SAIL AHEAD (GR) – Coast Guard Officers – Lt Cdr Ioannis Stathouros (HCG)

SAIL AHEAD (GR) – Coast Guard Officers –  Lt Cdr Ioannis Stathouros (HCG)


Mr. Stathouros, welcome
to the Sail Ahead project… by the E.U., the Captains’
Association and IDEC. I’d like to thank you
and the Coast Guard HQ… for this interview. Thank you for inviting me… and welcome to our new HQ. How do you define
your occupation? What exactly do you do here? I work at the operations center
of the Coast Guard… for the last 2,5 years. It’s a new center dealing
with issues across the country… except for search & rescue
incidents. How did you get this post? I’m talking about
the operations center. It was a long road. I started as a merchant vessel
ISM inspector… then I was appointed commander
of a ship near the border. I went on to serve
in more modern ships… based in Piraeus and operating
all over Greece. Several years later I ended up
in the operations center. -How long have you been here?
-About 2,5 years. 2,5 years in operations. And that’s how your career evolved. In your opinion, what experience
and what skills… are needed for this job? I’m referring
to the operations center. They must have general knowledge
of how the Coast Guard operates. And they need to be very patient. Your experience
before joining the Coast Guard? I come from the merchant marine.
I have plenty of experience at sea. With time and after passing
the exams, I got enlisted. -Which academy did you attend?
-The one at Syros. What skills are required
for your job? Professional skills. You need to know your ship
very well. You need to be up to date
on legal matters… and on international affairs,
financial, technical etc. What are the personal traits… of an officer in your position? A Coast Guard officer
in this specific post. What are their personal
characteristics… their interests, their status
and other characteristics. They must love the sea
in order to understand… what it means to be a member
of the Coast Guard. Do you believe that… one needs to be patient
when facing such incidents? That’s the most important trait. It’s necessary. During your time
in the Coast Guard… what training have you received? At first, we are trained
in the Naval Academy. Then we are familiarized
with each of our services… so that we’ll be able to carry out
our new duties. Plus seminars
and training sessions. So you’re constantly
upgrading your knowledge… to follow the changes
in laws and regulations. We are constantly
being upgraded… both in a professional
and in a personal level. Can you describe an average day
in the office? We hope for a calm day,
but that’s rarely the case. Incidents always come up
all over Greece. It’d be nice if you had
nice, calm days… but unfortunately
that’s not the case. It’s only natural
that there’d be incidents. What do you enjoy the most
in your job? Having my work recognized
by a person I’ve helped. That’s very important. Are there any drawbacks,
as with any job? The work hours are definitely one. Long hours, very variable… and you don’t know
when you’ll get back home. -Do you have a family?
-Not yet… Most of the time your loved ones
are understanding. If you’re alone you don’t have
anyone to help you out… with your obligations. How do you see your career
evolving in the future? That’s a tough one. -Achieve the goals.
-Exactly. Getting in the Naval Academy,
you aim as high as you can. With the passing of the years
it seems harder and harder… plus your goals in life may change. It’s important
to hold on to your humanity. To keep helping people
as a member of the Coast Guard. And the promotions
will come on their own. In addition to what you said… if your personality predominates
your professional status… because we may learn more
with each passing day… but our personality seldom changes
since it’s been formed. This helps a professional
to be recognized. What you said before
about being human. Being an officer when it matters
and being human when it matters. What advice would you give
to someone… who would like to pursue
the exact same course as you. If they had made up their mind.
What would you tell them? They need to be patient… to be constantly updated… and to always speak their mind,
if they can back it up. As we would say in English,
“go ahead”. It’s very important. If someone has doubts… and is not 100% sure if they want
to follow your career… what would you tell them? The same? Yes, plus they should
get informed… about the Hellenic Coast Guard. Thank you very much
for your time… and for your answers. We wish you all the best… and to reach the top rank
of your corps. -I wish you all the best too.
-Thank you.

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