She started as a deck cadet – now she is the world’s first female wellboat skipper

Stian Olsen

Helena Rusten is now the captain of  Solvtrans Company’s wellboat “Ronja Explorer”.

“It is with pride and pleasure that we can announce that our employee for several years, Helena Rusten, will today (Wednesday) take over as captain of the Solvtrans Company on “Ronja Explorer”. This is the first time a woman has taken on the position as a wellboat skipper, the company wrote in a message to SalmonBusiness.

Helen Rusten is originally from Sandsøya, a small island on the west coast of Norway, but today residents in Ålesund, Western Norway. She has worked for Silver Trans for several years and started out as a deck cadet. Her effort was rewarded with a permanent position as commander in August 2017.

“She has sailed on the entire range of the company’s vessels, but longest on “Ronja Superior”. In 2019 she was involved in the acquisition of “Ronja Explorer”, and this is where she will now be the supreme authority on board,” the company wrote in a message and continues:

“As the manager of over 250 employees on Norwegian ships, we know that women at sea in 2020 are still not unfortunately common, and therefore we are pleased that Helena has chosen to be on board. We at Sølvtrans are constantly working to have the best people on board our vessels, and with competent and forward-looking captains like Helena, we can continue to be the world’s leading provider of wellboat services in 2020 as well.


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