A TEENAGER from Tolleshunt Knights has become one of the youngest people to join a refugee rescue mission.

Mary Finn, 19, has taken part in three missions on rescue boats this year. Earlier this year she completed two turns of service on rescue boats between Turkey and Greece.

Last week she returned from a trip to Malta.

During her time there, the former pupil at St Benedict’s College in Colchester acted as a skipper on a rescue boat from the German charity CADUS ship The Minden off the Libyan coast.

Her dad Benjamin said: “Their only hope is being picked up by one of the many international rescue missions operating in the area.”

On her latest volunteering mis- sion Mary helped helm a small in- flatable rescue boat.

Mr Finn added: “At 19 she is probably the youngest person to be given this role, and has been chosen because of the training she underwent at Atlantic College, the sixth form college she attended on the south coast of Wales, where as part of the curriculum they can choose to train in search and res- cue and build inflatable RHIBS (reinforced hull inflatable boats).

“In fact the first RHIB was designed and built at the college back in the 1960s and the patent was sold to the RNLI for a pound, and became the Atlantic class lifeboat.

“Mary gained her powerboat licence there and after having done a year’s foundation course in art at Falmouth College of Art, she did two search and rescue missions off the coast of Lesvos, Greece; one in March 2016 with the charity Sea Watch and then this August with Refugee Rescue.”

Mr Finn added: “Many young people have been deeply affected by the migrant and refugee crisis which has happened at a formative time for them and many have responded to the humanitarian crisis we are witnessing.

"It is heartening to see our young people stepping up and getting involved in any way they can.

"The charities who are organising this work are not just big established ones but small ones which have been formed in response to the crisis.”