Leading diver feared dead

THE family of an experienced diver from Suffolk fear the 42-year-old may have died after going missing on a dive off the south of France.Penny Glover, a high-profile figure in the British Sub Aqua Club (BSAC), and her dive buddy have not been seen since the dive off Porquerolles on Monday .

THE family of an experienced diver from Suffolk fear the 42-year-old may have died after going missing on a dive off the south of France.

Penny Glover, a high-profile figure in the British Sub Aqua Club (BSAC), and her dive buddy have not been seen since the dive off Porquerolles on Monday .

The French coastguard launched a search for her and Jacques Filippi but the Foreign and Commonwealth Office has confirmed it was called off on Wednesday after being hindered by bad weather.

Speaking from her home in Halesworth, Penny's sister Fiona Denny said her family was now having to come to terms with the thought that she may have died.


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“We have been kept informed of what was happening by both the French coastguards and British coastguards at Dover,” she said.

“The search has now been called off and we have to accept that the French authorities are now only looking to recover the bodies.”

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The past few days have been extremely traumatic for all of Penny's family including her elderly parents, who live in the Halesworth area.

It is believed Penny, a former BSAC chief instructor and is believed to have recently been living in France, was on a rebreather trimix dive. Rebreathers are a lighter and more economical type of breathing set which allow people to dive almost bubble-free, enabling them to get closer to aquatic life. They recycle exhaled air and are usually used for longer dives.

Meanwhile trimix is a delicate mixture of helium, nitrogen and oxygen, which enable divers to explore greater depths of up to 75metres or 240feet.

Both are used by very advanced technical divers and carry with them increased risks of complications underwater.

Mrs Denny said her sister, who is highly respected in the diving world and helped bring about awareness of and training in rebreathers in her 20 years of diving, is a very experienced diver.

“Penny and I grew up in the Waveney area at Monks Toft, near Beccles, and went to school locally.

“After college Penny left East Anglia to pursue her diving career,” she said.

BSAC chairman Marcus Allen said Penny was “highly regarded” in the diving community.

“It is extremely sad,” he told Dive magazine. “Penny gave so much to the club for so many years and was highly regarded in the diving community. It is a great loss to diving. Our thoughts go out to friends and family of both divers.”

Claire Peddie, BSAC's national diving officer, added: “This is an extremely sad loss for all of us who have been privileged to know Penny. Her warmth and kindness will be so deeply missed. Penny was a leading light in the BSAC.”

A spokesman for the Foreign and Commonwealth Office said last night: “Penny Glover is missing. French authorities have been searching for her.

“They called off that search at midday yesterday [Wednesday] due to bad weather. Continuing bad weather has prevented them from restarting that search.”

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