Forth dimension for HMS Example

HMS Example swapped one of England's great rivers (the Tyne) for one of Scotland's (the Forth) to give the North East's reservists a spot of sea time, practise seafaring and see Britain's biggest warship.

The small patrol boat is typically used to immerse students from Northumbria's universities in the world of the Senior Service, taking them to sea at weekends and the Easter and summer breaks.

But when an opportunity arose for reservists from HMS Calliope in Gateshead, where Example is berthed, to join the vessel on a journey up the east coast to Leith, then head up the Forth with her sister ship HMS Archer, it was seized.

The 125-mile journey to Leith (via Eyemouth), allowed all on board to try their hand at practical seamanship and chart-work to maintaining a duty watch and carrying out ceremonial duties.

It was rewarding to see how, at the end of the weekend, the team grew in confidence and capability and couldn't wait to participate in future joint training.

Lt Paul Ladislaus RN

Once in the Firth of Forth, Example was met by Edinburgh's P2000, HMS Archer, which led its guest on a tour of the estuary - beneath the three great river crossings and past the Navy's largest ever warship, HMS Queen Elizabeth, currently in the closing stages of fitting out at Rosyth.

The reservists were drawn from a range of specialisations - logistics, amphibious warfare, maritime trade and seamanship - and were led by Lt Paul Ladislaus.

"HMS Example's crew did a great job at getting us settled down and familiar with the routines on board," he said.

"They were extremely accommodating and as a result the team found it to be an extremely rewarding training opportunity.

"It was rewarding to see how, at the end of the weekend, the team grew in confidence and capability and couldn't wait to participate in future joint training."

Example's CO Lt Thomas Stapley-Bunten said his guests "clearly made the most" of their time aboard his small craft: "Example is a very versatile and capable training vessel and we look forward to working with and supporting more reserves in the future."