September 03, 2019

At 36, Alexandre Loisel has been chief engineer at BOURBON for 2 years. After joining the group 14 years ago, today he sails on the MPSV Bourbon Evolution 804. With a passion for his trade, he manages an international crew of ten seamen on a daily basis.

Alexandre Loisel laughs when asked if he is a mechanic at heart. He replies that it is not necessary to be a chief engineer – a good head on your shoulders and a big dose of hard work are all it takes. "Unlike some of the others in my class, when I arrived in school I had never taken apart anything in my life! But with hard work and dedication you can learn anything, mechanics, automation or hydraulics. You just have to want to. I really have found a sense of fulfillment in this job." He works during the day, without shifts, starting at 7.00 a.m. on the dot with the morning meeting with the department heads, customers and the captain. The day's work is scheduled and organized during this meeting. He says that he likes to be in the engine room as often as possible: "I need to know the status of the vessel in real time," he tells us.

The Bourbon Evolution 804 possesses two cranes, including one of 150 tons, which is the pride, but also the fear, of the successive engine crews. "The cranes are critical machines, just like the engines. It is just not possible for them to be out of order." So Alexandre Loisel has trained himself for crane maintenance during his various missions, notably during the six years he spent as second engineer on IMR vessels. "You look at the plans, you follow the technicians when they come on board, you talk with your colleagues: it's really important not to keep knowledge to yourself! When I learn something unusual, I share it." He has all the modesty of someone who has learned from others. And who will pass in on to the next person.

He has a specific memory of his vessel's last technical stopover. "I had only been chief engineer for a year and a half and I really wanted to meet the challenge." After full visits of the engines, the installation of the cylinders on the cranes and a mountain of other jobs, the vessel went back to its field of operation. "It's true that I was proud to be there. And when I'm on board I always send pictures to my children so that they can share this experience. I've always wanted to do this job."

Bourbon behind the scenes