North End sailor first to complete course

HMS Illustrious leaves Portsmouth for the last time
Picture: Shaun Roster

RETRO: Watch the last voyage of HMS Illustrious from Portsmouth

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A TRAINEE sailor is one step closer to a career at sea after being one of the first to complete a new basic training course.

Trainee Seaman Specialist Lee Taylor, from North End, has completed the 10-week intensive training course at HMS Raleigh in Cornwall.

The 19-year-old began his journey into the armed forces after taking a uniformed public services course at South Downs College, in Waterlooville.

He said: ‘I wanted to join up to see the world and make the most of life while making great mates.

‘Training was hard at first but after a few weeks it got easier and I’ve had the time of my life.

‘The best parts of the course were when we took control of the patrol boats during seamanship training.

‘I also enjoyed the sinking ship simulator. Now I just can’t wait to get to sea.’

With the first phase of training over, Lee will now be splitting his time between HMS Collingwood in Fareham and HMS Raleigh after attending his passing-out parade in front of family and friends.

He will spent 10 months learning how to manoeuvre a ship, crew the upper deck and operate the boats of the Royal Navy’s surface fleet.