A FORMER St Mary's High School pupil is making good progress in his bid to make a solo Atlantic crossing.

Tim Crockett, who was brought up in Red Hill, is taking part in the Talisker Whiskey Atlantic challenge in his boat Tame the Kraken.

This is a gruelling 3,000-mile row across the Atlantic from San Sebastian in La Gomera, in the Canary Islands, to Antigua in the West Indies.

Tim, who is taking on the challenge to raise funds for and awareness of Combat Stress, joined the Royal Marine Commandos in 1990.

He served until 2001 and during his career he saw action in first Gulf War.

Tim has spent most of his working life around water as he also served in the Special Boat Service.

He was inspired to undertake the challenge after a Marine comrade took his own life two years ago.

The experience brought home to him the importance of raising awareness and supporting veterans’ mental health.

Tim, who celebrated his 48th birthday earlier this month, now lives in Atlanta in the USA but visits family in Hereford regularly.

Since leaving the Marines, Tim has worked in the US supporting the media in hostile environments. His work has taken him to Afghanistan and the Syrian city of Homs.

Tame the Kraken was one of 28 vessels, manned by teams ranging from one to five strong, which set out from La Gomera on December 12.

One of the competitors has since dropped out but there are four other solo rowers taking part.

Tim, who at the time of writing was 23rd of the 27 remaining competitors, is expected to cross the finish line on February 19 after a journey of just under 69 days.

Race leaders, the Dutch Atlantic Four, were on target to complete the challenge in around 34 days on January 15.