A HEFTY £114,000 donation has been made to Swanage Lifeboat Station, from the estate of diving pioneer Bob Campbell

Mr Campbell, affectionately known as 'Uncle Bob', came from a family with strong maritime connections.

He was related to former coxswain of the Swanage Lifeboat, William Dyke.

As well as being an internationally-respected expert on historic diving gear, Mr Campbell was also a founder member of the Isle of Purbeck Sub Aqua Club.

Last year a plaque was unveiled in his honour on Swanage Pier.

Bob's family recently came to the new RNLI Swanage Lifeboat Station to look around, meet the crew and present the cheque.

Volunteer crew member Becky Mack said: "It was amazing to meet the family and see, firsthand, their personal interest in the RNLI and how pleased they were to see in more detail how Bob's generous donation will be used in Swanage."

The funds will be used to support the lifesaving work of the lifeboat station.

A Swanage RNLI spokesman explained: "Having collected historic diving pieces over more than 50 years, Bob had maintained a substantial collection of diving equipment including many demand valves, some of which were displayed at Swanage Pier.

"This association with the sea goes some why to explaining why Bob chose to leave a legacy to the RNLI, and having lived in Swanage for most of his life, the reason he wished to support his local station."

Mr Campbell, who died in 2016, started diving in the 1950s. He eventually became the British Sub Aqua Club's (BSAC) national equipment officer.

Volunteer crew on Swanage's RNLI lifeboats have been tasked to rescue injured divers - or divers suffering from decompression sickness - on numerous occasions over the decades, helping to save the lives of many.