Captain John Percival, founder and principal of John Percival Marine Associates (JPMA)/Hoylake Sailing School (HSS), passed away over the weekend. He was 68 and had been suffering from cancer for the past six years.

John was a leading player in the leisure boating and yachting education market and also the small commercial craft business through the formation of JPMA and HSS in 1996. This followed several years in the merchant navy and international freight industry as well as a period as a personnel officer with Wirral Metropolitan Borough Council.

With the formation of HSS, John started teaching recreational sailors and boaters and soon after this he was asked to deliver commercial training to the small craft industry. Since then JPMA/HSS Ltd has developed into one of the largest small craft training establishments in the UK, delivering courses to the leisure, superyacht, workboat, port and merchant sectors.

John was a member of many boards and committees within these sectors, such was his dedication to the development of UK industry and the welfare and appropriate training of on-board crew.

Over the last six months John stepped back from day-to-day business at JPMA/HSS due to his deteriorating health. He took formal retirement in early February 2014.

Anna Percival-Harris, managing director of the school, will continue, with the help of the business development team and the 30-plus strong staff, to maintain the renowned high standards of the school.

A commemorative service is being held at St Hildeburgh’s Church, Hoylake on March 21st at 15:00. In lieu of flowers, John’s family request donations to either Hoylake RNLI Crew Fund, or Cheshire & Wirral Partnership Charitable Fund – Palliative Care Team. Donations can be made by cheque to Co-Operative Funeral Care, Hoylake.