'Angel of The Gap' dies, aged 86

Mr Ritchie spent 50 years coaxing desperate people back from The Gap, the notorious cliff at Watsons Bay where hundreds have died or thought about taking their lives.

He helped save 500 despairing souls – usually with little more than compassion, a warm smile and a hot cuppa.

"To those who knew him knew he was a very strong person and a very capable person," Mr Ritchie's daughter Sue told AAP on Monday.