They are the unsung heroes of our community, the volunteers who help assist in search and rescues, and sadly, recoveries on our waterways, the people who are there for others who need help most.
More than simply a social and sporting association, the Leitrim Sub Aqua Club is a member of the Irish Underwater Council and also has members affiliated to PADI “Professional Association of Diving Instructor’s” and SDI/TDI “Technical Diving International.”
Leitrim Sub Aqua Club was formed in 2006 from members of two smaller clubs - Strokestown and Manorhamilton and members hail from Counties Leitrim, Sligo, Roscommon, Dublin and Fermanagh.
Gerry Gilroy, Leitrim Sub Aqua Club Diving Officer, explains: “Some of our members have been diving over 30 years not to mention Fergus Millar, Dr Cyril Crosby and Padraig Ruane.
“Our club normally dive in the Atlantic off the coast of Sligo, Mayo or Donegal popular would be Mullaghmore or Achris Head, Sligo, St Johns Point, Donegal or Kilcummin, Mayo are some of our favourite dive sites.
“At present we have 22 working members with another 12 overseas who dive with the club when home, at one stage we had over 60 members on our books. We also have a snorkeling section for non-divers. Membership is 250€ for 2017 this covers your insurance and training with all equipment supplied for the first year.”
Training starts in the pool with an exam before participants progress to the sea.
“The emphasis is on fun when scuba diving but there is a serious side, we may be called to assist the Garda Sub Aqua Unit or the Civil Defence,” says Gerry.
Leitrim Sub Aqua Club also does safety cover for large swims like the Lough Key Tri-Athlon and Blueway events on the river or sea
Each year the Club holds a fund raiser - The Great Jamestown to Drumsna Swim, Fin and Snorkel.
“This year is our 10th year to hold the swim, it is always on the last Saturday in August and this year it falls on August 27. This year we have the Drumsna Development Association and Jamestown Pre-School on-board which will add a new dimension to the event with a 1920’s fancy dress, live music on the street with Chris Cronin and a Sean Nos Dancing completion with Edwina Guckian picking the winners. There will also be a duck race on the Shannon,” he said.
Registration is on Saturday, August 27 at 12pm at Drumsna Quay with the Swim starting at 2.30pm from Jamestown Weir.
If you would like to join Leitrim Sub Aqua Club email: leitrim.sub.aqua.club
@gmail.com or call 0868588328 to speak to the club diving officer.