A RECRUIT has sailed through the first stage of his Royal Navy training and is now on course for a career at sea.
Trainee Air Engineering Technician Ben Auty, from Hartlepool, arrived at the gates of HMS Raleigh, in Cornwall, in March, and has now completed 10 weeks of intensive training, designed to transform him into a sailor.
The course culminates in a passing-out parade which will be attended by families and friends.
The former pupil of High Tunstall College of Science, in Hartlepool, is following in the footsteps of his father, Peter, by joining the Royal Navy.
Peter was a member of the service between 1970 and 1982 and served on five warships.
Ben, 29, who previously worked as a sales negotiator, said: “Joining the Royal Navy was something that’s always been at the back of my mind, but the timing was never right before now.
“I have particularly enjoyed the marching and weapons drill during training.
“The whole experience has been incredibly tough, but equally rewarding.
“It’s probably the hardest task I’ve undertaken in my life.
“I’ve constantly been pushed to the limits and feel like I’ve been given the best preparation for a long career in the Royal Navy.
“I am immensely proud of myself and this achievement.”
With the first stage of his training complete, Ben’s next port of call is HMS Sultan, in Hampshire, where he will learn how to carry out scheduled maintenance, as well as pre and post-flight servicing and inspections for the Fleet Air Arm’s helicopters.