Master, Arly Halkjær, turns 70 next year but has no plans on stopping at ESVAGT.
Arly Halkjær will be starting his 8th decade when his birthday comes around again. Yet when most would see this as time to think about retiring, the master on board the “Esvagt Christina” is still glad to be working.
“ESVAGT is a shipping company where experience and ’the way we do things’ mean a great deal,” he says:
“The company has used me to train others and in more recent years where we have experienced rapid growth, keeping hold of experience and culture have been a priority for the shipping company. It is great to be part of a company that says they still need my skills at my age,” says Arly Halkjær.
He started with ESVAGT at the mature age of 55. Before then, he had tried his hands at many things: teacher training, navigator and many jobs at sea, including on board the Fanø ferry and the Sønderho motor boat, as route manager on the Bøjden-Fynshav route, on the Baltic Sea with the passenger vessel Urd, for Scandlines on the ferry route Århus-Aabenraa-Klaipeda, and on long voyages for Nielsen & Bresling before he one day phoned ESVAGT to hear if there was room for him there. Two days later, he came for an interview.
Arly Halkjær sometimes got bored in his previous jobs. His job at ESVAGT has cured him of that.
“I was mainly on the “Esvagt Supporter” for the first many years and it was a good learning place. We were in the UK sector for some years and came round to all the platforms in the Danish sector. We moved people, we moved goods – we did pretty much everything and the work was very varied,” he says.
In 2011, he moved to the new build, the “Esvagt Christina”, which he has been on ever since:
”The job is still fantastic! We have an exciting job in a company where everyone wants to – and can – make a difference. We are always training for something that should not happen – but if it happens, we are the right people to solve it. We can do with our FRBs what no one else can do. The cooperation there is between the FRBs, davit controllers and us on the bridge is second to none. We can also work in weather conditions that no others can,” he says:
”When we do it right, we can really achieve great things but, as Ole Ditlev Nielsen, Chief Commercial & Safety Officer for ESVAGT, says, we need to stay humble. So we do,” says Arly Halkjær.
Part of what makes ESVAGT such a competent shipping company is, according to Arly Halkjær, that ’everyone at ESVAGT puts real pride into what they do’.
”Part of the ESVAGT Standard says that we must show constant, constructive dissatisfaction. Those words have not been chosen at random. If there is something in abundance at ESVAGT, then it is constant constructive dissatisfaction. I don’t think there are any other shipping companies that have such easy access to management, and where your voice is heard in the same way as it is at ESVAGT,” he says:
“For example, my chief engineer Lars Andersen noticed that the hook for hooking the boat often got stuck. It then became twisted and the handle bent. He suggested a solution. I telephoned Ole Ditlev Nielsen when we came home and 20 minutes later I was on my way to Esbjerg to a meeting with Ole Ditlev, Ole Andersen and Jes-Peter Bill at the workshop. Lars’s suggestion was incorporated. The fact that they immediately made the changes says a great deal about ESVAGT – and that it was the chief engineer that came with a solution also says a lot about the company. We are good at what we do because we continue to develop,” says Arly Halkjær.
Arly Halkjær is married to Irene Riber and has three sons, Jeppe (41), Mikkel (39) and Anders (32). Jeppe, the eldest, sails in his father’s wake and is marine master. The other two are salesman and police officer, respectively.
Arly enjoys hunting in his spare time and the experience of being out close to nature with his sight down his hochsitz set on a dear or a fox brings him great pleasure. One type of fox also played a leading role when Arly Halkjær debuted at a mature age as writer of children’s book, ’Mikkel Rævehale og Hans Venner’ (Michael Foxtail and His Friends); a children’s book that he published in 2014.
ESVAGT is a dedicated provider of safety and support at sea, founded on an experienced and well-trained offshore crew and unmatched rescue capabilities.
We support the offshore Oil & Gas industries with a wide range of specialized services: Standby, Emergency Response and Resque Vessels (ERRV), Oil spill response, Firefighting, Tanker assists, Rig moves, Supply services and Interfield transfer of cargo and personnel.
In 2010, ESVAGT brought the dedicated offshore wind Service Operation Vessels (SOV) to the market. The SOVs provide accommodation for up to 40 technicians, storage for small turbine parts and a workshop, plus personnel and equipment transfer capabilities by either Walk-to-Work gangway system or Safe Transfer Boats.
ESVAGT was founded in 1981 and has a fleet of more than 40 vessels and more than 900 employees on- and offshore.