Maritime Volunteer Service

Maritime Volunteer Service

The Maritime Volunteer Service (MVS) is a maritime training organisation and support emergency service in the United Kingdom. It was formed in 1994 as a response to the disbandment of the Royal Naval Auxiliary Service (RNXS).

Its stated aims are:[1]

  • To train people in nautical skills to recognised international standards.
  • To provide a support emergency service both afloat and ashore.
  • To help at maritime events around the country.
  • To stimulate the interest from all walks of life in maritime affairs.
  • To be an interesting and useful spare time activity that is fun and exciting.

The Maritime Volunteer Service have over 400 members in more than 30 units around the coasts and estuaries of the United Kingdom. Each unit meets weekly for training which is put into practice afloat using a range of craft including powerful RIBs, launches, dories, purpose made rescue craft and even offshore training ships. One unit has even purchased a hovercraft to provide safety cover in shallow waters and mud banks.

With the MVS people can train in the following RYA courses:

  • RYA Basic Navigation and Safety Course
  • RYA Day Skipper Theory Course
  • RYA Coastal Skipper / Yachtmaster Offshore Theory Course
  • RYA Diesel Engine Course
  • RYA Marine Radio Short Range Certificate Course
  • RYA Radar Course

Members can also train with materials produced by the MVS covering:

  • Safety at Sea
  • First Aid - achieving Elementary, Appointed Person and MCA qualifications
  • Fire Fighting
  • Establish and Maintain Radio Communications
  • Launch and Recovery of Boats
  • 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
  • Use of meteorological information
  • Operation of craft electrical systems including fault diagnosis and rectification
  • Large craft engines and auxiliary systems
  • Control of berthing and berthing parties
  • Small ship command and handling
  • Deck and Engineering watch keeping
  • Beach Master

Members progress through the various levels in their own time dependent on the amount of time they can commit to their training.

Looking to the future, the MVS intend to ensure that the term “Maritime Volunteer” is widely known and understood with each MVS Unit an intrinsic part of the lives, hearts and minds of their local community.[citation needed]


  1. ^ Maritime Volunteer Service

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