Showing our appreciation on Day of the Seafarer 

We would like to show our continued appreciation to our seafarers for the contributions they make in moving essential goods and supplies around the world. 

Now in its tenth year, the Day of the Seafarer was created by International Maritime Organization to raise awareness for seafarers, and their hard work and dedication in keeping the marine industry running. 

With a special focus this year (25 June 2020) around #SeafarersAsKeyWorkers, James Fisher and Sons plc is proud to recognise our employees who work at seaand wants to pay particular thanks for the additional time away from home they are sacrificing to continue to meet demand during a global pandemic.   

In recognition of our seafarers as key workers, we spoke with two of our Masters – highly-skilled mariners who have overall responsibility for a merchant vessel – and our managing director of James Fisher Tankships. Peter Harrison, Master of the Raleigh Fisher, and Remi Michalski, Master of the Corrib Fisher from James Fisher Shipping Services (JFSS) talked about their experiences of life at sea, while James Fisher Tankships’ new managing director, Krystyna Tsochlas talked of the importance of our seafarers. 

Peter Harrison, Master of the Raleigh Fisher: 

“I have been Master for 20 years. First with Maersk Tankers and latterly with James Fisher. As Master, my day is governed by the requirements for navigation. If the vessel is in a busy traffic area, or under pilotage, I will be on the bridge. If not, then I will be in my office in front of the computer. This vessel is different to the other vessels in the James Fisher coastal fleet, as it makes long voyages (to the Falkland Islands).  

The COVID-19 outbreak badly affected crew change schedules. The vessel was in the Mediterranean and it was impossible to arrange flights for joining crew to the ports the vessel visited for 3 months. Therefore, the onboard crew had to remain much longer than scheduled, which of course had a negative impact as the situation dragged on. This was outside the company’s control, and they made continual efforts to get crews relieved.” 

Remi Michalski, Master of the Corrib Fisher: 

“I have been Master for 12 years. It's been hard work but enjoyable. Most routine days are spent at sea and at anchor. I keep navigation watches between 08:00-12:00 in the morning and 20:00-24:00 in the evening. Morning watch I use for communication of all sorts...and the evening one for my paperwork which is a lot.  

[During COVID-19] we have a bit more time to address some outstanding issues and the crew is more relaxed and better rested. I’ve had to cut my hair myself!” 

Krystyna Tsochlas, managing director of James Fisher Tankships:

“Over the 20 years I have worked in the tanker industry, I have seen an overall upgrade in the standard and quality of tanker vessels. This has come about as a result of more stringent regulations protecting our seafarers coming into force as well as an increase in our customers’ focus on safety and the environment.

“Due to the COVID-19 crisis, I have not been able to go out and visit our seafarers. I believe that the presence of senior leadership onboard our vessels is very important in order to ensure that the Group’s culture and ethos is reaching our seafarers. I intend to make every effort to go out to visit the fleet and meet with our seafarers as soon as circumstances allow.”

To learn more about Day of the Seafarer, visit the IMO website.