The ability to earn a good income and to send his children to school were key motivating factors for Captain Dennis L Carias to embark on his seafaring career some 35 years ago. Captain Dennis, who hails from the Philippines, said: “It is also very exciting to be able to travel the world, meet new people, and experience their lifestyles.”

Recalling how he became a seafarer, Captain Dennis said: “When I was young, I met some seafarers who were able to make a good living and provide well for their families. This influenced my decision to become a seafarer.”

“I still remember the first day I went on board a vessel as a cadet. I was so excited and felt very happy that I had taken the first step of my career. On this same voyage, I wasn’t sure of how to operate winches but my colleague showed me the ropes. I also gradually picked up knowledge and experience in other areas. When we encountered rough seas a week later I did feel seasick but I still survived.”

And survive he did. Captain Dennis was promoted to Master; a testament to his knowledge, passion, skills and leadership. “I was so happy to be promoted; it was my dream come true. At the same time, I was really nervous steering the ship on my own. Thanks to God and my crew, I succeeded.”

The crew is a melting pot of nationalities. Said Captain Dennis: “The Ukrainians are a very friendly and welcoming group. They like large group socialising and are always helping one another. It was interesting to note that the Sri Lankan culture is one of using open-ended questions. As they can be quite reticent, I have learnt how to read their body language to communicate better with them.”

“I am really proud to be a seafarer. Shipping is a key part of the world economy where 90% of the world’s food supplies, fuel, raw materials and manufactured goods are delivered by sea. It is wonderful to be part of this industry.”

For those who wish to consider a seafaring career, Captain Dennis has this advice: “Love your work, be positive and seek the advice of your colleague if you have any doubts. You must practise safety at all times.”

During his free time, Captain Dennis enjoys practising marital arts. “Even when you get older,” he said, “you can still practise it.”

Bringing him great pride are his children. “My eldest daughter is a successful engineer while my second is a licensed physician. My third child – a son –  is with  CNCo as Third Officer. My youngest; a son, who is a graduate, is a marine engineer."