A life on the ocean Wave for RNLI man

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From his home near Scarborough harbour, Wave Crookes can see the sea and the lifeboat house.

Both have loomed large throughout his working life.

The aptly-named mariner has been working on and around seagoing vessels since he left school.

He works for Maersk, one of the world’s biggest shipping companies, and is busy converting his Royal Navy qualifications for use in the merchant navy so he can navigate any size vessel anywhere in the world and progress to captain.

When he isn’t sailing huge ships on distant oceans, Wave volunteers as second coxswain for Scarborough lifeboat, deputising for Tom Clark.

“Between us, we run the crew and deal with any issues that come up and make sure the boat is always ready for service,” Wave says.

Wave, Tom and three deputy second coxswains take turns to command the lifeboat at sea and take responsibility for the safety of the crew.

The close-knit team train hard, usually having two exercise launches a month.

“We all get on very well, we’re quite good friends and there’s a good social scene,” he explains.

Needless to say, the role isn’t without its challenges which, alongside the obvious dangers of saving lives at sea, can be much closer to home.

Wave and his wife Sarah have two small children. “The challenging bit when you’ve got family is time management,” Wave explains.

When he isn’t at work, he is on call for the RNLI one week in five. During that week, he has to be “anchored to the house”, as he puts it. He can’t leave town, he can’t drink alcohol and a pager is always at his side.

He is eagerly looking forward to Scarborough’s new lifeboat, due in 2015, saying: “The Shannon will oulast all of us,” he says. “The technology, extra speed and capability will change the face of lifeboating in Scarborough and the rest of the UK.”

An appeal to raise £200,000 towards the cost of a launch-and-recovery Supacat vehicle for the new lifeboat recently reached £35,000.

Wave says donations are “the lifeblood of the RNLI” as the charity doesn’t receive financial support from the government.

To help, call 0845 1226999 or donate £5 by texting RNLI SCARBOROUGH to 70300.