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A first taste of Royal Navy seamanship on HMS Sabre and Scimitar

25 March 2021
Two fast coastal patrol boats based at HMNB Portsmouth are now also giving the swell of new Royal Navy recruits a first taste of work in a grey hull.

With HMS Collingwood at Fareham expanding to provide initial training for 1,000 extra sailors joining the Royal Navy this year, a local seamanship training outlet for the recruits was needed.

With HMS Sabre and Scimitar relieved from duties as Gibraltar guard ships to watch over the historic home of the Royal Navy, trainees from each fortnight’s new Collingwood intake now embark for a day. Also providing training in the Solent for the upturn in Royal Navy recruits is the sailing vessel TS Tenacious.

Infection control regulations mean only four additional personnel can embark Sabre or Scimitar each day they take trainees, but it means an immersive day of replenishments-at-sea, line handling, ceremonial and coxswain drills and duties for their debut at sea in uniform.

Commanding Officer of HMS Sabre, Lieutenant Tim Clouter, said: “The feedback we have received from their training staff is that the recruits have really been enthused by the day, both because this is their first experience of life at sea and a chance to get out of the classroom.”

 
The feedback we have received from their training staff is that the recruits have really been enthused by the day, both because this is their first experience of life at sea and a chance to get out of the classroom.

Commanding Officer of HMS Sabre, Lieutenant Tim Clouter

A dedicated Seamanship School has stood up to support this phase of training with on-the-water training provided by the Portsmouth-based Coastal Forces Squadron, parent unit of Sabre and Scimitar. 

As well as a day of practical seamanship, the transit out of Portsmouth Harbour from the moorings of HMS Excellent on Whale Island provides a first chance to see the ships many will be joining in the near future.

As well as helping bring on trainees, the 12 Archer class and two Scimitar class boats of the CFS are increasing their support to the Surface Fleet, expanding both operational and training roles to great effect.

This includes support to the Wildcat helicopter crews of 847 Naval Air Squadron, Fleet Operational Sea Training and Ministry of Defence Police during Queen Elizabeth class carrier movements. 

 

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