Hawera woman Catriona Linders will next week sail into Taranaki alongside her 52 ship mates onboard HMNZS ENDEAVOUR, the Royal New Zealand Navy’s replenishment tanker.
HMNZS ENDEAVOUR will be visiting her home port of New Plymouth, the first visit by the ship since October 2010.
The ship will be alongside from 21-25 March, with members of ship’s company getting involved in local community activities during the visit.
Leading Medic (LMED) Linders is following in the footsteps of her father, David Linders, who served in the Navy some 20 years ago.
"Dad was always telling me his stories of his travels. I just wanted to experience what he had been boasting about, the life experiences, camaraderie, and doing something for our country," LMED Linders said.
LMED Linders has found the varied Navy lifestyle suits her well.
"I joined in March 2007 when I turned 17, and I have never looked back."
LMED Linders joined ENDEAVOUR in January 2013, as the sole charge medic onboard.
"I enjoy helping people, and I love being part of a massive team."
"My day starts at 8:00am with ‘sick parade’ which is when ship's company come to me if they’re feeling off colour. I have a range of daily checks around the ship, making sure the defibrillator is charged, oxygen bottles are full, and medical supplies are still in date and well stocked.
"Some days I will do some training with my three Ship’s Medical Emergency Team (SMET) members to ensure their training is up to a high standard. They are the ones that initially respond to medical emergencies while we are at sea.
"I love that every day in the Navy is different, and I am always learning something new," says LMED Linders.
"Serving at sea and at the Naval Hospital Unit makes for a varied career. I also served in HMNZS CANTEBURY in 2009 during the tsunami clean up in Samoa, and in HMNZS PUKAKI during 2010.
"I’ve gained a lot of medical experience, and the Navy has given me the opportunity to complete my Bachelor of Health Science.
"I have made friendships that will last my lifetime, life skills, and people skills. I have learnt how to be a good leader, and I strive to be a good role model to my juniors."