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On Board Stena Prosperous With Two Future Seafarers

To mark the Day of the Seafarer, the annual International Maritime Organisation (IMO) led celebration of the contribution that seafarers make to our everyday lives, we checked-in with two future Seafarers, currently working on board Stena Prosperous. The 49,900 DWT IMOIIMeMAX ship is one of six methanol-fuelled vessels commissioned via our partnership with Stena Bulk, and is operated by Northern Marine Group.

Bautista Nikka Joy Ranas (Nikka) and Tuga Mary Rose Jumadiao (Mary Rose), both 22 years old from the Philippines, are one month into the practical part of their cadet training, having joined Stena Prosperous in Singapore before its naming ceremony there in May. We spoke with them as they passed just south of Madagascar on their journey from Asia to the Americas.

Mary Rose explained, “we felt very lucky to get to see the naming ceremony on our first assignment, it was a fantastic experience.” Nikka said: “it is our first time on board a ship of this kind and the programme is allowing us to learn on the job. The crew have been very helpful and patient with us, as we of course have many questions”.

The programme is demanding. One cadet will participate on the watch from 12:00 (midnight) until 04:00 and the other will take over from 04:00-08:00. After the second watch, there is a chance to go out on deck for some deck work and then in the afternoon after some rest, there is LSA (Life Saving Appliances) inspections with the 3rd Mate.

What’s it like out on deck? “windy” says Nikka – “but beautiful – we get to see some fantastic views”. “The work is physically demanding”, says Mary Rose “but we can handle it”. Nikka explains that the cadet programme provides a curriculum to work through, guiding them through all the practical learnings that they need to understand to gain their certifications. “But it’s not as simple as that”, explains Mary Rose, “we are dealing with real-life scenarios, so one day when you are on a watch, the tasks and experiences will not necessarily align with the module you are working on. That’s where the crew come in to assist and guide us”.

And what challenges have they overcome? Nikka explains, “this was my first experience of rough seas, so I got a bit seasick for a while, but the crew were very understanding”. And aside from getting their sea legs? “it’s a very international crew, we speak in English, but understanding everyone’s different accents at first was a challenge. This has taught me how to communicate, respect and live alongside different cultures.”

And where do they see their futures? Nikka wants to be an Officer. She says, “I want to lead by example, to inspire others and leave a legacy for future seafarers.” Mary Rose has a more short-term aspiration “it’s hard to put a timeline on the future, for now I want to work hard, familiarise myself with what is happening and become a maritime expert. I am looking forward to having the knowledge that will allow me to assist with cargo operations and fully understand how the cargo system actually works”.

The ship now sails to Brazil and to its final destination in the Port of Savannah in the USA. From there, it will head to Trinidad to bunker with more methanol and set its next voyage.

In addition to the Northern Marine programme, Proman and Northern Marine support the Centre for Maritime and Ocean Studies (CMOS) at the University of Trinidad and Tobago by offering cadetships on our  fleet of next-generation methanol-fuelled vessels. This facilitates certification for the students in a Diploma in Maritime Operations – Navigation/Engineering Programmes. To date, 11 cadets have graduated from the programme, and last year, one was offered full-time employment on board Stena Pro Marine as a Junior Officer.