Tributes paid to volunteer who championed the RNLI for more than 40 years

Tributes have been paid to a former RNLI volunteer who dedicated 40 years of his life to supporting the lifesaving charity.

Sunday, 20th October 2019, 5:39 pm
Updated Sunday, 20th October 2019, 6:47 pm
Bob Williams, who has died aged 86, was a supporter of the RNLI for four decades. Photo by RNLI/Tom Collins.

Bob Williams, from Blackhall, had volunteered with Seaham, Crimdon and Hartlepool lifeboat stations over the years, with the charity paying its respects to the 86-year-old following his recent death.

Hartlepool RNLI chairman Malcom Cook said: “Bob was a larger than life figure in more ways than one.

“He was a crew member at Crimdon lifeboat station and when that station closed Bob came down to Hartlepool where he became a shore crew member for many years and then continued to help and support the station well after his retirement.

Bob Williams pictured in the Crimdon lifeboat. Photo by RNLI.

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“If you wanted to know anything about lifeboat’s he was the man to ask and if he did not know he had contacts throughout the country who would have the answers.

“He was a man who knew more about lifeboats than anyone else I know.

“Bob will be missed by all connected with Hartlepool RNLI and indeed by lifeboat people all over the country.”

Hartlepool RNLI coxswain Robbie Maiden said: “‘Big Bob’ was one of the true characters that helped make Hartlepool lifeboat station what it is today.

“He was a good friend and a fantastic personality.

“He will truly be missed and our thoughts and prayers go out to Bob’s family and friends at this very sad time.”

Bob’s funeral will be at Blackhall Methodist Chapel, Middle Street, on Thursday, October 24, at 2pm, prior to cremation at Stranton Grange Crematorium, Hartlepool.