Tributes have been paid to a greatly respected gentleman who dedicated decades to a lifesaving charity in Hartlepool.
Former Hartlepool RNLI Honorary Secretary Alex Kirk, who passed away recently at the age of 92, has been described as 'a gentleman and a valuable mentor'.
He was also former Hartlepool Harbour Master, previously serving over 22 years with the RNLI at the Ferry Road lifeboat station.
Hartlepool RNLI Coxswain Robbie Maiden said: "I first met Alex back in 1977 as a youngster when my dad became coxswain and I became close friends with Alex from that day on.
"Alex worked professionally throughout his time with the RNLI and was greatly respected by all the crew.
"A great loss to us all and on behalf of everyone at the Hartlepool RNLI we would like to send our heartfelt condolences to his friends and family at this very sad time."
Former Hartlepool RNLI Lifeboat Operations Manager Mike Craddy said: "I am very saddened to hear the news that Captain Alex Kirk has passed away.
"I took over as Lifeboat Operations Manager from Alex in 1997 just after his retirement from the then titled position of Station Honorary Secretary.
"Alex served the RNLI for many years and continued to visit us every week at the station after he retired.
"He was a gentleman and a valuable mentor to me in my early days when I took over.
"He offered me much welcomed guidance and kind words which served to help me run the station.
"I'm sure I speak for the whole crew and not just myself when l say he will be very sadly missed."
Hartlepool RNLI chairman Malcolm Cook said: "It is with great sadness that everyone at Hartlepool Lifeboat Station heard of the passing away of Capt. Alex Kirk.
"He was a lifetime supporter of the RNLI and more importantly he was our Honorary Secretary for many years.
"He was a steady hand on the helm after the reintroduction of the offshore lifeboat to Hartlepool with the arrival of the 'Scout'.
"He will be missed.
"Rest in Peace."
Alex Kirk’s funeral will take place at Hartlepool Crematorium on Friday, February 15, at 9.30am.