Live export's young commander

16 Apr, 2008 10:39 AM
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Laura Pinasco is the youngest captain of a large livestock vessel and she was in Fremantle this week skippering the Stella Deneb being loaded by Wellard Rural Exports.
Laura Pinasco is the youngest captain of a large livestock vessel and she was in Fremantle this week skippering the Stella Deneb being loaded by Wellard Rural Exports.

ONE of the youngest ever captains of a livestock vessel arrived in Fremantle this week at the helm of the world’s biggest livestock carrier the Stella Deneb.

Thirty-year-old Laura Pinasco was appointed as captain of the Deneb a month ago and the Fremantle trip was part of her first voyage as its skipper.

Before arriving she had taken the Deneb from Darwin to the Phillipines and Indonesia with a load of cattle.

Ms Pinasco was born and raised in Genoa, Italy, and first went to sea in 1997.

Her career has included service as a deck officer on gas carriers and livestock vessels.

She qualified as a Master Mariner in 2003 and joined Siba Ships as a chief officer in 2006, working on a number of vessels including the MV Becrux, the world’s most technologically advanced livestock vessel and the Deneb.

Siba Ships is an associate company of Wellard Rural Exports.

The Deneb set a world record last year when it transported 22,184 cattle from Darwin to South East Asia ports.

Ms Pinasco was the chief officer on that record voyage.

She said captaining a livestock vessel was more challenging than other forms of carriers.

“You are responsible for a live cargo,” she said.

“There is a high level of regulations that must be met, particularly when loading out of Australia and so you must always be aware of how the livestock are coping and travelling.”

Ms Pinasco said live export regulations in Australia were the most stringent out of any exporting country.

“We carry out daily meetings to ensure that everything is running smoothly and the livestock are being fully looked after,” she said.

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