Ribble Valley divers walk underwater in lake to raise charity cash in memory of pal

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SCUBA diving enthusiasts took part in a challenging five and a half mile underwater walk to raise money for the RNLI.

Taking part in pairs, 18 scuba divers from the Ribble Valley branch of the British Sub-Aqua Club used a relay system to walk the distance beneath the surface of Coniston Water in Cumbria.

Sunday’s event raised more than £1,700 for the RLNI in memory of former member Duncan Priestley, 59, from Accrington who died in August 2013 from cancer.

Last year, the club raised more than £2,200 for Pendleside Hospice in Duncan’s memory after taking on a series of underwater challenges.

The dad-of-two was born in Rawtenstall and had lived in Nelson and Accrington.

He met his wife at Accrington and Rossendale College, where they both worked.

Fiona Imlach, 50, the club’s training officer, said: “Duncan was one of the club’s most active members and was a hugely popular guy who was always up for a laugh. The hospice was fantastic and even arranged for him to marry his partner, Joan, which was very kind of them.

“Last year we did all sorts of sponsored silly things such as holding an underwater gym session, played underwater draughts, one diver wrote 100 lines, one ate as many different fruits as possible and one munched his way through a pile of sausages.

“We are thrilled with the amount of money we have raised so far and we’ve decided, as a club, to continue fundraising and make it an annual event in Duncan’s memory with a different charity benefiting each year.”

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