February 29, 2024ESGGeneral Business NewsPeople News

Life aboard the Hafnia Larvik: Reflections from the Captain and Chief Engineer

Learn more about our seafaring team Captain Atish Chaudhari and Chief Engineer Arjun Hegde to hear about their experiences working aboard the Hafnia Larvik.

Read the full interview with Hafnia Larvik’s Captain and Chief Engineer here: 

1.    Brief introduction: Name, job title.

Captain Atish Chaudhari – Started with BW/Hafnia in 2007 as a Junior Officer, before becoming Captain in 2017


Chief Engineer: Arjun Hegde – Started with BW/Hafnia in 2016 as Chief Engineer & have also worked onshore at Hafnia in the role of Technical Superintendent / PMS Manager from 2019-2022


2. Could you describe a typical day in your role on Hafnia Larvik? What are your main responsibilities and tasks?

Capt. Chaudhari: As Master, a typical day involves overseeing the navigation of the vessel, ensuring compliance with safety and regulatory protocols, monitoring the vessel’s planned progress, and making voyage decisions based on charter party requirements & forecasted weather. Our days also involve a lot of dialogue with the crew & officers onboard and the team from Hafnia onshore regarding day to day and operations. There is also a lot of administration related to the ship operations and management that takes up a lot of time.


As Chief Engineer: A typical day starts off with a team meeting to discuss the tasks planned for the day and how we can execute these safely. This is followed by an inspection round of the Deck & Engine room checking for any abnormalities and or defects.

Other tasks can include supervision of tasks being carried out, correspondence with the Technical Marine and Operations Departments ashore, Noon reporting, Logbook Entries, reporting of the Work done in the Planned Maintenance system, de-Briefing at the end of the day on the jobs completed and plans for the next day.


As Chief Engineer my responsibilities include overseeing the operation and maintenance of the ships machinery, troubleshooting technical issues, and ensuring operational readiness of all systems onboard.


Jointly, our primary responsibilities and tasks are to ensure safe and efficient operations of the ship in all aspects. This includes optimization of vessel performance for loading cargo, sea voyage thereafter and discharging cargo. Ensuring all machinery is maintained and operated efficiently. Complying with various regulatory requirements depending on which part of the world our voyage takes us to. Ensuring crew morale is always positive and the crew performs as per the company & industry expected standards. And finally, collaborating with onboard & shore teams for day-to-day activities.


3. What are the unique challenges and rewards of working on a vessel like the Hafnia Larvik, and how do they differ from working on land?

Working onboard any ship presents a unique set of challenges, namely limited resources and the dynamic nature of the marine environment. Unlike on land, ships operate with limited access to external help, making self-sufficiency crucial. Additionally, crew members spend extended periods away from friends and families, which can contribute to feelings of isolation.



4. How do you maintain a healthy work-life balance while spending extended periods of time at sea?

We try to establish clear routines, allocate time for rest and try to promote recreational activities for the crew. With new internet technology, we are in regular communication with our families, which definitely helps bridge the gap during extended periods away.


Promoting physical activities onboard, organizing small events like a movie night or a birthday party for one of our fellow crew members contributes to a healthier work-life balance.



5. What safety protocols and practices are in place to ensure the well-being of the crew and the vessel while at sea?

For the ship and ship operation lots of structured regulatory requirements are in place to ensure safe operations, namely the SOLAS, MARPOL, ISM etc. Written company procedures in line with all the required regulations and a thorough support from shore teams helps us to ensure complete compliance with all the required regulations.


Similarly for the crew, implementing structured work shifts and ensuring the crew members have dedicated rest and leisure time helps prevent burnout. A positive and supportive company like ours & shipboard structure encouraging social interaction helps to alleviate a sense of isolation during long voyages. A number of company initiatives are presently in progress, like Wellness at Sea, Project Hologram, Mental Resilience training programs, all of which are aimed to improve crew well being



6. Can you share any memorable or unexpected experiences that have occurred during your time on the Hafnia Larvik? How did you and your fellow crew members handle these situations?

Taking over this beautiful vessel from GSI shipyard was indeed a memorable experience, which we will all relish for a long time to come. Setting up the vessel after take-over and getting her ready for operations has been an enjoyable and satisfying experience with a steep learning curve, as these are the first LNG fueled vessels in our company. We did face some minor issues, as is expected during any new takeover, which the team handled professionally.


7. You are living and working in close quarters with your fellow crew members – how do you build and maintain strong relationships with your colleagues while onboard?

Our onboard teams are very dynamic, in the sense that members of the teams change probably every month or so. By the time we get to know each other and get used to our crew members and them with us, it is eventually time for a crew change and some people, including ourselves, change and sign off for our leave.


Building and maintaining good and strong relations with fellow crew members involves effective communication, mutual respect and creating a positive culture. Our team building activities often include regular meetings and open communication channels to foster a sense of bonding.


Acknowledging the contributions of each team member, promoting a collaborative atmosphere, and addressing conflicts promptly helps us to achieve a positive working environment. Shared responsibility and clear understanding of each other’s roles helps build trust and cohesion within the team.


8. In terms of professional development, what opportunities for training and career growth are available to crew members on the Hafnia Larvik?

Our company has an extensive training program designed for every rank to help us stay sharp with our specific skill sets and enhance our know-how of new technology, systems and procedures. Training comes in the form of computer-based assessments, learning from incidents, reflective learning and shore-based seminars.


Regular onboard training sessions and drills also enhance teamwork and ensure everyone is well prepared to handle any emergencies.


9. What motivates you to continue your career at sea, and what advice would you give to those interested in pursuing a similar path in the maritime industry?

The Marine industry has so much to offer in terms of knowledge and experience. Having spent more than 2 decades in shipping, we still feel that there is so much more to learn and that has been a major motivating factor. Our advice to those interested would be to give themselves sufficient time to experience the roles and responsibilities of each rank, strive for excellence, remain hungry for knowledge, and never quit in between.


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