The Welly Trail Steve H-T

Steve H-T

Welcome to the Exmouth RNLI Yellow Welly Trail.

If you have a leaflet, enjoy the trail.

If not, click on

 where you will find all the information you need to enable you to join in!

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4 Shelly Court, Pier Head, Exmouth EX81AR




Steve Hockings-Thompson
Coxswain 2013 – present

Coxswain of Lifeboat:
R and J Welburn


Royal Marine Instructor

Exmouth Harbour Master


Steve, from Exmouth, has always worked with boats, beginning by studying boat building at Falmouth University.
All RNLI Crew, including Coxswains, are volunteers who have jobs. Steve has worked at Trout’s Boatyard in Topsham, been an instructor of sailing and power boating for the Royal Marines, and is now Exmouth Harbour Master.
He took part in trials in sailing for the Barcelona and Atlanta Olympics, and was one of the Torch Bearers for the London 2012 Olympic Games.
Steve has represented GB in long course triathlon, competing in the world championships in Nice in 1995 and has also completed five Ironman triathlons and various marathons. He enjoys racing along roads throughout Devon and Cornwall on his bike – a great practice for when his pager goes off and he needs to get to the boathouse quickly.
Becoming Coxswain shortly after the new boathouse had opened, Steve was responsible for the Exmouth trials of the most modern Lifeboat in the RNLI fleet, the Shannon, and its Launch and Recovery vehicle. Shannon Lifeboats have jet engines instead of propellers, making them fast and as manoeuvrable as a Jetski. Our Shannon, the R and J Welburn, arrived in 2014.
All lifeboats are numbered, ours is 13-03
13 shows that it is 13 metres long. 03 means that it was the 3rd to be built.
There are currently 51 Shannon lifeboats in service, with 3 more being built at the RNLI Headquaters in Poole. Each costs £2.5 million. The Launch and Recovery vehicle, built by Supacat in nearby Dunkerswell costs £1.5 million.
Steve’s wife’s Great, Great Grandfather Henry Hockings was the Coxswain between 1939 and 1943, during the Second World War. Speaking about the changes he’s seen in the RNLI Steve said:
‘It’s definitely changed for the best as it’s more competency-based training now. We all used to just go out to sea and do an exercise, but now everybody’s got to be competent up to a certain standard. This means a better quality crew from the Coxswain’s viewpoint and is far more effective. This is important since crew are coming in from non-boating backgrounds, whereas when I started we all worked within the boat and sailing industry.’
All RNLI Crew commit to training for at least 80 hours a year. Some of this takes place at the RNLI College in Poole, with courses including navigation, radar, boat handling and repair, search and rescue and casualty care.

Exmouth RNLI Crew usually train every Wednesday evening, launching at approximately 6pm, and returning at around 8pm. Everyone is welcome to watch. Check our Facebook page for information about Training sessions.

Technology continues to improve the efficiency of Lifeboat crews. Recently, money raised from local events has funded the purchase of infrared goggles, to help our crew spot missing persons in the dark.
All donations collected in Exmouth, either through the link above, or in donation boxes around town are used to fund Exmouth RNLI.


Write the letter V from STEVE in the two spaces numbered 15 in your answer box

Tap the link below to go to the Exmouth RNLI Welly Trail JustGiving page:


We have made every effort to ensure all the information about the Coxswains is accurate. However, we are always happy to be corrected or updated and, if you can add to our knowledge base, please email us at

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