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Reporter turned marine historian dies aged 86

A reporter who wrote around 30 books and went onto become an expert marine historian has died at the age of 86.

Kendall McDonald, left, who worked as a journalist for the Northern Echo and the now-defunct Evening News in London, passsed away after a two year battle with Lewy Bodies dementia.

He joined the Echo after the Second World War before moving back to London to join the Evening News, working as a reporter, television correspondent and later as a sub-editor.

He was once offered a job on the Daily Mail but turned it down to refurbish his family’s thatched cottage which he had just inherited.

Kendall discovered his lifelong passions of scuba diving, underwater photography and especially wreck diving while spear fishing in Spain in 1946.

As his passion for the underwater world continued, he progressed to an aqualung in 1947, becoming a friend of Jacques Cousteau.

He joined the British Sub Aqua Club as member 23, being made the chairman in 1974 and an honorary vice-president shortly after.

Kendall was recognised as a wreck expert and made several TV appearances also presenting a series about wrecks on BBC2. He was invited into the International Diving Hall of Fame in 2004.

He was offered a job on the editorial staff at the Daily Mail but he had recently inherited his Uncle Charlie’s little thatched cottage in Thurlestone and decided to make his dream of returning to his family home a reality.

The renovation of the cottage with his wife Penelope provided him with a new subject to write about – Just A Cottage and More Than Just A Cottage, which documented the trials of restoring the property to its former glory.

They eventually turned their utility room into a printing press to produce the Village Voice, a publication that still runs bi-monthly to this date.

He is survived by his daughter Joanna and his grandchildren.