Born into a seafaring family, Capt. Robert Zutte has continued his family legacy with a career at sea.
“My parents and siblings are all seafarers. I grew up in Latvia and joined the Marine Academy in Kaliningrad as soon as I completed my high school years. It was such a natural choice for me,” Robert said.
After a decade with BSM, Robert is now Master of Flex Enterprise, an 83,000 dwt LNG tanker with the capacity to transport 173,400 cubic meters of fuel. He has over 25 years of experience in the industry and has worked on various vessels including LPG and ethylene carriers.
As captain, his responsibilities include onboard team management, navigation and the completion of detailed reports. To succeed in his role, Robert exercises good technical skills and strong leadership built on effective communication with the crew.
“Having a multinational group of seafarers on board, with different skill and knowledge levels, makes communication central to the success of the team. I allocate time to speak with my crew members in order to understand their problems and challenges,” he added.
Robert admits that seafaring can be a demanding trade because seafarers must adapt to new environments quickly and their lifestyles change based on the environment of each assignment.
He believes the job is equally rewarding and provides opportunities that most professions do not offer, such as the ability to travel around the world, experience new cultures and meet a diversity of people.
“I am lucky, I met my wife, who was also a seafarer, on board a vessel. We now have a home together in Spain and she is taking care of our three lovely children. I am glad to have met a person who understands my job and is supportive of my career,” he added.
“It is not easy to dedicate to work and leave our families behind for several months at a time. However, when I look at the bigger picture, I feel very proud because I am playing a role, together with my crew, in supporting people’s quality of living by safely transporting goods around the world,” he explained.
As a BSM leader, he feels contented that his team is able to contribute to globalisation and impact people’s lives positively.