Youngsters get their first taste of the sea in Eastbourne

Scouts, leaders and MVS volunteers aboard East Sussex 1 last year
Scouts, leaders and MVS volunteers aboard East Sussex 1 last year

Members of the Sovereign Harbour-based Maritime Volunteer Service (MVS) Unit are getting ready to run another series of sea experience trips for youth groups, and especially local Scouts.

The MVS volunteers have been working hard through the winter getting their 17-metre long ex-Navy launch East Sussex 1 ready for a three-month long programme of evening trips which give youngsters a first taste of going to sea.

MVS Unit member David Hughes said, “These are short trips but we pack a lot in, including learning how to steer, understanding basic navigating techniques and taking part in man overboard exercises.

“We have been running these trips for several years now but we hope more groups will take the opportunity to get afloat with us this year. We hope these outings will encourage an interest in all things maritime and, in some cases, could even lead to a career at sea.”

As well as these ‘taster trips’ the MVS Unit offers more in-depth all-day courses on East Sussex 1 and also provides instructors for a three-day water activities weekend run by Bexhill Scouts.

The MVS is a registered national charity and one of its key charitable objectives is youth training. To allow as many young people as possible to benefit from these trips there is no charge for taking out the groups. However running East Sussex 1 is very expensive and the unit is looking for sponsors for its youth training programme.

Mr Hughes added, “We are putting together our programme now, with evening youth training trips scheduled from May to July. If any youth group leaders are interested they should phone 07481 909310 or email

“Enquiries from potential sponsors or new members would also be very welcome.”