Photoshooting on the „BEK“-Ships - RHL | Reederei Hamburger Lloyd

Photoshooting on the „BEK“-Ships - RHL | Reederei Hamburger Lloyd


No. 15


Dear Readers,

We are delighted that, with this fifteenth issue

of our newsletter, we can present you

with a veritable jubilee Edition. Since the

summer of 2008, our quarterly company periodical

“THE BRIDGE” has tirelessly been informing

you of the goings-on and developments

within our company and on our ships.

“THE BRIDGE” was created, quite simply,

to form a bridge – between you, dear colleagues

on board, the RHL office crew

ashore, and all interested readers from the

finance, seafaring and port management

industry – in order to maintain and foster

the good relationship between all of us.

But fifteen issues of “THE BRIDGE” is not

the only anniversary for us: HAMBuRGER

LLOYD is due to celebrate its fifth birthday!

The foundation of RHL REEDEREI HAM-

BuRGER LLOYD was recorded in the Commercial

Register of the Free and Hanseatic

City of Hamburg on june 11 th 2007.



2012 continues to be a very eventful year

for HAMBuRGER LLOYD. On May 2 nd , we

were able to take command of our fleet’s

thirteenth vessel, Shanghai Shipyard’s Hull

Newbuilding SS1181. In the preceding

days, all associated parties celebrated the

naming ceremonies for RHL CONSCIENTIA

and RHL CONCORDIA. Now, in a mere few

weeks, we expect the delivery of SS1182,

which will extend our fleet to fourteen units

with altogether 485,556 tdw, or 39,719 TEu.

When considering this development, one

must bear in mind that our good ship “RHL

had to brave the storms of the financial, economic

and national crises, and battle the consequences

of the global shipping crisis, since

it was founded. In all modesty: We can be a

little proud of what we have accomplished.

A ship can only brave a storm if it has a good

crew; a crew in which everyone does the right

thing at the right time. We are thankful to all

of you for your exceptional contributions towards

our success; thankful to the crews on


jubilee edition


juLY 2012

board our vessels, to everybody in our head

office in Hamburg, and to our shipyard site

team in Shanghai. We sincerely hope that

those first signs of a market recovery prove

true, and that they will help our ship “RHL

into calmer waters after four years of crisis.

In this spirit, we would like to wish you all a

safe journey and a happy return home.


Dr. Christian Olearius

Harald Block

Hauke Pane

crew lists


Rank First name(s) Surname

Master Ljubomir Karabaic

Chief Officer Igor Goloborodko

Second Officer Enoc J. Micu

Third Officer Eufemio Jr. S. Hotohot

Chief Engineer Nikolay M. Geshev

Second Engineer Andrii Nesterenko

Third Engineer Allan P. Ibabao

Electrical Engineer Oleg Fiskov

Fitter Primo Jr. U. Panes

Cook Fernando Jr. M. Adriano

Bosun Roberto C. Franco

Able Seaman 1 Carlito Jr. G. Villalon

Able Seaman 2 Ricardo S. Hijanda

Able Seaman 3 Reynaldo R. Tolete

Ordinary Seaman 1 Joan D. Dela Cruz

Ordinary Seaman 2 Michael L. Lopez Dion

Oiler 1 Georgie D. Plameras

Oiler 2 Joart P. Malicay

Wiper Joselito G. Castillano

Messman Nestor M. Lumio

On Wednesday May 02 nd 2012, Reederei

Hamburger Lloyd took command of the

first of four 4,600 TEU wide-beam Containership

Newbuildings from Shanghai Shipyard

Ltd., Chong Ming Island. The delivery

of the next Newbuilding (No. SS1182) is

expected for August of this year.

In the course of a double naming ceremony

on Monday April 30 th , Hull No. 1181 was

named M/V “RHL Conscientia” by Mrs Barbara

Olearius, and the identical sister vessel,

Hull No. 1182, M/V “RHL Concordia” by Mrs

Gabriele E. Block.

The Godmothers Mrs Barbara Olearius and Mrs

Gabriele E. Block listen attentively to various

speakers of the occasion.



First name(s) Surname

Master Vadim Shipilov

Chief Officer Sergei Gostev

Second Officer Chenvie Go

Third Officer Eduardo Buenaventura

Chief Engineer Evgenii Titov

Second Engineer Gerry Tayamora

Third Engineer Michael B. Yutiga

Electrical Engineer Gistex Flojemon

Fitter Frenel Calangi

Cook Manuel Cuerdo

Bosun Richard G. Navarro

Able Seaman 1 Isabelo M. Pioc

Able Seaman 2 Ariel A. Nicdao

Able Seaman 3 Randy L. Quimba

Ordinary Seaman 1 Aurelio Jr. B. Andres

Ordinary Seaman 2 Nomer M. Daroy

Deck Cadet Mariss Zigats

Oiler 1 Oliver F. Pepito

Oiler 2 Feliciano E. Segundino

Messman Rodrigo Jr. S. Navaja

Wiper Brian Devinosa

A stiff breeze notwithstanding, both ladies

successfully managed to break the bottles

on the prows of ”their” ships, wishing them

the obligatory six inches of water below

their keels at all times. Directly following

the ceremony, the shipyard hosted a banquet

for everybody present.

The “RHL Conscientia”, built as Hull Number

SS1181 at Shanghai Shipyard, is under

an initial charter for the Chilean Liner

Shipping Company “Compania Chilena de

Navegacion Interoceanica S.A.”, and will

trade between China, Korea and the West

Coast of South America under the name

“CCNI Aysen” for the next 12 months. Beginning

in Shanghai, theRHL Conscientia”

will enter into service on May 12 th under



Rank First name(s) Surname

Master Neven Dujmic

Chief Officer Nikolay P. Nakov

Second Officer Plamen H. Petrov

Third Officer Elbert Jr. D. Arriesgado

Chief Engineer Anton A. Velkov

Second Engineer Ernesto Perez Armendariz

Tird Engineer Thalapitiya Palle K. Somaveera

Electrical Engineer Sherwin Roy A. Dalu

Fitter Miguel A. Lumogdang

Cook Joel T. Ido

Bosun Allan M. Lutero

Able Seaman 1 Amando P. Torres

Able Seaman 2 Emmanuel Ron C. Bruzola

Able Seaman 3 Roberto T. Cruz

Ordinary Seaman 1 John Gabriel T. Juanga

Ordinary Seaman 2 Joseph Star C. Sebua

Oiler 1 Henry O. Orbeta

Oiler 2 Sunny Jr. Z. Raquel

Wiper Benhur Jr. T. Buala

Messman Rabby C. Matematico


Rank First name(s) Surname

Master Igor Taran

Chief Officer Dubravko Rumora

Second Officer Donald Sator

Third Officer Richard O. Furton

Chief Engineer Nikolaj Kazanovskij

Second Engineer Rajapakse Wijayasekara

Third Engineer Hezron L. Valenzuela

Electrical Engineer Dehiwalage Perera

Fitter Marlon A. Villamante

Cook Melandro E. Drew

Bosun Julius A. Cabanero

Able Seaman 1 Gemer V. Bautista

Able Seaman 2 Noel Labatorio

Able Seaman 3 Geronimo Jr. S. Sepacio

Ordinary Seaman 1 Mark Harold L. Alviar

Ordinary Seaman 2 Beltran A. Dimzon

Deck Cadet Silvestrs Cirulis

Oiler 1 Lolindo Rigodon

Oiler 2 Chris Matarong

Wiper Sheldon P. Pagdato

Messman Noel A. Quinopa

Double naming ceremony

Hamburger Lloyd takes over 4,600 TEu Containership in China

the command of Captain jurij Savliukevic.

RHL has ordered altogether four vessels of

identical build from Shanghai, China, which

are due for delivery within the year.

M/V “RHL Conscientia” is the 13 th vessel for

us. The freshly named ship is 259.80m long,

37.3m wide and carries 57,000 tons at 12.5m

design draught. She can take 4,620 TEu, of

which 1,856 TEu in the holds and 2,764 on

deck, up to 7 tiers high. Her homogenous

loading capacity amounts to 3,620 TEu of 14

tons each. Altogether, there are 600 reefer

sockets available on deck, and a 36,240 kW

MAN Main Engine, type 8K80ME, allows the

GL-classified newbuilding a cruising speed

of 23.3 knots, while consuming economic

115 tons per day.


Rank First name(s) Surname

Master Nathaniel P. Nanglihan

Chief Officer Florante I. Nico

Second Officer Artur Savelyev

Third Officer Erwin A. Dulce

Chief Engineer Vladimirs Skackovs

Second Engineer Ognyan R. Kyurchiev

Third Engineer Oleg Kalayda

Electrical Engineer Liyana P. Pathirane

Fitter Jacob O. De La Cruz

Cook Rayman T. Arguelles

Bosun Torcuato Jr. L. Jomolo

Able Seaman 1 Roger P. Ortega

Able Seaman 2 Jaime M. Fiel

Able Seaman 3 Charlie B. Guevarra

Ordinary Seaman 1 Mark Ian P. Flores

Ordinary Seaman 2 Paul John P. Launio

Engine Cadet Alemayehu G. Sibane

Oiler 1 Darius B. Jonatas

Oiler 2 Jonele V. Constantino

Wiper Andrew O. Del Socorro

Messman Lenwill B. Parde

Thomas Duffé, born in Kiel, Germany,

worked as a ship’s cook when he was a

young man. But for 25 years now, he has

been putting his heart and soul into his

job as a photographer.

For his idea of a cookery book containing

the favourite recipes of ship’s cooks from

around the globe, he could soon win over

the well-respected North German publishers

“Ankerherz” (“anchor heart”). For several

months now, he has been working on


Rank First name(s) Surname

Master Eugen Selaru

Chief Officer Dmytro Smelsky

Second Officer Adrian Gheorghe

Third Officer Joraph M. Tabal

Chief Engineer Georgi Radev

Second Engineer Marian Constanda

Third Engineer Sofronio J. Marquez

Electrical Engineer Jayaweera A. Seneviratne

Electrician Cadet Arturs Artjomovs

Fitter Diego E. Masiado

Cook Ronwaldo J. Gelle

Bosun Edilberto Jr. L. Hautea

Able Seaman 1 Ruben L. Lavalle

Able Seaman 2 Jayson P. Cantimbuhan

Able Seaman 3 John Wilbert M. Torres

Ordinary Seaman Alfie M. Caimbon

Ordinary Seaman Michael A. Sapiter

Oiler 1 Crisanto W. Piape

Oiler 2 Alfredo Jr. J. Decripito

Wiper Joel L. Luna

Messman Christopher Colombus H. Tiantes



Rank First name(s) Surname

Master Zeljko Asanovic

Chief Officer Mykhaylo Ostroglyad

Second Officer Sergej Jurov

Third Officer Nguyen T. Long

Chief Engineer Anatoliiy Dyachenko

Second Engineer Dragan Rosandic

Third Engineer Peregrino I. Nico

Electrical Engineer Mauro Nemec

Fitter Expedito L. Taleon

Cook Sergio Fernando L. Oreta

Bosun Nicolas A. Batuhan

Able Seaman 1 Jay B. Ballesteros

Able Seaman 2 Richard A. Lim

Able Seaman 3 Rizaldy M. Alcaide

Able Seaman 4 Manuel III B. Barral

Ordinary Seaman Rommel P. Montalban

Oiler 1 Alexander B. Nunez

Oiler 2 Allan V. Maranon

Wiper Eliseo Oliver S. Ramirez

Messman Edwin J. Cabral

this project. His aim is to pass on simple,

traditional cooking, and not to put out just

another “designer” cookbook.

He has already visited about 30 cooks on

board their ships in Hamburg and Bremerhaven.

They shared their favourite recipes

with him, and many an interesting story in

the bargain.

Because our “BEK” vessels call at Hamburg

regularly, we asked them for help in this

project. The feedback we received was extremely

positive. Our Cooks were so friendly

as to provide help with his collection of

photos and recipes, even to add to it,and

they willingly revealed their favourite recipe

for him. We would like to thank the respective

crews for their assistance.

This unique cookery book is planned for

publication in early 2013, and our fleet will

surely be provided with a number of copies.

But for now, let us show you some of the photographic

results of Mr Duffé’s visits.


Rank First name(s) Surname

Master Zoran Radisic

Chief Officer Jovito L. Balabat

Second Officer Josip Perkov

Third Officer Jan C. Legaspina

Chief Engineer Adrian Glomnicu

Second Engineer Ireneo H. Abuyen

Third Engineer Vladimir D. Dimov

Electrical Engineer Dammika I. Nakandala

Electrician Cadet Ilmars Kucins

Fitter Eduards Jocus

Cook Bernie R. Tadeo

Bosun Mario C. Manigbas

Able Seaman 1 Danilo G. Umlas

Able Seaman 2 Timoteo Jr. D. Silan

Able Seaman 3 Edzel C. Sapinosa

Ordinary Seaman 1 Federico Jr. D. Borja

Ordinary Seaman 2 Christian F. Deloy

Deck Cadet Dragomir P. Ryahov

Oiler 1 Julius V. Natan

Oiler 2 Rhey Salvador J. Villanueva

Wiper Joezaldy P. Segovia

Messman Julius Ceasar V. Simon

ong>Photoshootingong> on the „BEK“-Ships

A photographer visits the galleys and the cooks

Mr. Thomas Duffeé on board of “RHL Reinbek”

with Chief Cook Mr. Dalino

Chief Cook Mr. Bimbo, “RHL Flottbek”

Chief Cook Mr. Alano, “RHL Barmbek”

Chief Cook Mr. Ross, “RHL Eilbek”

crew lists


Rank First name(s) Surname

Master Igor Gudziy

Chief Officer Dmitrij Secin

Second Officer Jakov Maric

Third Officer Vladimir Vakhomchik

Chief Engineer Dmitriy Albu

Second Engineer Felix P. Figueroa

Third Engineer Ranushka P. Siriwansa

Electrical Engineer Jose Jr. R. Leonen

Electrician Cadet Oskars Kapteinis

Fitter Elmer S. Aquino

Cook Michael Ross D. Bautista

Bosun Selderico III S. Jover

Able Seaman 1 Reagan S. Villanueva

Able Seaman 2 Jose Edwin B. Almenso

Able Seaman 3 Percival G. Gargantiel

Ordinary Seaman 1 Jose Vermon D. Ortega

Ordinary Seaman 2 Joerex E. Ramillete

Oiler Julius L. Bautista

Messman Leonard Y. Balabat


Rank First name(s) Surname

Master Ivan Poleshko

Chief Officer Salvador A. Damaso

Second Officer Mark Giovanni H. Cortez

Third Officer Goran Ilievski

Chief Engineer Andrej Mezencev

Second Engineer Antans Ketlerjus

Third Engineer Eduardo Jr. B. Deseo

Engine Cadet Roberts Krauklis

Electrical Engineer Gordon Lancelot S. Perera

Fitter Lobert A. Cabanado

Cook Danilo F. Alarcon

Bosun Catalino Jr. T. Millado

Able Seaman 1 Joseph C. Collado

Able Seaman 2 Henry S. Cordova

Able Seaman 3 Felix P. Acob

Ordinary Seaman 1 Rowell G. Motol

Ordinary Seaman 2 Denver S. Tanigue

Deck Cadet Gvido Paulins

Oiler Ali T. Monje

Messman Richson A. Batilo



Rank First name(s) Surname

Master Nathaniel D. Dallego

Chief Officer Atanas P. Petrov

Second Officer Dmytro Kovtun

Third Officer Tikkamage G. Perera

Chief Engineer Igor Podvalnyj

Second Engineer Elmore G. Clavaton

Third Engineer Todor B. Todorov

Electrical Engineer Adrian Lemnaru

Fitter Renato C. Tornea

Cook Bimbo G. Sangalang

Able Seaman 1 Ramyther D. Tutong

Able Seaman 2 Roy N. Manayon

Able Seaman 3 Randy S. Laguisma

Ordinary Seaman 1 Fernando J. Josoy

Ordinary Seaman 2 Roberto R. Par

Deck Cadet Deniss Dobrovenskis

Bosun Antonio J. Melegrito

Oiler Jovic Q. Espino

Messman Christopher C. Cerbolles

Safety Awareness

– or what we can learn from the Aviation Industry

There have been numerous surveys and

studies in the field of accidents and safety;

they fill whole books. This article does neither

attempt to summarize their results,

nor to reinvent them. Instead, it wants to

put forward three proposals for new approaches

to day-to-day safety on board,

and to encourage a lively, continuous debate

on the subject. In this context, the

aviation industry’s approach to safety –

the systems and operations in use – is very

interesting and merits an exploration from

the shipping point of view.

Many Surveys have investigated different

reasons for serious accidents. All came to

the conclusion that it is almost never possible

to isolate one single cause or originating

incident. In the great majority of cases,

it is an unlucky chain of events that leads

to a sometimes devastating outcome. It is

essential that we learn to interrupt these

disastrous chains of errors.

This is not easy, since the possible combinations

of mistakes and events is, of course,

infinite; any combination of technical defects,

human failure, component overload,

human overwork and countless further

reasons is imaginable. Also, although any

of these individual events may occur often

in our everyday routine, this does not make

them catastrophic in themselves – only the

cumulative effect of a whole sequence of

such events.

The aviation industry trains all personnel to

recognise even small mistakes in their earliest

stages, to understand their impact, and

to cut them short. This is the only way to

break a chain of errors, the only way to prevent

disaster. In shipping, we also need to

adopt this kind of safety awareness, and we

need to live it. We are talking about seemingly

harmless mistakes or defects, which

need to be identified and stopped.

This kind of thinking does not, by the way,

aim at reprimanding or punishing anybody

involved – this must not play any part in it.

Rather, all participants should strive to recognise

problems early, to change their actions

accordingly, and to avoid these problems

altogether in the future. Increased

safety awareness will come to you easily

and naturally if you always remember that


Rank First name(s) Surname

Master Konstantin Panshin

Chief Officer Merkuriy Muntyan

Second Officer Robert H. Villaflores

Third Officer Emiliano Jr. N. Novo

Chief Engineer Aleksandr Bychalov

Second Engineer Alexander Voronkov

Third Engineer Carlos Jr. D. Torres

Electrical Engineer Goran Andlar

Fitter Matias III R. Misagal

Cook Ronald D. Radovan

Bosun Virgilio Jr. A. Laurea

Able Seaman 1 Arthur S. Umlas

Able Seaman 2 Crisostomo Allan F. Monakil

Able Seaman 3 John Marven L. Bolivar

Ordinary Seaman 1 Jayson S. Garcia

Ordinary Seaman 2 Ramil J. Alejandro

Deck Cadet Edgars Vasilkovs

Oiler Edgar N. Montero

Messman Rowel I. Abrigonda

any event you may be dealing with, no matter

how “insignificant” it seems, can make

that big difference.

The aviation industry’s intricate emergency

preparedness is another feature worth taking

a closer look at. Before every flight, a list

is compiled for every single leg of the route,

consisting of every nearest emergency airport

at any given time; thus, in the event

of a distress situation, no time is wasted

determining an alternative route. This kind

of preparation speeds the emergency proceedings

up significantly.


Rank First name(s) Surname

Master Jurij Savliukevic

Chief Officer Vitaliy Davydenko

Second Officer Anton Semenas

Third Officer Svetlana Ormane

Chief Engineer Sergei Semenov

Second Engineer Konstantin S. Chomutov

Third Engineer Emil N. Dimitrov

Electrical Engineer Erwin Z. Villanueva

Fitter Romeo O. Tataro

Cook Renato M. Takahupikang

Bosun Edilberto C. Vicente

Able Seaman 1 Pedro M. Piyao

Able Seaman 2 Renato C. Morgia

Able Seaman 3 Forest March M. Goda

Ordinary Seaman 1 Kim Dominic G. Santillana

Ordinary Seaman 2 Rex Amen L. Goco

Wiper Jerico T. Tolentino

Oiler Melvin B. Maranan

Oiler Rowie E. Espinosa

Messman Jose Allan D. Cempron

Supernumerery Oksana Davydenko

I realise that we already use checklists and

standard procedures in shipping. Yet this

comparison with the aviation industry is

aimed at illustrating the importance of

checklists, which should not be underestimated.

Even the most highly-trained airline

pilots, with decades of experience, start off

every single flight – even if it is their fourth

on the same day – with a checklist. I am

quite sure that they know it by heart, but

that is not the point, not at all. Maybe they

are overworked, or tired, or preoccupied,

thinking of their family or a recent argument,

or maybe routine is getting the better

of them – a checklist can help to stop

a dangerous chain of mistakes right there.

We can do what they do! Checklists and

Emergency Preparedness need to be lived

and breathed.

This brings us to my third example, in which

seafaring probably differs most significantly

from aviation, for both traditional and cultural

reasons. I am talking about the willingness

and capability of superiors to let themselves

be questioned by their subordinates

– and, in the other direction, the willingness

and capability of subordinates to question

their superiors’ decisions and actions. This is

extremely important, error-preventing behaviour,

yet its acceptance within the multinational

seafaring community is relatively

low, and it is additionally hampered by what

specialist literature calls “power distance”.

What are we talking about here? I guess you

know this kind of situation, whether on a

professional or a private level, where (maybe

while driving a car) you have to make a decision,

but afterwards, you are not one hundred

per cent sure whether it is the right one.

You review the situation, you contemplate

your decision, you doubt … yet in the end, at

a loss for alternatives, you stick to your choice

and fail to act (you do not, in this case, maybe

slow down a little). It will be okay …

But will it? In circumstances such as this

one, a constructive comment from a passenger,

a colleague or, yes, a subordinate

can help relax the situation and speed up

any necessary actions. You no longer feel

you have to stick to your decision, no matter

what. Whether you continue on your

chosen course, or whether you alter it, you

are being backed by a second opinion. Or,

at least, you have been challenged to review

your actions critically – because they

may well be quite correct. This feedback

loop can be the determining point where

a fatal error chain is broken.

Obviously, it is not my intention to diminish

the authority of our senior personnel,

nor of any other superior. The abovementioned

notwithstanding, the aviation

industry still unshakingly believes in an

aircraft pilot’s final power of decision, and

that the rest of the crew should remain

subordinate to him. However, it is a successful

industry culture to question decisions

which have not been understood, or

to challenge critical manoeuvres. A confident

superior must (and will) allow feedback

of this kind, and his or her position is


not weakened by it in any way. In fact, the

opposite is the case.

In this respect, the shipping community still

has a lot to learn from the aviation industry.

We expect every senior employee at Hamburger

Lloydon board as well as ashore

– to help this attitude live and thrive, to

advocate it, and to demand the according

behaviour from their co-workers.

People with different national backgrounds

will adapt to this attitude with

different levels of ease. The term “power

distance” sums the problem up neatly; a

Filipino sailor will have greater problems

challenging a superior than a Swedish one,

both for different cultural and traditional

reasons. Any person in a superior position

must always remember this, and strive to

counterwork or lend support, whichever

may be required. This article aims at making

a first step.

Michael Brandhoff

Equatorial Baptism

A closer look at the history of Line-Crossing ceremonies

Equatorial Baptism ceremonies, also called

Line-Crossing ceremonies or Neptune’s

Baptism, were first mentioned in the 16 th

century during the time of the Portuguese

discovery expeditions. The term describes

an initiation rite in the navy or merchant

navy, not a baptism in the religious sense.

The custom developed in order to accept

newcomers or outsiders into the working

and sailing community, usually after

some kind of

test of courage.

His acceptance,

and the approval

of the newly-formed

bond, was

generally sealed

by a donation of

alcoholic beverages

from the

baptism candidate.

The basic principle of Equatorial Baptism

is the idea that all inhabitants of the northern

hemisphere are “un-clean”, and that

their bodies and souls need to be cleansed,

to prepare them for entering the realm of

Neptune, god of water and the sea.

Practice and intensity of the ritual has varied

throughout the centuries. up until

the middle of the 18 th century, it was quite

common to drag the candidates through

the waters by a rope attached to the yardarm

peak. But bit by bit, all outboard dipping

acts were moved up on deck.

Depending on the Master’s agreement,

that always has priority, the ritual’s main

components are the mock interrogation,

the sermon, the vow, the candidate being

shaved, cleansed, “medically” checked and,

of course, dipped.

The practice of confirming the candidate’s

attendance at the ceremony by presenting

him with a baptism certificate, complete

with a marine-inspired, mythological name,

was not common until the late 19 th century,

when it started to become increasingly popular.

The actions of the “priest”, the “barber”

and the

“doctor” are

modelled on

their counterpartsashore

and are

derived from




Concerning the continuity

of the tradition of Equatorial Baptism, it

is noteworthy that, in the first half of the

20 th century, it was usual to hold a ceremony

for every single line-crossing event on

sailing ships, while the mechanically powered

steam ships might cross the equator

several times without a baptism. Initiators

were always the members of the crew, who

would organise and conduct the event,

while Master, Chief Engineer and Chief

Mate would be mere spectators.

An equatorial baptism ceremony would

typically take the following course:

On the evening before the baptism, Triton,

son of Neptune, appears and demands to

see documentation confirming every crew

member’s line-crossing at a former time. All

those without the relevant documents are


warned that they should prepare themselves

for a baptism ceremony on the following day.

According to some accounts, the baptism

itself starts by locking away the candidates

and subjecting them to great heat, noise

and bad smells for hours on the following

day. Then, they are sent to the quarterdeck,

one by one. On the way there, they may

have to crawl through a wind sack, while

being hampered with full-on fire hoses, or

being beaten with sticks from crew members

on the outside. upon arrival, they are

received by Neptune, his daughter Thetis,

the priest and the doctor. Neptune lectures

them on their impurity, and comments

on their recent accidents and mishaps, reported

by other members of the crew. The

priest then appeals to Neptune for mercy,

asks him to admit the candidates into his realm,

and says a prayer for them.

Next, Thetis is introduced, and the men are

forced to kiss her feet, which are covered in

something foul-tasting and disgusting; their

heads are often forced down into it.

This is followed by the medical check-up by

the doctor. It may include an oversized “stethoscope”

with a sandpaper membrane,

causing a most painful examination. Candidates

may have to take different kinds of

“tablets”, made from anything revolting at

hand, such as castor oil, pig urine, flour, dog

or cat faeces, which are pushed down the

applicants’ throats with spoons so that they

are forced to swallow.

Finally, the priest “anoints“ (oils and blesses)

the men with a tar-like, sticky substance,

which is then painfully removed with

sharp lye solutions and wire brushes. This

is followed by a rough shave and a radical

haircut, leaving the freshly baptised sailors

looking more than laughable.

The whole ceremony is conducted with the

applicants sitting on a plank over a large tub,

which gets especially made for this occasion.

After Neptune has given his booming

assent to the candidates’ admission into his

realm, and the candidates have given their

vow to respect and abide by his rules, they

suddenly get pulled backwards into the tub.

Equatorial Baptism M/V “Rothenstein”


Dear Captain,

I am pleased to welcome you and your crew in my

waters once more, especially after running loose in

East Asia for so long. It seems that you are drawn

into my realm time and again.

I greet all you lousy, unbaptised scallywags of the

Northern hemisphere. Rest assured that through

our baptism you will finally become respectable


After his visit to your vessel yesterday, Triton informed

me of 40 unshaved, dirty and diseased fellows

here, in dire need of baptism. In spite of a heavy

workload, we decided to hurry here and carry out

our holy mission immediately.

My court and I shall endeavour to perform the baptism

in a dignified way, and according to the old


Before we commence the baptism itself, however,

the Minister would like to present your seniors with

medals for their faithful services.

(source: Uwe Pane 1959)

Submerged to a point where many have

thought they would drown, they are permitted

to breathe from time to time, and have to

name the amount of drinks they are prepared

to buy for the crew in return for release.

Depending on rank and popularity, this may

cost as much as a whole month’s wages.

At some stage in history, captains started to

forbid the painful shaves and ridiculous haircuts,

because, after all, the men are supposed

to represent their company in the ports, and

not go around half bald with face injuries.

Also – as can be imagined by above account

the procedure got badly out of hand in

some cases. Many an injury was reported,

and, allegedly, even deaths (the latter,

however, we could not verify reliably). The

painful journey through the wind sack is

said to have caused some heavy injuries.

Being locked up, without water, for hours

in temperatures of sometimes more than

50°C has been described as sheer torture.

And the “tablets” are reported to have made

many people sick, with diarrhoea and bad

stomach ache lasting for days.

Luckily, the ceremony remained a tough

but fun activity on most occasions, and

many sailors look back on it today with

smiles on their faces.

Nowadays, the tradition of Equatorial Baptism

has mostly disappeared. Present-day

shipping does not leave much time for it,

and the modern mix of cultures means

that there are only few people left who

come from a background that remembers

it. And there are much stricter rules in force

regarding the treatment of fellow human

beings, which of course is a good thing.

These days, if there is a Line-Crossing Ceremony

of some kind, the baptism candidate

may merely be pushed into the swimming

pool, or a bucket of water emptied over

Good day everybody! My name is Mariss,

and I work as a Deck Cadet onRHL Astrum”.

As we all know, sailors have many different

traditions, some originating from older

times, and some from not so long ago. On

February 5 th 2012, I had the opportunity

to participate in one of the best–known

old traditions – the Equatorial Baptism of

a sailor when he crosses the equator for

the first time in his life. And this is how it


In the middle of just a normal working day,

I was asked to come up to the bridge. When

I arrived, Captain Bagovic said some words

and congratulated me on this „historical”

event. After I checked that the GPS really

showed the letter “S” instead of “N”, we took

some pictures and shook hands. Then he

suggested that we should go outside and

take some more pictures in a better light,

and I, suspecting nothing, agreed. But

when I was waiting for the camera flash, a

different kind of flash hit me instead. Above

me, on the Monkey Deck (Navigation Deck),

secretly awaiting his moment, the 3rd Mate

was hiding with a barrelful of water, which

he promptly emptied on my head!

So now, after receiving this wet greeting

from Neptune, I can officially call myself a

“sailor of the world’s seas”.

Mariss Zigats

Deck Cadet, RHL Astrum


his head from the deck above – as was recently

reported from our own RHL Astrum.

This entirely positive event will, no doubt,

be remembered for many years to come by

all who were present.

Bettina Pane




• „… Inseipt, Afrasiert un Rin na`t Küben“

„Linientaufen auf deutschen Schiffen von der Mitte des

19. bis Mitte des 20. jahrhunderts“, by Wolfgang Steusloff


Equatorial Baptism on RHL Astrum

Happy Birthday RHL!

A chronicle of the last 5 years

In the spring of 2006, the people who are

RHL’s executive associates today got together

with a closely allied ship-owner.

The aim of this meeting was to found a

ship-broking company, which was to specialise

in the chartering, purchase and sale

of container vessels. At that time, the shipping

markets were flourishing, and spirits

were high, even downright euphoric.

On September 7 th 2006, the first office location


BuRG was opened. Initially, it was in charge

of brokering the contracting of three 5,100

TEu container ships (today’s RHL F-Class)


TERNATIONAL, and for arranging Chartering

services for the 1,700 TEu A-Class

vessels. After a few months of very successful

business, it became apparent that, for

structural reasons, an own shipping company

needed to be established. This was the

founding hour of HAMBuRGER LLOYD, and

on june 11 th 2007,

the foundation




KG was recorded

in the Commercial

Register of the Free

and Hanseatic City

of Hamburg.

The young shipping company only had

three and a half months to prepare for taking

over its very first ship, M/V RHL AGI-

LITAS. What was then only a small team

successfully managed to make the business

operable during this time, so that the

vessel – which was still under construction

under the name M/V WILHELM BuSCH –

could be named M/V RHL AGILITAS by Mrs

Bettina Pane on September 21 st 2007, and

could start trading for Hapag-Llyod in their

Asia-Services immediately after delivery.


This was followed by the naming of M/V

RHL AQuA by Mrs Waltraut Wilks on December

3 rd 2007. Shortly after, the 1,700

TEu ship – which had been built under the

name of M/V THEODOR FONTANE – started

into its initial charter at HAPAG LLOYD and

traded in the Mexican West Coast/South

America service.

january 1 st 2008 saw the merger of


HAMBuRGER LLOYD, and today’s circle of

associates have been the owners of the

company ever since. Currently 22 employees

control the operation and deployment of

our container ship fleet, which will consist

of fourteen units of altogether 485,556 tdw,

or 39,719 TEu, as from the summer of 2012;

430 sailors are deployed on them on an alternating

basis. A team of 10 shipbuilding

experts is currently overseeing the construction

of two further 4,600 TEu vessels – from

the cutting of the first steel plate up to fully

operational delivery – on jiangnan Shipyard

in Shanghai, China.

Hamburger Lloyd Milestones 2007–2012


07.09.2006 first office premises of

BCH Befrachtunsgcontor Hamburg GmbH & Co. KG

September contracting of three 5,100 TEu vessels (F-Class),

Hull H2431, H2432 and H2433


11.06.2007 founding of HAMBuRGER LLOYD

RHL Reederei Hamburger Lloyd GmbH & CO KG

September take-over of M/V ”RHL AGILITAS”

December take-over of M/V ”RHL AQuA”


01.01.2008 Merger of RHL and BCH to

RHL Reederei Hamburger Lloyd GmbH & CO KG

january contracting of two 5,100 TEu vessels, H1025A and H1026A

january take-over of M/V ”RHL AuDACIA”

june take-over of M/V ”RHL AuRORA” and M/V ”RHL ASTRuM”

(ex M/V ”Matthias Claudius” and M/V ”Heinrich Heine”)

june sale of M/V “RHL AuDACIA”, combined with a management contract

September first edition of RHL’s company newsletter “THE BRIDGE”



contracting of the first wide-beam design, Hulls SS1181 / SS1182

january change of design for H1025A and H1026A to wide beam

10.11.2009 founding of WLCM Wappen Lloyd Crewmanagement GmbH & Co. KG

in co-operation with Wappen Reederei


March take-over of M/V ”Reinbek“

March take-over of M/V ”Eilbek”

March take-over of M/V ”RHL Felicitas”

April take-over of M/V ”Flottbek”

june take-over of M/V ”Barmbek”

june take-over of M/V ”RHL Fidelitas”

july take-over of M/V ”RHL Fiducia”




Was a busy year considering the take-over of 7 ships in 2010

whereof 3 newbuildings

April take-over of M/V ”RHL Conscientia”, Hull SS1181

August take-over of M/V ”RHL Concordia”, Hull SSSS1182

2013 “FUTURE”

take-over of two further C-class vessels of wide-beam design,

Hulls H1025A and H1026A

staff on board

Nguyen Thanh Long

Third Officer RHL Fidelitas

Dear readers of THE BRIDGE newsletter,

I am Nguyen Thanh Long, the Vietnamese

3 rd Officer of “RHL Fidelitas”. One of my entertainments

at sea is reading THE BRIDGE

newsletter, where I can get information

about our company, our sister ships, newbuildings,

many cultures from different

countries, our colleagues ashore and at

sea, and so on. After reading and learning

about our shore-based staff in previous

newsletters, we have now been asked to

complete the “staff” page with introductions

from seafaring personnel. I thought

this was a very nice and important idea,

and it gave me the chance to share many

stories about myself, a seafarer on board a

ship, and a little about my family and Vietnamese

home country.

I was born and grew up in a town northwest

of Ho Chi Minh City (formerly Saigon),

where the Saigon River is busy with ships

which go in and out every day. When I was

young, my family and I used to travel to

Vung Tau beach, Vung Tau City (southern

Vietnam), where many tourists go during

summertime to enjoy seafood, sunrises,

sunsets and good weather. I don’t know

when the image of ships, the sound of the

waves, the fresh winds and the freedom

of the sea first gave me an interest in exploring

the world, but after finishing high

school, I chose to start studying Navigation

at the university of Transport in Ho Chi

Minh City. When I was a third-year student,

I met a cute girl, a student from the university

of Culture near my university, and we

had a really romantic time together.

Following five years of hard studying, I

graduated from university in 2007, after

completing my student research project.

In my last year, I was lucky to be selected

by a German shipowner for a Cadet program

at uT-STC (Maritime Education and

Human Resource Training Centre, Ho Chi

Minh City), where many good Vietnamese

officers are trained and find jobs with shipowners

around the world.

I started my career as a seaman on the

modern and good container vessels “CMA

CGM Togo” and “CMA CGM Comoe”, with

rotations of Asia – southwest Africa, Asia –

Brazil, Brazil – Middle East, southwest Africa

– Northern Europe. I worked with good

Masters and Officers, picked up many skills,

good memories and excellent experiences.

I enjoyed good, bad, hot and cold weather,

and of course I felt home and sea sick when

I first joined a ship.

After completing the practical part of my

training, I could be promoted from Deck Cadet

to Officer by the Master. So I went back

to school, concentrated on my Officer’s License

Exam and passed it successfully.

In shipping, many stories are unpredictable.

I joined a japanese ship as a trainee, was a

3rd officer on the Bulk/Log carrier “Lodestar

Forest”, then a 3rd officer on the Norwegianowned

LPG/E/C tanker “Norgas Patricia”. M/V

“Lodestar Forest” brought me from Asia to

New Zealand and the uSA with long, big

logs and a special lashing system; or small

piles of coal ore brought from ashore on

large barges at Bansamasin anchorage, Indonesia,

bound for New Zealand. On the

Gas Tanker “Norgas Patricia”, I enjoyed white


snow on our cargo pipes, in spite of the hot,

Middle Eastern weather: while loading and

discharging Ethylene, -103 degrees must be

maintained at all times.

A lucky chance rose when WLCM was established.

The captain I worked with on M/

Vs “CMA CGM Togo” and “Comoe” and I had

not sailed together for two years due to assignments

in different companies, but we

had stayed in contact by email. For the second

time in my career, he gave me a chance:

he recommended me to Mr john Goes,

who had already selected me as a Cadet

for “MPC Steamship” when I was a last-year

student. As the first Vietnamese officer with

WLCM and RHL, I joined “RHL Fidelitas” as

Third Officer under the command of Captain

josif Zultanovskij, with a very friendly

crew. We work together well. “RHL Fidelitas”

is a really good ship, and the crew, which is

like a big, multi-national family, gives all of

us the feeling that we are working at home.

From my side, I am really satisfied to be a

team member of WLCM, and I hope here

will be my final destination.

With my experience on different kinds of

ship, going to different places with many

different cultures, sailing with multi-national

crews, from Asians such as Koreans,

japanese, Chinese, Filipinos and Sri-Lankans,

to Europeans, I can say that I am

very happy that I can work here, learn new

things and explore the world.

And by my side always is my love, that same

cute girl from university, who has by now

completed her studies, worked as a bookstore

manager, and has waited for me every

time I joined a ship. It has been six years

since we met and fell in love. She is my wife

now, and three months pregnant as I write

these words. The Year of the Dragon will

bring us much good luck.

All of us know that a seaman’s life must be

far from his family. Sometimes he must suffer

hard weather, hard work under pressure,

stand-by any time for manoeuvring, the

heat of cargo operations and many other

risks at sea. We find happiness in safe sailing,

a small piece of news from our country,

a simple email exchange with our family,

a short telephone call and hearing the

voices of our loved ones. Sailors are really

hard workers, earn the cleanest money, and

hope always to return home safely to the

family. Near or far, a seafarer can always see

happiness appearing at the horizon.

The Socialist Republic of Vietnam in the

Far East has a long, S-shaped coast on the

South China Sea. The climate in the North

is different to that in the South; there are

numerous wonders and beautiful places for

tourists from everywhere in the world. Vietnamese

people are very friendly, and you

are all welcome.

Via this article, I would like to thank you,

my wife, for always being on my side when

I am sailing, and I would like to thank you,

Captain Marinko Milotic, for always telling


COME”, and finally you, Mr. john Goes, for

bringing me to WLCM/RHL.

And in the end, I hope that reading this

has brought moments of relaxation to you,

dear readers, after a day of hard work – be

it on a ship or ashore.

Best regards,

Third Officer Nguyen Thanh Long

RHL Fidelitas

staff ashore

Thorsten Hamann

Crew Superintendent WLCM

Thorsten Hamann and his son Thore

In the early stages of my life, I already felt

a strong affinity to sailing and the sea, and

Barbecue on board RHL Agilitas

had the wish to become a sailor. At the beginning

of October 2011, I completed the

last piece of the puzzle (so far) by joining

Mr john Goes and his team at WLCM.

After growing up in the countryside of

Lower Saxony (North Germany), my path

towards the sea led me to Hamburg, where

I eventually went to study.

I had initially started an apprenticeship as

a ship mechanic in the Baltic Seaport of

Rostock/ Warnemünde, which I intended to

follow up with Nautical Studies in order to

become a Ship Officer. unfortunately, a serious

work accident in the Engine Room, in

my first months on board, upset my plans.

This accident, which was followed by three

months of total incapacity to work, forced

me to find a shore-based way into shipping.

I decided on business studies, and completed

the compulsory internships in the

maritime crewing sector. These helped as-


These photos reached us from RHL Agilitas,

while on voyage in Caribbean waters.

After stressful weeks of docking in Bremerhaven,

the crew finally found some

time to relax together, by means of a

good old aft-deck barbecue.

sure me that I was doing the right thing. It

gives me great motivation and satisfaction

to assume responsibility for a team of welltrained

maritime personnel, as I believe this

is one of the key factors to the success of

the shipping industry.

After completing my business studies, I

continued to work in maritime crewing,

nationally and internationally (Cyprus), before

I had the opportunity to join WLCM’s

young, dynamic team.

Next to my job, my wife and young son are

the most important part of my life, and I try

to enjoy every free minute with them.

I live by the motto “Live, laugh – and fight.”


• my family (wife & son)

• shipping

• sunny days in the garden

• honesty

• sports

• peace and quiet

(or the calm before the storm?)


• fear-mongering

• lies (dishonesty)

• deception

crew ‘s corner

Welcome – Leaving – Promotions

New Fleet Director Wappen Reederei

On April 1 st 2012, Captain Peter Frömming

took over the position of Fleet Director at

Wappen Reederei.

Mr Frömming looks back

on many a year’s experience

in the area of tanker

shipping, all of these for

German companies. After

his time as a cadet on gas

tankers (LPG) with “Hartmann

Reederei”, he spent

the officers’ years after his studies on oil

and chemical tankers belonging to “RIGEL

Schiffahrts GmbH & Co. KG”. Before moving

to a job ashore, Mr Frömming was Master

on RIGEL’s 25,000 m 3 Chemical/E3 tankers.

Before joining the Wappen Reederei team,

Captain Frömming was the leader of RIGEL’s

Nautical and Technical Inspection Departments,

including Quality Management, Insurance

and Seafaring Personnel. Prior to that, he

had broadened his expertise in several years

as Fleet Operation and Quality Manager.

editor ‘ s note

Dear colleagues on land and on board,

Keeping our newsletter informative, interesting

and original is very important to us.

Any suggestions, be they on a specialized

or general topic, ideas for quizzes and competitions

or even reports on some special

event on board or on land would be very

welcome. And should any of you fancy putting

pen to paper, or have taken some nice

photos, we’d be glad to hear from you. just

send your contributions to:

Welcome aboard the RHL team:

• Technical Department-RHL

Mr Risto Sipiläinen,

Nautical Superintendent

• Finance and Accounting Department

Mrs Melanie Sewckow, Accountant

• Assistant

Mrs Karina Schwitalla, Assistant

• Crewing Company (WLCM)

Mr Klaus Tobaben, Company driver

Signed off:

Mr Thomas Sudeck, company driver, has

left our company, and we wish him all the

best for the future.


• TD Mr Michael Brandhoff (RHL) was promoted

to Member of the Board as from

February 1 st 2012

• Crew Superintendent Mr Thorsten Hamann

(WLCM) has received full power of attorney

• Mr Stefan Koleczko has been promoted to

Head of Finance and Accounting of Reederei

Hambuger Lloyd, WLCM and Wappen


• Mrs Anita Stojanoski has been promoted

to Management Assistant

And at this point it is time to say thank you

very much for your efforts, and not least for

your courage! During the last months, we

received several interesting contributions,

especially from our colleagues on board.

These articles will definitely find their places

in one of the next editions of “The Bridge”.


• Mr Dmitrij Albu has been promoted to

Chief Engineer on RHL “Eilbek”


We would like to congratulate:

• Chief Engineer Mr Skackovs

on his 55 th birthday (10.04.1957)

• Chief Mate Mr Petrov

on his 35 th birthday (26.04.1977)

• Chief Mate Mr Ranasinghe

on his 35 th birthday (31.05.1977)

• Chief Mate Mr Tyutyunchenko

on his 30 th birthday (26.05.1982)


to Captain Igor

Taran and his

wife Svitlana Lazarenko

on the

birth of their

daughter Anastasiya

on February

15 th 2012

and congratulations to Captain Victor Volkov

and his wife Olesya on the birth of their

daughter Miroslava on june 05 th 2012.



RHL Reederei Hamburger Lloyd

GmbH & CO KG

Zirkusweg 2, 20359 Hamburg


Tel.: +49 (0)40 8788 968-0

Fax: +49 (0)40 8788 968-29


Editorial Team: Bettina Pane, Margaret


Layout: STILPuNKT3 Designbüro

Pictures: RHL Reederei Hamburger Lloyd,

Capt. uwe Pane, fotolia, istockphoto

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