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Legendary Dungeness fisherman and lifeboat crew on RNLB Charles Cooper Henderson has passed away

It was with great sadness that the Dungeness RNLI lifeboat station learned of the death of Bob Tart (84) on the 21 January 2018. He has lived on Dungeness beach his entire life and was renown for his fishing and lifeboat volunteering.

Bob served on the 41ft Watson class lifeboat RNLB Charles Cooper Henderson under the command of his father Coxswain George (Punch) Tart and was the last of the surviving lifeboat crew who went to the aid of the Teeswood after its cargo of coal shifted in gale force 12 winds and heavy seas, 4 miles east of Dungeness on 29 July 1956. Nine persons abandoned ship and survived and the stricken vessel finally sank 2 miles off Dover. His father George was awarded the RNLI bronze medal for gallantry for this service.

For many years after his retirement from fishing he was an RNLI deputy launching authority (DLA) at the newer lifeboat station along the beach and thoroughly enjoyed talking about his fishing and lifeboat career.

Stuart Adams, lifeboat coxswain at Dungeness RNLI said ‘thankfully before Bob became unwell, he was given the chance to have a ride on our new Shannon class lifeboat 13-02 ‘The Morrell’ and was thoroughly impressed with the modern boat which was so different to anything he had experienced in his life’ Stuart continued by saying ‘he was an inspiration to us all, young and old and on behalf of the RNLI we send our deepest sympathies to his wife Jane and his family’

Bob Tart

Photograph of Bob Tart provided by his son Dave Tart

RNLI media contacts

  • Judith Richardson – Dungeness RNLI Volunteer Lifeboat Press Officer
    01797 320062 / 07859 264226 / This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
  • Paul Dunt, RNLI Press Officer (London/East/South East)
    020 7620 7416 / 07786 66882 This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

For enquiries outside normal business hours, contact the RNLI duty press officer on 01202 336789

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Key facts about the RNLI: The RNLI is the charity that saves lives at sea. Its volunteers provide a 24-hour search and rescue service around the United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland coasts. The RNLI operates over 230 lifeboat stations in the UK and Ireland and has more than 140 lifeguard units on beaches around the UK. The RNLI is independent of Coastguard and government and depends on voluntary donations and legacies to maintain its rescue service. Since the RNLI was founded in 1824 its lifeboat crews and lifeguards have saved over 137,000 lives.

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