BRIAN Rowsell, hero of countless sea rescues and former coxswain of Exmouth lifeboat, has died aged 78.
Mr Rowsell was an RNLI crew member for 30 years and was the longest serving coxswain of an Exmouth lifeboat, serving from 1964 to 1982.
Mr Rowsell, who was 78, was a crew member on Christmas Day 1956 when the lifeboat was called out to save a Dutch ship, the MV Minerva, which was stricken off Orcombe Point.
Tragedy struck that day when three crewmen were swept overboard.
One climbed back aboard, one made it ashore but crew member Will Carder died.
Among the many rescues he was involved in was a fire in a fishing boat at the mouth of the River Exe.
He recalled: "Something strange told me to guide the lifeboat to a certain point and there we found two fishermen in the water.
"We could have been searching the water all night for them but we got to them quickly."
Mr Rowsell's funeral will take place at Holy Trinity Church, Rolle Road, Exmouth, at 11am on Thursday, September 12.