Sheephaven SAC were featured on RTE Winning Streak last Saturday night, when the programme gave time to show how National Lottery funds were spent by the Search and Recovery Unit in the past.
With a snow capped backdrop of Muckish the images of divers preparing for a simulated search presented the essence of what the Search and Recovery Unit give back to the community on a voluntary basis.
The National Lottery funding referred to on Winning Streak was previously used to refurbish two of the club dive boats, which are essential to the Units capability to respond when tasked by the Irish Coastguard.
Every cent of fundraising is needed to keep the Unit going, as the divers provide all their own gear to keep the dive boats and air compressors operational.
With that in mind the club was delighted to be remembered by the Smith family, who lost a brother in tragic circumstances earlier this year and Sheephaven S&R unit were tasked in recovering him from the water.
The family requested that donations in lieu of flowers be made to Sheephaven S&R Unit and last Sunday they presented the resulting significant funds to the Unit (pictured above) – prior to a mandatory training day in Portnablagh – for which everyone involved is very appreciative of.
There were 23 Search and Recovery divers present for the training day, led by John Joe Rowland on a fine April morning in Portnablagh harbour.
The divers were divided into two swim-line teams, each directed on the surface by snorkelers who guided them through an elaborate 180 degree turn to bring them back to the pier without surfacing.
In-water conditions were near perfect, with a little bit of a rise in water temperature – now at 8 degrees Celsius – and very good visibility at well over 10 metres horizontally.
In fact the water was so clear the divers could see right across the swim-line and watch the snorkelers on the surface throughout the dive.
This activity was preceded on Saturday morning by a boat dive to Black Rock, near Downings, led by Kevin Boylan.
Weather conditions and the resulting sea were near perfect for the 30 minute dive, conducted in two sticks.
The maximum depth achieved was 20 metres and in-water visibility was excellent at nearly 10 metres horizontally.
Finally, just a word of mention for the three Sheephaven divers who successfully completed the practical element of their PADI Tec 40 course in Portroe Quarry, Co. Tipperary on Saturday morning.
The redundant quarry has a maximum depth of over 30 metres and allows for such practical work irrespective of weather conditions.
On successful completion of the Tec 40 course the divers involved will be qualified to conduct decompression diving to a maximum depth of 40 metres, using oxygen enriched air to accelerate decompression. Well done to all involved.