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Editor’s note: Friends are invited to a Celebration of Life for Capt. Bob Hartman on Fri., Sept 2 at the Quarter Deck on the Beach Las Olas in Ft. Lauderdale from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.
By Dorie Cox
Capt. Bob Hartman died of pancreatic cancer yesterday (Aug. 24) in Ft. Lauderdale. He was 64.
Capt. Hartman and his wife Sandy owned a charter boat company in Virgin Gorda running day and resort sails for 16 years starting in the 1980s. He then was head captain for a fleet of five hydrofoil boats in St. Thomas, USVI for three years.
The couple settled down in Ft. Lauderdale where they often worked together on yachts including M/Y Bottom Line and M/Y Big Don Carlos, a Trinity.
He was instrumental in creating a maritime assistance network for boaters in the Virgin Islands, said his wife.
“There was no coast guard there,” Sandy Hartman said. “But all these boaters and charters would go on a reef or need help. We would go out and get them.”
“Bob and the guys got in big inflatables, timing waves, to get them off safely and transfer them to bigger boats,” she said. “The reef was not marked or lit, so they would pick people off at night, especially when the north swell came in.”
“They were a group of guys that just decided to do it and then it grew into VISAR,” she said of the Virgin Islands Search And Rescue.
She said Capt. Hartman was one of three founders of Moor Seacure.
“They got the government to agree to placing moorings as a way to preserve the environment for tourism in the islands,” she said. “They put them in from of restaurants and hotels.”
To see photos and more of the Hartman’s careers in yachting visit www.hartmanmarine.net.
A memorial is being planned. Stay tuned to the-triton.com for details as they become available. Please contact Triton Editor Dorie Cox (firstname.lastname@example.org) to share memories of Capt. Hartman.