Who's navigating? Adventure and aspiration at sea

31 May 2024 The Navigator

Chief Officer Sarker Mohiuddin Hasnat Lenin MNI shares how an early love of adventure stories inspired him to follow a career at sea

Why did you decide to pursue a career at sea?

During my childhood I used to read a lot of novels, including works by the French novelist Jules Verne. Since then I always wanted to travel around the world. Nothing can be better than a seafarers’ career. I now work as a Chief Officer for Pacific International Lines Pte Ltd, Singapore.

What do you find most interesting or challenging about your current role?

I find it challenging every day, but I enjoy the challenges associates with my role. I find crew training and handling the most interesting. You have to deal with so many different nationalities and people at the same time. You also have to supervise their day-to-day jobs, vessel maintenance, cargo stowage and vessel stability throughout the voyage.

Where do you see yourself in five years’ time? Ten?

I dream about taking command of a vessel as Captain and have been preparing myself for such a role. I obtained my Master Unlimited Licence from MCA, UK in 2022 and am now awaiting the golden opportunity. I want to see myself as a maritime policy maker, to assist with creating maritime policies for the future of autonomous shipping. I believe that will be a game changer for the future of shipping in 10 years’ time.

Who has been your inspiration in the shipping world and why?

Captain Kate McCue, who has been phenomenal ever since she took over command of Celebrity Beyond with Celebrity Cruises in the USA. She is very inspiring and lots of new generation seafarers want to make a mark in their sea career like her. I would love to meet her one day and sail alongside her.

How do you tackle the challenge of navigating during low visibility?

No one wants to find themselves in low visibility, but as seafarers sometimes we have to deal with it. We maintain a lookout by all available means, approach with safe speed and keep our engine on standby all the time. Additionally, we keep the radar operational, warn others of our location by using sound signals, keep navigation lights on, have both anchors ready for emergency and plot the vessel’s position at more frequent intervals.