Feature

Totoya Marine Engineer Lives His Childhood Dream

Being a son on of a tug and barge Class Three master watch keeper in the early 2000, Mr Cinavilakeba’s dream was nurtured when he used to accompany his father during the school holidays.
18 Sep 2019 16:21
Totoya Marine Engineer Lives His Childhood Dream
Ratu Viliame Murivanua Cinavilakeba.

To be a marine engineer has been Ratu Viliame Murivanua Cinavilakeba’s dream since he was in high school.

Being a son on of a tug and barge Class Three master watch keeper in the early 2000, Mr Cinavilakeba’s dream was nurtured when he used to accompany his father during the school holidays.

“Sea is where I wanted to make my career and when I was accepted into the Fiji Maritime Academy in 2011, I was over the moon,” Mr Cinavilakeba said.

The 27-year-old grew up spending his holidays onboard the vessels his father worked on, and as the only son in his family he was close to his old man.

He is from Tovu village in Totoya, Lau and has maternal link to Sawaieke village in Gau.

The eldest of three siblings, he is currently the marine engineer for MV Ohana.

The former Dayanand Anglo Vedic College student said his journey had been full of challenges but was grateful.

“My dad currently works for Patterson Shipping. When I was growing up my dad used to take me with him during the holidays,” Mr Cinavilakeba said.

“I learned a lot from those trips and it was there I developed my interest; I had set my mind that I would be a seaman.

“I was happy that when I told my parents that I wanted to do marine engineering and they were supportive of my decision and were always there for me since day one.

“I have been in this industry for some time now but I am still exploring.”

The father of one said staying away from his family was difficult.

“It is tough to be away from my family but I am glad that my wife has been supportive,” Mr Cinavilakeba said.

“I am glad that I always contact my family through social media. I get to talk to them as much as I want especially when I am out at sea most of the time.

“I had previously worked for Snapper Shipping, Seaquest Shipping Ltd, MV Lady Sandy, Tokalau Shipping Company Limited and Valesasa Shipping Company before moving to MV Ohana.

“I have learned a lot since working for MV Ohana. I like meeting new people especially the passengers, exploring new things and socialising with crew members and officers.

“Through the challenges I have worked hard; these have made me stronger.”

He said when working on a vessel one must always expect the unexpected.

“When out at sea I must always be aware of my surrounding because anything can happen. I must always keep in mind that there can be an unexpected breakdown or I have to work over time,” Mr Cinavilakeba said.

“When on duty I must always follow safe work procedures, always seek advice from my superiors and always prioritise tasks I need to carry out.

“It was a long way to be where I am today and I have a lot of people to thank. I want to thank my parents, sisters and wife for their never-ending support.”

Mr Cinavilakeba said he was glad to see more women getting into the maritime industry.

“It is good to see women entering the maritime industry. I believe with encouragement they can do anything,” he said.

“I believe in gender equality and I believe that one day this industry will have more women.

“I believe that Fiji Maritime Academy still have a lot to improve on especially getting course work that are aligned with Australia and New Zealand standards.

“They have good lecturers and if they can get more experienced lecturers; that would be icing on the cake.

“One important thing is that the course materials are very expensive and I hope that in the future this matter can be looked into.”

Mr Cinavilakeba believes that one must work hard in order to be successful in life.

Feedback:  wati.talebula@fijisun.com.fj

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