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Aged 80, Cockbill died in his sleep earlier in the month, from cancer. He was cremated in Torquay, Devon.

Cockbill instigated far-reaching changes within the BSAC, which had been established in 1953 but remained under-developed.

As the club's National Diving Officer from 1966, he created the National Diving Committee, to develop training programmes and control standards. He also introduced the system of regional coaches, to assist clubs in their areas.

As Chairman from 1972, Cockbill revamped the BSAC's governing council. He instilled a more businesslike approach, which raised the club's profile and pushed its membership to more than 50,000.

Cockbill was made a vice-president of the club in 1975. Over the next 30 years, he reputedly never missed a meeting of BSAC Council.

He remained an active member of the club's Torbay branch, of which he was President. Remarkably, he last dived less than a year ago, on a wreck off the South Coast.

Derek Cockbill is survived by his wife, Myrtle, and two daughters.

A full obituary appears in the June issue of DIVER magazine, out later in May.

Related links
BSAC website
Nature of the animal (Cockbill letter, defining BSAC)