Bernard E. Empleton, 63, executive director of the Council for National Cooperation in Aquatics and a former YMCA director who specialized in scuba diving instruction, died Aug. 6 at his Ashton, Md., home. He had amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, also known as Lou Gehrig's disease.

Mr. Empleton was a pioneer in the field of recreational scuba diving instruction. In the mid-1950s, he helped produce and edit "Science of Skin and Scuba Diving," a major textbook in its field, now in its fifth revised printing.

He also served as editor of the Journal of Physical Education for four years in the 1950s.

He developed and conducted the first course for national certification of scuba instructors in this country and established the first national program for scuba divers for the National Council of YMCAs.

Mr. Empleton was a YMCA director for 33 years and served as executive director of the Washington YMCA from 1961 to 1963. He was its physical director for five years before that.

He also served at YMCAs in New Jersey and Ohio and was personnel director at the YMCA in New York City after leaving Washington.

For the past five years, Mr. Empleton was executive director of the Council for National Cooperation in Aquatics, a nonprofit educational organization to further the field of aquatics.

He was born in Austerlitz, N.Y., and earned a bachelor's degree in science from Springfield College in Massachusetts.

He served with a Marine air wing in the Pacific theater during World War II.

Survivors include his wife, Anita F. of Ashton; a son, Ronald, of Silver Spring; a daughter, Valerie Sottle of Montclair, N.J.; three brothers, Wallace, of Wappingers Falls, N.Y., and Victor, of Larchmont, N.Y., and five grandchildren.

The family suggests that expressions of sympathy be in the form of contributions to the Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis Society of America, 15300 Ventura Blvd., Sherman Oaks, Calif., 91403.