Crew management: a speciality

Which officers have the right experience to take part in a project? Do they have the right character traits? And can the crew members all get along? This personal approach is characteristic of the organisation of the Filipino crews for the seven work boats of Damen Marine Services. "It is a true collaboration with Wagenborg Crew Management in Manila."


"We have a very good engineer, but he gets seasick easily. We use him only on the Persian Gulf, where the weather is always good’, says Robert Oostergetel (Operations Manager DMS), as an example of the personal approach that Damen Marine Services takes when selecting the crew for its seven ‘work boats’. He draws up this crew planning together with Faith Adelantar, Wagenborg's Crewing Agent in Manila. ‘We train the people ourselves and almost everyone comes back. I, therefore, know all the officers personally and am able to see which officer is best suited for each project. Faith is in charge of the sailors."

The well-being of the crew
Oostergetel is very satisfied with the collaboration. ‘I have sailed myself – many years ago I even did my internship at Wagenborg – so if I use my common sense I know a bit about what is involved in sailing and crewing. But crew management is a speciality in itself and Wagenborg has a clear understanding of it. For example, their certification is always up to date, they comply with contracts, and – of particular importance to me – much attention is devoted to the well-being of the crew. Of course, Faith always goes to great lengths for us, that's what earns Wagenborg its money, but "her boys" come first. And I wouldn't want it any other way.’

‘For Faith, the crew comes first. And I wouldn't want it any other way.’

Short lines
The lines are short between Gorinchem and Manila. ‘When we switched to Wagenborg Crew Management, Remco van Rossum from Delfzijl mapped out our wishes. He discussed them with Faith and then gave her all the freedom she needed, which works great for us. No middlemen, no risk of interference and unnecessary delays. The other day, for example, we had a cook with a broken wrist. He had to disembark; the manning was no longer safe, so we couldn't leave port. That's when it's all hands on deck. I got to work with local authorities and agents, Faith arranged a new crew member and travel.’

Every year, around Christmas, Robert Oostergetel travels to Manila. ‘I talk things over with Faith and I always meet a number of Wagenborg colleagues from Delfzijl. But the most important thing is the Christmas party. All the crew members that are not on board attend. They bring their families and proudly introduce their wives and children to me. Isn’t that fantastic?’

About Damen Marine Services
Damen Marine Services, part of the Damen Shipyards Group, was created in the 1970s. Within the world of dredging in particular, there was a demand for temporary vessels to bridge the time until the newly built vessels that had been ordered were finished. Damen Marine Services has grown considerably over the years, but little has changed in the fundamentals: customers can still turn to Damen Marine Services if they need a ship at short notice. In order to keep in touch with the market, Damen also operates a number of ships, so-called work boats. Robert Oostergetel explains: "If customers need an extra ship, we step in. You can determine what the customer needs from behind your desk, but if you experience it for yourself, it works much better. We share the information we collect with our sellers and builders. It works."

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