The members of Dundalk Sub Aqua Club pictured in Greenore earlier this year before a snorkelling expedition picture: Dundalk sub aqua group
A few weeks ago, a member of Dundalk Sub Aqua Club was driving past Greenore port ready to take his dog for a walk when he noticed a crowd of people gathered at the shoreline.
Upon further inspection, the local man realised that a man had gone into the water and soon found himself in real difficulty.
Dundalk Sub Aqua Club's first new boat in the last decade which was funded by the Capital Sports Grant Scheme picture: Dundalk Sub Aqua Group
Luckily for this gentleman, the person that came to his rescue had trained with the Search and Rescue division of Dundalk Sub Aqua Group. He immediately sprung into action and threw a lifebuoy out to the man in the water and pulled him into safety.
It was all in a day’s work for the local diving enthusiast. When asked if the man needed to calm the nerves after the dramatic incident Dundalk Sub Aqua Diving Club PRO Margaret McCarthy told the Democrat:
“No, not at all! Our member went on to walk his dog and went home to read the papers after. The tide was ferocious that day. His training really stood him well.”
This is just a small example of how the dedicated members of this local diving club have given back to the local community.
Dundalk Sub Aqua Club (DSAC) is an active diving club which was founded in 2001. They are affiliated with the Irish Underwater Council (Comhairle Fo Thuinn).
The club has a vast wealth of experience under their belts between their 48 diver members who have qualifications ranging from trainee divers up to dive instructors (M1s).
Perhaps one of the most high-profile sections of the club is the Search and Rescue Recovery Unit - made up of 25 DSAC members who are on call and ready at any time to respond to calls for rescue or recovery of missing persons from waters around the North East region and across Ireland if needed.
Club PRO Margaret explained: “We are the only club in Dundalk who do underwater search and rescue training. We were involved in a few searches recently. There was a missing woman who was unfortunately found along the river in South Armagh.”
The search and rescue division has exciting plans for the future now that they have received funding from the Capital Sports Grant Scheme for a new boat, their first new boat in over ten years. The Search and Rescue team will also be taking part in “major training” this September.
Leisure activities and trips
But there’s plenty of time for play in Dundalk Sub Aqua Club too. Throughout the year the club meets for local dives in Greenore where they launch their boats for a dive on one of the many dive sites in the Lough.
DSAC also dive or snorkel on Sunday mornings and there are additional mid-week dives during the summer months.
In addition to the local diving, the group organise dive trips to some of Ireland’s best diving destinations in Donegal and The North Antrim coasts.
Interested in Joining?
Potential new members are invited to Try a dive in Aura in September each year, followed by a pool training program through the winter.
The good news is no experience is needed and all ages are welcome. Club PRO Margaret says: “We have members of all ages from 18 to 70 years old. If you feel like trying something different out, give it a go. It’s a brilliant experience.”
Dundalk Sub Aqua Club run a highly structured diver training programme during the winter months. This is a balance of diving theory and in-water practice in the local swimming pool.
If you would like to 'dive in' to this exciting local activity you can connect with Dundalk Sub Aqua Search And Rescue Group on Facebook or email by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org for more details and dates on the next open day.
Margaret adds: “We have a bucket collection every New Years Eve. Thanks to the generosity of the people of Dundalk we are able to keep our equipment up to date.”