Tough selection Bootcamp for new Sea Rangers

29 Mar 2023 | Dan Benham

With March wrapping up, our latest successful Sea Ranger Bootcamp, the annual, residential training experience where new Sea Rangers are selected, is also winding up. Another group of young recruits braved the choppy waters of the North Sea and the wet winter weather to put themselves through the rigorous process in the hope of securing a place on the ship. 

Sea legs

Now in its fourth year, the Sea Ranger Bootcamp maintains its reputation as a tough yet fun selection process for our new Sea Rangers. An initial sea based part of the bootcamp sees participants set course for the choppy North Sea for a day. It is not about being comfortable. As Sea Rangers do not need to have any previous sailing experience, instead being taught on the job, the ability to withstand the movement of the ship is what matters foremost. Simply put: do they have sea legs?

A second land based part runs for 8 days with everyone staying on site, under the guidance of the military veterans which run the programme. Some of this year’s physical activities have included raft building, climbing, canoeing, and learning other survival skills. This tests their physical and mental strength, determination and responsibility within a team. 

Speaking of her experience during this year’s Bootcamp, Julia, one of the participants, said: “It’s been tough, they put you through a lot, but it is rewarding as well. You are challenged a lot physically, and then mentally too, but it is good because there is great support from the Bootcamp team. I couldn’t do this without them.”

While it may seem like the skills needed to work on a ship for weeks at a time would mostly be a physical skill set, a strong mentality is also a necessary requirement. Additional activities put the participants through team building, mental stress activities and trust exercises.

Bart, another Sea Ranger recruit, explains how he felt during the Bootcamp: “I have learnt a lot from the Bootcamp experience. Many different aspects of working together were practised. I experienced physical lows, that taught me that I can go on much longer than I thought. On day one you get together with complete strangers and after two days it already feels like you’ve known those people for years.”

Red ropes

You may have noticed that the participants all have a red rope carried over their shoulder. This multi-purpose item is essential during the intense week of assignments.

Tariq, one of this year’s participants explains its purpose. ‘During the Bootcamp the rope is useful in so many situations. If we are in the middle of an activity and we need to fasten something, then we always have something close to hand that we can use. Also, we need to learn to tie different knots to work on the ship so this rope is here for us to practice with whenever we get a moment.

Excited to join the bootcamp yourself? Think you got it in you to become a Sea Ranger? Sign up to our newsletter and we’ll keep you posted on upcoming application deadlines.