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SMT’s New Task Force Focuses on Crew Welfare

SMT’s seafarers are the company’s front line heroes, and shore-based staff around the world are proud to work each day to support their personal and professional lives.

SMT’s Crewing Department is the main hub of activity related to crewmembers and their families.  Yet crew concerns are a central focus for employees working in Fleet Management, Safety/Systems, Risk Management, Travel, and Communications. 

To better streamline its crew-related activities, SMT recently launched the Crew Welfare Task Force.  This workgroup brings together crew operators, legal and insurance professionals, safety auditors, travel coordinators, and communications specialists to address crewmember concerns from a multi-disciplinary approach. 

As Safety Officer and task force member Capt. Tomasz Dziubek explains, a cross-departmental solution makes logical sense: “Working in a group is simply more effective. Having a diversity of voices – including a balanced number of men and women – brings both empathy and practicality to these issues”.

His thoughts are echoed by fellow task force member Hannah Theophani of the Risk Management Department. “Forming a collegial group involving different departments, mindsets and attitudes serves to improve the services and support offered to seafarers”.

Capt. Dziubek also stresses the importance of transparency and good communication: “Any output from this task force should be distributed to the vessels – it will show that the company takes care of their employees, and that they are not left alone. 

Task Force Member Agnieszka Kutcha of the Travel Department agrees: “Through the Crew Welfare Task Force, we can show that crewmembers are important to us – that they are part of our SMT family and can count on our support if necessary”.


MV Warsaw crew change

The island nation of Trinidad & Tobago is among the many countries worldwide operating under a complete travel ban due to the pandemic. MV Warsaw is fully engaged in a lightering operation in Trinidad, so normal crew changes for this ship remain impossible.

In keeping with SMT’s extraordinary efforts to safely get our mariners on and off our vessels, the company chartered a plane and organized a special voyage for MV Warsaw to change crew in neighboring Barbados! This huge endeavor could not have taken place without the cooperation of so many individuals: Thank you Jack Harrington of Select Offshore, our Trinidad agent Paul Taylor of Jupiter Marine, our Barbados agent Anthony Oliver of Massy Distribution (Barbados) Ltd., and a special note of gratitude to Mr. Mark A. van Elzakker and his team at the Head Immigration Liaison Office & Border Office in the Netherlands for their responsiveness and support.

further round of applause should also be made for SMT’s Crewing and Travel Departments and all other SMT employees involved in this successful effort!