News: top stories for summer 2023

Catch up with some highlights from around the Corps over the last few months

Doing our bit to protect the planet

On World Environment Day on 5 June, Sea Cadets officially launched its environmental campaign, to help secure the future of our planet. Cadets have been telling us how important protecting the environment is to them, so we’ve come up with a plan to be a greener and more sustainable charity. 

This includes a range of measures at our units and boat stations, such as installing sea hives, solar panels and energy-efficient lighting. Cadets and volunteers can also calculate their personal carbon footprint by using the ClimateHero calculator here and the carbon footprint of their unit using this calculator

Got any ideas on how to be more environmentally friendly? Find out what else Sea Cadets is doing to reduce its impact and share your own ideas here

Units buzzing about sea hives 

Junior cadets have been playing their part in supporting the environment by helping to install sea hives at two Sea Cadets boat stations to benefit local marine life and biodiversity.

The first installation was at Port Edgar Boat Station, in March. Eight junior cadets from Methil and Queensferry units gathered at the Firth of Forth to assemble and then instal the sea hive, under the guidance of David Francis of SeaHives Ltd, which makes the sea hives partly from recycled fishing nets.

Sea hives are artificial reefs designed to resemble the marine environment, providing habitat for marine life to settle on. Among the creatures that might move into the hives at Port Edgar are octopuses, prawns, rock-dwelling fish and tube worms.

“I measured the bolts used to fit the sea hive together,” said Junior Cadet Jae. “I put the shackles on, which were used to attach the sea hive to the pontoon,” added Junior Cadet Addie.“We are really excited to be working on this venture,” said Adam Ranklin, Boat Station Manager at Port Edgar. “It was great to see how engaged the cadets were in the installation. They were very hands-on. It was a new and very positive experience for them.”

David Francis was impressed by how the juniors “really know how to work as a team. The boat station is an ideal location as it provides access to the plankton and nutrient-rich waters of the North Sea, protected from extreme tidal and wave action. The sea hive will also provide shelter from predators for small fish and invertebrates to grow and breed.”

Next, in April, four juniors set up their sea hive in the lake at Thrapston Boat Station. The southern edge of Thrapston Lake is an ideal location to test the potential ecological benefits of sea hives in freshwater and the sea hive was designed for the shallow waters at the edge. Because the lake is a Site of Special Scientific Interest, the cadets and the Environment Agency are looking forward to seeing how it benefits the local environment. 

If the current projects prove successful, more hives will be set up at other Sea Cadets locations. The sea hive project was the result of ideas put forward at Cadet Voice forums. Being more environmentally responsible emerged as one of our cadets’ top priorities.

As Junior Cadet Remy sums it up: “Sea cadets spend many hours enjoying the water – it’s only right that we should look after our aquatic environment.”

Marking 80 years since the Battle of the Atlantic

The last weekend of May saw Sea Cadets play a major role in events to commemorate the 80th anniversary of the Battle of the Atlantic. Waged from the first day of war in Europe to the very last, the Battle of the Atlantic (known as ‘the longest battle’) saw German U-boats attempt to disrupt the UK’s shipping lanes – with the loss of 111,000 lives, including 23,000 Royal Navy sailors. 

Commemorations began with a service of thanksgiving in Our Lady & St Nicholas, the seafarers’ church in Liverpool. The guest of honour, HRH The Princess Royal, then dedicated a new ‘garden of reflection’ memorial to those who gave their lives. Three lucky cadets from South Liverpool Unit met Her Royal Highness, as well as the First Sea Lord Admiral Ben Key KCB CBE, CO of HMS Prince of Wales and the Lord Mayor of Liverpool.  

Sea cadets took part in dozens of demonstration activities on Liverpool’s waterfront, including drill and PT, while Southport Sea Cadets Band gave a brilliant performance. When not busy performing or signing up new recruits, cadets had a chance to look around the visiting HMS Defender. 

At Sunday’s poignant drumhead service, Petty Officer Cadet Callum of Stafford & Rugeley Unit, First Sea Lord’s Cadet for North West Area, was honoured to carry and handover the BoA80 Standard and meet diplomats. The service was followed by a ‘March for the Medals’ parade, where Battle of the Atlantic veterans, now all in their 90s, took the salute from marching Royal Navy personnel, royal marines cadets and sea cadets. Ellesmere Port Sea Cadets Band then did a fantastic job leading 168 sea cadets through the centre of Liverpool. 

All the cadets were brilliant ambassadors for the Corps during a moving weekend, which concluded with the warships leading a parade of ships down the Mersey. 

Inspiring a famous Twickenham victory

Saturday 13 May saw 25 sea cadets and royal marines cadets from across Eastern, London and Southern Areas enjoy a fantastic opportunity to visit Twickenham Stadium – the home of English rugby. In a fine tradition of the annual Army v Navy match, cadets carried the Royal Navy White Ensign onto the famous pitch, before unfurling it for a rousing performance of God Save The King by the Royal Marines Band Service.

The cadets marched on with confidence in front of more than 50,000 passionate supporters, having been well prepared by Chief Petty Officer (SCC) Jo Murray. Their exemplary performance was clearly a good omen for the Royal Navy team, which produced its first win over the Army since 2010.

Capturing the Sea Cadets Experience

The winners of the Royal Navy’s annual Peregrine Trophy photographic competition have been announced.

The Sea Cadet Amateur Photographer of the Year, under 18, winner is Ordinary Cadet Lydia of Torpoint Unit. Lydia says: “I took this photo at the Trafalgar Day Parade 2022 of the PT squad getting ready for the parade. The bandies had put their instruments down for a break.”

The winner of the Sea Cadet Amateur Photographer of the Year, over 18, is David Pickles, Chair of the Unit Management Team at Rushden Unit. David says of his photo: “A photograph of me seal launching into the River Nene in a kayak in June 2022, during a river journey with Rushden Sea Cadets. It was taken using a camera mounted on the bow of my kayak as it entered the water.”

We received over 80 submissions across the two SCC categories. An awards ceremony will be held at the Royal Navy Museum in Portsmouth, with the winners invited to attend with their CO.

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