World Maritime Day: Connecting Ships, Ports and People

The views and opinions expressed here are solely those of the original author or contributor. These views and opinions do not necessarily represent those of the UK P&I Club.

World Maritime Day is formally celebrated by the IMO today (28th September) and the theme for this year is "Connecting Ships, Ports and People".

Sometimes being stuck (mainly) behind a desk can disconnect us from those in the frontline of the industry, the seafarers. So in the spirit of World Maritime Day, Capt. Chris Roberts, one of the Club's Risks Assessors, spoke with the Captain of the Han Zhi, a heavy lift general cargo ship, when she called in Rotterdam in August.

What's your name and where do you come from?
My name is Rohel R Despojo and I come from the Philippines.

How long have you been at sea?
I have been at sea since July 1985 - 32 years

What is your role on board the Han Zhi?
I am the Master of the vessel and I am in overall command of the vessel for safety purposes and ensuring that all crew follow the company safety management systems.

What is the best part of your job?
That during my contract no accidents happen to any of my crew, the vessel or the cargo we are transporting.

The worst?
When someone suffers an accident onboard. Also when we encounter bad weather and other perils at sea.

Any advice for somebody thinking about a career at sea?
A seafaring career takes a lot of dedication, hard work, perseverance, patience and sacrifice.  Be prepared for it and for working away from your family.

About World Maritime Day: Connecting Ships, Ports and People

This year's theme was chosen to provide an opportunity to focus on the many diverse actors involved in the shipping and logistics areas. Its aim is to build on the World Maritime Day theme for 2016, "Shipping: indispensable to the world", by focussing on helping IMO Member States to develop and implement maritime strategies to invest in a joined-up, interagency approach that addresses the whole range of issues, including the facilitation of maritime transport, and increasing efficiency, navigational safety, protection of the marine environment, and maritime security.

Amanda Hastings

Claims Executive