At 17 years old I was one of the youngest people in the country to gain a commercial offshore MCA/RYA Master (yachts) ticket qualifying me to skipper commercial yachts and super yachts up to 200 Tons and have worked at sea on a variety of vessels as a professional skipper and crew. Much of my work has been on deliveries, charter work and inshore racing yachts. By 18 I had graduated Southampton Maritime College with a Btec National Diploma in Marine Technology and Boat Building.
At 21 years old, I joined Her Majesties Coastguard service as a "direct entry" Watch Officer. I served at both Humber and Solent Maritime Rescue Coordination Centres and in 4 years gained many qualifications including the coveted Search and Rescue Mission Coordinators, or SMC ticket. In doing so, I proudly became one of only 50 Coastguard Officers in the country to be qualified to such a level, and was promoted to Deputy Watch Manager and SMC on A-Watch at Solent MRCC; leading a watch of up to 6 Coastguard Officers and holding statutory responsibility for the successful outcome of hundreds of Search and Rescue Missions whilst in charge. During that time I took part in many training exercises including cliff and mud rescue, rescue helicopter flights and winching operations, lifeboat exercises and planned multi-agency major incident exercises involving the Police, Fire and Rescue Service and Ambulance services. I was also a specialist search planner for the planning and execution of searches both at sea and ashore.
I have also served as a volunteer crewman aboard Hamble Lifeboat and spent two happy years on the crew, attending shouts day and night on pager response. Incidents I attended with Hamble included dismastings, sinking vessels, serious injuries to crew, suicides, collisions, vessels aground and body recoveries on behalf of Hampshire Constabulary. I did once attend an incident involving a dog which had fallen overboard from it's owners Sailing vessel, and after a brief search recovered a very tired and soggy labrador who thankfully made a full recovery!
As well as a sailor, I am an experienced powerboat coxswain. Having gained my Powerboat Level 2 certificate at 16 years old, and I am now a qualified Powerboat Instructor.
In 2010 I reluctantly put on hold a fulfilling career with HMCG to undertake a deployment with the British Antarctic Survey.
|L-R: Tom Whitfield, Alastair Wilson, Lynsey Easton & me - Summit of Mount Hodges, South Georgia.|
I was promoted in November 2011 to Senior Boating Officer for the island (by default you understand!), and for the first time in the history of civilian boating operations here will have to run the Summer 2011/12 Boating operations unaided. Experienced and talented South Georgia coxswain Paula O'Sullivan joined me in March for what will be her third austral winter.
I would love to hear from you so please drop me an email at mailmemek (at) gmail . com with any questions or enquiries, or just to say hello. Thanks again for stopping by.