Bill Smith was the Branch Diving Officer of Tyneside 114 back in the late 1960s, and was the inspiration for the club’s subsequent involvement with Gun Rocks. He lead the first project to investigate and map the cannon in 1970, was the author of the first report on the site, and was immensely proud of being the ‘Salvor in Possession’ of the Gun Rocks wreck . Even after Bill stopped diving he retained his enthusiasm for Gun Rocks, and never stopped wanting to understand more about how the cannon came to be there. A font of knowledge, Bill was a keen contributor whenever the club undertook further exploration of the site or presented its findings. Without Bill, there would never have been such a close link between Tyneside 114 and Gun Rocks, and much of the work on exploring and understanding the site would never have happened.
Sadly, Bill died in 2016. On a sunny July afternoon, and with Bill’s family watching, members of Tyneside 114 were honoured to take Bill on his final dive and scatter his ashes amongst his beloved cannon.