October 27, 2015

A vessel is a particular place, where seafarers of various nationalities and cultures coexist for weeks, working various jobs and routes, all driven by the same passion: the sea. The master, AB, chief engineer, bosun, etc. thus form a small community in which strong bonds of respect and solidarity are forged. A few seafarers have agreed to share with us one of their memorable events experienced on board.

I still remember my first boarding as a second engineer with BOURBON, in 2006. For me, coming from the world of fishing in the North Sea, the change was pretty radical! New area of operation, the Congo, new type of vessel, the MPSV Athena, new equipment, but also new procedures. For example, I remember I was surprised by the importance given to safety, because at that time, onboard fishing vessels, we didn't talk much about safety. The first day, the Achille, another BOURBON vessel, took me to the Alicia base, in Congo, where the Athena was. Onboard, I was given an excellent welcome by the crew. I only boarded that vessel once, but it left an impression on me as I was discovering the world of offshore.
Philippe Perron, chief engineer of the Bourbon Helios.


Aboard our vessel, we are very close to each other, like a family. There are Indians, Ukrainians and Filipinos, but once onboard, we form a single entity. Recently, a crew member, an oiler, learned of the birth of his child, a boy. It was an event that we celebrated as we should... This birth particularly moved us, we could not contain our joy! I felt a little like the grandfather of the child and my colleagues were the uncles... We helped the proud dad pick a first name! This kind of event always has a particular resonance as it reminds us of our own family. It also shows how strong our ties on board are, despite our differences.
Shishir Pande, master of the Bourbon Liberty 238.

" When I go back to Congo, I see the pilots I've trained in the past and they always have this surge of brotherhood towards me."
Daniel Bastardreferent SURFER pilot

For several years, I have trained Surfers pilots in West Africa, mainly in the Congo and Angola. These are mostly former seafarers who have their marine qualification but did not, initially, have a real maritime culture. I am always struck by the emotion felt by these pilots when they complete their training period. Keep in mind, the training is quite intensive and may take several months. When these seafarers finally become pilots, they express their emotions very strongly. They are in tears, they hug me and thank me for allowing them to become pilots. These are very special moments. We then stay in touch, the connection is never broken. As a referent, I am totally available to assist them. But often, they call me just to see how I am doing, no other reason. I am currently training Angolan pilots on Surfer 1800s, but when I go back to Congo, I see the pilots I've trained in the past and they always have this surge of brotherhood towards me. That makes me very happy, those are times you don't forget...
Daniel Bastard,  referent surfer pilot.


I have been a seafarer with BOURBON for over 4 years. A native of Cabinda, the desire to sail came to me after seeing several films on the subject. When the opportunity to board the group's vessels presented itself, I didn't hesitate for a moment. I was thirsty to discover a new job, a new environment. To change my life.  Today, I can't cite one memory in particular, but rather a set of things. Like how operations go, whether transferring goods or the loading and unloading of parcels. Each mission has its specificities, but I like the teamwork on the bridge, with my fellow seafarers and the deck leader. The position of seafarer is very complete. We are highly involved in safety procedures, we also carry out maintenance operations, we are in connection with the whole crew, etc. The value of this job is based on its diversity.
Celestino Barros, AB aboard the Bourbon N'Duva.

Bourbon behind the scenes