Caymanian youngsters from various groups and clubs were filled with awe as they toured the Royal Navy war ship HMS Iron Duke on Tuesday.
The children, who were accompanied by leaders of their respective organisations, were able to view the operational and combat areas of the frigate, which is the mainstay of the surface fleet in the modern Royal Navy.
They were told about the benefits of serving their country and reminded that as dependants of Britain, Caymanians were welcome to enlist in the Royal Navy or any other division of the British Armed Forces.
In fact, some officers on the ship were from St. Vincent and the Grenadines, as well as other Crown Colonies.
With regard to this reality, Scout Leader Fritz McPherson said, ‘It is amazing that this is an often overlooked avenue for Cayman’s youth, especially with hundreds graduating every year and dwindling options in traditional industries.’
There are nearly 200 men and one woman currently serving on the HMS Iron Duke. However another female was said to be joining the crew shortly, according to officials on board the US$280m vessel.
The children learnt about how weapons systems on the ship were deployed and what types of duties crews in different areas of the ship were responsible for. They heard how sailors could be away from home for 6 months at a time and most confessed that they had a new-found appreciation for what these persons go through and how indebted they felt toward them.
The Iron Duke is in the Cayman Islands primarily to provide reassurance and support, especially during hurricane season, in addition to hunting narcotics traffickers.
This trip to the island also marks the first time a visiting warship has docked using the Exxon fuel moorings, which the crew said was an added benefit, as they were not in the way of any cruise liners.
The ship and her crew set sail for Cayman Brac on Wednesday.