The Maritime Volunteer Service is a uniformed civilian maritime training organisation and support emergency service.
We were formed in 1994 as a response to the disbandment of the Royal Naval Auxiliary Service (RNXS).
Our patron is HRH Prince Michael of Kent and on May 7 1998, we were given Formal Recognition by the Royal Navy.
The then Minister of State for the Ministry of Defence, Lord Gilbert said:
“In line with the Royal Navy’s policy of fostering links with maritime organisations in the civilian community, they have today formally recognised the Maritime Volunteer Service. This recognition reflects the contribution of the MVS to the education and training of young people in nautical skills. The Royal Navy will advise the MVS on various maritime matters, including RN career opportunities. The Royal Navy’s closer association with the MVS will also contribute to the Government’s “New Deal” initiative by enriching the pool of training opportunities in the community, thus assisting young people to gain employment.”
In addition, we are one of only a select group of organisations allowed to fly a privileged Red Ensign, designed in 1998 by Commander Bruce Nicholls OBE RN (Rtd).
The Maritime Volunteer Service has over 400 members in more than 30 units around the coasts and estuaries of the United Kingdom. Each unit meets regularly for training which is put into practice afloat using a range of craft which includes the two unit boats.
The Portsmouth unit was the founding unit of the MVS and we meet each week on a Tuesday evening to learn, train and practice skills.
The MVS is an approved RYA training centre and in our unit we help prepare members for RYA courses and qualifications.
- RYA Powerboat Level 2
- RYA VHF DSC radio licence
- RYA Day Skipper Theory Course
- RYA Coastal Skipper / Yacht master Offshore Theory Course
- First Aid – achieving Elementary, Appointed Person and MCA qualifications
The MVS also provides training which includes:
- Safety at Sea
- Establish and Maintain Radio Communications
- Operation of Inboard and Outboard Motors
- Boat Handling
- Vessel Repair and Maintenance
- Chart Work and Navigation including use of navigation equipment
- Emergency Response such as pollution, incidents and afloat patrols
- Operations room skills including Command and Control
- Operation of craft electrical systems including fault diagnosis and rectification
- Control of berthing and berthing parties
- Small craft command and handling
Members are able to progress in their own time dependent on the amount of time they can commit to their training.
Our primary aims in the are:
- To train people in maritime skills to recognised standards
- To assist at nautical events throughout the country
- To provide a support emergency service in times of need
The Maritime Volunteer Service is open to people aged 18 or over and is ideal for those interested in the Portsmouth maritime, nautical and naval community.
It can also be seen as the next step for those who wish to try something different or move on from the Sea Cadets, Nautical Training Corps, Sea Scouts/Rangers or the Combined Cadet Force. Alternatively, the MVS can be a useful way for former members of the Royal Navy and Merchant Navy to continue with a maritime service, whilst passing on their skills to other members.
We welcome new members to join our three branches: