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In this section you will find articles on pleasure dives that have taken place with the Blackwater Sub Aqua Unit. 

Other Archives Items can be found in the downloads section accessible here.

Plans a foot for St Stephens day finswim for Blackwater divers

On St Stephens morning while most people will be relaxing after christmas the Blackwater divers will be doing our annual St Stephens morning finswim which is used as a fundraiser for the search and recovery unit. As per the last few years there will be a staggered
start with some of the group starting earlier in the morning from Ballyhooly bridge ( about 6 miles) with the remainder starting from Castlehyde (about 2.5 miles); Olan O Farrell will be manning the rescue launch as safety cover for the event. For club members or
supporters who would like to partake or assist with the fundraising or even the logistics of dropping the divers off to the start line on the morning; contact the club search and recovery officer David Carey at 086-8523928. For everyone who takes part the finswim will act as the divers in water fitness test which we all have to do on annual basis for insurance purposes.
Last weekend Graham Burke organised some early Sunday morning finswimming from the clubhouse to Careysville weir, with Olan acting as safety cover with the club launch. With a well swollen river from the recent rainfall and the river a very choclately brown, the divers made the best of the conditions and despite the chilly conditions all had covered the course in less than 45 minutes in what was a very enjoyable finswim.
Over the past 2 weekends the search unit have had our annual flag days in both Fermoy and Mitchelstown and thanks to everyone who both contributed and assisted with same; without these generous contributions the search unit could not continue. All funds raised go 100% towards club equipment and facilities with all the divers paying for their own equipment, medical expenses and training courses. In addition all the dive training that takes places during the year has no cost to the the club as all training expenses are covered every
week by the divers partaking - which is the reason why the search unit can thrive with such meager resources.
For anyone who ever passes Rathealy road midweek at night and they see the lights of our clubhouse on late at night, there is a very good chance that the lights are down to Olan O Farrell and Eugene Whelan carrying out equipment maintenance ; which they always do in a quiet manner with the equipment maintained to an excellent standard on a consistent basis; last week midweek they both fitted a new GPS and VHF radio to one of the club launches. The fact that we can carry out so much of this specialised work at no cost saves the search unit a fortune and is huge benefit for the club; well done to both.
Last week also saw Graham Burke and Mark Lane carry out a midweek night dive in Fermoy and during this dive they made some remarkable observations , there will be more articles about what they found in the next few weeks, but this will serve as proof positive that
adventureous diving is available to everyone who makes the effort; well done to both.
In the coming weeks the clubs training officer Graham Burke will be launching an ambitious training plan for 2014 that should draw big interest from both inside and outside the club and details will be released once the last of the logistics are finalised.

                       Night diving in the river Blackwater last week Graham Burke and Mark Lane

                         
                        Timmy Carey, Graham Burke and Billy Carr on the slipway in Fermoy last Sunday                                           morning prior to finswimming to Careysville weir

         Relaxing outside the clubhouse after last Sunday mornings finswim, sitting on the ornamental railway seat on the promenade Timmy Carey, Olan O Farrell, Billy Carr and Graham Burke

Blackwater Sub Aqua Club AGM reflects on a hectic but hugely successful 2013

The clubhouse was packed last Friday night with a large attendance at the AGM, starting at 19:30 it would take a full two hours to conduct all officers reports and election of officers for the coming year. The highpoints of the reports included the fact that the club had a record diving year with almost 145 dives logged, beating the previous highest figure by a healthy 20 dives. These high stats most probably reflect that we now have so many high quality dive leaders within the club in general. Dave Carey gave the search and recovery officers report and while thankfully the search unit was not as busy as 2012 which was a record year for the search unit being involved in 5 recoveries in the general locality, 2013 was still a busy year with the unit tasked on 3 occasions for recovery operations and also tasked with providing safety cover for almost 10 water based events - all of which were conducted safely. The other huge plus of the year being the proficiency now attained in the deep vision side scan unit, which is producing very high quality images the search unit is now in the process of carrying out 3D imaging scans of the river Blackwater to produce a master file of all local waterways. Th manufacturer of the unit was contacted re this idea of master files of local waterways and the company Deep Vision said they were aware of only one other group globally who had carried out such an ambitious project -so this will take place throughout the winter; watch out for more details.
Highlights of the year included the clubs 30th anniversary dinner in Mitchelstown and the hugely successful club open day which had a water safety theme and which drew huge crowds to the promenade. The club were also honored at the local tidy towns awards and nationally with an award in the Aras from president Higgins in the Get Involved awards for building the Blackwater heritage wall outside the clubhouse; a big thanks to Avondhu Blackwater for their assistance with th project.
Soon it was time for election of officers and there was a huge influx of new blood to the committee which is always a good sign and the offciers returned were as follows

Chairman- Noel Hayes, Secretary - Ken Barry, Fundraising Officer - Jimmy Mc Guire, Treasurer - Denis Granville, PRO - Walther Fleming, Equipments Officers - Eugene Whelan and Olan O Farrell, Child Liasion Officer - Eamonn O Herlihy, Search and Recovery Officer - David Carey, Diving Officer - Matt Culloty and Training Officer - Graham Burke.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Dont forget your shovel if you want to go diving !!! Barry Murphy exiting the river last weekend and Billy Carr with some Victorian ceramic jars

Best of luck to everyone in their new positions For any lapsed members this would be a good time to reapply for membership as fees are now due for anyone anxious to make a splash !
Diving at the weekend was two pronged with one group diving the deep wreck of the Ludgate in West Cork, but more about that next week and another group dived the river Blackwater which never ceases to amaze throwing up a number of embossed bottles; one of which is very interesting and will require an article of its own as well as number of Victorian marmalade jars!
Eugene Whelan on the iconic wreck of the Thistlegorm off Egypt beside a rail cabin near the bow of the ship

The search unit will hold it annual flag days in Fermoy and Mitchelstown over the next two Saturdays , if anyone would like to help the unit with the collections then please contact club secretary Ken Barry at 086-1018424.
                                                 Below: Peter Whelan and Judith O Brien diving the wreck of the Yolanda

Blackwater Sub Aqua Club awash with activity

Instructor Finbarr Murphy congratulates  Michael O Grady having passed one star exam and training officer Matt Culloty

This week, the officers of Blackwater sub aqua club, will prepare their reports, for the AGM which takes place on Friday night. An enormous amount of work has been completed during the year by the committee, from our 30 anniversary celebration, and very successful open day, the purchase of the side scan unit for the search and recovery unit, along with record levels of diving and training. As training officer (along with being responsible for this and other of the weekly articles), Matt Culloty will detail the training which has taken place over the course of the last twelve months.

Early January, Diver first responder training recertified a number of divers both internal and external to the club. This is an important certification, as all divers should have a good knowledge of first aid, and be comfortable in administering the correct support should a dive accident occur. Next was the certification of Nitrox diver, we strive to have all divers dive a gas which contains greater than 21% O2, this allows for not only longer dives, but reduces the effect of nitrogen narcosis, making diving safer. This year we also had in intake of new trainee divers, 3 months of pool work and theory lectures, would ensure they would be ready for open water diving by early May. It is always good to get new people diving; many have now become one star club divers, and will continue with the club next year and may become S&R divers early next year.

One of the most challenging courses, extended range diving (ERD) and that of ERD instructor, would entail for both the candidates’ and instructors many hours of lectures and diving. Once again Blackwater sub aqua club are leading the way, with Technical diving, divers going to deeper depths and staying there for longer.  We also ran a search and recovery course, again not only for those in the club, but external divers throughout the country. As we fill our own diving cylinders,  people need to know how to correctly use compressors and fill the various gas mixes,  the gas blending course would cover this and more.

Leading diver grade is the highest diving grade for sports diver, a full year of preparation, once again dive theory and lectures would ensure a successful outcome to one of own club members. This course and all of the others mentioned would not have been possible without the dedication and expertise of our club instructors. For more information on our club, visit www.blackwatersubaquaclub.ie