HMS Exploit brings the party to Berkley

HMS Exploit recently enjoyed a long overdue visit to her affiliated town of Berkley along with students of Birmingham University Royal Naval Unit (URNU).

It had been five years since her last visit to the town, and yet the levels of enthusiasm and interest displayed made it feel like the ship’s home port.

The crew made the journey up the Severn from Bristol early Friday morning giving the students a chance to practice their rope handling skills on the locks, where for many it was their first time experiencing such extreme tidal range.

After a mid morning arrival the ship was ready just in time to host its first visitors; 60 school children from Sharpness primary school. All came off the ship having learnt more about the vessel’s role and the Royal Navy.

Saturday presented the crew with a chance to relax and to explore the town itself. Enjoying a selection of local produce was a particular highlight as well as a surprisingly competitive game of skittles, with the students emerging victorious against the ship’s company.

Sunday began with the ship opening up to visitors, hosting 140 people for tours of the vessel. It was a great opportunity to provide an insight into what the URNU gets up to and catch up with their affiliated ship, as well as for the students to have some much needed time away from the chart table!

This was followed by tea at the town hall; amongst the guests were the town mayor and town councillors as well as members of the SARA lifeboat institution, who exchanged dits about their various exploits on the Severn, over some delightful cakes.

As the ship departed down the Severn towards Cardiff the next day, she was waved off by members of the town, bringing to a close what had been a successful weekend for HMS Exploit and Birmingham URNU.

Both the ships company and URNU students are looking forward to the next visit to Berkeley, hopefully this time after a shorter interval.

HMS Exploit is one of 14 P2000 Patrol Boats who support a wide range of Royal Navy tasking as well as providing sea experience to students from Birmingham University Royal Naval Unit.