Plain sailing on MV Ocean Swagman

09 Aug, 2012 04:00 AM
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Captain Marlon Murillo shows 'Eye Sea' competition winner Helen Duncan the ship's location.
Captain Marlon Murillo shows 'Eye Sea' competition winner Helen Duncan the ship's location.

This article is from a special feature on Indonesian live export.

CAPTAIN Marlon Murillo said the change from guiding liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) ships around the world to taking the helm of livestock ship MV Ocean Swagman was an interesting one but the role was basically the same.

“As the captain I am the company’s representative and the owner’s representative, so I deal with the general welfare of the vessel, the safety and overall operations with accordance to the company’s policy management system,” Mr Murillo said.

“This is my first trip with livestock.”

Mr Murillo said carrying a live cargo was slightly different in terms of the focus on safety.

“The main thing in LPG was that we were so focused on the safety of the vessel and pollution and things like that,” he said.

“So much so that there are inspections with every terminal that you are going to such as BP or Shell, so everybody has to go through their safety inspections.

“But in this case we only have the quarantine and quality control.

“But on the other side this is just common for us, quarantine for a different country.

“This is also actually the first time as a captain I have been trading with Australia so I am not well aware of its control in livestock.”

Mr Murillo said his main responsibility was to ensure everybody was working well and to ensure it was a good work environment.

“It is my job to make sure everything goes smoothly,” he said.

“And afterwards I send a message back to the company letting them know we are on the right track and keeping the authorities informed.”

Although seemingly relaxed about his job, Mr Murillo knows the importance of keeping on top of everything in case something goes wrong.

“Everything here is my responsibility,” he said.

“If anything goes wrong with the livestock it is my responsibility. Everything is the master’s responsibility.

“I roam around the pen areas for about an hour or an hour and a half to inspect the areas each day and maintain a communication with the stockmen and the workmen because if anything goes wrong the blame will be put back on me.”

It is a 24-hour job being the captain on a major vessel such as the MV Ocean Swagman and Mr Murillo said rest was important.

The livestock ship departed Darwin at 4am in the morning and his crew had to be awake until departure. He said he made sure all staff had adequate rest over the journey.

“On a regular voyage like this we have enough time for work and rest,” Mr Murillo said.

“We implemented the rest hour period and I have to ensure that all of us have the right rest period.”

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