Hastings Lifeboat Station has been deeply saddened by the death of John Scollay following a long illness.
John had volunteered for the RNLI for 25 years as a driver and head launcher and was still on the active crew list right up to the day he died.
A spokesperson said: “John had been at the very heart of the lifeboat family for a generation and will be greatly missed.
“The sympathy of everyone at the station is extended to John’s partner Marion at this awfully sad time.”
People on the Lifeboat station’s Facebook page said John will be remembered for his hard work and his sense of fun.
He was described as a brave and dedicated man.
John was a local man who ran Scollays shop on the Ridge.
Observer photographer Sid Saunders commented: “He was a really good friend.”