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Seamus Waibel is a Washington Virtual Academy (WAVA) 10th grader from Port Townsend, Washington, who spends his free time saving lives.

For the past two years, Seamus has served as a volunteer rescue boater for Salish Rescue.

“I got involved in rescue boating when I first took a CPR class from Erik, who runs the rescue boating program,” Seamus said. “After that I contacted him to see if I could join.”

Seeking an opportunity to move through his school work at his own pace and have the flexibility to balance his hobbies, Seamus enrolled with WAVA. This is his first year with the online virtual academy, and he is enjoying the experience.

Seamus is also involved in other extracurricular activities, including Leadership Club and DIY Club. Juggling school, volunteering and clubs is possible due to the flexible school setting of online school.

“The quality of the material has been better compared to the schools I’ve previously been to,” Seamus said. “I am able to balance my school and volunteering by doing most of my schoolwork earlier in the day and then practice rescue boating later. It’s better for my schedule for me.”

While volunteering, Seamus has been involved in a handful of rescues. Most notably, he helped rescue crew on a sailboat that was in distress during the Race to Alaska.

“One of the sailboats had its mast fall down, and one of its floats had detached from the boat,” Seamus said. “We had to come alongside it and bring it on shore, and after he was on shore we recovered the broken pieces from his boat.”

Seamus intends to continue his volunteer work with Salish Rescue through high school, and he hopes to work for the government when he gets older.

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