Articles Exmouth RNLI Coxswain Mechanic retiring after 33 years’ service

Exmouth RNLI Coxswain Mechanic retiring after 33 years’ service

Exmouth RNLI Coxswain Mechanic retiring after 33 years’ service

Tim Mock, the Coxswain Mechanic of Exmouth lifeboat is retiring in February, after nearly 34 years of dedication. Christmas Day will be his last operational day for the charity that saves lives at sea.

Tim has always been due to retire on his 55th birthday, but with various time off in lieu, the end of his working term falls at Christmas. For the last few years, it has been tradition for the lifeboat station to have a presence at the town’s Christmas Day swim. This year as the last swimmer steps out of the sea and the lifeboats head back to the station, the keys to the boathouse and the Coxswain’s pager will be handed over after a long, dependable 33 years.

Tim is retiring as Exmouth RNLI’s only member of staff. He joined as a crew volunteer in April 1980, at the age of 21 and three years later, became the full-time Mechanic. During his life-saving career, Tim has experienced an impressive 14 different lifeboat classes and worked under 15 Divisional and Deputy Inspectors. One of these was George Rawlinson, now the Institution’s Operations Director.

George remembers their first meeting;

‘From the first day I met Tim as his Lifeboat Inspector, I knew he was totally dedicated to Exmouth lifeboat station and the RNLI. He lived the Institution’s values of being Trustworthy, Dependable, Selfless and Courageous. As Mechanic and Second Coxswain he fulfilled a vital role, ensuring the lifeboat & its equipment was expertly maintained, the crew were safe, trained and ready to save lives. Shortly after that, he was promoted to Coxswain Mechanic. He thoroughly deserved the role and he set a superb example to others in his professionalism and leadership of the crew. I knew that under his command, the crew and the lifeboat were in safe hands and that he would put the needs of others before his own.

‘The RNLI needs people like Tim and we will miss him. Tim is leaving a fine lifeboat station which is ready for the future and its new lifeboat boat next year, which in no small measure is down to him. Tim has done a truly tremendous job, I wish him and his family well for a richly deserved retirement and a heartfelt thank you on behalf of the RNLI and from those he and his crew have rescued.’

Over his commitment to the charity’s service, Tim has received a number of letters of Thanks of the Institution on Vellum for his role in rescues. One high-profile rescue was in 1985 when two girls’ lives were saved from drowning after a speedboat sank in Lyme Bay.

Tim says of his time at Exmouth RNLI;

’33 years is a long time in any career and leaving will be difficult. At this time with the new lifeboat and tractor arriving next year, I feel that it is an appropriate time to leave. I trust that all I have put in place will come into practise under the new regime. We have a good team at Exmouth with a wide range of experience, ready to enter the new era of life-saving at sea with the new Shannon-class.’

Exmouth RNLI in 1983, (left to right): Back: Reg Mogridge, Geoff Mears (Coxswain), Tim Mock (Assistant Mechanic), Bert Thomas. Front: Tom Chandler, Keith Graham (Second Coxswain), Bernard Bradford (Mechanic).