Navy Reservist returns to Maritime and Coastguard role after nearly a year at sea

Returning Royal Navy Reservist Olivia Quinn is back in her role at the Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) after an opportunity she 'couldn't pass up'.

Olivia, from Penarth, works at the UK Ship Registry in Cardiff but has spent nearly a year aboard HMS Severn.

She has been on secondment from the MCA since September 2021 before returning last month.

Olivia said her time onboard HMS Severn was 'pretty special' but that she is pleased to see her UK Ship Register colleagues once more

Olivia 'Liv', who is based at HMS Cambria as a Welsh Reservist, said: "It's very strange to be back in the office after a year on ship, but I'm slowly getting back into life. 

"The office in Cardiff is a great place to work and it's so good to see everyone as I haven't seen them since we were in heavy lockdown. 

"The MCA is very supportive of the Reserves and understood that this was an opportunity that I couldn't pass up."

The MCA, of which HM Coastguard is a part, is a signatory to the Armed Forces Covenant. The agency recognises the value that serving personnel – both regular and reservists – cadets, veterans and military families contribute to their aims and the nation.

Liv told the Navy: "It was pretty special sailing past Penarth coming in to Cardiff Bay, as well as manoeuvring through the Locks near HMS Cambria, it was exciting and great to see all the people who turned out for us."

Liv was part of the Seaman specialisation team on board. She served with the ship on its patrolling duties around the UK and enjoyed all the experiences and knowledge she gained.

“It’s been really good, the whole ship’s company are such a tight group there’s only five of us in my team, it’s really like a family," she added. "When I started on HMS Severn, I was well prepared from what I’d been taught at HMS Cambria and the training with the Reserves. It was exactly what I expected, and the whole experience has not let me down.

“I’ve seen some wonderful things around the UK. Going up the Clyde into Glasgow with the Royal Navy’s Specialist Navigator Course, was truly amazing under all the bridges. 

"Then sailing around the Western Isles of Scotland, in really tricky waters, very close to the land and through some narrow passages, it was such a sight. Not many people get to sail so close to the islands.

“It’s all worked out pretty well. I’d love to come back with another ship in a few years’ time...but for now I’ll be happy just sharing my experiences with others in the unit. I’d definitely recommend this.”

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