City of Liverpool Sea/Marine Cadets deployed to Holy Island, Anglesey, North Wales from 10-15th August 2014 for Exercise Rip Curl.
Prior to the exercise the cadets raised funds to pay for the local purchase of climbing equipment and wet suits (a total cost of £1798). Cadets from the unit carried out two bag packs at local supermarkets, one of which received a price match from one of the instructors in the unit who works for Santander – they gave £700. Other funding was provide by Radio City Liverpool, the Ulysses Trust and personal contributions from the staff and the cadets.
We used the facilities at the Sea Cadet Unit at Holyhead as a base from which to operate from for the duration of this exercise, and 8 staff and 14 cadets attended.
The first two days of the AT camp we split the cadets into 3 groups with Group 1- Climbing and Abseiling in Llanberis; Group 2 – Coastal walk from Four Mile Bridge, Holy Island back to the SCC unit in Holyhead (Duke of Edinburgh practice Expedition); and the final group were to carry out a mountain day, however due to high winds in the Snowdonia area a low level walk was completed instead.
On day 2 the groups rotated, with the only difference being that one of the groups took part in the Sea Level Traversing activity for ½ a day, and the group carrying out the Duke of Edinburgh training walked from the SCC unit in Holyhead to the Sea Level Traversing venue (Porth Dafarch) and spent the afternoon Sea Level Traversing.
On completion of the Coastal walks (The Duke of Edinburgh Group) the cadets set up camp in the grounds of the SCC unit in Holyhead. They remained self-sufficient until the following morning, having been supplied with ration packs and a cooker, and they were not permitted to go into the accommodation until ENDEX.
On Day 3 (Wed) I had organised a trip to RAF Valley to visit C flight, 22 Squadron, Search and Rescue Team. On arrival at the base in the morning we were met at the main gate by one of the pilot officers who guided us to the Search and Rescue Team buildings. The cadets where given a tour of the various departments – Mountain Rescue, Medical Training/Stores, etc., and they were then given a presentation/video of the role of the SAR teams. In the afternoon the Cadets received a safety brief and then split into two groups of seven. Each group was given a flight in the Sea King Search and Rescue Helicopter – this was touch and go to the last minute whether they would get a flight.
Day 4 (Thurs) all the cadets and instructors went up to Holyhead Mountain and spent the day climbing and abseiling in glorious sunshine. Members of Holyhead Sea Cadets (TS Prince of Wales) were also invited and experienced a fantastic day, many overcoming their fear of heights!!
Altogether the expedition went well, 8 months of planning and preparation had paid off, and all the staff and cadets enjoyed the week. We wish to thank the Ulysses Trust for the support and funding of this exercise.