The Crew Connect Europe Conference

The Crew Connect Europe Conference is a European edition of the worldwide meeting for seafarers, shipowners and all those who “have something to say” on the subject of nautics – even outside of our industry. This year it was held on 9-10 May in Copenhagen, which is the biggest city in Denmark and its capital. Participation in the conference of our two members – Jan Roeske and Szymon Wantuła – was possible thanks to TK Foundation, which is a private organization that supports development of the “marine” youth by non-profit grants.
We arrived on Zealand, an island Copenhagen lays on, a day earlier, on Monday 8 May. We got to the hotel by an above-ground, unmanned light rail – since it has no driver, it was possible to stand in his place in the front part of carriage and admire architecture of the Danish capital city. We left our luggage in the hotel and went to Frederiksborg Slot Hillerød, a beautiful combination of a palace and castle from 17th century, which is the biggest renaissance residence in Denmark. It is located on three islands on the Slotssøen lake, which translates to the “castle lake”. Next, we saw the Kronborg castle in Helsingør – it is commonly known as the “Hamlet’s castle” because it inspired Shakespeare to create the Elsinore castle in his work, “Hamlet”. Only 12 days before we were sailing through Øresund (a strait the castle is located by) on the board of s/v Dar Młodzieży. A fine finale of this nice and sunny day was a visit on s/v Zawisza Czarny that was at the time in the Copenhagen port – last night before leaving to Helsingør.
The second day in Denmark was also the first day of the conference – we began it with a meeting on “Mentoring”, subject which we were supposed to discuss at the end of the two-day gathering. Then presentations started. The first block had two outstanding speeches: “Disruption Required” by Mark Charman, CEO of Faststream Recruitment Group, who talked about the need to care about one’s employees. Next, we were shown a project which would start in the Baltic sea and then extend to worldwide ocean, i.e. EfficienSea2, one of steps towards e-Navigation; it was discussed by the project leader, Mads Friis Sørensen. The second block was devoted to vessels automation and its influence on the crew. Saul Eloranta, vice president of Rolls-Royce Marine, who is responsible for the Technology, Management and Innovation branch, shared with us his knowledge and newest discoveries. It is worth noticing that the subject was almost identical to the first Oxford debate in our Club.
After the lunch, the conference took to subjects more interesting for the ship owners, yet still intriguing for us, i.e. vessel crew recruitment and risks related to remuneration payments to employees located in vastly remote parts of the world. The subject of communication on vessels turned out to be a point for a heated discussion. Among others, we were introduced to the “The Maritime Cloud”, which would allow to communicate globally in a maritime domain.
The second day of conference began with the unpleasant, yet real, issue of internet safety. Martin Schmitz in his presentation discussed basic errors that we make and suggested simple method of safety improvement. Most of the day was devoted to education of sailors – we could not miss the opportunity for a discussion about STWC, in which we were trying to represent all beginner sailors by sharing bottom-up information and observations from the point of view of a student and a cadet. The remaining two large subjects of that day were: gender equality and psychological issues of crews. The second issue had been presented before by members of our Club, namely pairs Aleksandra Góralczyk – Marta Wojtczak, and Olga Kalinkowska – Szymon Wantuła. Two ideas presented that day were simply fascinating – on-line health monitoring for crew members, which entails also possible health improvement, and use of a movement tracking device as means to evaluate work of a sailor on a bridge. Our speech was entitled “Mentoring”; we presented it together with members of Science Club “Seaways” – Dominika Poluszyńska and Michał Rataj. The audience listened to us with attention and interest.
To sum up the conference, it is worth to say that it enabled us to establish contacts with and meet people who decide on the direction of our branch of industry, to hear their views and suggest our own. The trip was fruitful and it helped us to realize current issues and prospects of our future professional career. Copenhagen – with its great port – served as a beautiful background to this meeting, which can be seen in pictures by Jan Roeske.

Tekst: Szymon Wantuła