THE partner of a Bridgwater man who died while helping recover a car stuck on Brean Beach has paid tribute to a 'lovely man'.

Bernard John Kent, 58, of Poplar Road, Bridgwater, suffered a heart attack as he helped coastguards to release a Mercedes from its muddy confines on April 22 this year.

Despite a huge effort from the coastguards, ambulance and air ambulance personnel, Bernard did not recover.

His partner, Tina Lay, penned a moving tribute to Bernard, describing him as 'an all-round good guy'.

"Bernard Kent, known as Bernie by friends and family, was born in September 1959 at Winchester Hospital in Hampshire.

"One of two twins, Bernie had two brothers and two sisters, and he looked after and supported his mum Eileen until she died.

"He was an all-round good guy who enjoyed a challenge, and was determined, honest and dependable.

"Bern made friends easily and made friends for life."

Bernard learnt the mechanical skills needed for his trade from his brother, and had worked as a recovery driver since he was 21.

Tina continued: "He was a helpful and happy-go-lucky man who brought warmth and happiness everywhere he went.

"Myself and Bern moved to Poplar Road in the first week of February in 2014 from our home town in Basingstoke, Hampshire. We relocated to Somerset to be nearer to the coast,

where Bern took a position in the vehicle recovery industry, doing the job he loved.

"He was given the opportunity to pick his own truck which made him happy, and he named it after his mum Eileen.

"Whenever Bern went out on a vehicle recovery whether it was big or small his answer was 'It will come out the same way it went in!'."

Tina explained how animal-lover Bernie's hobbies included sightseeing, gardening, watching TV, doing crosswords and reading truck magazines.

She concludes: "He was 58 years old when he sadly passed away.

"Bern (Bernie) is missed truly and deeply by myself, friends and family."