Seafaring often becomes a family tradition and in this case doubly so! Twins  Maksym and Vitaliy began their nautical careers together and have mirrored each others’ progression through the ranks.


Now, as they both move ashore to become Superintendents, they look back on more than 15 years each of successful seafaring.


After graduating from the Odessa National Maritime Academy, the Ukrainian born twins began their lives at sea in the engine rooms of ships trading around the world. During the following years they progressed through the ranks to become Chief Engineers in the same year at the age of 32.


Both seafarers say the family tradition was their main reason for embarking on a career at sea. Maksym recalls: “Our father worked at sea all his life. He showed an example to follow and all the delights of this interesting profession. We also grew up surrounded by seafarers’ families, so the choice of our life path was obvious.” Vitaliy adds: “Our city is located on the seashore and the profession of a seafarer is valued – every boy dreams of being one.” 


They hope they have made their family proud. Maksym says: “This is a continuation of the family dynasty – I hope our family is satisfied with the result.” 


What kept them at sea and encouraged them to build seafaring lives? Both highlight international travel and experiencing new cultures as being a key factor. Vitaliy comments: “Foreign trading with a variety of vessels, new countries, culture and people impressed me very much and all these factors confirmed that I made the right choice to be a seafarer.” 


Maksym points to the opportunities for career progression in shipping, stating: “We studied, gained experience and absorbed all the subtleties and difficulties of our profession.” He recalls how excited he was at his first promotion: “I joined the next vessel as a 4th engineer. It was a very important event in my life to receive my first officer rank.” Vitaliy is equally proud of his achievements: “Starting from my second contract, I continued my career as an engineer officer. Gaining experience on different ships, I was developing my career and at the age of 32 I reached the position of a Chief Engineer.”


It is impressive how the twins’ careers have progressed at the same pace. Maksym outlines his progression: “Contract after contract, thanks to perseverance, having the goal of reaching the highest position, receiving work experience, absorbing the best shipping practices and drawing conclusions from my own mistakes, in 2018 I signed my first contract for the Chief Engineer position.”




The twins have never served together onboard as this is against shipping practice. However, having a twin brother in the same role has provided them with an excellent support system, especially now that internet connectivity is available more readily. “We always shared various questions regarding our profession. We also always discussed our experiences since we worked on different types of ships. This helped us in our work and career advancement,” explains Maksym. Vitaliy agrees: “In view of the fact that we grew up in a career together and there was a common interest, we communicated with each other and consulted on various issues, which helped a lot.”


For the past eight years the twins have been deployed through Danica Crewing Specialists which they joined as Second Engineers after hearing good things about the company, which has crewing offices throughout Eastern Europe and in key seafaring hubs such as India and the Philippines. They both feel Danica has helped them in advancing their careers. Vitaliy says: “It is very important to start your career and develop in the right direction with the world leaders in the maritime industry with which Danica works. The high level of professionalism of employees, preparation before boarding the ship, and openness to solving any issues make Danica a leader in the crewing industry and for this reason I am really grateful.” Maksym says it was a case of right time and right place. “Danica was actively offering vacancies for various ships and various management positions. Having visited the office in Odessa, we were left with a very positive impression. This consisted of a good attitude towards seafarers and the professionalism of the staff.”


Moving ashore now is a natural progression. Comments Vitaliy: “I believe that I was pushed by enthusiasm and interest in moving forward in my career and mastering the ‘other side of the coin’, being devoted to my profession. Transferring my experience gained in practice is beneficial for my new position and helps to see the point from different prospectives. Therefore I appreciate a lot my experience obtained while working for Danica. Special thanks to the crewing managers with whom I worked and to Henrik Jensen.” Maksym is equally pleased to be taking up his Superintendent role: “As you know, companies do not hire people off the street for the position of Superintendent. They generally give preference to proven employees.  Danica collaborates with high-level ship management, where the best conditions for permanent work are provided. Therefore, having worked for a long time in one company and proven yourself well, there is every chance for further career advancement. 


The enthusiasm for shipping is clear in both these ambitious and dedicated brothers and we wish them every success as they step ashore.


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