A LIFEBOAT crew member will swap the unpredictable seawaters of a coastal town for the winding streets of London later this year when he tackles a gruelling road race.

Allan Parker, 34, from Clacton, has volunteered for the life-saving RNLI Lifeboat since September 2018, having always wanted to do so after seeing a lifeboat in action.

Mr Parker, who has also served as a police officer in the Metropolitan Police Service for the past 11 years, immediately signed-up after moving to the area two years ago.

The average annual running costs of an inshore lifeboat station like the one located in Hastings Avenue, for example, can be as much as £95,000.

Mr Parker has therefore decided to take part in this year’s London Marathon to raise £2,500 for the non-profit charity and help with the costs of equipment and training.

He said: “I have always dreamt of being part of the lifeboat crew since I was a young boy, but I never lived close enough to a lifeboat station.

“When I moved to Clacton, I was close enough to the lifeboat station to be able to do so, and so I jumped at the chance.

“The RNLI is a charity and we rely completely on the generosity of others and without it, the RNLI would not exist.”

Having previously taken part in the New York half-marathon, Mr Parker is no stranger to the endurance-testing nature of road-running on hardened surfaces.

He does, however, acknowledge that the staggering 26.2-mile challenge, which more than 40,000 runners attempt to complete every year, will be a significant step-up.

“This will be my first full marathon and needless to say I am a long way off where I need to be.

“I will need all the support I can get to drive me forward and the support from the crowd will hopefully drag me around.

“The RNLI have given me a programme to follow and I have also been training at Physical Limits and Colchester Cross Fit.

“I chose the London Marathon because if I can accomplish that, I would feel like anything is possible.”

To sponsor Mr Parker's run head to justgiving.com/fundraising/al-parker