Niels V. Pedersen, experienced Master Mariner and Captain of the first ever Triple E, the 400-metre Mærsk Mc-Kinney Møller. This engineering marvel was named in 2013 after the late Arnold Mærsk Mc-Kinney Møller, founder of the A. P. Møller - Mærsk Group. Niels tells us about his exciting and diverse role.
What do you like most about your role as captain of such an iconic vessel?
I have always liked the role as a Captain. I like the responsibility, the cooperation between the team on board, and the cooperation with my company, agents, customers, and media all over the world. And of course I love to sail and explore the sea.
Tell me about the Mc-Kinney Møller team and what makes them special:
From the maiden voyage the team has been hand picked. All crew members are very dedicated, and are working hard to make everything work smoothly.
What has been your greatest achievement of your career?
My greatest achievement in my career is definitely the day I was asked if I would take command of the Mærsk Mc-Kinney Møller. The first Triple-E container vessel, named after the iconic A. Mærsk Mc-Kinney Møller. I also like the interest shown to the vessel and my company, from all over the globe. Still after almost 2 years, me and my colleague Captain are participating in many media and customer events, live tv, documentaries, interviews, etc. I like it a lot to be a part of the game.
What has been your greatest challenge onboard the Mc-Kinney Møller?
The maiden voyage was a great challenge. Especially the first 6 months after delivery of the vessel, all crew members were busy starting up the vessel. Such a vessel is delivered "empty", meaning that the crew will have to fill up all stores rooms, offices, provision rooms, maintenance, and preparing the first audit, etc., at the same time as keeping the vessel on schedule.
How concerned are you about piracy and what more can be done to reduce this risk?
I am not very concerned about piracy, but of course it's on my mind. We have procedures when transiting the piracy areas, which I cannot go into details with.
If you were not a Master Mariner, what career would you have pursued in life?
Airline pilot, for sure. My father was a pilot, and some of my very closest friends are working in the airline industry as both captains/pilots, and mechanics. I love to hear them tell stories from their work life.
What is the first thing you do when you reach dry land?
If I have the time the first thing I always do is to go and have some local food and enjoy life in the various countries we reach. And often one of the first thing is also to buy gifts to my wife and two children.
I live in a small town in Denmark named Hundested, by the sea. When I arrive at home after months at sea, I love being with my family again, and enjoy time off for some months.
What would you say to a friend or family member if they told you they were planning on following your footsteps?
I would tell them that they were bound for a great and interesting job in a very high-tech world. That means travelling, a lot of technical insight, and working in close cooperation with a multi-national crew.
I have many favourite books, but generally I love reading biographies.
I have had many favourite ships, but at the moment my favourite is the iconic Mærsk Mc-Kinney Møller. I think that most captains like the vessel they are in command of, and are very dedicated.
Editor, Marine Strategy
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