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Solstad Offshore: From apprentice to Vessel Manager

Alexander started his career in Solstad as AB apprentice in 2004 and has recently joined our team in Ålesund as Vessel Manager. Read more about his journey in Solstad below.

Before joining Solstad Alexander came from the school ship M/V Gann, an education administered by the Maritime Training Office in Southwest Norway. Growing up around fishery and coming from a family with generations of maritime lifestyle he decided to follow the same path and he has not regretted this decision.

Back in 2004 Alexander remembers his first meeting with Solstad as all the apprentices visited the office in Skudeneshavn and got presented with the vessels they would join. It was approximately 20 apprentices there that day and majority was scheduled to work around the North Sea region out of foreign and domestic ports. Alexanders last name was at the bottom of the list, and as the last one he got presented Normand Progress and she was at the time working in West Africa. For a rookie sailor that was something big.

He completed his two years as an AB apprentice and went back to school to start his nautical studies, and when that was done, he embarked on Normand Installer who was operating in West Africa and Brazil. At that time, she was one of Solstad`s largest and most advanced vessel.

When Alexander got his CoC as a deck officer, he had one year of experience on a supply vessel as a 2nd officer before requesting a transfer back to a vessel with a stern roller and winches, which was in his line of interest. The next vessel he embarked was the anchor handler Normand Ranger who at that time was 3 months old.

The vessel traded in the North Sea spot market and did amongst others trenching for Technip in the summer months. Alexander hung on to that trade for about four years before getting promoted to Chief Officer and then joined Normand Master in Brazil.

“That was a perfect match, anchor handling and the tropical hemisphere, who can complain on that?”, says Alexander.

Alexander Aaramnes

The transfer from the North Sea to the Brazilian deep-water shelf was a challenge at the start, but it did not take long before realizing how important it is to be one step ahead during operation in such areas. The deep water, strong current and heavy equipment affecting the vessel was demanding, but it made the learning curve steep.

The four years in Brazil is an experience which gave many found memories Alexander would not been without. In terms of experience in ship handling, operation and to be able to travel around the country on vacation after work, was perfect.

From that point he stepped over to the CSV segment on Normand Frontier for 3 years who traded world-wide for various clients. The Frontier period took him further around the world working in areas such as the East and West coast of North America, Caribbean Sea, West Africa, North Sea, India, Australia and Singapore. The last crew change happened in Maldives where they got the chance to do some snorkeling near coral reefs before flying back home. It was a nice way to end the last trip with the crew onboard.

The recruitment process for the Vessel Manager role were a affected by Covid-19 as well and the interviews were done on Teams while in hotel quarantine.

After close to 17 years offshore Alexander is now embarking on his next chapter in the company as Vessel Manager in Ålesund. This is his first time to work onshore and as a Vessel Manager he will use his experience from offshore to make sure all operations are performed in a safe manner and with excellence for both the crew and our clients.
Source: Solstad Offshore

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