Naas Sub Aqua Club is one of the most active diving clubs in the country and the group has some 50 members following a recruitment drive last year.
This saw the unit expand by 10 new divers, some of whom are preparing for their Club Diver assessment.
The club recently organised a diveathon (a relay with diving taking place every half an hour to an hour) along with the Hook Sub Aqua club around the Hook peninsula in Co. Wexford.
The end of July marathon meant that divers were in the water non stop for a full 24 hours.
The search and recovery unit of the Naas club is well established and carries out important work on a volunteer basis in the hope of bringing peace to the families affected by water related tragedies.
In the early days the work was vital because there were few resources nationally to do this important but difficult work.
Today the landscape has changed and many of these operations are tasked to Garda and Navy diving units but clubs like Naas are still referred to in emergency response plans as providers of these competencies.
These activities are not funded and clubs must maintain their training and skills along with associated procedures and equipment to the highest standards, ensuring the safety of those called upon to assist.
The Royal National Lifeboat Institute, particularly the station based at Fethard on Sea, also benefitted.
The RNLI provides an on call 24 hour lifeboat and rescue service. It works with the Irish Coast Guard and hardly a week passes without this organisation being called into action.
Naas Sub Aqua also assists the Tom O’Flaherty Memorial Trust in Gorey, which helps those affected by suicide.
- Paul O’Meara