Choules hosts sea riders for charity

This article has photo gallery Published on MIDN Kyle Davies (author), ABIS Chantell Bianchi (photographer)

Location(s): Sydney, NSW

Midshipman Joshua Woodward gives David Shanahan (centre) and David Glasson (front) a tour of HMAS Choules bridge as part of a charity sea day. (photo: ABIS Chantell Bianchi)
Midshipman Joshua Woodward gives David Shanahan (centre) and David Glasson (front) a tour of HMAS Choules bridge as part of a charity sea day.

Fourteen generous members of the public were beneficiaries themselves on 22 September, when they were invited onboard HMAS Choules for a day.

Choules hosted the group who had bid at charity auctions to experience a day at sea with the Royal Australian Navy.

The experience included a tour of the ship as she sailed in and around Sydney Harbour and the opportunity to witness some of the day-to-day work of her crew. 

Highlights included seeing Choules operate in company with HMAS Arunta, watching the professionalism required on the bridge of a Navy ship, and experiencing her impressive amphibious capabilities on a boat transfer back to Sydney by a Landing Craft Vehicle Personnel (LCVP).

Charity sea day winners depart HMAS Choules onboard a Landing Craft Vehicle Personnel (LCVP) to return to Garden Island, Sydney.

Charity sea day winners depart HMAS Choules onboard a Landing Craft Vehicle Personnel (LCVP) to return to Garden Island, Sydney.

Mr Ian Bollen, who came onboard with his two sons, Zac and Josh, said that what they saw was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.

"What we saw was way outside what I consider day to day life-it was an insight into the complexities of the Navy," he said.

Significant amounts of money were bid for the experiences, with funds raised going to charities including the Sydney Children's Hospital, Odyssey House, NSW Cancer Council, Royal Flying Doctors Service, Legacy and the Sydney Heritage Fleet.

Ian Bollen (centre) father to Zac (left) and Josh (right) take part in a charity sea day onboard HMAS Choules.

Ian Bollen (centre) father to Zac (left) and Josh (right) take part in a charity sea day onboard HMAS Choules.