Seaman Reservists Celebrate Reserves Day in the South Atlantic

Two Royal Naval Reserve seaman specialists celebrated Reserves Day on board patrol vessel HMS Clyde in the South Atlantic.

Able Seaman Joe Feaver, a carpenter from Hayes in Middlesex and member of HMS Wildfire in Northwood,  together with Able Seaman Jim Jeffrey, a business analyst from Brighton and member of HMS King Alfred in Portsmouth, took six months out of their civilian jobs to join HMS Clyde on deployment in support of UK Defence operations in the South Atlantic.

Joe said of his time at sea: “On board I am a seaman specialist and I am involved in virtually every aspect of ship life. I am a Bridge Quartermaster, meaning I drive the ship and am also learning to drive the ship’s sea boats.

"I also am an Air 233 rating, which means when HMS Clyde has visiting aircraft, whether for a routine flying exercise, winching or emergency drills, I am part of the flight deck team that monitor, secure and handle helicopters.

"I am also a Quartermaster in harbour, helping to guard the ship when she is alongside. At sea, I’m also a member of the Ship’s protection force, so I am trained to fire GPMGs and SA-80s."

Being a reservist who gets to drive the ship and sea boats and work with aircraft is pretty incredible.

Able Seaman Jim Jeffrey (RNR)

Joe continued: "I joined HMS Clyde when she was alongside in South Africa, so I saw Africa and the South Atlantic. The journey across the Atlantic was a milestone for me at 4,200nm.

"It is also the 35th Anniversary of the Falkland’s Conflict and we marked the occasion with ceremonies at sea over the war graves and ashore in Stanley, which is fascinating.

"Overall, I have enjoyed seeing places I never thought I’d get to visit and meeting so many new people.

"Whilst on board I have had the chance to actually do all the things I’ve been trained, it’s been very rewarding, building my confidence and life experience which will no doubt aid me in future life.”

Jim added: “I too am a Bridge Quartermaster and a sea boat Coxswain for the ship’s Pacific 22 RHIB and Rigid Raider Craft, meaning we can land our personnel ashore to visit remote settlements around the Falkland Islands.

"I’m also an Air 233 Rating, and a member of the ship’s protection force in port and at sea.

"Being a reservist who gets to drive the ship and sea boats and work with aircraft is pretty incredible. My life in the reserves as a seaman specialist is completely different from my civilian job as a business analyst and I really enjoy the contrast.”