A TRAINEE chef is a step closer to cooking at sea after completing his first stage of Royal Navy training.

Calum Vickers, 21, of Darlington, has passed a ten-week intensive training course at HMS Raleigh in Cornwall in which he learnt to handle an SA80 assault rifle as well as learning seamanship techniques and tackling gruelling fitness sessions.

The former rail contractor will now transfer to the Defence Maritime Logistics School, also within HMS Raleigh, to undertake a 26-week course learning how to cook for hundreds of people.

Loading article content

He will also learn food hygiene, health and safety, catering accountancy and stock control.

Having volunteered for Submarine Service, Calum will then transfer to the Royal Navy Submarine School for training on how to work beneath the waves.

He said: “I joined the Royal Navy because I want a new career and a new life, reaching what limits I can.

“It’ll be an honour to serve the Queen and our country.

“The lads I’ve met and overcoming all the things we’ve had to deal with together has been the highlight of the course.

“We are a great team.

“Training has told me to take one day at a time with a smile.”