TRIBUTES have been paid to a legendary seafarer whose life inspired a blockbuster film.

Whitby man Jack Lammiman hit the headlines when he sailed his old schooner the Helga Maria to the Arctic, despite British officials banning him from leaving his home port because they said the vessel was not seaworthy.

His adventure was made into the film Captain Jack starring the late Bob Hoskins, Maureen Lipman and Sadie Frost.

Mr Lammiman died peacefully at home, surrounded by close family and dogs, on April 8, aged 75.

His death has prompted tributes on social media with @jonstokoe writing: “Sad, so very sad. Whitby adventurer Jack Lammiman has passed away. Rest in peace shipmate”. Meanwhile, @eastermoon said: “Very sad news today. Whitby Legend Cpt Jack Lammiman passed away on Wednesday with his family and two dogs beside him. He was a true gent” and @WendyLow wrote: “RIP Captain Jack Lammiman. A great man and Whitby character.”

Mr Lammiman first found fame in 1991 when he was determined to press ahead with the voyage to the Arctic in homage to Whitby’s great 18th century whaling skipper William Scoresby, the inventor of the crow’s nest, despite his vessel being deemed unseaworthy by inspectors.

His crew of pensioners and a vicar braved stormy seas, repainted the vessel to disguise it from pursuing Royal Navy spotter planes – and they even braved an encounter with a polar bear.

The motley crew returned to Whitby in triumph to be greeted by thousands of August Bank Holiday visitors.

On his return in 1992, Jack was eventually brought before the courts and fined £400 for his adventure, but secured himself a place in the history books in the process. Bob Hoskins described it as a “bloody marvellous story”.

Captain Jack was partly filmed in Whitby in 1997, with Academy award-winning actor Hoskins playing Jack.

• A memorial service is to be held at St Ninian’s Church, Baxtergate, Whitby, at midday on Sunday.