FURNESS youngsters found out what life on the ocean wave was really like during a week of adventure on a former Royal Navy vessel.

The Mail, on Friday, December 17 in 1999, noted: "It was all hands on deck for 12 of Barrow's TS Sovereign Sea Cadets when they sailed the training ship the Earl of Romney.

"The cadets, aged between 12 and 17, and two staff were given the opportunity to take part in serious seagoing training.

"The team does not often get the chance to go on such big exercises because of the high costs although this year they were successful in receiving funding and bursaries."

Lieutenant Roger Swarbrick said: "The cadets have found what it is like to leave home and live together in the confines of a ship, to be a watchkeeper, to work as a team and to be a leader."

The Earl of Romney was formerly the Royal Navy inshore survey vessel HMS Echo.

The Barrow crew members were Michael Harris, Jamie Laurie, Andrew Naylor, Imogene Thomas, Gemma Gerrish, Michael Hollingsworth, Ruth Shaw, Melanie Briggs, Peter Taylor, Craig Tyson, Scott Wright, Iain Campbell, Stan Bould and Michelle Wheeler.

Some members of the crew were given the rare chance to steer the vessel through the Thames Barrier.

On January 3 in 2001, The Mail noted that Barrow Sea Cadets were presented with a cheque for £1,245 by the Barrow and Dalton Neighbourhood Forums to replace old instruments used by players in the band.

The article noted: "The band of TS Sovereign is an integral part of the training of the cadets and is seen performing at many events, including civic events like the Mayor's Sunday and Remembrance Sunday, where the buglers play the Last Post.

"They also star in the region's many carnival and fetes during the year.

"Drummers recently appeared on stage in the gospel musical Hopes and Dreams performed at the Forum in Barrow."

In February 2001 the group was looking urgently for women willing to become instructors.

The Mail, on February 13, noted: "Eighteen of the cadets attending the Cavendish Park-based TS Sovereign are girls. All the officers and instructors are men.

"The lack of female instructors is preventing the girls from attending camps, completing course and entering competitions."

Unit commanding officer David Constable said: "We would like to recruit any ladies over the age of 18 years old and under 55 years old.