MBE for Newhaven roots RNLI volunteer with 39 years in service
Lifeboat Operations Manager Roger Cohen has been recognised as an MBE by the RNLI Patron, Her Majesty The Queen, in the New Year Honours for his inclusive leadership at Newhaven and Brighton lifeboat stations.
Phill Corsi, Area Lifesaving Manager for Newhaven, says, ‘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.’
Phill Corsi adds, ‘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.’
Roger has a lifelong connection with Newhaven. He was raised in the town, living on Denton Road and went to Tideways Comprehensive School. Newhaven Lifeboat was well known to Roger long before he began his 39 years of service for the RNLI. Roger’s Godfather served on the Newhaven crew.
Roger Cohen says, ‘From the classroom, we could hear the maroons go off and see
Roger became Lifeboat Operations Manager (LOM) at Newhaven Lifeboat in 2019. He was already taking the same role by storm in Brighton. Under his leadership, Brighton 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.
Roger Cohen says, ‘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. 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.’
As well as his roles at Newhaven and Brighton, Roger has served as crew and helm for 18 years and as crew at Tower – the RNLI’s busiest lifeboat station on the River Thames – for 13 years.
Roger Cohen says: ‘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 Cohen continues, ‘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.’
Key facts about the RNLI
The RNLI charity saves lives at sea. Its volunteers provide a 24-hour search and rescue service around the United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland coasts. The RNLI operates 238 lifeboat stations in the UK and Ireland and more than 240 lifeguard units on beaches around the UK and Channel Islands. The RNLI is independent of Coastguard and government and depends on voluntary donations and legacies to maintain its rescue service. Since the RNLI was founded in 1824, its lifeboat crews and lifeguards have saved over 142,700 lives.
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