Exmouth RNLI set for royal visitor

The Duke of Kent will be visiting Exmouth RNLI later this month.

The Duke of Kent will be visiting Exmouth RNLI later this month. - Credit: Sub

Exmouth is to receive a royal visitor later this month, when His Royal Highness The Duke of Kent visits the town’s lifeboat station.

The duke, who is president of the RNLI, will be meeting the charity’s Exmouth volunteers and inspecting the station’s Shannon class lifeboat R and J Welburn, on March 19.

The duke, who has been charity president for more than 40 years, takes a keen interest in its work, and, therefore, the plan is for him to don the famous yellow overalls and ride on board the lifeboat as it demonstrates manoeuvres off Exmouth beach, getting an up-close look at the way coxswain Steve Hockings-Thompson and his crew go about their roles.

Having returned to the station via a beach landing and recovery, the duke will then be meeting station, fundraising and shop volunteers.

Exmouth RNLI lifeboat operations manager Kevin Riley MBE said: “The station is looking forward to displaying the capabilities of our 21st century lifeboat to the Duke of Kent.

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“We know that he has shown great interest in the developmental stages of the Shannon during the project and we can’t wait to demonstrate the water jet experience to him at sea.

“The duke has also visited local Devon company Supacat Ltd, which manufactured the launch and recovery vehicle, so he’ll be interested to see our shore crew volunteers at work with this new system.”

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The duke’s visit will not be his first to Exmouth RNLI.

His last visit was for the naming ceremony of the station’s Forward Birmingham Trent class lifeboat in 1996.

Previously, he named Exmouth’s Brede class lifeboat Caroline Finch with his wife, Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Kent, in 1984.

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