Safety Q&A with Carly Remm, Project Manager, Foss Maritime

Project Manager Carly Remm has proven to be a great asset to Ditch Atlantic, having successfully sorted out many of the safety issues encountered when reactivating a fleet of dilapidated vessels, has (to date) returned five vessels to safe service. Throughout these and other challenges, she continues to set high standards, improving the overall performance of her colleagues to ensure the safety of people, vessels and the Foss environment.

Tell us about you. Where did you grow up? Where did you go to school?

I grew up all over the southwest and northeast. I went to USMMA and graduated in 2006 with a bachelor’s degree in marine engineering.

Tell us about your career, your current role and what got you there.

After graduating, I accepted a job as a sailor with Crowley Maritime on the company’s Invader-class tugs that run from Jacksonville to Puerto Rico. The following summer, I was accepted into the harbor engineer training program, where I sailed on various tugs and barges. This allowed me to have a full opportunity to experience the different types of operations.

At that time, the ATB oil program was underway, and that’s where I settled – as an assistant port engineer, working my way up to port engineer, managing ATBs and tankers for eight years.

In 2021, I started looking for opportunities to get back into operational engineering and found the job at Foss Atlantic as the Fleet Engineering Planning Manager. I was interested in the role because it combined reliability engineering with maintenance and equipment operations and the operational challenges encountered in an interactive petroleum service. I accepted this role, eager to know that I would be back in direct communication with ships and sailors.

I have (later) found a role within Foss as a Project Manager, where I aspire to develop and support the team with my knowledge and understanding of operational requirements and help to excel the brand and reputation with future work and projects.

Tell us about the importance of building a safety culture from the ground up. In your own words, why do you think you were nominated for a security award?

Culture is an acquired trait. A strong safety culture is built into all lines of business because the company has made it clear that being safe and doing no harm is the right thing to do and what is best for organizations. By combining strong beliefs with proper work ethics, acceptable procedures, routines and behaviors, everything can be changed and improved. This is how I relate to security.

I believe I was appointed because I have confidence in my experience and knowledge of ship operations and management. As Fleet Manager, my role and responsibility was to share Foss’ safety culture and expectations with the new fleet.

Is there something in your life that has motivated your understanding and commitment to safety?

My commitment to safety comes from having sailed and seeing firsthand the risks sailors take on a daily basis. I’m also a merchant seaman’s wife, so (safety) is always on my mind.

What was your first impression of Foss Atlantic? Tell us your favorite story about your time with the company.

When I accepted the role of Foss Atlantic and heard that the ships belonged to a defamed shipping company, I understood the fundamental practices allowed by the former managers. Although it may have been a deterrent, I was keen to support and change these bad habits and molded values. I knew it was going to be difficult and time consuming, but with a strong foundation from Foss Maritime and the support of our DPA and HSQE departments, I knew we were going to make huge strides in changing the perception of safety and involving seafarers in a cleaner and safer operation.

Talking about security can be difficult for some people. What advice would you give to someone in our family of companies who is convinced that their comments won’t matter or, worse, that they will somehow be punished for having acted?

My advice is to stay curious and ask questions. If you’re not comfortable asking why or slowing down because you don’t understand, think about what might happen if something goes wrong. Asking why or asking about policies and procedures will help re-engage all team members involved in the task, where the group should reflect on their own experiences and what the SMS says before attempting the job.

On the main page of our learning management system, the embedded video is “Foss—Speak Up, Take Action.” This is a reminder each time we are going to complete our training and continuous learning. Our culture demands that we say something if we are unsure. The video reminds me that I will not face retaliation for asking a question or slowing down the work. We have the support and expectation of Foss, Saltchuk Marine and Saltchuk to be ethical and safe at all times and to have the power to speak.

Did you miss our Q&A session with Foss Maritime Deck Engineer Leray Leisure? Read it here!