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13 November 2014

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You are in: Guernsey > People > Profiles > The crew and company of the HMS Daring

Captain and the bridge crew of HMS Daring

The bridge of HMS Daring

The crew and company of the HMS Daring

During his time on board the HMS Daring BBC Guernsey's Jim Cathcart spoke to several members of her crew and company.

With 190 men and women serving aboard the HMS Daring Jim Cathcart had plenty of people to speak to while he travelled from Guernsey to Portsmouth following the destroyer's first visit to Guernsey waters in January 2009.

Captain Paul Bennett of HMS Daring

Captain Paul Bennett

The first person he spoke to was the ship's commanding officer, Captain Paul Bennett.

Captain Bennett has been in the Royal Navy for more than 20 years and described the HMS Daring as "the most capable air defence destroyer in the world".

He said while he is responsible for many things his main focus is on the ship's crew and he hoped to be back in Bailiwick waters for a longer visit before the end of summer 2009.

The responsibility of being Captain's representative on the bridge often falls to the Navigator, Lieutenant Steve Banfield.

Lieutenant Steve Banfield

Lieutenant Steve Banfield

His job includes planning all of the Daring's passages and to drive her in and out of port. The whole bridge is usually run by computer but also contains all the necessary equipment to navigate "the old fashioned way" with charts and a compass.

Lieutenant Banfield said the ship's wheel was the "first thing that disappointed me", but the simple six inch wheel steers the whole 8,000 tonne ship at speeds of up to 31 knots.

From two of the ships most experienced crew members Jim Cathcart went on to speak to three of the youngest.

Josh Johnston, Simonne Watt and Aidan Matthews of the HMS Daring

Josh Johnston, Simonne Watt and Aidan Matthews

Josh Johnston is the youngest member of the crew and works in the engineering department. He said that when he left school at 16 he was interested in engineering and went to look at the local Navy joining centre to see what they had to offer and ended up on the Daring.

While not qualified to drive a car 19-year-old Simonne Watt recently qualified to drive HMS Daring which is something she said "is a privilege".

Chef Aidan Mathews is another young member of the crew and is involved in preparing "three square meals a day" for the ship's 190 crew members as well as food for special VIP functions in the ward room. He said "it does get frantic" in the galley but that it is all teamwork and "everyone gets along".

Graham McClung of HMS Daring

Graham McClung

From some of the youngest people serving on HMS Daring Jim Cathcart spoke to Graham McClung the ship's longest serving crew member, with 27 years in the service.

Graham acts as propulsion manager on the ship which he described as "cutting edge" and he said his time with the Daring has been the "culmination of his career".

Lieutenant Kate Talbot

Lieutenant Kate Talbot

Lieutenant Kate Talbot is Daring's anti-air warfare officer which means it is her job to coordinate the ship's air defense systems which are designed to defend both the Daring herself and the group with which she is deployed.

Lieutenant Talbot has been in the Navy for nine years and said that she has noticed "a fundamental sense of pride" amongst the crew of the new destroyer.

last updated: 06/02/2009 at 11:43
created: 02/02/2009

You are in: Guernsey > People > Profiles > The crew and company of the HMS Daring

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