Celia Kang, our Marine Personnel Manager in Singapore, recently caught up with Captain Mithil Manohar Mirkar, to find out more on his experience of life at sea with Ardmore Shipping, personal goals for the future and his career progression from Deck Cadet to Captain.
Why did you choose a career in seafaring?
I was born and raised in the suburbs of Mumbai, therefore a career out at sea was not an obvious choice. However, growing up as the youngest of three siblings, and seeing my brother’s pursuit for a position at sea, sparked my interest. Therefore, at the age of 14, I decided I wanted to be a Captain.
What can you remember from your first voyage as deck cadet?
I first stepped onboard a ship back in 2004. The vessel was a general cargo ship, which we sailed across the Atlantic every month. I even celebrated my eighteenth birthday onboard which was a truly memorable experience.
Describe how your career progressed to Captain.
Following joining a crew as third mate in 2008, I was promoted through the ranks and, at 25, was given the role of Chief Officer. In 2014, I completed my master’s exam and joined the Ardmore Sealifter. Since then, I have been sailing proudly with Ardmore Shipping and, in 2017, reached my childhood dreams of being promoted to Captain, onboard the Ardmore Sealion.
What did you experience during your first trip as Captain?
Taking over the Ardmore Sealion was a smooth transition; especially as I had previously worked on the vessel as Chief Officer. Although life as a Captain differed from my previous roles, I felt truly supported, with top management completely in sync with what was happening onboard – the principle of the Ardmore ‘One Team’ culture was a reality. Additionally, I was fortunate to work with supportive Chief Officers and Chief Engineers and a very good crew.
What is the biggest change you have seen onboard since you first went to sea?
Anyone who has worked out at sea over the last decade will understand the importance of reliable communication with loved ones. While in the early days I could go months without speaking to my family, the availability of internet out at sea now allows me to keep up to date with family regularly.
What is your favourite part of the world to sail in?
After sailing and visiting different places all over the world, South America has to be my favourite location to sail with Mexico being my favourite country.
How does sailing with Ardmore Shipping differ from other shipping companies?
I have been with Ardmore Shipping for six years now and it has been an integral part of my life and development. At Ardmore, you are truly made to feel like a valuable part of the organisation and whenever you need support it is there. The opportunity for in-house promotion has also been pivotal in enabling my career development to Captain.
Share something interesting about yourself that we might not know.
Alongside reading, singing, playing keyboard, driving and travelling, my favourite hobby is gaming, with my PS4 accompanying me on every voyage. If I were to ever stop sailing, I see myself teaching and training new seafarers and young officers as I believe in supporting the next generation.