Leading by HMS Example

Berwick-born Lieutenant Duncan Napier, Commanding Officer of HMS Example, arrives in his home town.
Berwick-born Lieutenant Duncan Napier, Commanding Officer of HMS Example, arrives in his home town.

A Royal Navy captain has had the thrill of sailing into his home town port of Berwick for the first time.

HMS Example arrived in Berwick on a beautiful sunny day last Wednesday for an overnight stay berthed at the quayside, with Lieutenant Duncan Napier, Commanding Officer of HMS Example at the helm.

“It was quite exciting bringing a boat into my home town for the first time,” said Duncan.

“There was a bit of a swell coming in and the Tweed is quite shallow in places but Berwick is a beautiful looking place to sail into.”

HMS Example came on a training excursion, giving students from the Royal Naval Reserve (RNR) the opportunity to practise their navigation and leadership skills in a different environment.

“The majority of our RNR are used to training on the River Tyne in Newcastle where we’re based,” explained Duncan. “That is a great training environment but it’s our backyard and these training days give them time at the wheel and at sea doing different drills, and give us a chance to fly the White Ensign in a different port.”

The crew did anchoring drills off Amble and Bamburgh on their journeys to and from Berwick.

The fresh-faced 27-year-old has been in the Royal Navy since 2012 and was honoured to be selected to be a commanding officer last autumn.

“There are some younger commanding officers,” he said. “These roles are designed to give you early command experience of driving a ship and the challenges it can bring.

“It’s a stepping stone for your future career,” said Duncan, a hydrographics specialist in surveying and meteorology.

HMS Example is a P2000 Archer Class patrol boat based at HMS Calliope in Newcastle, affiliated with the Northumbrian Universities Royal Naval Unit which provides naval training to students at Newcastle, Northumbria and Durham universities. She is one of 14 patrol boats that make up the Royal Navy’s 1st Patrol Boat Squadron and has five permanent crew members.