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Life At Sea: Much More Than a Job

 The Atlantic Shrike, a PSV 5000 in Atlantic Towing's offshore fleet


Logan Norman is an Able-Bodied Seaman working in Atlantic Towing’s offshore fleet. When on-shift, Logan usually sails aboard the PSV (Platform Supply Vessel) 5000, the Atlantic Shrike, off the coast of Newfoundland and Labrador. His father, John Norman, also works for the company, as the Chief Mate Dynamic Positioning Officer aboard the Paul A. Sacuta, a sister ship to the Shrike. 

A fourth-generation seafarer and fisherman, Logan shared a rare inside look at a career at-sea with our Newsroom team, just in time for World Maritime Day. An IMO (International Maritime Organization) designated date, World Maritime Day is dedicated to promoting careers at-sea and raising awareness of issues relating to diversity, safety, crew change and the environment. Keep reading to learn about Logan’s story and his advice to aspiring seafarers.

Q: What interested you about becoming a seafarer? 

From the time I had my first pair of rubber boots and was able to walk, I used to follow my dad and pop down to his fishing stage. I have grown up in a fishing family and am the 4th generation of seagoers after my dad (John), grandfather (Eddie Joe), and great-grandfather (Eddie Joe Sr.).

And from the time I was big enough to help them with their crab or cod on their vessels, the Elizabeth Anne and the Sarah Anne; I would help them by baiting up the nets and pots. It was so exciting, setting the pots and hauling them with crab. And of course, there is nothing more exciting or rewarding than catching cod fish, filleting them, and having it fresh for your supper!

My whole family (but mostly my parents John and Lori) inspired me to choose a career as a seafarer. They have all encouraged me to follow my heart and my dreams, and I always knew that someday I would be working on the water. Here I am today loving it.

What interested me the most about becoming a seafarer is the equal time away and home; it gives you an opportunity to work for given time on the vessels and then have the same amount of time onshore.  For example… I work 28 days on board a vessel, then have 28 days home to enjoy with family and friends. Also, it’s the transferrable skills. I love the knowledge and experience gained at sea, through training, and the hands-on courses that are also transferrable to other industries.

You gain friendships. A ship is your home away from home during your rotation. It is a unique working environment and those working onboard develop lifelong friendships.

And it gives you an opportunity to travel while working. As a seafarer working on board a ship, you have a chance to experience such interesting and scenic places. For instance, in the last two years, I have sailed to places such as Vancouver, Dildo, the St. John’s Offshore, Halifax, and Amsterdam just to name a few.

Q: Do you get to work with family? If so, what is that like?  

Yes, I have had an opportunity to work with family onboard the offshore vessels, as well as on the family fishing boat. I worked with my uncle, Scott, in Amsterdam during the beginning of the pandemic last year, when we sailed from Amsterdam to Halifax. The best part about working with family is the familiarity you have with one another; there is a shorthand that you have with family that you do not have with the world at large, and when you get along…that can really work to your benefit.

I have also worked with my dad a couple of times, and with my grandfather while fishing and crabbing on my time off. It’s always fun working with family. You’re carrying on with each other or cracking a joke, and it makes your job more fun and interesting to say the least.

 Scott and Uncle
 Logan, pictured on deck, juxtaposed with a similar picture of his late uncle, Scott


Q: What would you tell people interested in following in your footsteps?   

Every career path is unique, since it comes from a set of circumstances unique to each individual. But, setting out on adventures and working on the water as a seafarer is far more rewarding than I ever thought it would be. I love seeing different places in the world and being able to do something I love. If you love working on the water, then follow your heart and dreams.

Q: How do you split your time between fishing and seafaring?   

Well, that’s easy. On my time home from the ship, I spend my time fishing. I fish cod, crab, or lobster and of course, it all depends on the weather and what species is open at the time I am home.  

My time as a seafarer is strictly aligned with my work schedule.

 Logan Family Fishing
Logan, pictured on the family fishing boat 


Q: What are the most common myths or misconceptions about a career on the water?    

That seafarers are uneducated!... All seafarers have exams and courses to take each year to ensure that they are capable and knowledgeable enough to do their jobs.

Also, that seafarers don’t have anything to do at sea. That is also incorrect. There is always work to be done. My hands are always busy with tools, grease, paint, ropes, chain, or machinery. You are never bored, and you always have some sort of work that must be completed. Our jobs can be hard and [sometimes] dangerous. Time constraints are also common, especially if critical equipment is waiting to be fixed.

There are a few things we can count on. At sea, stuff will break, the weather will change, and lifelong friends will be made. Absence makes the heart grow fonder, as they say, when you’re on rotation. But any long day of work is more meaningful knowing that you have a significant other and family who support you and are waiting for you back onshore.

 Logan with Fam
Logan, pictured with family. 


September is Transportation Month

 Transportation Week Collage


As a result of COVID-19, the world has a heightened awareness of transportation and the demand to keep supply chains open. Truck drivers, mariners, railroaders, and their support teams worked diligently to ensure shelves were stocked throughout the pandemic. Even through the worst, our teams stepped up and showed up. By road, rail, and sea, they always delivered.

We thank the employees who took every precaution to ensure their communities and customers remained safe. We thank their families and the friends who supported them.

Through September, we observe several transportation events. In recognition of National Trucking Week (Sept. 5-11), Red Seal Appreciation (Sept. 12-17), Rail Safety Week (Sept. 20-26), and World Maritime Day (Sept. 30), we encourage you to reflect on the role transportation plays in your life, and all the people who keep the wheels turning.

Our Business

J.D. Irving, Limited’s Transportation & Logistics Division encompasses one of the world’s most diverse array of transportation companies. These include Atlantic Towing; Harbour Development; Kent Line; NBM Railways; RST; Sunbury Transport; Midland; JDI Logistics; and Universal Truck and Trailer.

Are you interested in joining our team? Visit to view openings across our transportation services. A Class 1 Professional Driver License is required for professional driving roles.