Peninsula sea cadets put frigate to the test

Twelve cadets from Sidney had a once in a lifetime opportunity.

  • Apr. 18, 2016 6:00 a.m.

Cadet Nash Hellwig from 220 Admiral Budge RCSCC takes control on the bridge during a day sail with HMCS Ottawa.

VICTORIA — Twelve cadets from 220 Admiral Budge Royal Canadian Sea Cadet Corps (RCSCC) in Sidney had a once in a lifetime opportunity to sail in a Royal Canadian Navy frigate on Saturday, April 9, during a training weekend in Victoria.

The Sidney cadets joined more than 200 other sea cadets from around Vancouver Island and the 225 crew members of HMCS Ottawa for a day at sea. The crew and cadets put the ship through its paces at full speed, up to 30 knots, and heeling over 25-30 degrees during manoeuvers.

“Spending a day on HMCS Ottawa is an experience I’ll never forget,” said  Cadet Leading Seaman Nash Hellwig. “I’ve learned a lot about the Navy and the high speed manoeuvers were my favourite part of the day.”

Cadets spent time with sailors at 13 different activity stations learning the various functions of daily life and the rhythm of a Canadian warship including weapons, fire-fighting, navigation and command, operations, boarding and rescue.

On Sunday, all cadets were inspected by Rear-Admiral Gilles Couturier, Commander Maritime Forces Pacific during an Admiral’s Ceremonial Divisions parade. The parade included a massed band as well as several promotions and recognitions.

“The cadet program helps thousands of young people grow into well-rounded, community-minded and experienced young adults,” said Couturier. “Spending time with these great young Canadians and future leaders of this country has truly been inspiring and I want to personally thank everyone involved in supporting our cadets and making this program a success in every way possible.”

HMCS Ottawa recently completed its Halifax-class Modernization / Frigate Life Extension upgrade last year and is continuing with sea trials to prepare for future operations and exercises.

The Royal Canadian Sea, Army and Air Cadets are national programs for youth ages 12 to 18, which aim to develop in youth the attributes of good citizenship and leadership, promote physical fitness and stimulate the interest of youth in the sea, land and air activities of the Canadian Armed Forces.

— Department of National Defence/Regional Cadet Support Unit (Pacific)

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