Carrickfergus Sea Cadets joined their colleagues at a farewell ceremony for the flagship TS Royalist in Belfast’s Queens Quay on Sunday.
Around 100 cadets and staff paraded in front of the much-loved vessel which has been on a tour of UK before she is decommissioned later in the year to make way for a new ship ahead of the 2015 offshore season.
In attendance at the event, from Carrick were Leading Cadet Luke Patton, Able Cadet Sam Grange, Cadet Jennifer Patton and Commanding Officer Captain (SCC) Richard Hoey RMR
Roy Taylor, TS Royalist’s Sailing Master and Relief Commanding Officer, 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. 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.”
TS Royalist has over the last 43 years welcomed cadets and staff from Northern Ireland Sea Cadets and a variety of uniformed youth organisations who live, eat, sleep and sail the ship all while learning new skills. TS Royalist left Queens Quay for the final time with a flotilla of sail.
Sea Cadets will welcome a new tall ship next year, for which they have helped to raise money.
Carrick Sea Cadets are currently recruiting young people aged between 10-18 and volunteers.