HMS Portland Hosts Trainee Navigators

Plymouth based frigate HMS Portland played host to the trainee navigators who had to navigate complex passage plans close to navigational risks while travelling at high speed.

During this Specialist Navigator course the students were forced to rely on old fashioned sextants and stop watches, instead of key navigational equipment.

Over the course of two weeks, Portland sailed 3,000 nautical miles around the UK to challenge the students, visiting the Western Isles of Scotland, Northern Ireland, Wales, Southern England and the Channel Islands.

Of the seven who started the course five finished it successfully and have now gone on to join the ranks of the Royal Navy’s elite navigators.

During the training Portland went to anchor in Scapa Flow in the Orkneys where the ship’s company paid respect to 833 men and boys who lost their lives onboard HMS Royal Oak sunk by torpedoes from a German submarine October 14, 1939.

Image: Royal Navy