Happy International Women’s Day to all seafarers, clients and colleagues worldwide. At Marlins we believe this day is not about women only, it’s about diversity and how we work together effectively as a team.

With only 2% of seafarers being women, we interviewed two inspirational female seafarers currently working on board a V.Ships vessel to hear whether life at sea is changing for women and asked for their insights into seafaring as a career path for more women.

In requesting this interview, the response from both the Captain Javellana and her Fleet Manager was “it would be more interesting to ask our male counterparts about their experience of having women on board, both from men at sea and ashore”. We would love to hear your views on working with female crew members on board.

Our thanks go to Captain Maria Jovellana and 4 Engineer Julebie Ornopia Morales, the two seafarers who sent us their insights:

Tell us who and what inspired you both to pursue a career as a Captain and as a 4th Engineer?

Maria: When I was a child, I always dreamed of becoming an astronaut but realised that my family wouldn’t be able to afford the education. Then one day, a group of smart young cadets visited our school and introduced us to the Maritime Academy of Asia Pacific (MAAP) and told us about their experience of becoming seafarers: that’s what inspired me at first. The education was free but aside from this, I knew in my heart that this kind of job would suit my personality well.

What continuously inspires and motivates me to pursue my career as a Captain are my family and simply that I love what I do. Inspiring and leading people, managing, overcoming challenging responsibilities and mostly the experience, not just learning from it but growing myself in so many aspects. A seafaring career doesn’t stop at you being a Captain, you continue to grow outside this role. The road to becoming a Captain is not easy but I would say I was lucky enough to have a strong moral support from my family and best friends.

Julebie: It was my sister (currently a 2 Engineer on board one of the Maersk Line vessels) who inspired me to pursue this career. Although, I am married now and have two kids, that doesn’t stop me from pursuing my goal to become a Chief Engineer. I am just lucky to have a very supportive family who embraces our life at sea as well.

Maria, you are the first female Captain from the Philippines, an amazing achievement. Have you managed to inspire other women to embark on careers at sea and how?

Maria: Thanks, but I never think of that: being the first is always an amazing achievement but more than that, I want to be recognised as a Master.

Yes, I continuously aim to inspire not just other women but also young men and women from around the world to embark on careers at sea. I love to teach, although it requires long patience but when I see that my students or colleagues are progressing well or even better than me, it’s a very satisfying feeling. I believe in the power of coaching and mentoring because I, myself was a product of it. It does not matter which nationality or where the mentor comes from, just having that opportunity is a lifetime gift.

There are a lot of women seafarer organisations around the world like our Women Seafarers Group where most activities and training include only women, led by our successful mentors or seniors who have made it to the top. Although this creates a strong cohesion for all women in maritime at the same it limits our interaction and acceptance of the full responsibility and reality of the shipping Industry – men also need to be part of the conversation around diversity. We are all called Seafarers with no gender preference regarding competence and proficiency.

Julebie, how about you? Have you managed to inspire other women to embark on careers at sea and how?

Julebie: Yes, I am a part of an organisation where we share our experiences on board with our fellow women seafarers that are about to start or just starting their careers at sea. From this, we learn from and motivate each other.

Maria, your current crew includes Julebie Morales, a female 4th engineer officer: what advice do you have for her and to young women considering a career in the shipping industry?

Maria: Firstly, they have to be true to themselves. They have to be sure that they would love this career, not just as an ordinary career path but rather as a choice that comes from the heart. They have to be ready at all times, not just theoretically but mentally and emotionally otherwise, a simple hardship/challenge can lure you away from this path.

We used to think about setting our goals in a SMART way but I have learned and wanted to share that the way to achieve our goals without exhausting ourselves is to do it with HEART:

H – Honest – make sure the goal is right for you and that you choose it yourself, that it is not imposed by someone else. It should be consistent with your other ambitions in life.

E – Exact – this means what exactly do we need in order to achieve our goals and work our way there?

A – Authentic – it should be consistent with your values and beliefs or aligned with your strengths and unique gifts

R – Realistic – it should be in line with your other obligations: do you have time, energy and motivation to complete this goal?

T – Timely- make a deadline for your goal – how long will each step take?

Julebie, what advice do you have for young women considering a career in the shipping industry

Julebie: I was one of the scholars of Marin Shipping (Dutch Company) with mainly tanker ships. The challenges of being an engineer onboard is that you have to be strong not just physically but emotionally and mentally considering that technical jobs require hard work and you have be a constant solution-seeker.

You just have to LOVE your work, so at the end of the day, no matter how hard life on board is, it will not matter at all. And for those women who are married or have kids, don’t stop pursuing your dreams, provided that you have a supportive family who will back you up.

Maria, you are not only a Master, you are also passionate about delivering chemical tanker training: what makes for a great trainer of seafarers?

Maria: Yes, I am so passionate about training because I wanted to impart not just my knowledge and skills but also the quality of experience which I had both on board and ashore. Learning in four corners of the room is good, learning from others’ experience is better, but learning from doing it yourself is the best. As trainers and mentors, we have to walk the talk. Students will learn best from their instructor if the instructor is still active in sailing – the learning is both ways….

What is missing from seafarer training today?

Maria: HEART. I guess, most seafarers just do the training because it is mandatory but a small percentage volunteer themselves to be trained. Most training is shore-based which takes away a lot of seafarers’ time when they should be with their families or loved ones. I don’t see too many companies like SeaTec Safety Services and Marlins nor too many owners that support the training-onboard program these days.

Julebie: APPLICATION. Most of the seafarers who take their training ashore do not apply it effectively when they are on board. Either the training is not effective or the seafarer is not paying attention when doing the training courses.

It is International Women’s Day. This year they have used the slogan #EachforEqual. Is equality still an issue in your day-to-day working lives at sea?

Maria: Currently on board, equality is not an issue – we are just lucky to work for both a ship owner and for V.Ships as a ship manager who support a complement of men and women on board their vessels. This requires a continuous focus on maintaining good morale and responsibility onboard and ashore.

Life in general, at times is not fair and equal but at least we are doing something to change it.

Julebie: It is my first time on board this vessel which is managed by V.Ships but I would say, I am lucky to be board on this vessel which promotes gender equality and diversity.

Are you a male seafarer with experience of working with female crew members on board? We would love to hear your views too.

Catherine Logie, Marlins & Robyn Dally, HA Group

Catherine Logie, Marlins & Robyn Dally, HA Group

Holland America Group’s Seattle office has become the first Marlins Approved Test Centre in the USA.

Catherine Logie, Marlins Manager, recently completed an audit of the Seattle HA Group office.

Their newly-acquired Approved Test Centre status enables HA Group’s Seattle office to offer onshore Marlins STCW Security and English Language testing to crew members from any of the HA Group brands. This provides a valuable crew testing solution, allowing HA Group’s ships to focus their time on other essential onboard training.

Holland America Line has been using Marlins testing since 1997, and the relationship continues to thrive with the Approved Test Centre certification of the entire Holland America fleet and HAL training facilities located in Jakarta, Indonesia, and in the Netherlands.

Through partnership with Marlins, Holland America Line was able to ensure compliance with STCW Security certification for all its crew prior to 1st July 2015.

Marlins has a worldwide network of Approved Test Centres. Contact us for more information on becoming a Marlins ATC.

Thursday 16 July, 2015

We are delighted to welcome two new Approved Test Centres in India:

Mike Pearsall, Product Manager at Marlins, recently completed the two successful audits.

Girik Institute of Maritime Studies - audited June 2015

Girik Institute of Maritime Studies – audited June 2015

Ryan Ship Management - audited June 2015

Ryan Ship Management – audited June 2015

Contact us if you are interested in joining the Marlins Approved Test Centre Network.

Monday 13 July, 2015

Basic CMYK




Marlins are pleased to announce our co-operation with UK-based charity, Human Rights at Sea (HRAS), on the development and endorsement of a new e-learning course addressing the rescuing of migrants at sea.

The new course, entitled “Humanitarian Response”, aims to provide learners with:

• An understanding of the reasons why migrants and refugees choose a sea route
• Suggestions for planning and preparing ship and crew for possible involvement in large scale rescue operations
• Guidelines and suggestions for vessels involved in the rescue of large numbers of migrants or refugees at sea.

“Humanitarian Response” builds on practical experience from private maritime security companies (PMSCs), vessel owners and managers, combined with the important legal and humanitarian perspectives. The aim is to address a significant knowledge gap in the maritime industry; ensuring an effective and efficient response to crisis scenarios involving migrants and refugees.

Mike Pearsall, Product Manager at Marlins, explains the rationale for this new e-learning course:

“We are seeing harrowing scenes in the media of the often deadly journeys taken by migrants and their traffickers through the Mediterranean and South China seas. The SOLAS Convention was never designed to accommodate large-scale rescue operations of migrants, so seafarers are facing an unpredictable challenge that they are not currently prepared for.”

David Hammond, Founder of Human Rights at Sea, adds:

“Whilst the rescue of migrants and trafficked people at sea seemingly represents an unwelcome additional burden to an overstretched shipping industry, the legal and moral obligations cannot be ignored. The issue is no longer an exception, but may well become a norm as the migrant flows continue north through Africa and from the Middle East. This new and important training provides officers, crew and companies with up-to-date information to help prepare for an encounter with migrants and trafficked people in danger at sea requiring the duty to render assistance to be undertaken by commercial vessels. HRAS is pleased to be involved in its development and delivery.”

Today, 1st July, is the enforcement date for Port State Control to ensure full compliance with STCW Security Training.Security Awareness Certificate

All personnel employed or engaged in any capacity, on board ships required to comply with the ISPS Code, must now hold an STCW Security Certificate of Proficiency at a level commensurate with their duties. For the first time, this applies to all hotel and concession staff, as well as seafarers.

Over 6,000 individuals from 104 countries have now undertaken Marlins STCW Security courses to ensure they obtain their STCW Security certificate.

Holland America Line has implemented Marlins’ online solution for UK MCA approved Security Awareness Training across their entire fleet and shore locations.

V.Ships, Silversea, Steiner and many other companies have also opted to use Marlins’ STCW Security training – selecting from our Liberian, IOM and UK MCA approvals.

Click here to choose your appropriate course and obtain your Marlins STCW Certificate of Proficiency.



We have recently completed filming of a new training video on navigational safety, covering themes such as passage planning, bridge resource management and working with pilots. 

Filming took place over 3 days, on board the CSCL VENUS, between Felixstowe and Rotterdam.

Thank you very much to Captain Gavryov and his crew for welcoming us on board and supporting us throughout.

© Chris Pearsall Photography 2015

All Marlins Security Courses are Flag Approved

All Marlins Security Courses are Flag Approved

As the compliance deadline of Wednesday 1st July fast approaches, our client Genesis Personnel are very busy running Marlins STCW Security training at their Approved Test Centres. Moira Murawiecka of Genesis Personnel explains:

“It’s been a busy month here at Genesis Personnel as we have been running multiple ship security duties/awareness courses and tests ahead of the 1st July deadline. Seafarers requiring these courses must have them completed by this date to ensure they meet the new regulations. The STCW Code as amended by the Manila amendments (2010) contains new requirements regarding security training. This training is required by all personnel employed or engaged onboard ships to which the ISPS Code applies. These regulations came into force on 1st January 2012. However, Port State Control officers have been requested by the IMO not to enforce these regulations until 1st July 2015, which is now fast approaching! To get qualified to meet these regulations don’t delay, book today!”

Click here for more information about our STCW Security eLearning courses with 3 flag approvals.

On board HAL's Nieuw Amsterdam ship - new ATC audited June 2015.
On board HAL’s Nieuw Amsterdam ship – new ATC audited June 2015.

We are delighted to welcome Holland America Line’s ship, the Nieuw Amsterdam, as Marlins’ first on-board Approved Test Centre. The audit was successfully completed in Italy on Monday 1st June.

Holland America Line have adopted Marlins’ STCW Security Awareness training course with UK MCA Approval to ensure compliance before the enforcement date of 1st July.

Click here for more information about our STCW Security eLearning courses with 3 flag approvals.

Marlins' first Approved Test Centre in HCMC, Vietnam - opened May 2015
Marlins’ first Approved Test Centre in HCMC, Vietnam – audited May 2015.

We are delighted to welcome three new Approved Test Centres to our network:

Contact us if you are interested in joining the Marlins Approved Test Centre Network.

We’re very excited to be rolling out our new logo this week.  You may have seen it at the top of our main website.

The decision to change our logo comes as we enter our 21st year of business.  The previous Marlins’ logo has served us very well over the past twenty years, however, it is now time for a more fresh and modern appearance.

Over the coming weeks, you’ll see our new logo and colours appearing on everything from our Marlins Online Test Platform, Online Shop and Learning Platform, to our social media channels*, Helpdesk and, of course, our English language and e-learning certificates.

All certificates issued before the logo change will remain valid.  The only exception to this is Marlins STCW Security certificates issued under our SMNO flag approval, which expired on 31st December 2014.

Approved Test Centres are requested to contact us to update their details and order replacement signs and certificates for their offices.

If you have any questions regarding our rebranding, please contact us via support.marlins.co.uk.

* Remember, you can find and follow Marlins on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Issuu, Vimeo, Google+ and YouTube