Life@Sea with Captain Frederick J. Francis


Interview with Captain Wilson Chua

Captain Wilson Chua is currently the vice-chairman at Gmaps (Global Maritime and Port Services Pte Ltd) He is a master mariner and an expert in Hydrography and Navigation with over 45 years of experience. Also, he is the former Singapore Chief Hydrographer (gmaritime, 2011). Captain Wilson Chua started sailing in 1969 right after he completed his O’ Level. However, he didn’t join sailing willingly; he chose sailing as his career because he couldn’t get a job despite numerous job interviews. Due to the lack of tertiary school teaching maritime education, the company will provide the training and they have to serve up to 4 years as a cadet with small amount of salary which will increase as the years go by. They basically do almost everything on board the ship. Captain Wilson Chua thinks that the Marine Industry had a significant impact to the world; especially that it provide the people with many job opportunities such as offshore jobs, Onshore Jobs and even jobs at academic schools as lecturers for such studies. As a Hydrographic Surveyor himself, he loved his job a lot and had developed a strong passion for it. To develop the interest of the younger generation towards Maritime, Captain Wilson Chua’s advice was to send people with seamanship knowledge to provide a talk to the schools. Captain Wilson believes that experiences and the sharing of experiences is very important, hence he feels that our Maritime Heritage Museum should not just display exhibits, we should hire knowledgeable people explain the background of the particular exhibits, such as old native ships, to the audiences.


Interview with Captain Say Eng Sin

Captain Say Eng Sin is currently a senior in-house consultant at Gmaps (Global Maritime and Port Services Pte Ltd). He is a master mariner and specialized in mercantile marine matters such as crew/labour disputes, terms and conditions of employment. Also, he was the former head of Singapore Registry of Ships and examiner for masters and mates. At the same time, he is a licensed Swedish Club Academy Trainer for Maritime Resource Management and Safety Inspector & Casualty Investigator for Panama-registered vessels (Gmaps, 2011).

On 16th November 2011, we had our interview with Captain Say at Gmaps. According to Captain Say, the young adults at the older days do not have many choices for their career; however there were plenty of opportunities for the young people at the sea – people can easily be promoted from an officer to a captain of the ship since there were not much people interested in the sea career. Hence, Captain Say joined sailing as a career. Of course, taking up sailing was not as easy too, before you could sail, you had to attend classes for at least 4 years as cadet before you are allowed to go the second mate classes. Another 2 years for the second mate then another 1½ years for master. Captain Say also mentioned the improvement in technologies on the ship such as the introduction of GPS so that people no longer have to calculate the position of the ship using a sextant.

To develop interest of the current younger generation towards maritime, Captain Say’s advice was to allow the students to clear their doubts towards shipping by writing to ship’s officer or master. By having their questions answered, the students will develop a stronger passion and interest towards the shipping career. Captain Say believes that it is essential to build the interest of the students towards maritime from young, he recommend us to give a talk to the schools, starting from secondary school, to show what is the Maritime Heritage Museum that is opening at Resort World Sentosa all about.