A Royal Navy crew sailed into Whitehaven over the weekend, ready to share their knowledge with their affiliated town.

The Whitehaven community – and fans of Royal Navy vessels – spent Saturday looking around coastal patrol vessel HMS Biter, learning about life in the Royal Navy from students, their captain and crew.

The 33-year-old vessel was open to public viewing from the Sugar Tongue, and the friendly team were on-hand to answer all questions fired at them about their ship.

Captain Matthew Smith and his crew sailed from Liverpool to Whitehaven on Friday morning, with University Royal Navy Unit students on-deck to share their experience and love of their chosen career.

"The main reason we're here is because Whitehaven is our affiliated town, and we're open to the public so they can see what we do," Matthew said.

"The Royal Navy are usually protecting the country at sea, so for the public to see the ship here and get involved is really interesting."

Manchester & Salford URNU was formed in 1990 to provide training to students from Manchester, Manchester Metropolitan and Salford Universities, and to educate them about the Royal Navy.

The syllabus is based primarily around navigation and seamanship both ashore and at sea, and also provides plenty of opportunity for travel – a key factor for students Jess Scott, Izzy Prosser, Thomas Hartley and Thomas (Tom) Wade.

Based onboard the fully operational 20 metre-long vessel, the students were looking forward to meeting the public – and, of course, exploring their affiliated town.

Explaining what they love most about being in the Royal Navy, all four discussed the endless and priceless opportunities.

Jess and Izzy both said getting to see so many different countries is always brilliant, and Izzy mentioned flying helicopters during training is "really fun".

Thomas H agreed, and added: "Remembrance parades are great to be involved with.

"Marching alongside serving members and paying your respects to everyone who's served is really nice."

Tom also commented on the practical skills learnt from the Royal Navy: "I've learnt there's a lot more to tying a rope than just throwing it about!"

Gerard Richardson MBE was thrilled to welcome HMS Biter to Whitehaven, and said: "The visit was a big success for the Navy and for the town, with a large number of people taking the opportunity to visit, and at the end of the day, informing and educating people about the role of the Navy was what it was about.

"It's always lovely to see the Ensign flying on a vessel in the harbour. We hosted some of the Sea Cadets on Saturday and they were enthused about it all, as was Mayor of Whitehaven Brian O'Kane and Councillor Steve Morgan who is a retired admiral from the US Navy."

He added: "All in all a very successful visit, and one that we need to repeat asap."

To learn more about what the Royal Navy offers, visit www.royalnavy.mod.uk.