledge and experience on board.
On the BWTS equipment front we are in close contact with the manufacturers in order to resolve the issues faced. I have to mention that the response and support by all manufacturers has been superb. There are inevitably issues with components or new issues (even new to the manufacturer) which crop up, but we always working together to bring the system to full operation in the shortest of time.
Finally, we have generated specific job routines in our planned maintenance system based on manufacturer’s instructions and our experience and also have created ship-specific operating instructions and troubleshooting advice. Even if it is not required yet, our policy is that the BWTS is operated regularly in order for the crew to be familiarised with the operation and that we maintain the system in full operational condition for when we are required to use it.
The road to Compliance with the Ballast Water Management convention and U.S. requirements is not easy for owners, and is certainly costly. Installing systems that might not be fully functional when required is not something that any owner would like to see. At Wallem we have experienced that good planning, execution and focus; as well as close cooperation between the BWTS manufacturers and the ship manager, can minimise the burden to the owner.