Tributes to Plymouth harbour death man Robert Tallack

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Charles Tallack
Image caption,
Commander Robert Tallack was a consultant to ports around the world

Tributes have been paid to a "warm and generous" sailor who died when a former Navy vessel sank in Plymouth harbour.

Commander Robert Tallack, 67, from Axbridge in Somerset, had captained the Yarmouth Navigator from Dartmouth to Plymouth where it sank on 30 January.

He had sailed the 1943-built ship to Plymouth for a friend who had been hoping to restore it.

Three other crewmen survived from the sinking which is being investigated.

Gloucester-born Cdr Tallack joined the Merchant Navy as a deck hand at the age of 14 and served with the Royal Naval Reserve for 30 years.

After taking a Maritime Commerce degree in 1973 he became a shipbroker and later managed shipping container fleets for a number of firms.

That led him to start his maritime consultancy, IDG Maritime, advising ports around the world.

Image caption,
Cdr Tallack sailed the Yarmouth Navigator on its last trip from the River Dart to Plymouth

He also developed a port safety code for the Maritime and Coastguard Agency and became President of the Sea Cadet Corps.

In 2004 he and his wife Patricia moved from London to Axbridge where they were closely involved with the local community.

Nephew Charles Tallack said: "All who have met or worked with Robert will have been charmed by his unfailing warmth and easy-going humour, which belied his dedication to his profession and modestly understated his long list of achievements.

"He will be sorely missed by his family and friends, but he will be remembered with pride for his outstanding contributions to maritime practice and for the warmth and generosity of his character."

A pathologist's report into the death is being prepared for Plymouth Deputy Coroner Andrew Cox who opened and adjourned an inquest on Tuesday.

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