Farewell to the world's oldest diver

THE world's oldest diver has died at the age of 93, with tributes being paid to the inspirational great-grandfather.

Norman Lancefield was a member of the Barry Sub Aqua Club, who lived in Boverton until last year when he moved to Scotland to be near his family.

"Storming" Norman became an inspiration to older people all over the world when he came to global attention in 2010 as the oldest diver in the world.

Daughter Wendy paid tribute to her father. She said: "Our father was a hard-working man committed to providing for his family. He always enjoyed swimming and we all have memories of him in his brown woollen swimming costume on family camping holidays.

"It was only when he was 58 years old when we were all working and finished in education that he felt financially able to pursue his love of the water and joined Barry Sub Aqua club.

"Our dad used to enjoy diving in Scotland when visiting me. It was on one of these occasions in the mid-1980s that he fell while changing after a dive and fractured his skull .

"I well remember having to sign for his clothes at the hospital which they had removed following his fall, this included a pair of my mother’s black fancy tights which eased the pulling on of his wet suit evidently.

"This never deterred him from his pleasure in the sport and he continued with only a loss of his sense of smell as a reminder."

Norman particularly loved diving in the Red Sea, of which he said: "It’s another world down there and I feel privileged to be able to see it.

"You can just turn up, sit on the bottom and stay there watching everything. You don’t need to hardly move or go anywhere."

Norman was cremated in Scotland with his ashes being returned to South Wales to be interned with his late wife Joyce. There will be a memorial service on Saturday, March 1.

Russell Phillips, of the Barry Sub Aqua Club, said: "Norman was an ambassador for many, often saying you are never too old, just keep fit and go dive. You will be missed by many.

"Farewell to the world’s oldest diver."

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