Former RYA North East secretary Neal Hill, who died this week aged 76, will be remembered as a passionate and dedicated ambassador for boating and marine conservation.

Neal actively and passionately dedicated himself to the boating community of the North East region over more than three decades, serving as Regional Secretary for more than 20 years. Described by RYA colleagues as both "practical and professional", numerous chairmen and fellow committee members found his expertise and support to be invaluable.

In recognition of his dedication, Neal was presented with a prestigious RYA Regional Volunteer Award by HRH The Princess Royal, President of the RYA in 2012 for his services to the region.

Committed to the protection of the marine environment, Neal was instrumental in steering the campaign for the formation of the joint RYA and British Marine environmental initiative, ‘The Green Blue’, launched in 2005. This environmental awareness followed through his many voluntary roles with the RYA.

Chief Executive of the RYA, Sarah Treseder commented: “Neal demonstrated outstanding dedication at club, regional, national and international level, lending his skills and expertise to numerous RYA committees and in doing so, helped to influence and shape both U.K. and European environmental legislation. His length of service to both the sport and the environment were exemplary.”