What does the MVS do?
One of our primary objectives in the MVS is training maritime skills. This might be practicing manoeuvres in the harbour or plotting a passage plan in the unit. We regularly are involved in events in the Solent, and are part of Portsmouth’s civil resilience.
What will the MVS do for me?
We can train you to nationally and internationally recognised standards. Unlike some other training organisations, the training within the MVS is done at your pace and without any pressure. Aside from ashore and afloat training, we offer you the chance to take part in unique activities and experiences and put your skills into practice.
What can I do for the MVS?
Members come to us with a wide variety of skills that will be useful. Many members are former Royal Navy or Merchant Navy and have various skills that might be useful such as navigation or engineering. Other members come with skills that may not appear to be relevant, but can help manage our unit.
How much will it cost me?
Unlike some organisations, the MVS won’t cost you a small fortune to join. There is a national membership fee of £42.00 per year to cover insurance (this is reviewed each year). In Portsmouth we also have a small monthly membership of £10 to help cover the mooring of our boats, unit rental and other essential costs.
How much time do I have to give?
There is no target or minimum amount of hours that a volunteer must give. We meet weekly and many members attend every week. Other members might not be able to attend as regularly due to work or family commitments.
Do I have to go out on the boats?
Although for most this is the fun part, you do not have to spend all the time on the boats. We have shore based classroom or engineering training as well as afloat training. Members can swap between the three whenever they choose.
What do we do in Portsmouth?
In Portsmouth we operate in one of the busiest shipping ports in the country. We work alongside the Queen’s Harbour Master and our colleagues at the various lifeboat stations that cover our area, providing vital safety patrol boats and maritime services to events such as International Festival of the Sea, Meet the Navy, the annual Bournemouth Air Festival, Solent Swims and Pier to Pier Swims. We provide a corps of trained volunteers to help with emergencies both at sea and ashore.