Dunbar RNLI are pleased to announce that Gary “Gaz” Crowe is the station’s new inshore lifeboat mechanic.
Gaz, 27, is reprising a role that had previously been in operation at the station and it is his third major position since joining the Dunbar crew just six years ago. He is already a helm on the inshore lifeboat (ILB) and has played an instrumental role in promoting the work of the station as a Lifeboat Press Officer, where perhaps his crowning glory was his excited video capture, while on the all-weather lifeboat, of a family of dolphins – including a “wee baby one” – that created headlines as far as the Washington Post!
In addition to all of that, Gaz also helps organise station visits and many of the crew’s social events.
Gaz, who also works full-time as a laboratory process operator at the Tarmac cement factory, is relishing his new role – but says he still has to pinch himself at the opportunities that have come his way since he signed up as a volunteer on the crew.
He had no previous maritime experience but, being Dunbar born and bred, grew up fascinated by the lifeboats and their place in the community.
Gaz said: “I wanted to join for a long time before my fiancée Bethany put me forward. Having no maritime background I thought there would be minimum requirements you had to meet.
“I quickly found out though that the RNLI provides all the training you need – providing you’re willing to give that commitment.
“I wouldn’t be the person I am today without the experience I’ve had from being a volunteer.
“It changes every day here. I’ve gone from someone who was just thrilled to be part of training and being able to go on service calls, to working my way to becoming a helm and helping on the media front. Now I’m helping train new volunteers.
“I never imagined when I signed up that I would be in charge of three crew on a £50,000 boat but the lifeboat crew has shown me that you get back what you put in here.
“I never had the responsibility of teaching someone before but now I relish the challenge on exercises of training someone so when they go out on a service call they are ready.”
Gaz, who has previously trained as a joiner, once spent four months on a mechanic course, but essentially all the knowledge needed for the role will be provided on station.
And Gaz hopes his experience might inspire other would-be volunteers who are at the same stage in life as he was to give it a crack.
He said: “Here you are pushed but comfortably pushed. I had no commitments when I joined so I could throw myself into it. I got a kick out of being part of the crew and I want any new volunteer to feel the same way.”