Thursday, February 28, 2008

Royal Navy trains Russia's yachtsmen

By Donald Sensing

The Royal Navy needs money, and what better way to get it than to train the private navy of one of Russia's richest men?

In recent months, a Royal Navy contractor has started training butlers, skippers and stewards who ferry billionaires in their pearly white pleasure boats to exclusive vacation spots. One of its first clients is the captain of Ecstasea, the 285-foot vessel of Russian oil magnate Roman Abramovich.
The crews concerned so far seem to be all Brits, not Russians. The idea was the brainchild of Stephen Mackay, a retired RN officer who discovered that Europe's yacht crewmen are mostly street hires who are as likely to have no maritime training as have any at all. And almost none, experienced or not, have any training in emergency procedures.

So Mackay started a training company and pays the Royal Navy 60 percent of his take to integrate yacht crewmen into RN classes on mainly emergency skills. Since the navy frankly admits it needs the dough, it's a win-win situation all around.

Wonder what Admiral Lord Nelson would say?


Anonymous said...

After the American Revolution, John Paul Jones went to work for Ekaterina the Great in 1788.

Dave said...

I dunno. "England expects every man to do his duty"?

Anonymous said...

The Scarlet Pimpernel was a yachtsman. So were most of the saviors of Dunkirk, and all those officers with RNVR after their names (including, come to think of it, Cmdr I. Fleming). This could be some devious plot from Universal Export.

Dr. StrangeGun said...

The Russian Navy has been schooled by many nations, I don't see why the Brits shouldn't get a turn :)

Edmund Ironside said...

I can't see anything wrong with this at all. Good naval training is good naval training.

Stacy McMahon said...

What earns Roman Abramovich's yacht crew the title of "private navy"? Does his boat have James Bond-style retractable cannons?