A LIFEBOAT volunteer who has helped save almost 250 lives has been recognised in the New Year’s Honours list.

Roger Cohen was made a Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) for his services to the RNLI and charity during his time working at Newhaven and Brighton lifeboat stations.

Since joining in 1982, Roger has been involved in 2,260 lifeboat launches, which have resulted in 248 lives being saved.

The lifeboat operations manager, who was raised in Denton Road, Newhaven, attended Tideways Comprehensive School. His godfather had also served on the local RNLI crew.

The Argus: Roger Cohen during a training exercise in Newhaven Roger Cohen during a training exercise in Newhaven

“From the classroom, we could hear the maroons go off and see the lifeboat heading out to sea from the window. I’d think to myself, where are those brave chaps heading,” he said.

“I am humbled and overwhelmed to have been given this title. The RNLI has played a huge part in my life for many years and I’m so grateful for the continued support of my partner and family.”

Roger became Lifeboat Operations Manager in Newhaven in 2019, having previously held the same title in Brighton.

Under his leadership, Brighton RNLI became the first station to take part in a Pride Parade and subsequently, Roger led Brighton to becoming the first of the RNLI’s 238 lifeboat stations to be LGBT accredited.

“There was a real sense of coming home for me when I took on the LOM role at Newhaven. I already knew the crew, having trained with them for many years.

The Argus: Roger Cohen with Brighton RNLI in Lewes following the October 2000 flooding Roger Cohen with Brighton RNLI in Lewes following the October 2000 flooding

“I’m not the first to say it, nor will I be the last, the feeling of being part of an RNLI family is very strong. Behind every RNLI volunteer is a network of loved ones keeping everything going while we save lives at sea.

“Every launch that we’ve undertaken, every chance to bring someone safely home to shore has been a tremendous privilege.”

As well as his roles in Newhaven and Brighton, Roger also served as crew and helm for 18 years, as well as crew at Tower – the RNLI’s busiest lifeboat station on the River Thames – for 13 years.

Phill Corsi, Area Lifesaving Manager in Newhaven, said: “Roger is passionate about the health, safety and well-being of all the volunteers that he manages.

“He works hard to ensure the local communities are reflected in the volunteer profile at both stations.’

“It is fairly unique for one person to manage two lifeboats stations. With his professional and compassionate manner, Roger always goes that extra mile for his community.

“He is a first-class ambassador and exemplary role model for the RNLI and reflects all aspects of the institutions values.”