Sailors Test Navigation Skills aboard HMS Westminster
Sailors from Malaysia, Ireland, Singapore, Oman and Kuwait spent a week onboard HMS Westminster testing their navigation skills at sea.
After several weeks working in a simulator, the week at sea was the culmination of their training and the end of a three month course.
The students also enjoyed experiencing the gold standard training provided by the Royal Navy.
The week at sea involved planning and executing day and night dummy anchorages and pilotage into various UK south coast ports including Portsmouth, Dartmouth, Torbay and Plymouth as well as the Channel Islands of Jersey and Guernsey.
They demonstrated their practical application of the International Regulations for the Prevention of Collisions at Sea – also known as ‘Rules of the Road’ – and took turns in the variety of roles on the Bridge working as a team to safely navigate each route.
In addition they also demonstrated blind pilotage techniques – using a radar to supplement their visual plans and to ensure safe passage in conditions of restricted visibility.
Portsmouth based HMS Westminster has worked with a number of allied nations on exercises during a recent deployment to the Middle East, as well as in the UK, so welcomed the opportunity to work with international colleagues on this training programme.
Throughout their time on board, the students were supervised by their instructors from the Maritime Warfare School at HMS Collingwood as well as having the guidance of Captain Hugh Beard on hand on the Bridge.