Since September 2015, the Bourbon Liberty 165 has been on a mission to supply a Foxtrot International oil rig off the coast of Abidjan. The vessel is spearheaded by an Indian captain, and the crew is made up of Russians, Ivory Coast natives, Ghanaians, Estonians and Ukrainians. Read on for more about this unique multicultural experience.
At the age of 40, Larsen Concessio has already sailed around the world. His professional career started in 1996 and has taken him from India (his native country) all the way to the North Pole with calls in Japan, Scotland, Africa, the Philippines… When he joined BOURBON in 2010, he underwent DPO training (Dynamic Positioning Operator) with an entirely French team. “I had two training sessions over 3 months on the Bourbon Himalaya, off the eastern coast of India. My career has really picked up since then,” explains Larsen Concessio.
He later left BOURBON for a while, only to come back in an even stronger position. Since September 2015, Larsen Concessio has been the captain of the Bourbon Liberty 165, on assignment off the coast of Abidjan (Ivory Coast) for Foxtrot International. “It was love at first sight for me with this vessel. It is not only attractive and powerful, but incredibly silent. All of these things are very important, because we spend a lot of time on board,” he explains.
Along with another BOURBON PSV – the Bourbon Viking - the Bourbon Liberty 165 supplies the client’s oil rig with equipment and resources: fuel, water, drill pipes… Duration of the assignment: at least 1 year. The captain is assisted by a crew of 13 people. They hail from Russia, the Ivory Coast, Ghana, Ukraine and Estonia. This is nothing unusual for him: “I have always worked with people from diverse backgrounds; the multicultural challenge doesn’t worry me. On the contrary, I find it very enriching, at both the personal and professional levels,” he says.
What helps him to manage such a diverse crew? A Vipassana meditation course (one of India’s most ancient meditation techniques) that he took prior to the assignment: “I spent 10 days in isolation, far from civilization, in extremely rugged conditions. I came away from that course feeling even more humble than ever. By using this technique to eradicate mental impurities, one is encouraged to see others as they are, and to set aside any bias,” Laurent Concessio explains.
Mutual respect is important, and so is a professional attitude. “What I really expect is for my colleagues to give their very best. After all, providing the service to the client is what truly brings us together," he reminds us.
"After all, providing the service to the client is what truly brings us together."Larsen Concessiocaptain of the bourbon liberty 165
putting diplomatic skills to use
What about daily life on board? “I do my best make my colleagues feel comfortable, to create an atmosphere that's as friendly as possible. Crew members slowly get to know each other, and little by little, bonds are formed. We also have some athletic equipment on board, which allows them to relax or let off steam, including a kickboxing bag!” he jokes. “Minor conflicts may of course arise, but I’m there to make sound decisions and to calm things down.” Sometimes, one needs to be a captain and a diplomat at the same time!