Wife of Kirklees Council parks manager killed in Isles of Scilly diving 'nightmare' pays tribute to him as body is recovered

The body of a Huddersfield diver who died in an incident off the coast of the Isles of Scilly has been recovered.

Rob Dalby was an experienced diver and keen outdoorsman

Rob Dalby, 55, and his wife Melanie were on the Cornish island to celebrate her 40th birthday with friends when he went missing during a scuba dive they took together.

Mrs Dalby has now revealed that she came close to losing her own life during the 'nightmare' ordeal when they dived almost 20 metres deeper than they had intended to.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Devon and Cornwall Police have now recovered the body of Kirklees Council parks and green spaces manager Mr Dalby, who disappeared on July 28.

The British Sub Aqua Club confirmed that Mr Dalby planned to descend to a depth of 20 metres but then got into difficulties, causing him and his wife to reach 39 metres. Mrs Dalby desperately tried to bring him to the surface but was unable to do so despite numerous attempts.

Investigations are currently being carried out to determine the cause of events that led to the loss of his life.

The BSAC said: "Rob was a highly experienced diver having done in excess of 1,500 dives. He was a qualified and experienced member of the Cave Diving Group and had assisted on several cave diving expeditions such as the world recording-breaking Pozo Azul cave in Spain. He was trained to dive to a depth of 100 metres. He was a competent and respected open water and cave diver who had dived all over the word with Mel as his buddy.

"Rob worked for Kirklees Council for 23 years and in his most recent role as their operational manager for parks and green spaces, he was passionate about rewilding Kirklees and integrating more wildness and nature into the authority. He had big plans that he hoped would be his legacy when he retired.

"Rob loved nature and being outside, walking in the Pennines, Yorkshire Dales, Wales, the Lakes and Scotland with his friends and with Mel. He was the definitive outdoorsy guy who had all the gear for any occasion; camping, walking, scuba diving, kayaking, kayak diving, caving, cave diving, mountain biking, road biking. There wasn’t much he didn’t do.

"Rob was a good and loyal friend, loving and caring husband and an all round gentleman. In stature and in personality he was larger than life. He was one of a kind. He would literally do anything to help anyone at home, for friends and at work. He will be sorely missed by all those who had the honour and the privilege to know him.

"Melanie wishes to thank everyone for their kind words and thoughts at this time and especially wishes to extend her thanks to the Coastguard, the RNLI and Devon and Cornwall Police for the extraordinary efforts they went to to find him. "

The death is not being treated as suspicious at this time and a file is being prepared for the coroner.