Captain Sergey Zybko is one ship master whose name keeps cropping up.
It is hardly surprising. The veteran Russian seafarer has been “at the helm” in one form or another for 34 years: as a graduate of the Alexander Popov Naval Radio-electronic Academy, a submarine captain, and then in roles at Tesma, BW Gas and Sovcomflot (SCF Group).
But it is his most recent posting as captain of Sovcomflot’s Yamal LNG flagship, the 172,600-cbm Christophe de Margerie (built 2017), which has catapulted him into the political spotlight.
Zybko was recently presented with the Distinguished Maritime Service Order by Russian President Vladimir Putin for his contribution to the construction of the vessel, the world’s first ice-breaking LNG tanker, and its entry into operational service.
The master successfully berthed the Christophe de Margerie at Yamal’s Sabetta LNG terminal in April 2017, where TradeWinds met him as he prepared the vessel to lift the project’s first cargo.
During this pioneering move, Zybko, in full uniform, spoke to Putin from the ship’s bridge via a live video link.
Zybko has come far since his first posting with the Russian owner, where he welcomed TradeWinds aboard the then LNG fleet veteran and since scrapped 71,651-cbm SCF Arctic (built 1969).