A Bristol URNU Sea Weekend commences on a Friday afternoon, travelling down to the Ship and spending the weekend on board HMS DASHER with the focus on training and consolidating the various skills which are taught during Drill Nights. Together with the Commanding Officer and Ships Company, we also have one of our Training Officers embarked, this enables detailed instruction and assistance to be given to students in practical navigation, which builds on what has been taught in the classroom.
The programme once at sea can vary widely, from simply navigation training, to man-overboard exercises, during which the students have control of the ship and attempt to recover the ‘man overboard’, or exercises for the crew like engine breakdown and steering gear failure. Often, the opportunity to practice multiple vessel manoeuvres with other URNU vessels will arise, as will winch exercises carried out with helicopters from the Maritime and Coastguard Agency as well as those from the Fleet Air Arm.
Sea Weekends also give students the opportunity to experience a taster of what life will be like during a deployment – preparing meals for fourteen other people, being on watch for four hours and being off for four hours, working in close conditions and really starting to work together as a close team.