In Focus | Chief Officer Dion Danino

The level of personal growth is exponential when working at sea.
15th March 2021
The University’s BSc (Hons) Maritime Science degree is a challenging, yet rewarding programme that will prepare you for a Maritime related career. We have spoken to Dion, whose studies in this field have helped them reach the career he is in today.

What is your current role and duties?

My post as Motor Yacht Palladium’s Chief Officer / Relief Captain is extremely diverse making use of my existing skill set as well as learning new ones. With a crew of 40, and a deck team of 9 there is plenty of challenging work on a daily basis. I thrive working under pressure and working on Palladium does not disappoint. My experience, knowledge and duties extend to the following:
·         Management, Leadership, Multitasking and Large Yacht Marine Operations.
·          ISM implementation and procedures – Extensive experience in Crew Training
·         Preparation for Statutory Surveys (Class / Port State)
·         Awl-grip products and finish
·         Completion of Ship Logbooks and Port papers
·         Financial budget planning and management
·         Safety Management Systems
·         Effective delegation of routine tasks and in emergency situations
·         Provision of leadership to vessels crew, including hiring, disciplinary procedures and crew personal development

Did you study a maritime-related degree?

Yes, I completed a BSc (Hons) Merchant Shipping Operations. I studied at one of the very few places that run a degree course running parallel to my first Officer of the Watch (OOW) unlimited licence.

What was your favourite aspect of that course and why?

The diversity of backgrounds of students on the course made for a far more interesting course than most. We had people from all corners of the globe due to it being so niche and specialised. It also combined the best of both worlds; the practical maritime world in terms of sea time experience with the University lifestyle most young people look for. A sort of ‘all in one’ approach which worked very well.diversity of backgrounds of students on the course made for a far more interesting course than most.

What was it that encouraged you to pursue a Maritime career?

A very cliché answer here that will resonate with most seafarers, but I never saw myself in a normal 0900-1700 job. My grandfather spent a lifetime working as a Bosun on local tugs, so I suppose one can say it’s in the bloodline.

“My studies gave me the foundation I was able to build on, which on reflection, has been key to my career success to date. I have worked on everything from container ships, general cargo ships, tall ships, dredgers, cruise ships and on four of the largest superyachts in the world including the largest.”

– Chief Officer, Dion Danino

Is the aspect of being out at sea something you have enjoyed throughout your career?

Being out at sea can be rewarding most of the time with a positive mindset. Imagine yourself responsible for 3000+ souls onboard and every manoeuvre you make has a conscious weight on your shoulders. Taking charge of navigating the vessel comes with challenges and responsibilities that few encounter elsewhere through work. It is true however there are also times that you feel isolated, without connection to the world, limited internet and so forth. It is important that prospective students get a balanced overview of what working at sea is really like.

Would you say you enjoyed your studies in Maritime? If so, would you recommend a similar course to others?

I completed my studies as a stepping stone to kick-start my career. Would I recommend a similar course? Absolutely, not only will you gain valuable knowledge to fall back on, you get to experience the world in a very different undertone by working and travelling on ships than you would shoreside. In my opinion the level of personal growth is exponential when working at sea.

Do you think Gibraltar is a great location for a course in Maritime?

Without doubt, Gibraltar is at the crossroads of the Mediterranean with shipping operations happening all around us. Correct delivery of the course together with real world experience can set it apart from other universities running the course worldwide.
  • BSc (Hons) & Cadetship

    BSc (Hons) Maritime Science with Cadetship programme

    Our BSc (Hons) Maritime Science programmes are aligned to the Merchant Navy Training Board (MNTB) and Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) standards.[...]

    3 Years

    Yes Placement option

    Full Time

    View Course