Meet the Captain- Meet Mike Andrews, Master

by Kristie Cochrane

Master (Captain) Mike Andrews has he been with MAI for some 24 years. He is one of nine full-time Masters whose role it is to ensure the safe, efficient and reliable navigation of our ships, using sophisticated navigational aids and equipment to successfully operate our vessels each day.

This job is often complex given the nature of our operating environment at Marine Atlantic. We sat down with Mike to learn a little about his journey to the bridge and what he likes best about being a part of the MAI team.

What’s involved in becoming a Master?
There is a quite a process involved with obtaining a Master’s position which includes many factors such as experience, sea time and education (certifications) and training. Once you have met all the requirements for each position along the way, promotion to Master is the final step. Prior to taking command of any vessel there is a significant amount of vessel-specific training required.

What’s the most challenging part of your job?
As Master, the most challenging part of my job is dealing with our operating environment. The weather in the Cabot Strait is often challenging and we consistently deal with less than ideal wind conditions, especially in the Port aux Basques harbour, due to its confinement and the size of our vessels.

As Masters, we have to make critical decisions each day, such as whether or not to sail, to go in port or to hold outside. Safety will always prevail and is the major determining factor with regards to critical decision-making. Each decision is made to ensure the safety of our passengers, crew and the vessel.

What is your favourite part of your job?
Safely transporting passengers and cargo to their final destination and bringing people together while getting to interact with great crew members on a daily basis. While we are all out here to do a job, we are also like family for two weeks of every month.