Who's navigating? Operating off-shore

01 Oct 2016 The Navigator

Evgeny Rubeko MNI is Third Officer and Senior Dynamic Positioning Officer (SDPO) on board the Polarcus Amani, a seismic survey vessel working to provide seismic data and help energy companies find oil and gas reserves offshore.

What interested you in building a professional career at sea?
For me, a career at sea offers unique life and professional experience and an opportunity for self-development in a environment. It allows me to travel around the world, visit various countries, meet different people and make new friends. I can keep myself physically fit and it gives me time to spechallengingnd with my family.

What work does your vessel, Polarcus Amani, do and whereabouts in the world have you travelled with her?
My vessel is a modern seismic survey vessel with DP 2 class and ice class. She works to provide seismic data and help energy companies find oil and gas reserves offshore. She can work anywhere in the world, even in Arctic regions. Personally, I have travelled with her from Europe to America; from America to Africa; from Africa to Australia, and to the Far East.

What particular challenges do you face on such a vessel?
Seismic surveys are a very specific type of operations and not easy to understand if you have never experienced them before. All operations, such as bunkering, supply, crew changes, helicopter and small boat ops must be carried out while the vessel is underway, travelling around four to five knots. Recently, Polarcus Amani completed a job towing the largest seismic spread in the world; for a time she was the largest moving man-made object in the world! The whole crew played a part in this achievement. It was very challenging and nobody knew quite how it would go until the last unit was deployed. However, we did it and I am very proud.

What are some of the harder aspects of your job in DP?
One of the hardest aspects is simultaneous operations (SIMOPS), when you must control not only the position of the vessel on DP (usually operating in ‘seismic track mode’), but also the traffic, position and actions of the support fleet and other related operations. Another challenge is communication, as there can be more than 15 nationalities on board and the bridge is the coordination centre not only for the vessel, but also the wider fleet (mother vessel and supply/guard fleet). Our bridge team overcomes these challenges via constant training. Sometimes we use The Navigator magazine and other Nautical Institute publications for this purpose.

What do you like most about your position as Senior DPO and would you recommend it to others hoping to follow in your footsteps?
The idea of a Belarussian seafarer might sound ridiculous, since Belarus is a country without a shoreline, but that is exactly what I am. I work on one of the best vessels in the world with one of the best crews. I would advise anyone to never give up their dreams; if you cannot achieve your life goals right now, plan, reassess and look for different ways to succeed – but never give up. I started as a deck cadet on tankers and the chance to work offshore seemed as realistic as having a job on a space ship! However, I looked for opportunities and gained my DP certificate. Never be scared to ask questions and never stop learning. Pay attention to your relationships with others and remain open and sincere.

Name: Evgeny Rubeko MNI
Current position: Third Officer SDPO
Training: Admiral Makarov State University of Maritime and Inland Shipping, St. Petersburg, Russia