Franjo: My name is Franjo, I’m a Chief Engineer, and I’m Croatian, born in Rijeka on September 16th, 1958.
Which containership are you on at the moment and what route?
Franjo: The vessel I’m working on is one of newest northbound vessels. CMA CGM TAGE entered the fleet on March 31st, 2015. Her last route was the Columbus Line between North America and Asia.
How long have you been working for CMA CGM?
Franjo: I’ve been working for CMA CGM for almost 9 years now, since November 2007.
What is your background (studies, previous positions)?
Franjo: Since graduating in 1982 from the Marine Engineering Study Faculty of Maritime Studies in Rijeka, I’ve been sailing worldwide on merchant fleets. The types of vessels I’ve worked on were multipurpose cargo vessels, dry-bulk cargo carriers and container vessels in the positions of a 3rd Engineer, 2nd Engineer, 1st Engineer and finally Chief Engineer in 1989.
Why did you choose this career?
Franjo: Before graduation it was just a hobby, and then it turned into an occupation.
What do you like most about your job?
Franjo: My job is very technical, and working with so many different technologies is exciting.
Are there any moments that remain engraved in your memory?
Franjo: While crossing the North Atlantic during a winter storm in 1989/90 our brand new, two year old 35,000 dwt bulk-carrier’s hull became over stressed due to the severe weather, resulting in serious cracks align one of the cargo hold hatches and even larger cracks across the port side weather deck. It was an unpleasant and dangerous situation, but thanks to our experienced captain, the vessel and crew safely reached port.
What is a typical day for you?
Franjo: Thanks to modern communication systems one of the most important Chief Engineer’s jobs is daily correspondence with different departments at any time. The day usual starts with the morning ECR engine staff briefing while job plan and work permits are introduced. Then many other C/E assigned duties are completed until 6pm. After dinner, all the officers usually gather in the resting area. I usually spend late evenings in my cabin, where I either read or watch a movie before turning in. However, we are often disturbed due to arrival or departure maneuvers at night. Honestly, there is nothing like a typical day.
Where is your next destination?
Franjo: I’m scheduled to board the CMA CGM TAGE after one or two weeks on her route to the U.S. East Coast.
Do you have any advice for someone wanting to go into the same career?
Franjo: I would like to advise everyone to be patient because patience will lead you to success. Also, take deeper look at the problem and get some perspective before you make your final decision. Good team work and good understanding within an international crew are very important, so this must be respected. Here is explanation of TEAM:
I wish everyone good luck!