Constantin Hansen, Chief Officer, loves working at sea as there is always something new to discover- a different challenge to take care of. As he puts it, at sea one learns life. He stresses the importance of solidarity between crewmembers and states that “if everything is all right, there is no reason to press yourself or other people.”
SAFETY4SEA: What do you love the most out of your career at sea?
Constantin Hansen: I love working at sea, because it allows me a lot of freedom and flexibility in the way, how I perform my Job. I love it, because of all the different challenges I’m facing every day. Work never becomes boring. There is always something new to discover, a different challenge to take care of. And the best is, I’m never stuck in a traffic jam on my way to work.
S4S: What have you learned over the course of your career at sea?
I learned so many things during the time that I have worked on board, that I can hardly describe it in full complement. But what I can say is: I learned life. All the valuable things and skills I’m using every day I took with me, either from my work in the engine room as an engine assistant, or from the work I’ve done on deck as an Officer.
S4S: How would you describe your daily life at sea/ work in a few words?
CH: Daily work at sea always starts slow and gaining speed as soon as the ship is awake. If you were still thinking you’ll have a quiet and normal day ahead close to the end of your watch, you’ll be taught different as soon as the first persons talks to you. And suddenly you end up with a whole lot of work for your day again.
S4S: What is the biggest challenge that you have to face on board?
CH: The biggest challenge today is to keep an eye on yourself and your Health, especially regarding your Sleep but also your spare time for recovery.
S4S: What is your piece of advice to fellow crew members onboard?
My advice is: Don’t make your life and the life of your colleagues more difficult than it is already. If everything is all right, there is no reason to press yourself or other people.
S4S: What inspires you every day onboard?
CH: I’m inspired by the endurance and loyalty of the other sailors on board, of which many stay on board for a much longer period of time than me and despite all these terrible times for sailors, without any shore leave and with rapidly increasing documentation needs and ever decreasing port stays.
S4S: What has been the most extraordinary thing that you have experienced on board?
CH: I was so much impressed the day I met the captain of the cruise vessel I was working on as an engine assistant. He had about 600 crew members under his command. It was the first time I ever met him in person, and he casually turned around and called me by my name and asked me how my watch has been this morning.
S4S: What is the one thing that should change to make life better on board?
CH: One extra person solely in charge of documentation works.
S4S: What piece of advice would you give to someone thinking a career at sea?
CH: My advice: Take your time to learn technical as well as nautical skills. It doesn’t matter in which dept. you’ll work later on. But to know what’s going on “the other side” is enormous valuable and helpful.
S4S: What do you miss the most about your seagoing experience?
CH: What I am missing the most is the sailor’s life, as the old tell it. Staying in port several days or weeks, going a shore and meet other people and cultures. And all the other experiences.
The views presented hereabove are only those of the author and do not necessarily those of SAFETY4SEA and are for information sharing and discussion purposes only.