Diving pioneer Campbell honoured on Swanage Pier

archive – Diving NewsDiving pioneer Campbell honoured on Swanage Pier

UK scuba-diving pioneer Bob Campbell, who died last year aged 86, has been commemorated with a plaque on Swanage Pier by fellow members of Isle of Purbeck Sub Aqua Club, which is based on the pier.

Campbell was one of the founder-members of IPSAC, which was formed in 1988 by a group of long-established Dorset divers. Club Chairman Chris Dunkerly said that he had started diving in the early days of the sport in England in the 1950s.

“Many of the early training manuals and dive-books have references to work carried out by Bob,” he said. “He was a fount of knowledge and will be sadly missed by the diving community.”

Campbell, a professional engineer, had become the British Sub Aqua Club’s National Equipment Officer. He wrote sections of BSAC’s first diving manuals, as well as early diving-magazine articles, and his collection of regulators and documentation of their workings earned him what his branch describes as an international reputation as a regulator expert.

A Swanage resident for most of his life, Campbell’s knowledge of the marine environment was used by local dive-operators in planning their wreck-dives, said Dunkerly, adding that the National Coastwatch Institute’s local station at Peveril Point still used his tidal calculations to produce its daily predictions. Campbell was also a piermaster in the early days of the Swanage Pier Trust.

The commemorative plaque, mounted on a lower boat-deck of the pier where it can be seen by divers and other visitors, was unveiled by Dr John Bevan, Chair of the Historical Diving Society. Campbell, an expert on antique diving gear, had been a member of the society.

IPSAC has some 30 members aged from 16 to 80 and says it welcomes new members.

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