Whitby sailor visits twin town

Petty officer Mark Crooks with a copy of the Gazette in the Falkland Islands
Petty officer Mark Crooks with a copy of the Gazette in the Falkland Islands

A STAITHES-BORN sailor has visited the port of Stanley on the Falkland Islands - which is twinned with Whitby - during a visit to the islands by his ship HMS Dauntless.

Petty officer Mark ‘Garth’ Crooks (40) deployed with the Type 45 Destroyer in April for what is likely to be his last trip to sea after 22 years in the Royal Navy.

He said: “It’s great to get the opportunity before I leave to visit the Falklands and see for myself the memorials and battlefields, which I remember from hearing the news as a young lad.”

Employed primarily as an anti-submarine warfare director, Mark operates the ship’s sonar, provides tactical advice to the ship’s captain to defend the ship from submarine attack and can also direct the ship’s helicopter to attack a possible submarine aggressor.

He is also kept busy training the whole ship’s company in firefighting and damage control techniques.

The seven-month deployment is his last trip in a career which has seen him sail all over the world, where he has been involved in numerous different naval operations.