Paralympic role for Exmouth RNLI’s youngest volunteer
Henry Mock, 17 was picked at the last minute to be part of an RNLI team to provide safety cover during the Paralympic sailing events. The volunteers from around the UK started their duties at Weymouth and Portland on 22 August to oversee competitors’ practise races.
Henry is currently studying for a Level 3 National Diploma in Land-based Technology at Bicton College. He joined Exmouth RNLI in December 2011 first becoming a member of the shore crew, the charity’s volunteers on the beach who launch and recover the all-weather lifeboat, Margaret Jean. Henry is currently undertaking crew training and still in his first year, has already qualified as one of the youngest Head Launchers for the charity that saves lives at sea, throughout the UK.
The Atlantic 75 lifeboat will be on duty throughout the events, which run from Saturday 1 September to Thursday 6 September in Portland Harbour. Speaking of his role, Henry said:
‘When I sat watching the opening ceremony of the Olympic Games, little did I think I would be playing a part in providing safety cover for the Paralympic sailing events at Weymouth and Portland. I am thrilled and excited to have been afforded this once in a lifetime, awesome opportunity. As a student, time wise being drafted in as a last-minute replacement worked out brilliantly for me. I thoroughly enjoyed the events and gained valuable boat handling experience.’
Henry is the third Exmouth RNLI volunteer to play a part in the London 2012 Olympic Games on behalf of the life-saving at sea charity. Lifeboat Medical Adviser Dr Peter Aitken provided an intensive 10-day safety cover on ‘Water Med 1’ during sailing events in July and August. In May, volunteer Deputy Coxswain Steve Hockings-Thompson ran through the streets of Torbay as an Olympic torch-bearer, nominated for his work with the RNLI.