The Queen's Award for Voluntary Service

Sea staff

Volunteer and relief sea staff profiles

Mark Boggis
Second mate
Mark is a former Trustee and Chairman of the Board of OYT South. These days he is able to relax more when sailing with us! He has been involved with OYC and OYT since 1988, initially in Scotland and the North East. He has worked in the Fast Moving Consumer Goods sector since 1984, in a variety of national account, commercial and team management roles.

Graeme Cole
First mate

Sometimes known as "Becks" for his ace footballing skills, Graeme seldom goes sailing without his Garfield pillow.

Andy Royse
First mate

Andy is another OYT South Trustee who began his sail training career as a young crew member. An engineer, he is passionate about street-furniture and often entertains his watch with his knowledge of street lighting. He can also snap things out of the air like a giraffe. He loves doing chart corrections.

Annant Shah
Third mate

Annant started sailing with OYT South in 2005 having had previous experience with other forms of sail training.

Di Roberts
Second mate

Australian Di is a marine surveyor who got involved through surveying John Laing. She is highly motivated to keep John Laing sailing in good condition as she has booked berths for twin grandsons Henry and Hector when they are old enough. Which won't be until 2020. She has an inexhaustible supply of jokes, some of which are very funny.
Nic Crawford
Relief skipper
Nic is a professional boat surveyor. He does a great David Bowie on guitar, and is very laid back. He thinks that the key to a good voyage is aftenoon tea with cake - preferably Jamaica ginger cake.

Steve Lacey
First mate

Steve is qualified as both a teacher and a youth worker specialising in outdoor education. He has extensive yacht racing experience, frequently as a race navigator. He retired as a Senior Youth Worker with Dorset County Council in June 2015. He became involved with OYT South by bringing a group of young people to sail in 2002, quickly qualified as a second mate and was upgraded to first mate in 2017. He is OYT South's Safeguarding Officer.
Cathy Lacey
Second mate

Cathy is an Engineer Officer in the Royal Navy, currently working at the Maritime Warfare School. She is also a qualified part-time youth worker.

Ben Martin
First mate

Ben is in his final year of a degree in economics at University of Bath, which keeps him busy when not sailing! Having done many years of sailing 30-footers around the south and east coast with family, he moved on to OYT South firstly as crew, qualifying as watchleader in 2006, and stepping up to second mate in 2007. He was nominated by OYT South in 2008 for an ASTO exchange award, which he won, to spend time on board a sail training vessel in Canada. In 2009 he passed his first mate's assessment, aged only 21.

Joe Parker

Joe is currently writing a D Phil thesis in Comparative Macro-Evolution of Retroviruses, which he is completing on an exclusive diet of noodles. He sails in John Laing to get more sleep and avoid both the thesis and the noodles.


David Blogg

David first sailed in John Laing in 2003 and has tried to return as often as possible, but finds that his work coupled with skippering smaller yachts in his leisure time gets in the way. He also likes nothing better than fixing things, which comes in handy during the winter refit. 

David works in the defence industry, mostly on projects associated with the UK Royal Navy. His knowledge of warships and submarines is particularly useful when visiting Portsmouth and Gosport; especially if the crew need to be entertained during a trip ashore. He was upgraded to 2M in 2009.


Miranda Camping
Second mate

Miranda did several voyages in John Laing as a crew member and also helped with maintenance and other jobs on board in order to earn her bosun's recommendation. After a number of voyages as relief bosun, she passed her third mate's assessment in 2010.

Andrew Kitching
Second mate

Andrew sailed as a crew member aged 14 in 1997 with a young skipper called Dave Carnson...Ten years went by and Andrew became a watch leader with OYT North West before returning to OYT South in 2007 on a voyage skippered by....Dave Carnson.

Emma Burrows
Second mate

Emma sailed with us as a crew member for several years. She graduated from Cambridge University in 2009, and completed her mate's assessment that summer - sailing from Russia to Finland, a more glamorous location than most people get for their assessments! She helped a lot with the refit that winter, and was upgraded to second mate in 2010 before going off to a new glamorous job!
Jon Seddon
Second mate
Jon got involved with us at the 2007-8 winter refit and impressed everyone by working very hard while always looking as though he was enjoying it. He has previously spent a season as a flotilla engineer in the mediterranean and has been an excellent addition to our sea staff.

Lucinda Neall
Second mate


Lucinda first sailed with OYT South in 2004 when she organised a voyage for a group from her local youth club. Then she realised she could sail more often by becoming a watchleader! She became a second mate in 2015.

Craig Burton
Relief skipper
Craig is a former Sea Cadets skipper who now runs ASTO (the Association of Sea Training Organisations). He will be skippering John Laing for one voyage in 2008.

Colin Robertson
Second mate

Colin sailed with OYT South as a mate on a number of occasions some years ago. He has recently returned to the charity and we hope to see a lot more of him in future.
Ben "Sparky" Whinnett
First mate
Ben completed a Yachtmaster course in 2008 and is busy extending his sailing experience. He joined OYT South's full-time core refit team for winter 2008-9, having completed a mate's assessment at the end of the 2008 season, and was upgraded to second mate early in 2009 and to first mate at the end of that season.

Clare Thorpe
First mate

Clare (aka Clareski) has been a volunteer with the Ocean Youth Trust since 2001 and will sail on any boat that will have her! In her spare time she plays with nuclear waste and organises small yacht sailing for "the Captain's Daughters". She became a first mate in 2011.

Andy Bristow
Relief skipper

Andy skippered the Army charter of John Laing which sailed to Antarctica in 2001-2. He's now involved with OYT South again and settling in happily to sailing with rather different types of crew!

Kirsty Keith
Second mate

Kirsty was heavily involved with the OYC in the 1990s and did a leg of the World Voyage, after which she needed a long rest - returning to us in 2009 and almost immediately qualifying as a second mate.

Andrew Wilkes
First mate

Andrew spent many years in the telecoms industry and now spends his time running a small business in Lymington; his main objective being to escape from "shore-side" and go sailing as much as possible.
Although he has sailed south to Cape Horn and north to Baffin Island, some of his most interesting sailing has been in John Laing in the English Channel. He joined the sea staff in 2009.
Frederik Ferner
Third mate

Frederik got involved with OYT South after meeting one of our mates at a music festival. He did an adult voyage from Germany to Poland in 2009, and came back as a volunteer in 2010.


Rooby Woods
First mate

Rooby joined the sea staff in 2010 and was quickly upgraded to second mate. She became a first mate in 2015.
Emily Parker
Second mate
Emily is a keen dinghy sailor who was converted to yachting in 2002 after doing the Round the Island Race onboard John Laing. She came back to us and passed her 3rd mates assessment in 2011, and was upgarded to second mate in 2013.  Emily works in property.


Lee Mosscrop
First mate

Lee came to us after joining one of our RYA Instructors' day sails, and qualified as a mate in early 2011.

Adam Lane
Second mate

Adam used to co-ordinate OYT South's relationship with TMI, one of our key sponsors; and his youngest daughter came on a voyage in 2008. He started sailing with us in 2011 and quickly qualified as a second mate. His career lies in personal development, coaching & leadership - he is passionate about helping people release their potential & have a great time doing it.

Mike Bunton
Second mate

Mike is a merchant navy officer who has been a volunteer wa5tchleader since 2012.

Patrick Kelly
Second mate

Patrick was one of our full-time refit volunteers over the winter of 2011-12. He then sailed as bosun and trainee mate before completinga wacthleader assessment in summer 2012. He is now a medical student.


Andy Brown
Relief skipper

Andy is a former OYC staff skipper (for Grania and Falmouth Packet) who met his wife, Sally, when she sailed as his bosun! They both still sail with OYT and now have two daughters who also volunteer with us, plus a son (a doctor) who has previously sailed in John Laing. Andy is a Hydrographic Surveyor working in the Oil & Gas Industry.

Hannah Brown
Second mate

Hannah is at university training to become a primary school teacher (mainly to have the long holidays to go sailing!). She has done a lot of sail training in various vessels - long adventure voyages, trips with crews with disabilities and much more.She really enjoys the winter refits and is working towards being a mate on John Laing

Sally Brown
Second mate

In 1985 Sally sailed in the Round Britain and Ireland Yacht race with another keen OYC girl, Chris Bryan, to raise funds for the Ocean Youth Club (now OYT). They beat the Royal Marines who retired from the race because of heavy weather!  Now a Paediatric Physiotherapist, she has a husband and two daughters who all sail with OYT South - it has been suggested that women make better sailors but maybe this is because Andy is outnumbered in the family...

Jack Dignan
Second mate

Jack was born unable to see out of his left eye and first sailed with OYT South in 2014 at the age of 17 with a group organised by MACS, the charity for children born without eyes or with underdeveloped eyes. He was invited back for volunteer training and became a second mate in 2015.


Jake Clark
Second mate

Jake has been sailing with OYT South since 2014. He was invited back as trainee bosun and has quickly climbed the ladder from bosun to third mate and then second mate!


Lauren Mackenzie
Second mate

 Lauren loves teaching sailing in both yachts and dinghies. She always enjoys maths, which she is studying, and hockey.  She sailed as a bosun on a number of voyages before qualifying as a third mate on the first oppportunity after her 18th birthday.

Willoughby Matthews
Third mate

Willoughby first sailed as a crew memberb in John Laing in 2015 and joined the sea staff in 2017, becoming a third mate on board Prolific. His hobbies include politics, boats and travelling. By day, Willoughby works on commercial passenger boats around the Solent and he volunteers for his local lifeboat station.









“I had a great time. The sea staff were really nice to everything and everyone.” Toni, aged 12