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Engineers experience Merchant Navy life with Foreland Shipping

4 October 2016
Engineering Technicians (Marine Engineering) (ET(MEs)) Clark, Faulkner and Wells of the Engineering Training Squadron (ETS) (Devonport), recently took advantage of the Royal Navy’s Merchant Navy Liaison Voyage (MNLV) scheme.

The team joined Foreland Shipping aboard one of their Ministry of Defence chartered Strategic Roll on Roll off cargo ships. 

Having embarked in HMS Bulwark for a 12 week ETS voyage, the MEs were able build on their professional engineering development by joining MV Anvil Point for 3 weeks.

Whilst sailors from the Warfare branch have previously enjoyed the benefits of the MNLV scheme, this represented the first such acquaint for Royal Navy engineers, enabling the ETs to broaden their engineering and maritime sector knowledge. 

The engineering team on-board made us feel part of their small team, and I really enjoyed the hands on work and being able to see how the Merchant Navy engineers work and operate.

ET(ME) Faulkner

Accordingly, they were overseen and managed by Chief Petty Officer Dave Oakley throughout their time on-board.

Joining the 20,000 tonne vessel MV Anvil Point in Gibraltar, where she was conducting a programmed short maintenance package, the team were met and warmly welcomed on-board by the Master Nigel Barningham and the Chief Engineer David Williams.

Following a comprehensive joining and safety induction, the engineers were immediately able to put their skills to work in removing fuel injectors to the two main diesel engines.

Over the next four days alongside, the young engineers were quickly integrated into the engineering department. 

The experienced ship’s staff supervised and trained the engineers supporting their routine maintenance package, covering numerous areas including mechanical, electrical, auxiliary maintenance and servicing. 

Despite the busy programme, the engineers were able to take full advantage of their well-earned down time in Gibraltar, enjoying the weather, beaches, shops and tourist sites.

The engineers remained on-board MV Anvil Point for her transit back to the UK, during which they were given an insight into the pre-sailing checks, and exposure to the different routines and procedures taking place in Foreland Shipping’s fleet of merchant vessels. 

The ETs were heavily involved in servicing and overhauling the diesel engines, whilst conducting weekly checks and shadowing the duty engineer on his daily checks.

ET(ME) Faulkner stated, “The experience has been one of the highlights of my time in the Royal Navy.

“The engineering team on-board made us feel part of their small team, and I really enjoyed the hands on work and being able to see how the Merchant Navy engineers work and operate.”

Returning to the Engineering Training Squadron, the ETs have subsequently been assigned to roles within the Devonport Flotilla.

This positive first acquaint has been mutually beneficial to the RN’s future engineers and the Merchant Navy, and it is expected that this will become a regular opportunity for young engineers.

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