January 13, 2015

It is on one of BOURBON’s 5 IMR vessels (inspection, maintenance & repair vessel) in Angola, Vissolela that Luc-Olivier Le Rai operates as chief engineer. With his team of six people, he tinkers with his ‘machines’ as he so puts it. On a latest generation ship such as the Vissolela, checking engines and equipment is indeed a daily pursuit. “It is very important to ensure equipment is backed-up, to avoid incidents and technical failures - the fear of any mechanic” he points out. 

His rigor and technical skills make him someone BOURBON has placed their trust in since 2004, when he began his career with the group. The former on-board electrician became a fishing skipper at age 25 in the south of Brittany. At forty, he was looking to take on a new career in business: “The future in fishing had become too uncertain and I wanted to explore other things.” 

From a trawler to a Surfer

Ultimately, Luc-Olivier Le Rai returned to sea after training at the National School of Merchant Marine in Saint-Malo. He then applied for a job with BOURBON. Very quickly, he embarked for Nigeria after being promoted to chief engineer on board the Surfers.

My initial electrician’s training really helped me a lot. It taught me organization, discipline and anticipation.” Today, following this reconversion, the chief engineer feels right at home at BOURBON. He concluded: “I feel like I belong to a large international group: BOURBON puts a lot of effort into information and communication, we the sailors really appreciate it.

Bourbon behind the scenes