Manning the World’s Largest Ship
The first Triple-E has commenced its maiden voyage in Busan, South Korea. At the helm, the crew of the Mærsk Mc-Kinney Møller whose members have been selected among Maersk Line’s finest.
A selection of highly qualified crew members, specifically chosen because of their background and experience, will man the largest ship in the world. The ship can accommodate 34, and in principle run with as few as 13, but in regular service approximately 22 persons will make out the crew.
Understanding of roles and responsibilities on the vessel is of utmost importance to ensure smooth sailing and safety.
On the Mærsk Mc-Kinney Møller, the Captains are Jes Meinertz and Niels Vestergaard Pedersen, and the Chief Engineers are Per Schilling Nielsen and Niels Peter Svarer.
All of them were present at the naming ceremony in Korea on 14 June. ”You are among the finest in your fields, and you should be honoured by being selected to take this vessel into service,” said Maersk Line CEO in his speech on that occasion. ”May you always have fair winds and following seas.”
Away from home
Working on a ship is different from a regular nine to five job, the most obvious being the long periods spent away from home. All four testify that the hardest is that you cannot be there for special occasions, good and bad. On the other hand, modern communication has reduced the feeling of solitude significantly. Although bandwidth is limited, crew members these days can use email, Skype or FaceTime to be in regular contact with friends and family back home.
“On another level, however, it is a job like any other job, and sometimes you hardly notice that you’re at sea,” says Per. ”We had a trip two years ago where we sailed south of Africa and were at sea for 45 days. I was never bored. There was always something to do.” It’s like any other job,” adds Jes. “There are periods with interesting tasks and periods where it’s more routine.”
Breaking in a new ship
Taking a new ship to sea, however, is not routine. There are many surprises and things to get used to. The crew is involved in the sea trials, but will also use the first voyages to really get the hang of how the ship performs.
The Triple-E is designed for slow speeds and energy performance. But this doesn’t make it less interesting, insists Niels Peter. “It is a huge satisfaction,” he says “when you know the enormous costs involved which are pumped through the system, if you can cut a few percent off that” Niels adds that the Triple-E is quite different from previous vessels with its added weight and more box-like hull shape. “It will take some getting used to, and the captain will need to be aware of the capabilities of the vessel,” continues Niels.
They are fully confident, however, that sailing the Mærsk Mc-Kinney Møller will indeed be a special experience. The maiden voyage begins today. The crew is ready for the attention the vessel will receive in ports along the way, creating history with the latest record-breaking member of Maersk Line’s fleet.
Maersk Line, July 15, 2013