Skip to content
Recruiting now.Explore navy careers

HMS Example begins epic Easter deployment with students

Example begins epic Easter deployment
22 March 2017
The ruins of Whitby Abbey tower over patrol boat HMS Example - the first stop on a six-week odyssey which will take students to Hamburg and back.

The P2000 has begun her Easter deployment, giving undergraduates from Northumbria Universities an extended insight into life in the Royal Navy.

Five officer cadets from Northumbrian University Royal Naval Units and two Sub-Lieutenants under training from HMS Clyde - undergoing a refit in South Africa - have joined the regular ship's company of five souls for the opening stages.

When students are aboard there are no overnight passages - so no direct route from the Tyne to the Elbe.

Instead, Example must hop from port to port each day, first down the east coast of England as far as Ramsgate, then over the Channel to Dunkirk, where she'll join forces with sister HMS Explorer, and along Europe's north-western seaboard via some of the continent's great ports and cities - Bruges, Antwerp, Rotterdam, Amsterdam, Emden, Heligoland - and the Elbe estuary leading to Hamburg.

Leg one covered Example's base at HMS Calliope on the Tyne to the picturesque fishing port of Captain Cook and Dracula fame.

The first couple of days are when the students learn the most about Naval life, learning to live in a messdeck with others

Lieutenant Thomas Stapley-Bunten, HMS Example's Commanding Officer

The cadets aren't just on board for sightseeing; each leg focuses on developing their core seamanship skills such as chart work, helmsmanship and other tasks required on board such as seamanship duties on the upper deck, while the junior officers will be trained by the ship's crew to further increase their own navigation experience.

Each student has been assigned a role on the ship including senior student, navigator and public relations officer. Cadets are given the opportunity to complete their assigned task book which encourages the students to try out all the roles on board.

For many officer cadets, this will be their first time on board a ship, meaning they will have a steep learning curve ahead of them.

The first day involved getting to grips with life aboard Example, with many of the cadets feeling as though they were in over their heads.

"At the start of the day I felt as though I was a rabbit in headlights, but as the day went on I felt more confident as the crew showed me the ropes - literally," said Sam Powell, a Defence Technical Undergraduate Scheme cadet.

The crew and officers provided basic training to the cadets, helping them to settle in.

"The first couple of days are when the students learn the most about Naval life, learning to live in a messdeck with others and adhere to the ship's routine and their own watchbills [rosters]," said HMS Example's Commanding Officer Lieutenant Thomas Stapley-Bunten.

Related articles

Navy News Magazine

We bring you the latest news, features and award-winning photographs from the front-line. Navy News has been reporting on all that happens in the Royal Navy and its wider community since 1954.