Tributes paid to popular Southsea swimming instructor

TRIBUTES Blaine Perkins with his wife Jan
TRIBUTES Blaine Perkins with his wife Jan
Charles Manson in 2014. Picture: WikiCommons

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TRIBUTES have been paid to a popular swimming instructor who gave hundreds of people a new lease of life.

Blaine Perkins, 67, died of a heart attack the morning after he held a session at the pool of his Southsea home.

His grieving wife Jan, who he was married to for 30 years this year, said: ‘He would say that he wanted to teach the world to swim.

‘He was loud, funny and intelligent.

‘He just loved teaching people how to swim; that was his passion in life.

‘If he hadn’t made a living from doing it, he would have taught for free, because he absolutely loved it.’

Mr Perkins began teaching at the former Holbrook Leisure Centre, in Gosport, which is where he met his wife and taught her how to swim.

He then taught in other local places before setting up Southsea School of Swimming after the couple moved to Clarence Road in 1995.

He used a 20ft x 20ft pool that was already set up in the home to lead sessions and courses.

Audrey Buckner, 53, of Cosham, had just began to have lessons, and was due to have her third one the day Blaine died, on Tuesday, February 18.

‘He was an amazing man, who in only two lessons had me going under the water,’ he said.

‘I just thought he was a magician. I can’t believe he has gone.’

Mr and Mrs Perkins previously lived in Spain, which is where he lived in his younger years. He loved real ale and going to beer festivals.

Blaine’s funeral will be held at Havant Crematorium on Wednesday.