“We often sail between ports in Spain and France, between Tarragona and FOS, crossing the ’Gulf of Lion’. The name is justifi ed. In the winter season, the Mistral blowing down the Rhone valley can make the ocean really nasty,” says Captain Geir Endre Tangen. After 41 years at sea, he knows what he is talking about. He started his career in Seatrans in 1977 but made a “break” in 1981 when he worked for other shipping companies. In 2005, he returned to Seatrans and has no plan to do anything else. “If it is up to me, I will be here until I retire,” Captain Tangen says.
The day we meet Captain Tangen, the water is calm. Actually, we are in Moerdijk, close to Rotterdam where Trans Exeter is discharging Pygas. The operation takes time, but Captain Tangen and his crew have had a busy day.
“A Flag state supervisor visited us today. We have four diff erent inspections, or vettings on our vessels. We have SIRE vettings twice a year, CDI and Flag state vetting annually and a Port state vetting that occurs occasionally and without any notice in advance. However, we are used to this. It is part of our job – the name of the game. Years ago, we had occasional inspections from the Flag State or Port State and we would gather the team and get the vessel ’ship shape’. That is a totally hopeless strategy these days. We have to keep the vessel in top shape all the time and this is a benefi cial approach for all.
It makes it much easier to welcome any supervisor on board to inspect our vessel. The idea of numerous inspections is to ensure the highest level of safety on board. In total, we defi nitely benefi t from this, both as a crew and as a company,” Captain Tangen explains.