A group of Australian Navy Cadets has enjoyed a surprise tour of a working patrol boat during a visit to Top End naval establishment HMAS Coonawarra.
The 18 cadets from Training Ship (TS) Darwin attended Coonawarra to conduct their annual swim test when their Commanding Officer, Lieutenant Jane Reptik announced that they had been invited to tour HMAS Ararat.
HMAS Ararat is a RAN Armidale Class patrol boat designed for an array of functions patrolling Australia’s maritime zones including fisheries protection, illegal immigration prevention, customs and drug law enforcement.
Commanding Officer HMAS Ararat, Lieutenant Commander Khan Beaumont and Sea Training Group Operations Officer, Lieutenant Julia Griffin conducted a tour of the boat and briefed the cadets on the role of the Australian Patrol Boat Group.
Commander Beaumont said it was a valuable opportunity.
“The cadets were given a tour of the accommodation spaces, recreation spaces, bridge and upper decks of HMAS Ararat.
“In addition to the tour they briefly got to speak and interact with the duty watch, gain an insight into some of the jobs onboard and learn what life at sea is like on a patrol boat.
“I think the kids were overawed by the visit,” Commander Beaumont said.
On completion, the cadets and their families attended Coonawarra’s Arrow Club for a BBQ lunch and patrol boat capability brief by patrol boat class Lifecycle Engineering Officer, Commander Mark Fullick.
The cadets are looking forward to further Navy interactions during a planned sea ride onboard an RAN vessel later in the year.