"Be competent and professional in order to meet the customer's expectations"

Being of a rigorous and perseverant nature, Viktor Shcherban always had his sights set on a maritime career. At the age of 28, he became chief mate and operates now on the BOURBON MPSV fleet. A testimonial.


OFFshore: You grew up in Odessa, Ukraine, a port city on the Black Sea. Were you predestined for a career as a seafarer?

Viktor Shcherban: Yes, indeed! It was an obvious choice, my father also pursued a career at sea and I grew up in a city of seafarers. I was educated at the Maritime Academy, before taking my first steps as a cadet in a small offshore company in West Africa. This experience enabled me to not only gain experience but also to discover the BOURBON vessels operating in Gabon and Cameroon. I wanted to become part of this rapidly developing company!

OFFshore: How would you describe your daily life as a chief mate?

V.S.: I work on board Subsea vessels. My mission is to prepare the risk assessment prior to positioning the vessel in the safety zone before the operations. It is my job to monitor and control the safe and optimal position of the vessel according to the tasks performed. I am also in charge of scheduling the vessel's maintenance between and during operations.

OFFshore: What do you enjoy most about your job?

V.S.: I am passionately interested in everything that concerns the subsea part of an oil and gas field. It is not easy for me to explain, but I love discovering and learning about everything related to the sub-sea environment. I always try to find out more about the usefulness and functioning of the various equipment used during these operations. The second thing I love about my work is the opportunity to share. I never hesitate to pass on my experience in order to better assist my fellow officers.

OFFshore: What is your best memory since you started working on BOURBON vessels?

V.S.: My best memories at BOURBON are of subsea projects on board vessels such as the Bourbon Jade, the Peridot, the Bourbon Evolution 808: lifting operations, diving support, etc. One of the most interesting operations I participated in was the refloating of an SBM buoy on board the Bourbon Evolution 808, an operation that was successful thanks to a good preparation of the tasks and a perfect coordination between the engineers, the divers and the bridge team. On the other hand, I had the chance to attend a management course in Marseille and to get to know some of our shore team members personally. This remains an excellent memory!

OFFshore: What advice would you offer a student wishing to become a seafarer?

V.S.: My advice is simple: set a goal and do everything you can to attain it, no matter what. You will be required to work hard and stay focused. With such an approach, you are bound to succeed. Never listen to those who tell you "it can't be done". If I can give an example, I became chief mate on an IMR vessel at the age of 28.

OFFshore: In your opinion, what are the qualities necessary to be a good seafarer?

V.S.: A seafarer must be competent and professional in order to meet the customer's expectations. It is sometimes a delicate job, you have to stay calm, focused and be very confident in the situation you are facing.