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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.

River Blackwater headstone finds its final resting place

Last week saw the finishing off of the stone wall across from our clubhouse on the Promenade and the final piece to be built was the headstone and the stone work surrounding it. The headstone was found under Fermoy bridge and was recovered with the permission of the
national museum as it was an archaeological object, most of these objects end up in Dublin in the national museum where only a fraction of the items can ever be put on display due to inadequate room in the museum to show all the artifacts. While the origins of this headstone
will never be definitively known it can be seen from the ripples on the stone from the water that it has been in the water a long time. While the original Fermoy monastery is long gone with very little trace left of it, the part of the river where this was found isn't too far away from the ancient burial ground of the monastery.
After some discussion with the museum it was agreed that the headstone could stay in Fermoy provided it was well secured. A huge thanks to Eamonn Neligan a qualified stone mason who built the wall and mounted the headstone on a voluntary basis. The old railway axles were also bedded in concrete last week and were given the final touches of paint by Mike Reidy; the last thing to be done with this is for David Carey to add the timber runners to turn it into an ornamental seat.

                         Eamonn Neligan mounting the headstone into the new wall in the promenade in Fermoy


The club was very honoured to receive an award at the recent Fermoy tidy town awards especially as the flood works had a very detrimental effect on our facilities during the construction phase with lots of mud and dirt in the area; this was the first year since that we got
the chance to give the area a big clean up and have our club facilities in pristine condition again. Congratulations to everyone for organising the event and to Mc Carthy insurances for sponsoring the event. A big thanks also to Christy Roche and Valerie Murphy of Avondhu Blackwater who have given us a huge help with the project by assisting with the signage for the project. Hopefully in the coming weeks we should be able to have a large scale family open day where we will have a lot of family events free of charge and give everyone in the locality a chance to see our facilities.

Well done to Owen O Keffee an inspirational sportsman on yet another inspiring swim and on breaking another record recently, everyone in the club would like to wish Owen well on his plans to swim the entire river Blackwater in the coming weeks; a phenomenal feat of endurance.

Dive One Star Exam
Well done to Willie Keane who last week attained the diving grade of diver of one star diver after being examined in Cork harbour on the wreck of the star immaculate fishing trawler. This is just rewards for all the hard work in the pool and open water over the past few months.                      Noel Hayes, Ken Barry and Eugene Whelan at the recent Gathering event in Fermoy town park.

 


Acknowledgement of Cork County Council assistance:

A big thanks to Cork County Council for a recent grant towards the units side scan sonar this was a huge help to the search unit. A big thanks to Noel McCarthy and Frank o Flynn also for their help at County Council level.

The club will be organising a training weekend away on the 17th and 18th of August in Smerwick in Kerry, if anyone is interested in going contact Matt Culloty for further details.

Olan O Farrell and Gearoid O Looney towing in a stricken vessel in distress in Helvick Head recently; Helvick lifeboat were also onhand to assist with the rescue of the vessel

Commercial diving graduation

A huge congratulation to Gearoid O Looney who recently graduated in Scotland to HSE grade three commercial diver; which is a very intensive month long course and it is a legal requirement for anyone diving in surface supplied equipment (which is where a diver has an umbilical line to the surface supplying them gas). The course includes 24 dives to a maximum depth of 50m (165ft) with the diver having to learn how to dive in different models of diving helmets, such as a Kirby Morgan 17, 37, 18 and 28, and use different deployment methods including shot lines and diving baskets. They also learn about surface decompression techniques, when they have to decompress in a recompression chamber on the surface breathing oxygen. As the course progresses the depth of the diving increases, which exposes the diver to increasing nitrogen narcosis and the divers ability to battle these debilitating effects is assessed at 50 meters. The HSE Surface Supplied Course also teaches a diver how to handle emergency situations such as loss of air or loss of communications and how to rescue a stricken diver in an umbilical diving situation of an extended commercial dive. The course also includes sub aquatic assembling of scaffolding, using tools such as lifting bags, a pneumatic cutting disc, hydraulic drill and impact wrench and a CP9 hammer drill which are very sought after skills as a commercial diver not performing correctly would not be tolerated on a dive site as an offshore support vessel could cost up to 100,000 sterling a day in many parts of the world!!!.

Congratulations again to Gearoid on gaining such a prestigious diving grade.

                                                                                    

                               Gearoid O Looney kitted up in commercial diving equipment

   Gearoid  jumping off a 5 meter high pier without fins as one of the testsin Scotland

 

Freshwater crawfish in the river Blackwater

After thousands of dives in the river Blackwater it never seems to cease to amaze and so it was last week when one of the clubs divers found a dead freshwater crawfish in Fermoy town near the promenade.
Why is this of interest?? well mainly because freshwater crawfish are not supposed to live in the river Blackwater. They are commonly found in the nearby Suir and in parts of the Awbeg a tributary of the Blackwater; but not in the actual river Blackwater itself. There is the possibility that it has washed from the Awbeg , but that is a long way for the crawfish to be washed in very calm and slow flowing water and in addition there was another one found in the mill race in Fermoy about 2 years ago. As this was a significant environmental find it was reported to the national park and wildlife services, so who knows there may be a small population of crawfish not previously recorded; only time will tell !!!!!                            A freshwater crawfish like the one found in the Blackwater last week

The recent good weather has brought a frenetic spell of diving activity and as many of the clubs divers need dives beyond 10 meters to log depth for their diving grades, then a huge amount of this diving was at sea where depth is readily available. Over the past week alone training dives were logged in Youghal, Kinsale, the ling rocks, Cork harbour and Killavullen in the river Blackwater. Contact the diving officer for details of upcoming dives.
         Joost cycling out of the river Blackwater recently with a bike found on the riverbed


The one unfortunate aspect of the recent good weather has been the huge amount of drownings in the country and after seeing recent articles re jumping from Fermoy bridge, it should be said that this is a very foolish thing to do as there is often lots of obstacles such as tree branches just below the surface under the the main eye of the bridge that anyone jumping into the river could get impaled on, also there are a lot of very sharp rocks protruding from the riverbed that anyone jumping into the river could collide with. While water can be very beautiful it must always be treated with respect and hopefully people will stop this dangerous practice