Longford Scuba Divers Search and Recovery unit is based in Longford town and has been involved in search and recovery operations in the Midlands Region since 1989.
The purpose of the Search & Recovery Unit is to aid in the location and or rescue of missing persons in the Midlands Region and other jurisdictions as requested.
The unit consist of 18 divers and support personnel, all giving freely of their time and equipment.
Divers who volunteer to join our dedicated unit face significant challenges during these activities, these divers dive in conditions that are far from comfortable and can be extremely daunting. This is where the training comes in to deal with dark and low to nil visibility waters, overhead obstacles, fast flowing water which can be extremely cold at times.
Modern Search and Recovery involves sophisticated and expensive technology, high-power LED torches, full face masks and diver communication units, therefore each team members must firstly be an experienced diver before volunteering to undergo a lengthy training programme.This programme involves attending a number of classroom based lectures and complete several in water scenarios before going forward for testing. If they are successful they qualify as Search and Recovery divers, which is a recognized international qualification.
The S&R unit have been requested to attend searches all over the country and in 2010 members of the team were presented with long service awards by Minister Dermot Ahern followed by a reception with President Mary McAleese in Aras an Uachtarain in recognition of the service the club provides to our local community.
But whilst searching rivers, lakes etc. is not every body’s cup of tea, we do have a barrage of other volunteers who are more than willing to assist us in every other way possible to co-ordinate searches, driving boat acting as shore marshals, equipment facilitators, to those who provide food and hot drinks to sometimes frost bitten individuals emerging from the searches. All jobs are equally important when an operation is being carried out.
All expenses incurred by the unit whether in searches or training are covered by the individuals involved, and most divers use personal leave from work during these operations.