Larne Sea Cadets bid farewell to flagship after 43 year

NI sea cadets. INLT-32-716-conNI sea cadets. INLT-32-716-con
NI sea cadets. INLT-32-716-con
Larne Sea Cadets have helped see off the organisation’s flagship, TS Royalist on its final voyage from Belfast during a ceremony at Queens Quay .

Around 100 cadets and staff from across Northern Ireland paraded in front of the iconic vessel and invited guests.

TS Royalist has been on a tour of the UK before she is decommissioned later in the year to make way for a new vessel ahead of the 2015 offshore season.

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After 43 years of faithful service taking over 30,000 cadets to sea, the 96-foot brig is due to retire.

TS Royalist’s Sailing Master and Relief Commanding Officer Roy Taylor said: “It has been a pleasure to visit the port of Belfast in what will be the very last time on TS Royalist.

“Voyages on TS Royalist are open to all 14,000 Sea Cadets but sailing is only part of it because our emphasis is also on team work, communication, navigation and fun.

“When Sea Cadets join us on TS Royalist, they do so on a level playing field and have the same opportunity to make the most of the adventure.

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“Some cadets also secure valuable qualifications on board which give them a head start in life – we see this as a sound investment in our young people.”

Over the last four decades years, TS Royalist has welcomed cadets and staff from Northern Ireland Sea Cadets and a variety of uniformed youth organisations who live, eat, sleep and sail the ship while learning new skills.

TS Royalist left Queens Quay in Belfast for the final time on Sunday, August 3 at 2pm with a flotilla of sail.

The flotilla was lead by The Mona from Lagan Boat Company and a ceremonial spray from the Svitzer fire tug Willowgarth.

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Sea Cadets will welcome a new tall ship next year, which they have helped raise money for.

Sea Cadet units across the Northern Ireland are currently recruiting young people aged between 10-18 and volunteers.