FOR those who feel the call of the ocean wave, it is hard to imagine a less suitable place than landlocked Mansfield and Ashfield.
But that does not mean a life on the ocean is beyond their reach as for those who long to test out their sea legs there is another option.
Mansfield Sea Cadets, based on Quarry Lane, was launched at King Edward’s School in 1942 and offers sailing during the summer at King’s Mill Reservoir.
It has 50 members, between 10 and 18 years of age, made up of sea cadets and marines.
Members at the club, which is staffed entirely by volunteers, take naval training and there are opportunities for them to visit Naval bases a couple of times a year.
Jackie Gill, commanding officer of the Royal Navy Reserve, who has 22 years’ experience in the sea cadets, said the club’s purpose was not just to train young people for the Navy but develop them into mature adults.
She said: “They learn leadership skills when taking charge of the young cadets as they advance. They teach in class and learn skills such as boating, first aid and radio communications.”
Youngsters can also take part in the Duke of Edinburgh scheme or study for a first diploma in public service, which can help students with fewer GCSEs progress in life.
Said Jackie: “Less academic pupils get an extra chance at school to top up their GCSEs.
“They can also gain sailing qualifications - we have some cadets who have ended up getting jobs at Center Parcs and Holme Pierrepont in Nottingham as instructors.”
Joseph Tinker (14), of Annesley, has been a sea cadet for two years and has become a skilled sailor during his time there.
He spent a week last year sailing round the Solent on the south coast and finished third in a national sailing competition in September.
He said: “It gives you an education and can help you get a job in the Navy or armed forces and it looks good on your CV because it shows you can volunteer. I am starting my Duke of Edinburgh awards and have some engineering qualifications already.”
Jackie said she wanted to appeal to local business people for money or materials. She added: “Volunteers do not need to have a Navy or Army background because we train them.”
Anyone interested in joining or could help with donations visit www.mansfieldseacadets.com.