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Merchant Navy Officer makes history on Royal Navy Warship

30 September 2016
The Royal Navy and Merchant Navy made history when Chevron’s Third Officer James Shepherd, sailed as part of the crew of a Royal Navy warship.

Chevron Shipping are keen supporters of the Royal Navy’s Merchant Navy Liaison Voyage scheme, with many young Royal Navy officers gaining first hand insight into merchant shipping on voyages with them since the beginning of 2015.

On this occasion the Royal Navy took great pleasure in reciprocating the arrangement, with James joining HMS Richmond during their Flag Officer Sea Training week of Operational Sea Training. 

It was a real learning experience and whilst a lot of operations are carried out differently within the Merchant Navy, at the end of the day we are all governed by the same 38 collision regulations!

Third Officer James Shepherd

 Talking of his experience James said “I was aware that Chevron had hosted young officers from the Royal Navy aboard to assist in completing their studies.

"As such I was very pleased to be invited as the first officer from Chevron Shipping to be their guest aboard Type 23 Frigate HMS Richmond, sailing from Plymouth, during their Flag Officer Sea Training week of Operational Sea Training to see for myself the operations and systems aboard a warship.

"Of particular interest, during the final part of the week HMS Richmond undertook a ‘Replenishment at Sea’, in this case taking on diesel fuel.

"The Navy has a very different procedure for undertaking this operation by comparison with our ship to ship operations.

"Whilst the interaction forces between the two vessels remained, they were countered with the smaller vessel increasing speed to around 18 knots to punch through the pressure zones which is not something that I had not previously experienced.”

He went on to say “I thoroughly enjoyed my week aboard and received an outstanding welcome from her compliment.  

"It was a real learning experience and whilst a lot of operations are carried out differently within the Merchant Navy, at the end of the day we are all governed by the same 38 collision regulations!

"I hope that the Royal Navy's Young Officers gain as much out of their time with Cheveron as I have aboard HMS Richmond.”

James is now researching the requirements to join the Royal Naval Reserve, as his qualifications with the Merchant Navy will have fully prepared him for this role.

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