He almost become a doctor, but today he is chief mate on the vessels of the BOURBON fleet! Sebastian Salvia pursues his passion full speed ahead with energy, enthusiasm and a thirst for new experiences. An interview.
OFFshore: If somebody had told you when you were 18 that one day you would become a seafarer, you probably wouldn't have believed them...
Sebastian Salvia: That's true! Going to sea is a vocation for some of my colleagues, but I have to admit that wasn't my case. In high school, it was really clear in my mind that I would become a doctor. However, three months after starting medical school, I visited an exhibition and found myself in front of a painting depicting a merchant navy vessel. I can't explain it precisely, but I felt attracted by the sea and by everything that goes with it. I think it was a desire for adventure that gave me the courage to make the choice that would change my life...
OFFshore: Does your life today fulfill your expectations?
S. S.: The answer is a definite yes! My daily life is filled with challenges and no two days are alike. As chief mate, my goal is to complete each operation successfully and with total safety. This success is then shared by the entire crew. It is very gratifying to go to bed at night with the feeling of a mission accomplished. That's what I'm looking for in life. Some operations are more difficult than others. Sometimes you are confronted with extreme situations that push you outside your comfort zone. So you have to adapt and overcome the difficulties. Sometimes those situations leave you with unforgettable memories.
OFFshore: Does any particular memory come back to you just now?
S. S.: Yes, a very pleasant memory that shows the links that can bring the members of a crew together. We were carrying out an operation in Saudi Arabia in unbearable heat, so working conditions were pretty difficult. We all decided to do a video project together as a fun and pleasant way of spending our free time. We distributed the roles and produced a really nice little sequence – we were really proud of the results! That helped us let off steam. Those moments are really valuable because it's important to form a cohesive unit on board.
OFFshore: In your opinion, what are the qualities or skills it takes to be a good seafarer?
S. S.: I think you need to be a kind of MacGyver! You have to be flexible, adapt continuously, show a sense of curiosity, enjoy team work, etc. Those are the keys to success in this profession!