16-22 January 2015 #741

Aye, aye, captain!

Risheeram Kattel, Himal Khabarpatrika, 11-17 January

When Kailash Pandey (pic) first landed in Australia seven years ago from Devdaha, Rupandehi, he had never seen a sea before. Today, he commands cross-country ships and is the first Nepali to be employed as a captain with renowned Australian cruise company, Captain Cook.

Kailash, a management student, was working at a café when he saw a cruise ship for the first time and instantly fell in love. He knew the life of a seafarer was his true calling. So when a vacancy was announced for the post of a steward, he applied straightaway.

Starting in the hospitality department, Kailash worked in the Marine department and as a deckhand before becoming the first officer. After a year and a half on the job, Kailash was sent to the TAFE Institute of Maritime Studies from where he received his captain’s license.

He credits his achievement to hard work and good luck.

“If you want something and work diligently towards it, you will succeed,” says the 31-year old. “The day I became a captain was the happiest day of my life,” he adds. 

He has worked as a captain for three years now and is training to be a rescue helicopter pilot, a job he can take up once back home in Nepal.

“I am probably the only Nepali captain around. But I am willing to help anyone who wants a career at the sea,” says Pandey.