Royal Navy at HMS Excellent Phoenix Damage Repair Instructional Unit
On Thursday, 4th June, Trinity and The Quest CCFs were hosted by the Royal Navy at HMS Excellent and The Phoenix Damage Repair and Instructional Unit.
The Royal Navy Firefighting School training team in HMS Excellent provided us with training in fire prevention and firefighting aboard ship. We learnt about the particular conditions aboard ship that make it imperative that everyone aboard is trained in firefighting. After thorough preparation in the classroom, we were instructed in the drills and then fought a series of fires aboard HMS Excellent.
During the afternoon, we visited The Phoenix Damage Repair and Instructional Unit. This is known throughout the Navy as DRIU, pronounced ‘drew’ and is a mock-up of a flooding ship which rocks and rolls as sailors try to plug gaps in the hull using wood.
Vital to teaching sailors the art of damage control, the Phoenix Damage Repair and Instructional Unit is responsible for saving at least two flooded ships in recent years.
Split over three decks, the unit simulates compartments of a ship with water rushing in through various holes.
Sailors are expected to stop the inrush of water using blocks of wood and hammers.
Key to the success of the DRIU is its realism – thanks to hydraulics, it rocks and rolls up to 15 degrees to port and starboard, simulating the motion of a ship.
The techniques taught in the simulator meant that sailors were able to save both HMS Endurance and HMS Nottingham when both were close to sinking due to severe flooding.
New members of the cadet force will have the opportunity to attend this training next year.