Residents of Ceredigion and beyond have expressed their sympathies following the sudden death of Charlie Sharp, a former helmsman on the Cardigan Lifeboat, who was hailed a hero and given a top bravery award for the rescue of a man in the River Teifi.

The 69-year-old of Quay Street in Cardigan, died at Glangwili Hospital on Thursday, September 27.

He took part in lifeboat operations over 20 years and ran the Poppit Sands Surf Lifesaving Club, but one of his most dramatic rescues came after his retirement from the RNLI when saving a man from drowning.

The incident happened in February 2003 when a man in his early 30s jumped from Cardigan Bridge at around 11.30pm.

Mr Sharp had gone to bed in his flat at Cambrian Quay when hearing cries for help.

The 54-year-old, who had always been a strong swimmer, ran to Prince Charles Quay, plunged into the river and swam out to the man who was going under water and reappearing before Mr Sharp managed to grab him.

At the time Mr Sharp was wearing trousers, boots and a couple of sweaters and was hampered by the freezing cold water.

The panicking man clung to his rescuer who got him to relax and turn onto his back before towing him to the side where he was thrown a rope and both men were pulled to safety.

Mr Sharp leaves his wife Jemma and family to whom the sympathy of countless people is extended.

The funeral was held on Saturday at Parc Gwyn Crematorium Narberth. There were no flowers but donations in lieu, if desired, towards Poppit Sands Surf Lifesaving Club and Gwenllian Ward, Glangwili Hospital, being received by funeral director Peter Evans, 54 Pendre, Cardigan.