Master & Surface Rescue Swimmer
Kevin Giffin is a dedicated member of the CIVMAR workforce. His past with MSC, however, has been mostly offshore, and his sea time and experience has allowed him to move steadily through the ranks from Able Seaman, the position in which he joined MSC as in 1993. Giffin joined MSC after both serving in the U.S. Coast Guard and working in the commercial maritime industry on Tugs and Supply Vessels. Giffin has sailed on 14 tours with MSC and has sailed on all types of MSC platforms. He says the best part about his job is “working as a team and seeing the successful results.”
However, Giffin’s job doesn’t end at Chief Mate. Giffin is a part of the MSC Surface Rescue Swimmer team. He graduated from the U.S. Navy Surface Rescue Swimmer School in San Diego in 1997.
Giffin’s brother nearly drowned at an early age. After that, Giffin became an avid swimmer. During his years in the Coast Guard he was extensively involved in Search and Rescue, then worked with a salvage company in a rescue position, and is now a Master SCUBA diver, which includes rescue diving. “Once it’s in your blood, it’s hard to get out,” says Giffin.
During the tough physical training for the SRS position, Giffin said the Navy had a 25-50% success rate, while MSC CIVMARs were running at a 100% success rate. Giffin says, “It was one of the toughest but most rewarding undertakings I have completed in my life. I joined a brotherhood that only a few have had the privilege to say they belong.”
Giffin keeps in shape aboard ship in the well-equipped gyms on MSC ships. MSC grants SRS team members 12 reimbursable hours per pay period for physical training. He also works with the crew during Man Overboard drills. However, Giffin believes it takes a personal commitment to a healthy lifestyle and hours of training to be in the peak shape necessary for a survival situation. Giffin runs and swims while ashore and competes in triathlons and marathons to stay fit.
For Giffin, MSC is the best place he could be in the maritime industry. “MSC is the best parts of the military without actually having to be in the military. Not to mention the pay is a little bit better here,” he says. The best part of being a CIVMAR is getting “a broad view of the world that you don’t get working and living in one spot. It also gives you great respect for the sacrifices of all our Men and Women in uniform, including Merchant Mariners, make to keep our country safe and prosperous.”
UPDATE: Mr. Kevin Griffin was promoted to Master on September 11, 2011.