THE man who has played a major role in ensuring the safety of sailors has been awarded the Freedom of the Harbour.
Nigel Roper was a lifesaver with the RNLI from the 1970s until his retirement in April.
He began sailing in Chichester when he was a small boy and is now the vice chairman of the Friends of Chichester Harbour.
He was in charge of Hayling Island RNLI for 15 years and his former roles include being at the helm of Hayling Island Sailing Club and vice-commodore of Mengham Rythe Sailing Club.
The Freedom of the Harbour award was presented by Peter Taylor, chairman of the Chichester Harbour Conservancy Advisory Committee, at the annual general meeting of the federation of harbour users, held at Emsworth Sailing Club.