A LONG-serving lifeboat volunteer has stepped down from his role as operations manager for Redcar RNLI.

Dave Cocks, who has volunteered at the lifeboat station for 41 years, recently stepped down from his role as Lifeboat Operations Manager.

However, he remains as Volunteer Press Officer.

Tony Jamieson and Bob O'Neill have also clocked up one hundred years of RNLI service between them. Tony and Bob have both received the RNLI's Excellence in Volunteering Award and will be presented with their 50-year medals in 2020.

Mr Cocks said: "The RNLI is in my blood and my father was on the crew at Redcar for 54 years.

"As a boy I used to visit the boat house and had the honour of polishing the lifeboat’s brass propellers. In 1978 I enrolled as a crew member before becoming a launch vehicle driver/mechanic and then Deputy Launching Authority.

"I became the Lifeboat Operations Manager six years ago and have thoroughly enjoyed my role.’

Although Mr Cocks remains firmly one of the team at Redcar, he felt it was time to step down from his role as LOM 'as it was getting tougher and tougher to get out of bed when the pager went off'.

He is succeeded by Mike Picknett, whom he described as 'very capable'.

He added: "I have a lifetime of special memories and I’ll never forget the first life that I was involved with saving. The chap was a young teacher who had been tipped out of his canoe. When we got to the scene, his eyes were looking past me up to the heavens – he’d decided it was his last breath - and we decided it wasn’t.

"We got him to safety, and I’d love to think that he went on to teach thousands of children and that we played our bit in what he’s done for other people."