LEGENDARY former Fremantle harbour master and chief pilot Captain Jack Adams is being mourned following his death at the age of 103.

Born in County Durham, UK, one of four children, Captain Adams grew up in a small village where ship building, ship repair and coal mining were key occupations.

He went to sea as an apprentice aged 16 and spent many years working for the Blue Funnel line.

He also served in the Merchant Navy during WWII, narrowly avoiding the fall of Singapore, before making his home in WA.

An event in 1962 where he was tasked with salvaging part of the wrecked Italian tanker Bridgewater (the Bridgewater incident) attracted special attention.

According to Fremantle archives:

Pilot Captain Jack Adams bought the stern section of the disabled oil tanker Bridgewater into Gage Roads in February 1962. This was not an easy task, he had to exercise great care avoiding several shallow patches, considering the deep draught of the ship which was drawing close to 43 feet. At times there must have been only a few feet between the ship and seabed. On arrival at Gage Roads oil and water was transferred to a waiting barge and then the stern section of Bridgewater was safely towed into the Inner Harbour.

He began working for the then Fremantle Harbour Trust in 1949 as a marine pilot, later serving as chief pilot (1963 until 1965), harbour master from 1968 until 1972 and divisional manager operations 1972 to 1976.

Captain Jack retired in the early 1980s and wrote his autobiography A Pinch of Salt in 1996.

Speaking with Daily Cargo News, daughter Judy Boyne said her father never lost his love of the sea.

“{Jack and Lorna Adams] bought a house a hundred metres from the sea at Cottesloe in Perth.

“He could just sit on the veranda and look at the ocean,” Mrs Boyne said. “He has done that for the last 30 years.”

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