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Never a bridge too far

André Hasselmeijer , Chief Officer

‘The maritime sector has always appealed to me. I saw working on board a vessel and travelling a lot as one big adventure. It didn’t take me long to decide to go to the dredging school. Although Van Oord was my first employer and has been my only employer since, I have never lacked for variety and opportunities for advancement. Over the years, I have completed various types of courses, including becoming certified as a First Mate for Coastal Vessels. That led to several different positions and promotions. For me, applying to Van Oord was the right choice!’

Solid foundation

‘I started as a sailor on the cutter suction dredger HAM 218, a stationary vessel that was deployed in Taiwan at the time. Because there was more work on sailing vessels, I ended up closer to home – specifically, in the Netherlands – and I was assigned to the trailing hopper suction dredger Geopotes 14. My start as a Sailor gave me a solid foundation to work my way up within Van Oord to the position of Pipe Operator. That job involves a nice combination of working on deck and working on the bridge. Operating the dredging systems means that you’re directly involved with the vessel’s production. That fascinated me.’

More than sailing

‘Ultimately I was promoted from Second Mate to First Mate. You learn to sail in those positions. That was challenging enough in itself. Because no two projects are alike, you’re also expected to be flexible and persevere. I have to focus continuously on the navigation on board the vessel, overall safety, and the prerequisites of the project. My job is actually a combination of various duties, so I often face challenging problems. Thanks to a great team of professionals and our solution-oriented mindset, these problems never go unsolved for long.’

International family-owned company

‘Even though Van Oord is an international company, it still has the feeling of a family-owned company where everybody knows everybody else. Everyone is extremely dedicated and gets a kick out of working together to successfully complete a project. One example was a project we recently completed in Australia. Australia has very strict environmental rules. In order to protect the marine life there, dredging is only allowed at certain phases of the tides. By shifting our loading times and adapting the dredging system, the crew cleverly adjusted the scheduling so we could still meet our deadline.’