Royal Navy trainees experience 'high-octane' day at sea on fleet's 'smallest but fastest' boat

NEW sailors have been given a taste of life at sea on board the Royal Navy’s smallest – but fastest – boats.
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Phase two weapons engineering trainees from HMS Collingwood, in Fareham, were given the ‘high-octane’ insight on patrol boat HMS Sabre.

The team of freshly-qualified sailors have only just passed their basic training at HMS Raleigh and are now working on their specialist training before heading to the fleet.

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HMS Sabre at speed in Stokes BayHMS Sabre at speed in Stokes Bay
HMS Sabre at speed in Stokes Bay
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They will be responsible for keeping ships fighting fit by maintaining communications kit, sensors and weaponry.

Sabre’s four-strong crew took six trainees a day out to hone their basic seamanship, navigation and man overboard drills.

Lieutenant Chris Cotterill, Sabre’s commanding officer, said: ‘Having conducted similar training for Victory Squadron last year, my team and I were keen to continue supporting the phase two element of HMS Collingwood and provide practical, hands-on training serials. The feedback from the trainees has been positive throughout.’

At 52ft long, Sabre is the smallest vessel in the fleet – but with a speed of 32 knots, she is the fastest.

Sabre's crew demonstrate how a man overboard is recovered.Sabre's crew demonstrate how a man overboard is recovered.
Sabre's crew demonstrate how a man overboard is recovered.
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Sabre is part of the navy’s coastal forces squadron, which is made up of P2000 and Scimitar-class patrol boats.

The vessel spent almost 20 years guarding the waters around Gibraltar before returning to the UK in September 2020.

Since then, Sabre has been used to support training and provide security for HMS Queen Elizabeth’s homecoming late last year.

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