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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.

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

Blackwater Divers Busy Doing What They Do Best

 

Blackwater divers have logged an impressive number of dives in the last week. Six of our club divers have raked up on average 17 dives each during the week, while living on a boat on the red sea, an report on their dives and what  life on board is like  will feature in the coming weeks. Not to be outdone, those of us who stayed at home made the most of perfect conditions last weekend.

Early Saturday morning, 5 divers travelled to Ferrypoint (near Youghal), their destination the wreck of the Folia. A 4 masted, twin funnel liner she was built in 1907. And measured 131.06m x16.02m x 7.67m and grossed 6705 tons. She was armed with a 12 pounder 12 ctw stern gun. While bound New York for Avonmouth, with a 4,400 cargo of trench digging machinery, shell cases and general cargo, she was torpedoed by U-53, which then surfaced and sank her with their deck gun. 7 of the crew of 85 lost their lives.

 

                                                 Matt Culloty prepares to dive the Folia   

 

                                      Finbarr Mulcahy looking forward to a dive on the Folia

Diving the Folia can be challenging, resting at a depth of 36 meters, it’s important to dive when currents are not running, often divers need more than just a single diving cylinder, in order to get enough bottom time to explore this vast wreck. 3 of the divers wished to spend 30 minutes on the wreck; this would entail bringing 2 cylinders or a rebreather on their back plus one more on each side. The effect of diving at this depth for this duration puts the diver into situation recreational divers should not encounter. Due to the quantity of gas consumed and the effects of pressure, it would take the divers 30 minutes to reach the surface in ordered to off gas. Failure to adhere to the proper assent schedule will result in serious illness or death.

The second dive of the day would be to Cable island, just outside Youghal harbour, for this we were joined by another 2 of our divers, and while the visibility was not as good as the morning dive, all were treated to a lovely scenic dive with bountiful array of fish and fauna.  

                                           Stéphane Portrait dives with rebreather on the Folia

The search and rescue unit continued with training of the side scan sonar unit, also on Saturday, this activity may have been noticed by those river watching. The dedicated team, led by David Carey are becoming proficient... For further information on our club activities www.blackwatersubaqua.ie