THE business started with only five Filipino crew members deployed overseas.

With the growing yacht industry, Lisa Moran’s crew agency now has over 300 members aboard 80 mega yachts all over the world.

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“We credit the success of the company to our crews and office employees who have been our partners since we started the business,” said Moran, general manager and owner of Crew Asia Inc.

Crew Asia is a Cebu-based crew agency that exclusively supplies Filipino crew to the mega-yachting industry from 30-meter sailing vessels to 120-meter mega-yachts.

The company is registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and accredited with the the Philippine Overseas Employment Agency (POEA). It was founded in 1992 by Alan Mill-Irving, a former British Yacht master and now chairman of Crew Asia.

Mill-Irving said that since the 1950’s there has been a large percentage of the world’s seagoing commercial vessels manned by Filipino crews. But not all Filipino crew members are well represented in the international yachting community, he said.

“Filipinos have potential to penetrate the yacht industry. Filipino seafarers are diligent and competent. They are hard-working and have an excellent command of the English language. That’s why we established a company that supplies qualified Filipino crew to this growing yacht industry,” Mill-Irving said.

He personally screens applicants who express interest in working in yachts. “Working as a crew in mega yachts requires the

right work ethics. What they look for in the crew are the right service and attitude,” he said.

About 60 to 70 percent of Crew Asia’s members are from the Visayas. They now work in yachts in Singapore, Australia, Spain, Switzerland, the United Kingdom and France, among others.

More than helping Filipinos land a job, Moran said hard-earned investments of their crew keep the company going.

“It feels good that our crew now have their own houses, have acquired properties like lots and resorts and have put up businesses for their families. It feels good to know that through Crew Asia we are able to help them improve their lives,” Moran said.

With the vision to deploy more Filipino crew worldwide, Moran said that they will be conducting an orientation for yachting to individuals who are interested to land a job in the yacht industry.

“There are over 4,000 mega yachts in the world and we want to place Filipino crew in each,” she said.