Scuba diving challenge in memory of friend

The Westmorland Gazette: Far left, Bruce Mills – Ribble Valley Sub Aqua Club chairman, club member, Andy Sutcliffe, Nicole Opitz, Diving Officer, front, club member Pam Sutcliffe, Fiona Imlach, training officer, and club member Cliff Hindle Far left, Bruce Mills – Ribble Valley Sub Aqua Club chairman, club member, Andy Sutcliffe, Nicole Opitz, Diving Officer, front, club member Pam Sutcliffe, Fiona Imlach, training officer, and club member Cliff Hindle

A GROUP of scuba divers is planning an underwater relay challenge at Coniston Water in memory of one of their club members.

It will be the second sponsored charity challenge which has been organised by the Ribble Valley branch of the British Sub-Aqua Club (BSAC) to remember Duncan Priestley, who passed away from cancer last year.

Divers will use a relay system to cover the five-and-a-half-mile Lake District site underwater on Sunday July 13 and their aim is to raise a boat load of cash for lifeboat charity – RNLI.

Duncan, of Accrington, Lancashire, died in August, aged 59. Last year club members raised more than £2,200 for Pendleside Hospice in his memory.

Fiona Imlach, club training officer, said: “Duncan Priestley was one of the club’s most active members and was a hugely popular guy who was always up for a laugh. That’s why, last year, we decided to do ‘silly’ things underwater to raise money for Pendleside Hospice where he spent his last days.

“The hospice was fantastic and even arranged for him to marry his partner, Joan, which was very kind of them.

“This year we have chosen the RNLI, and we did so not just in Duncan’s memory but also to remember all our previous diving buddies that are no longer with us.”

BSAC chief executive, Mary Tetley, said: “It is lovely to hear of how Ribble Valley are remembering their friend Duncan and the valued work he did for the club.”

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