A much-loved resident of The Lizard with a "heart of gold" and a smile for all has died at the age of just 51.

Keith Williams was a popular character known to all in the village, who for many years was a volunteer with The Lizard Lifeboat.

Joining in the 90s as a shore crew member, Keith was a volunteer at the station for 17 years, before stepping down a few years ago.

Lifeboat operations manager Ned Nuzum said: "He just had a heart of gold. The nicest, kindest kind of chap you could expect to meet."

He said Keith could always be found with a smile on his face and was generous with his time, willing to help anyone.

"He's going to leave a massive void in the community," he added.

On Friday, as news broke of his passing, the flag at the lifeboat station in Kilcobben Cove flew at half mast as a mark of respect and remained lowered over the course of the weekend.

Falmouth Packet:

Keith Williams was a member of Lizard Lifeboat's volunteers for almost two decades. Picture: Lizard RNLI

A spokesperson for the station said on Saturday: "A truly sad day for us all at The Lizard Lifeboat Station as we said farewell to our friend and former shore crew member Keith Williams.

"As our flag at the station flies at half mast we remember very fondly the many years service Keith gave to The Lizard Lifeboat.

"Keith will be missed by us all and we send our love and deepest sympathy to his family at this incredibly sad time."

He had lived in the village all his life and has been described as a "huge character" known to all throughout The Lizard and surrounding area, with links also to Ruan Minor, Cadgwith and Mullion.

Falmouth Packet:

Keith (far left) with his fellow shore crew, pictured back in 2009. Picture: Lizard RNLI

Keith leaves a brother, Colin, and two sisters, June and Lisa.

His death has caused disbelief in the village, with huge numbers of people writing about their memories of Keith on social media.

Ned added: "He was one of those chaps that touched everyone's heart in the same way. He was part of the fabric of the community and a big part of the lifeboat family.

"Words can't explain how it feels. He is a huge loss."