Q&A With Samantha Strowbridge: Becoming The First Female Offshore Captain/Master With Atlantic Towing
Samantha Strowbridge is an Atlantic Towing Temporary Master/Permanent Chief Mate with experience working on the Atlantic Kingfisher, Atlantic Hawk, Atlantic Raven, Atlantic Shrike and Atlantic Osprey. She has been with Atlantic Towing for eleven years and worked as a Cadet prior to joining full-time.
Samantha has her Diploma of Nautical Science, Bachelor of Maritime Studies (Maritime Management). She has received the Marine Institute’s Bronze Medal for Nautical Science (highest overall average) and the Marine Institutes Governor General Medal (highest academic standing of the entire school), as well as her Master Mariner Certificate of Competency.
What sparked your interest in the life as a Seafarer?
For as long as I can remember, I have loved everything and anything that could be associated with the water. Whether it was swimming, watching the waves from our house, or going for boat rides with my family, I just fell completely in love with the water itself. My Dad has worked on the water since he was 18 and I believe that this love was passed along to me.
I was 12 the first time I can remember saying I wanted to work on the water. That is when I started to say, “when I grow up, I want to be a Captain of a big ship.” I tried my best to get involved in all the different ways I could gain more experience with working on the water, including joining the local Sea Cadet Corp. I believe making this decision so young played a major part in me being able to accomplish my dreams as it gave me confidence, something a shy little girl like me needed.
Congratulations on being promoted as the first female Offshore Captain/Master with Atlantic Towing! What does this achievement mean to you personally and professionally?
This promotion has meant not only a lot to me, but also to those who have supported me throughout my career. Many people have followed my career and been almost as excited as I have been about the promotion. I have done a lot of work with several different groups supporting women and diversity in this great career and I hope that this inspires them as well.
Personally, it has given me the sense of accomplishment and pride. I always believed I could become Master if I set my mind to it but to achieve it has brought so much pride that I can hardly explain it.
Professionally, it gives me the drive to achieve a permanent position as Master. I will continue to work for this as I have always been the type of person who strives for more. I have been the same way with my education and have continued to complete more education even while working. Currently, I have my Bachelor’s degree in Maritime Studies but I hope to achieve a Masters in Maritime Management as well in the coming years.
What is the favourite part of your day while working on the Atlantic Raven?
My favorite part of my job is maneuvering the vessel. I also love steaming up and down the coast of British Columbia and taking in all the scenery that this part of Canada offers. A big part of this career is also the people you work with; I have worked with a lot of the same people over the last 11 years and they are now like my family. Being with a good crew makes going away for a month at a time a lot easier.
This year’s International Day For Women In Maritimes theme is “Mobilizing Networks For Gender Equality.” Do you know of any resources, emerging programs, or groups that you can share to uplift future female leaders?
Recently, I worked with a group called STEM For Girls and became one of their Role Models. This is a great group that works with women in resource development.
I am also a member of the Master Mariners of Canada who plan to have a mentor/role model program that would give future leaders the opportunity to ask me any questions they may have. I believe this is important as sometimes it can be difficult being the only female onboard and just having someone you can reach out to and ask questions or talk to would be very beneficial. Our industry is changing and I am always proud to see more women get involved and want to encourage them to strive for whatever their career goals are.
Atlantic Towing Limited is a world class marine services provider, specializing in port and terminal tug services, coastal towing, emergency towing, offshore oil and gas exploration and production support, with operations spanning the North Atlantic Ocean, Western Canada, the Caribbean, the Arctic, the North Sea.
If you’re interested in taking the next step in your career, or want to kick-start your journey in marine transport, apply to join Atlantic Towing’s team today!