A passion to sail

Captain Misaele Vakadranu Nute. Picture: SUPPLIED

DISCOVERING the unknown is something that sailors are quite familiar with.

Having the capabilities to sail on unchartered waters and surviving treacherous sailing condition is part and parcel of their daily lives.

For Captain Misaele Vakadranu Nute of Nasau Village in Nabukelevu, Kadavu the passion to sail was more of a childhood dream that became a reality.

“For me it all started when I was a little boy and my father was a civil servant,” Capt. Misaele said.

We used to travel a lot by boat to various islands in Fiji where my father had to serve as a government official and that was where my interest in sailing all began.

“I like travelling and seeing new places and meeting new people and being a sailor has allowed me to so just that.”

He has been a sailor for 27 years and has been in Papua New Guinea for the past four years.

“I started as a cadet with Fiji marine department in 1991 and from there I moved on to join Sofrana Unilines Ltd and Neptune Shipping and many other local shipping companies,” he said.

“I was always inspired by my cousin Capt. Apenisa Vata who is a well-recognised captain in the Fiji maritime community and in the Pacific too.

“He was the man behind my success as far as my seafaring achievement was concerned and I thank him for that.”

He said he was now a Master on a tug boat called the Kwila 3.

“The vessel is registered under South Sea Lines Ltd which belongs to Mineral Resources Ltd (MRL) and it’s based in Lae, Papua New Guinea,” he said.

“I studied at the Fiji Maritime Academy and attained my Class 3 Master/Watchkeeper Licence.

“The challenges we face in Papua New Guinea is the culture. Sometimes communication with our crew members can be a barrier at times, but we help each other out and make sure the work is done efficiently.”

With his act of courage the Maritime Safety Authority of Fiji awarded Capt. Misaele with a bravery award this year.

Capt. Misaele with his crew had rescued nine students and three adults on a fibre glass boat that drifted for a day out at sea.

The story was covered by a local newspaper in Papua New Guinea.

“My family is my greatest every day motivation and they are always there for me.

“They have always supported me in my everyday work as a seafarer.

“My wife is very supportive of me and she understands my work as a seafarer.

“She is always there for our children as a mother and a father figure when I’m out at sea.

” She is the backbone of our family.”

He said he was honoured to be awarded the MSAF Bravery Award this year and thanked MSAF for recognising his rescue efforts.

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