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NAVY NEWS, AUGUST 2010


19


in brief rnrmc


■ A GROUP of Initial Fleet Time Officer Cadets from Britannia Royal Naval College raced HMS Albion across the Atlantic, raising money for the Royal Navy and Royal Marines Charity (RNRMC).


The cadets started the challenge in May and were given seven weeks to cover more than 3,000 miles – the distance from her base port to Norfolk Virginia – before Albion reached Norfolk Virginia at the end of June.


■ IAIN Edgar and John-Joe Reilly are two Royal Navy Medical Offi cers deployed in the Arabian Gulf.


They have come up with the


idea of ‘Cycling back to Pompey’ during their trip – the intention being for them both to have completed the entire 3,264- mile distance from Bahrain to Portsmouth to raise funds for the RNRMC.


■ TEENAGERS Toby Robson, Marcus Colville, Ollie Doeutil and Nat Jones completed a sponsored walk from Fort William to Dalwhinnie across the Scottish Highlands via Ben Nevis and raised more than £2,200 for the RNRMC.


■ MEMBERS from the Intermediate Command Staff Course (Maritime) hosted a charity horse racing night at JSCSC Shrivenham with a Monty Python and the Holy Grail theme. Each race represented a part of the knights’ quest with them facing many of the perils depicted in the original film.


The event raised over £330 for the RNRMC.


■ RNRMC grants include: ● HMS Raleigh, climbing wall, £26,583; ● HMS Sultan, climbing wall, £20,000; ● CTCRM Lympstone, stadium flood lights, £40,000: ● RSR, equipment, £6,690; ● Bickleigh Saddle Club, installation of new drainage system and new riding surface, £13,343; ● RAF Digby (tri-service bid), new childcare centre, £22,000, ● Union Jack Club, (tri-service bid), central heating system, £6,000, ● in addition to £120,000 half- yearly grant to ships, submarines and RM units for period May 1 – September 30.


Gannet team soars to


IN 23 hours and 40 minutes, three intrepid staff from HMS Gannet’s Search and Rescue team scaled Scotland, England and Wales’s highest


peaks. For CPO Jim Bridge, PO


Tony Leggott, and LMA Jade Whitby, the race to climb the three mountains – Ben Nevis, Scafell Pike and Snowdon – in a single 24-hour period was a real challenge. Jim and Tony, who both work in the unit’s Met office, and Gannet’s medic Jade were joined on their adventure by LA Andrew ‘Spud’ Murphy, whose job it was to drive the team to the various mountains and ensure that they were fed and watered.


The time for the expedition


starts from the base of Ben Nevis and finishes at the base of Snowdon when all the team members have climbed all three mountains.


And the team’s determination helped them to secure more than £600 for Clic Sargent charity, which cares for children with cancer, and is one of HMS Gannet’s chosen charities. Team leader Jim said: “The day


started at 4.15pm with a steady climb up Ben Nevis, the wind was calm and the sun was shining. “But Scafell Pike was totally different. “We started at 3.30am and it


was dark, very windy, rainy, and the cloud base was down to 200 metres which made navigation difficult.”


“All three of us were glad to get to the top of Snowdon at 2pm, but then had to race back down to the


● CPO Jim Bridge, PO Tony Leggott and LMA Jade Whitby (probably not in that order...) from HMS Gannet tackle Britain’s highest peaks


bottom in under two hours and 15 minutes to make it within the time target.” The team eventually finished 20 minutes under 24 hours, having climbed Ben Nevis in four hours 40 minutes, Scafell Pike in four hours, and Snowdon in three hours 40 minutes. Jim said: It was a real team effort, we all started cheerfully,


new heights Middleton is no choke


● HMS Middleton’s crew took on the Choke Point Challenge


but our hearts sank when we arrived at Wasdale and saw the bad weather. “It’s amazing,


a few slabs of chocolate and a couple of boiled sweets did to lift the team’s spirits as we climbed Scafell Pike, knowing that Spud would be there at the end with a hot drink and a good hearty breakfast.”


though, what


HMS Middleton, currently serving as one of four mine countermeasures vessels in the Gulf, celebrated Armed Forces Day in her own way on June 26, with a Choke Point Challenge. The aim was to run, cycle and row the 350 nautical mile distance of the choke points that she has sailed from Portsmouth to Bahrain, including the Strait of Gibraltar, Suez Canal, Bab el Mandeb and the Strait of Hormuz. In terms of training, being at sea in a small ship presented its own challenges, with a severe shortage of space. Most sailors opted to use the upper-deck rowing machine or complete their circuit training on the sweepdeck while they were off-watch. Temperatures on the upper deck frequently reached above 40˚C,


but nearly every member of the ship’s company signed up to take part in some way, and by the end of a long day, the ship’s company had completed 417.4 miles and raised more than £2,200 for the RNRMC. To donate, please go to http://virginmoneygiving.com/team/ HMSMIDDLETON


Submariners dig deep for cycle ride


TEN hardy submariners from HMS Vengeance cycled from their home base of Clyde on a 450-mile trip through Scotland and England to Suffolk to support a school in Bury St Edmunds. Averaging 80 miles a day, the team crossed from west coast Faslane to east coast Peebles before turning south and heading for Hexham.


Then it was on to Ripon, Wisbech, and the final stretch to Bury St Edmunds, where they arrived on Armed Forces Day.


Lt Grant Bentley, who led the team, said: “Life goes at a slower pace in the deep, but the team trained hard for this run on exercise bikes on board during our last patrol.


offered more challenges than life on a submarine’s exercise bike!” (Although at least the bit around Wisbech was flat – Fenland Ed.) The ten-man team hoped to raise a substantial amount of money for Riverwalk School, for children with special educational needs.


“Life on the open road, though,


● A container ship in the Solent has a close call with the swimming Blackburn brothers


Brothers’ close encounter


OK, YOU’RE not going to meet a great white shark in the cold grey waters of the Solent, but there are enough challenges to bring about that awful feeling that ‘this is the end of me.’


Like the huge lines of a


Wallenius Walhelmsen container ship bearing down on you. Grant Blackburn, a CPO avion-


ics instructor at HMS Sultan, and his three brothers Nigel, Kyle and Austin, had the close encounter when they set out from Ryde, on the Isle of Wight, to swim to the Gosport and Fareham Inshore Rescue Service at Stokes Bay.


The four brothers set off in less than ideal conditions, wisely accompanied by two safety RIBs and four safety kayakers, and after a minor interruption from the passing container ship managed to reach their destination two hours later.


The brothers hope to raise £8,000 for the Bravehearts Charity to help Hampshire twins Brandon and Dillon, who were born with cerebral palsy. Go to http:// braveheartscharity.webeden. co.uk/ if you would like to donate.


Join us to commemorate the Year of the Seafarer at the Merchant Navy Day Service 5th September 2010 - Trinity Gardens, London


The Sailors’ Society would be delighted if you could join us and plant a Red Ensign Flag bearing your message of remembrance for a loved one, friend or colleague, in recognition of merchant seafarers of past conflicts and seafarers currently away at sea.


Carrying 95% of the world’s goods, seafarers today work in a harsh and dangerous environment, exposed to the rigours of the sea much like their comrades in wartime. We provide practical help, emotional and spiritual support to the world’s 1.2 million seafarers.


Contact us now for your free Red Ensign pack so that your flag can be planted with others to commemorate seafarers of yesterday and today.


Email: red-ensignflags@sailors-society.org Tel: +44 (0)23 8051 5950.


Registered Charity Number 237778


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