It’s their dedication and selflessness which sets the divers and support teams of the Blackwater Sub Aqua club apart as worthy recipients of National Lottery Funding for Good Causes.
For 36-years the club has been involved in at least 200 search and recovery operations across Ireland often working in the most difficult of conditions - both on and offshore.
While they work most regularly in the Cork and Munster areas the club is often asked to dive elsewhere too and took part in the recent operation off Blacksod in Mayo following the crash of an Irish Coast Guard Rescue helicopter and the tragic death of all four on board.
The Blackwater crew are all volunteers who pay for their own personal gear, medical expenses and even training. And often when called upon they must organise time off from their jobs to carry out this vital work.
“Since the club began in 1981 the levels of dedication have always been so high. As well as working on search and recovery operations many of our volunteers also fundraise so it takes up so much of their time,” explains Tim Carey of the Sub Aqua club which is based in the town of Fermoy.
And a key to ensuring their efforts are as successful and effective as possible is the quality and maintenance of their equipment.
Over the years the Blackwater Sub Aqua club has received a number of allocations from the National Lottery Funding for Good Causes, the most recent of which, €25,076, came in 2014.
“Boats, in particular, are very expensive and we must have the most effective safety and protective equipment which allows our divers maintain communications with the support team above water throughout,” explains Tim Carey.
The combination of dedicated divers, experienced support teams and high-quality, well-maintained equipment makes the Blackwater Sub Aqua club a simply essential part of our search and rescue services and as it is a completely voluntary body every cent it can get in funding is very warmly received.
Approximately 30 cent of every €1 spent on games go back to National Lottery Funding for Good Causes in the areas of sport, youth, health, welfare, education, arts and heritage. In total, more than €5 Billion has been raised for Good Causes since the National Lottery was established 30 years ago. In 2016 alone, the National Lottery raised over €210 million for such good causes.