Swanage lifeboat volunteer named MBE in birthday honours

Chair of Swanage RNLI and well known local estate agent Dave Corben has been made an MBE for his distinguished voluntary service with the charity that saves lives at sea.

Named in the King’s birthday honours, announced on Saturday 15th June 2024, Dave Corben, who lives in Swanage in Dorset, has been a volunteer with the RNLI for 53 years.

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Dave Corben awarded RNLI long service certificate
SWanage RNLI

Dave Corben receiving his RNLI record of service certificate

Dave Corben in his favourite seat on the lifeboat, the Navigator seat.
Swanage RNLI

Dave in his favourite seat on the lifeboat, the navigator seat

More than 50 years service

Having joined the Swanage lifeboat aged 20, Dave served for 37 years on the crew and subsequently 15 years as Deputy Launch Authority.

On his official retirement from the RNLI on his 70th birthday, he was appointed chair of the Lifeboat Management Group at Swanage Lifeboat Station in 2023.

He is one of the very few RNLI volunteers to serve for more than 50 years and has received a number of awards, including the RNLI gold badge for long service, the Vellum Service Certificate for a rescue of he Ro-Ro Ferry ‘Al Kwather’ in 1989 and Medal Service Certificate for the “Be Happy” rescue in 1996.

Dave Corben with his wife Marionat Westminster Abbey to mark 200 years of the RNLI
Dave Corben

Dave Corben with his wife Marion at Westminster Abbey in London to mark 200 years of the RNLI on Monday 4th March 2024

Dave Corben, alongside his brother John Corben with HRH the Duke of Kent
Swanage RNLI

Dave Corben, alongside his brother John, meeting the Duke of Kent

Family dedication

He continues a lifetime of family dedication to the RNLI. His father Eddie was chair of the Swanage branch, his son Anthony is a current member of the Swanage lifeboat crew with almost 20 completed years of service and his brother John also served on the lifeboat for approximately 22 years.

Dave is also a founder member of the Swanage Community Defibrillator Group raising funds to establish a network of more than 40 defibrillators across Purbeck.

Former Swanage RNLI crew. Left to right: Martin Steeden, Chris Haw, Colin Marks, John Deare, Neil Hardy and Dave Corben
Swanage RNLI

Former Swanage RNLI crew. Left to right: Martin Steeden, Chris Haw, Colin Marks, John Deare, Neil Hardy and Dave Corben

left to right Front row: David Corben, Martin Steeden, Des Fitzgerald, Adrian Bird Back row: Mike Bonfield, Nick Harris, Chris Haw and Terry Pond
Swanage RNLI

Left to right back row: Mike Bonfield, Nick Harris, Chris Haw and Terry Pond. Front row: Dave Corben, Martin Steeden, Des Fitzgerald, Adrian Bird

“Humbled and honoured”

Dave Corben MBE said:

“I was both humbled and honoured that the RNLI should think I was worthy of such recognition. To me, I am just a small cog in such a vital organisation that has spent the last 200 years saving over 146,000 lives.

“What also gives me such pride are the number of RNLI volunteers who are continuing to give their time and dedication throughout every lifeboat station in the UK and Ireland, to drop everything to go and help save the lives of complete strangers, in what can be life threatening conditions.”

Dave is one of only eight RNLI lifesavers from across the UK honoured in the charity’s 200th anniversary year.

During his time, Swanage Lifeboat Station has been credited with saving 566 lives.

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