Meet Our Masters: Mohammed Issa Al Obeidani & Gassim Mohammed Abdullah Al Saadi

When Mohammed Issa Al Obeidani and Qassim Mohammed Abdullah Al Saadi were recently promoted Captains, they became the very first Omani Masters ever to take command of Svitzer tugs. For both, the promotion was a result of hard work and determination.

On 1 July 2020, a dream came true for Qassim Mohammed Abdullah Al Saadi, as he took over the command of Svitzer Liwa in the Port of Sohar, Oman as the very first Omani-born Master. His career took off in 2013, when he first joined Svitzer as a Chief Officer. But after a while, he was inspired to become a tug Master and he then pursued his dream with great determination – helping the Master of the tug, getting his COP (Certificate of Proficiency) and fulfilling Svitzer’s internal requirements to become a Master.

When asked about his best advice for other seafarers that want to become a Master, Capt. Al Saadi is very clear:

“If you want to become a Master, hard work and the right attitude will get you a long way towards achieving your goals. And then of course also the support from your managers and the company.”

For Mohammed Issa Al Obeidani, being promoted Captain has been the highlight of his career and taking over the command of Svitzer Beta in the Mina Al Fahal Terminal in Oman is the result of many years of hard work and dedication. He joined Svitzer in August 2012 and began working as a Second Officer and after having finished a number of upgrading courses, he was promoted Chief Officer. He then completed a structured training and development plan, which also included training and tests on Svitzer’s tug simulator in Dubai as well as 10 months in Sohar, where he gained experience with harbour towage operations.

Being a seafarer is a lifestyle that also affects the family as the seafarers are often away for longer periods of time. For Capt. Al Obeidani, the support of his family is important:

“I have one week onboard the tug and then one week home, and that works fine. My family is proud of me and has always supported me and encouraged me to become better and better.”

With more than eight years of experience, Capt. Al Saadi and Capt. Al Obeidani are not new to either Svitzer nor the life as a seafarer and they agree that working as a team is one of the things, they enjoy the most, as Capt. Al Saadi explains:

“In Svitzer, we are all part of the same team, the same family – from operational level to management – and I really enjoy that team spirit and the sense of responsibility, we all feel.”

Capt. Al Obeidani continues:

“When my family and friends ask me what I love most about my job, my answer is always that I love feeling responsible for the safety of my crew and my ship. The life of a seafarer is not easy and operating my ship in the safest way is both my greatest responsibility and my greatest challenge.”

A key priority for Svitzer is to ensure that its operations contribute to growth and prosperity in the communities in which Svitzer operate – that implies investing in local communities by providing training and professional development for members of the local workforce.As part of Svitzer’s ongoing commitment to Oman, three more Omani officers are following a targeted training and development plan,which will qualify them to take command over Svitzer tugs in due time.

Svitzer has been present in Oman since 2005 and operates 12 vessels in total – five tugs and two pilot boats in the port of Sohar and four tugs and one pilot boat in the Mina Al Fahal Terminal in Muscat.

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