Young Massey Drive sea cadet gets to learn about marine engineering

Gary Kean
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Cody Giles of the Royal Canadian Sea Cadets Corps Curling in Corner Brook,  shows the training manual he had to read during a marine engineering course in Comox, B.C. this summer.

CORNER BROOK  If Cody Giles goes on to become a marine engineer, he already has a bit of a head start.

The 16-year-old from Massey Drive was one of 15 young sea cadets from across Canada to be accepted into an eight-week marine engineer course at HMCS Quadra’s Cadet Summer Training Centre in Comox, B.C.

The course consisted of seven weeks of challenging theoretical and practical learning, mechanical sketching, shipboard firefighting and damage control, engineering maintenance skills and emergency procedures. The final week was spent preparing for an appearance in front of a board of Canadian naval marine engineers to test his knowledge of what he had learned.

“It was a little intimidating to do that,” said the petty officer (first class) with the Royal Canadian Sea Cadets Corps Curling in Corner Brook.

“These were all guys who have been in the navy doing this work for 25 years. You can’t just say anything and not be 100 per cent sure what it is because they will know the difference.”

It was his third summer doing a sea cadet course away from home since joining the Curling corps when he was 13. He went to Nova Scotia for a three-week camp in 2011 and a six-week camp in 2012.

This year’s experience of learning all about the Orca class of naval vessel, he said, was even better.

Of all 13 of the mechanical systems he and the other cadets sketched schematics and worked on, his favorite was the salt water cooling system that kept the ship’s engines from overheating.

“We had to unscrew a lot of nuts and bolts, then pull up the filter and clean it out,” he said. “There would be seaweed in it and sometimes there would be things like crab and little jelly fish that had to be cleaned out.”

Heading to level 2 at Corner Brook Regional High School this fall, Giles still has options to weigh career-wise, but he is leaning towards marine engineering.

“Just the experience itself will help me in university and on résumés,” he said.

He is looking forward to doing more sea cadet courses like this next summer and may even return to Comox and work as a member of the staff for the marine engineering course.

Organizations: Canadian Sea Cadets Corps Curling, Corner Brook Regional High School

Geographic location: Comox, Massey, Canada Corner Brook Nova Scotia

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