Special Correspondent

CHENNAI: Spirit of MOL (Mitsui O.S.K Lines), a ship that offers seafarers onboard training, called at the Chennai port on Saturday.

On her maiden trip, MOL has trainees from the Philippines, India, Vietnam, Croatia and Montenegro on board. Thirty Indian cadets from Manila and 28 cadets from Mumbai joined the first batch over the last few days. The training will last for four-six months. The cadets are allowed to speak only in English in public forums.

A function was organised on Monday to mark the ship’s visit. Later, the multi-national cadets sprang a surprise, singing “I am sailing” and “Alvida Na Kehna.”

Addressing select group of invitees, MOL Maritime India (MOLMI) Director and CEO Abhijit Chattopadhyay said that to tide over the shortage of seafarers and to cope with fleet expansion, it was necessary to build a large pool of Indian officers, especially for the tankers.

“Due to the sudden boom in emerging areas, we are losing youngsters to IT and BPO firms that offer attractive salaries and holidays. We are trying to fill the gap by tapping the smaller cities, creating awareness through seminars and meetings,” Mr. Chattopadhyay told The Hindu.