AN ARMED Forces supporter was given a full tour of a Royal Navy boat after it had docked.

Lewes District Council's councillor Sharon Davy, was given a full tour of a Royal Navy boat when it docked at Brighton Marina on October 4.

HMS Ranger is a P2000-class vessel of the First Patrol Boat Squadron, usually based in Portsmouth, and is affiliated to Lewes District Council and the town of Newhaven.

The patrol boat was expected to dock at Newhaven Marina, but the location was changed due to high winds and a rough sea.

As well as her husband, cllr Davy was joined on board by cllr Steve Saunders, who represents Newhaven North, and Russ Funnel, first lieutenant and training officer at Newhaven.

A planned sea trip was unable to go ahead because of the weather conditions, but the visitors enjoyed a full tour of the vessel and lunch.

They were warmly welcomed by chief petty officer Matthew Cosham and were introduced to the crew of the HMS Ranger, which provides at-sea training for Royal Navy Cadets and University Royal Naval Units.

Cllr Davy said: "Listening to Lieutenant Benjamin Hammick and his crew's enthusiastic experiences of the Royal Navy, I learnt how valuable their transferable skills are, if and when they leave the Royal Navy.

The Argus: Navy boat tour Lewes District councillor Sharon Davy on HMS RangerNavy boat tour Lewes District councillor Sharon Davy on HMS Ranger

"These apprenticeships combine practical on-the-job training with study - training and skills at all levels, being part of a team, discipline and an attitude that 'this is a lifestyle, not a job'.

"The apprenticeship programme started in 1998 and trains 2,500 apprentices every year, not forgetting post-graduate career prospects."

This was cllr Davy's second visit to HMS Ranger as she had greeted the vessel in Newhaven in March, but covid-19 restrictions meant she was only able to enjoy a socially distanced chat with the crew onshore.

She said: "I hadn't expected such a delicious onboard cooked lunch and was impressed - our Royal Navy are multi-talented. I hope to have a chance to meet HMS Ranger again and head out to sea."

Lewes District Council recognises those who have served in the Armed Forces within its housing allocations policy, and veterans are reminded to declare this status under appropriate questions on their Housing Register Application Form.

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