Mark Criddle, from Torbay RNLI, has received his OBE from Prince William at a service yesterday in Buckingham Palace.
Criddle was recognised for 30 years of supporting the lifeboat service and 'enduring service to maritime safety'.
Afterwards he said: "Receiving the OBE was a very proud moment - not only for myself and my family, but also for everyone at the RNLI Torbay station and Brixham as a whole - and Prince William was great!"
An RNLI spokesperson added: "A highly regarded and well respected leader, Mark has given almost 30 years of unwavering support to the RNLI, holding various roles including mechanic and trainer, and taking on the role of Coxswain for RNLI Torbay in 2002.
"He has launched the lifeboat on service more than 415 times since taking on the role, and is the RNLI's most decorated serving Coxswain.
"Alongside his commitment to the RNLI, Mark volunteers with and inspires young people with his work at Brixham Rugby club, Brixham Sea Anglers Club and also takes great pride in helping with school visits throughout Torbay.
"During the family's trip to Buckingham Palace, full search and rescue capability was maintained by the men and women of the RNLI Torbay volunteer lifeboat crew under Second Coxswain Richard Fowler, meaning that Mark, his wife Mel and their two sons Maitland and Marsden could fully enjoy their well-deserved big day in London.
"Congratulations to Mark and all the family!"