Members of the Sheephaven Search and Rescue Unit have recalled their desperate search for two men who drowned in Lough Keel outside Kilmacrennan on Thursday last.
The team, all members of the Sheephaven Sub Aqua Unit, were drafted in to search for the father and son who were staying in a holiday home locally.
A spokesperson for the club has recounted their role in the tragedy and gave thanks for being able to play a part in the recovery of the remains of the men.
“On arrival at the scene, the six divers were themselves assisted by the Irish Coastguard members with getting the scuba gear safely to the water edge.
“In water conditions initially appeared to be good, with the surface layer warm and relatively clear, however, this site falls away very steeply to a depth of over 10 metres and was very dark indeed.
“Additionally there was a quite definite thermocline after a few metres and water below that was also much colder.
“On the lake bed there is a very thick layer of sediment and the divers had be careful not stir it up or there was zero visibility, effectively the deeper regions of the site were conducted as a finger-tip search.”
The divers had completed two swim-line searches and were preparing to conduct a third sweep when the final casualty was recovered and then handed over to the Gardai.
The spokesperson added that their thoughts were with the family of the men at this time and that they remain committed to assisting State agencies 40 years after they were formed.
“There is no good news for the people involved in this tragedy – other than ensuring that the return of the casualties is done as quickly as possible, which thankfully was what happened in this case.
“Sheephaven SAC sends it sincere condolences to the friends and family of the casualties, suaimhneas sioraí ar a n-anamacha uasal.”
“Sheephaven divers were originally formed to provide assistance to the civil powers in situations such as last Thursday and over 40 years later the club members remain committed to assisting all the State agencies, should they be asked to do so.”