Our ‘Seafarer Stories’ new column hosts seafarers’ views who present briefly the key challenges of life and work onboard, providing a picture of what a career at sea actually means. In this context, we are happy to host an interview with Capt. Dimitrios Liakakos, Master of MV Maran Spirit who works with the Maran Dry Management Inc. since 1980.
Capt. Dimitrios shares two important cases while onboard and encourages all seafarers to have faith and patience while on duty, since daily life at sea is characterized by routine and stress especially during port stays. In addition, he wishes seafarers of today would have to deal with less paperwork and highlights that free internet access remains a crucial issue for all onboard.
SAFETY4SEA: What have you learned over the course of your career at sea?
Capt. Dimitrios Liakakos: Nothing is impossible and in general ” finally everyone gets what they deserve
S4S: How would you describe your daily life at sea/ work in a few words?
Capt. D.L.: Routine and full of stress specially during port stays
S4S: What is the biggest challenge that you have to face on board?
Capt. D.L.: As far I can remember my biggest challenge was in my first Captaincy when we had a crack in the Steering Gear Room in the base of Rudder of the vessel during extremely bad weather conditions 9-11B with heavy long swell 7-9 meters in the middle of South Atlantic Ocean, resulting in ships’ rolling for more than 30 degree. As I remember, the Chief Engineer with Motorman were 3 days in SGRoom carrying out welding operations
S4S: What is your piece of advice to fellow crew members onboard?
Capt. D.L.: Always look forward & learn from the past. Also work as team with your colleagues onbaord but don’t forget yourself.
S4S: What inspires you every day onboard?
Capt. D.L: All the good news from everywhere, the health of the onboard Seafarers, the voyages without troubles and at the ports the “bona fide” (in good faith) of the PSC Officers during their safety inspections
S4S: What has been the most extraordinary thing that you have experienced on board?
Capt. D.L: The first is the successful surgery operation in the 3rd Engineer leg with the assistance of Hellenic Red Cross. He was injured in the engine room but he reported his trauma after 5 days when he had obvious signs for septicemia.
The second is when we discovered two Stowaways upon sailing from the berth of discharging at Port of Lagos and we dropped anchor immediately upon Pilot’s disembarkation in the middle of the channel. Closing of the port forced the Authorities to take immediate actions, this was a crucial decision with result the immediate disembarkation of the stowaways.
S4S: What is the one thing that should change to make life better on board?
Capt. D.L: Free Internet access remains crucial for Seafarers to improve their knowledge and connectivity with families ashore and a key factor for the shipping companies to attract Seafarers workforce as well
S4S: What piece of advice would you give to someone thinking a career at sea?
Capt. D.L: First to be sure that he/she can work far from his family & country & friends etc. Then to have faith, patience and unceasing efforts for his/her target to be a significant member in the Shipping Industry. Last what he/she achieves in the future depends on what you do today.
S4S: What do you miss the most about your seagoing experience?
Capt. D.L: The quietness of voyages & smooth callings at ports years ago, due to “less paper work” when the Captains and the Officers were and acted as Seafarers and not as Secretaries!
The views presented hereabove are only those of the author and not necessarily those of SAFETY4SEA and are for information sharing and discussion purposes only.