Devon

Recognition for Plymouth diver John Smith's 50 years

Diver John Smith
Image caption John Smith is still diving and instructing at the age of 69

A Plymouth man has been been recognised for his 50 years working as a diver and instructor.

John Smith from Stoggy Lane, Plympton, was presented with a certificate from Cdr Chris Baldwin, the Royal Navy's diving superintendent.

The 69-year-old was chief instructor of the joint services diving school before he retired from the service in 2000.

Mr Smith, a father and grandfather said diving had given him a "fantastic life".

During his military career, Mr Smith worked all over the world and was involved in mine clearance, bomb disposal, body recovery and anti-piracy work.

'Wealth of knowledge'

Mr Smith also became a member of the British Sub-Aqua Club (BSAC), because he also "wanted to dive for pleasure".

When he was appointed chief instructor for the tri-services diving school, he adopted BSAC's method of teaching.

BSAC, the governing body of scuba and snorkelling in the UK, honoured Mr Smith with a lifetime achievement award when he left the Royal Navy.

Spokeswoman Mary Tetley said: "Divers like John are indicative of the fantastic wealth of knowledge and experience... and it is wonderful to learn that John has been recognised in this way."

Since his retirement Mr Smith, who became an MBE for his contribution to diving, has worked for the Diving Diseases Research Centre in Plymouth and is still a part-time instructor for the Combined Cadet Forces dive team.

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