Svitzer Americas escort tug is first with all-female crew

Written by Nick Blenkey
Two women on bridge

The Svitzer Monte Cristi team is led by Captain Maria de los Santos and Chief Engineer Marysabel Moreno

In what’s almost certainly a world first, Maersk subsidiary Svitzer has hired an all-female crew for the 70 tons bollard pull escort tug Svitzer Monte Cristi, one of two 24 m RAmparts 2400 SX class tugs delivered to Svitzer Americas in 2016 for operation in the Dominican Republic.

“Many things that we presume to be done through physical force, in reality, only require technical intelligence and the right tools. Many may think that women do not have the ability to work on a powerful tug boat, but our crew has shown that this type of work is not exclusive to a specific gender. With dedication, it is very possible,” said the Chief Engineer of Svitzer Monte Cristi, Marysabel Moreno.

The Svitzer Monte Cristi team is led by Captain Maria de los Santos, accompanied by Chief Engineer Moreno and supported by sailors Paloma Montero, Loreanni Torres and Juana Custodio.

The General Manager of Svitzer Caribbean, Captain Dickson Rivas and members of the executive board of the company have pursued the all-female-crew project for two years, focusing their efforts on training.

Svitzer Americas says the gender-inclusive initiative seeks to change the marine industry’s historical bias gender bias, which sees only 2% of the maritime workforce made up of women, most of them employed on cruises and ferries, according to the International Transport Worker’s Federation.

Svitzer’s Captain Eduard Medina said that the group was encouraged to live up to the Svitzer standards and today, all see the reward. “These women have become local icons for others and have proven to be an efficient and hardworking team,” he added.

“At Svitzer, we want to work actively to improve the opportunities and careers of our female colleagues and for those who work in the industry. Today, globally, the organization employs a total of 21 marine women who work in jobs ranging from command positions to operational tasks,” said Dickson Rivas, General Director of Svitzer in the Dominican Republic. 

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