Students check out running of patrol boat
Getting up close to a navy vessel is something few school children get to do, but for some Southland youngsters yesterday was a chance to do just that.
The group of 14, from Northern Southland College and Menzies College, were given a tour of the HMNZS Rotoiti while it was docked in Bluff.
Midshipman Sam Mason told pupils the patrol vessel was in the area refuelling and stocking up on supplies, after 12 days at sea.
The patrol vessel was New Zealand-based and could travel up to 240 kilometres offshore, he said.
The pupils were given an insight into the daily running of the ship, from its navigation equipment to checking out the on-board armoury.
The navy offered career opportunities in a variety of paths, from electronics to diesel mechanics, and being a chef or a medic, he said.
Northern Southland College teacher Karen Blakemore said the trip gave students considering a career in the armed forces a rare insight. "It's a great opportunity . . . to come down and go on a navy ship, and see what they do and how they live. It's a huge eye-opener for some of the kids."