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Working Lives Athens

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Media captionWATCH: 'This job is my life' says Captain Michalis Panou

Born and raised on the island of Agkistry, Captain Michalis Panou is the son of a seaman, and he is proud of his Greek sailing tradition.

He has stories to tell from working on tankers off the Alaskan coast, surviving cyclones and carrying out an emergency operation on an injured fellow crewman.

After working abroad for so many years, he decided to return home and he's now the captain of a the Flying Dolphin on the Athens-Agkistry line, earning 5,000 euros ($6,200) a month. The Flying Dolphin might be smaller than a regular vessel but it has its own particular needs. At its cruising speed of 33 knots, any stray object or wrongly approached wave can mean big trouble.

The crisis has meant cutbacks in his field as well; fewer boats, fewer positions and of course the competition to be assigned to a place near where he lives is fierce.

He believes the tourism industry is safer than most, but he also believes things will get worse before they get better. For now, he tries to help friends and family who have been worst hit by the crisis in any way he can.