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CLUB NEWS

LOUGH Derg Sub Aqua Club held its AGM online using Zoom.

Officers elected for the coming year are Chairman: Simon O’Duffy; Vice Chairman: Jerry Hogan; Secretary: Brian Hoare; Treasurer: Gordon Liston; Dive Officer: Richie O’Donnell; Search & Recovery Dive Officer: Tom Shaw; Equipment Officer: Kevin O’Connor; Training Officer: Eileen Finn; PRO: Stephen Ryan; Snorkelling Officer and Child Protection Officer: Bryanna Sweeney.
Thanking all the members of the previous committee for their work over the last 12 months, the chairman had a special word of thanks for Michael Hogan, Templederry, who has stood down as Search & Recovery Dive Officer after serving in that role for several years.
Mike is one of the longest-serving members of Lough Derg Sub Aqua Club, which was established almost 30 years ago now. He played a key role in developing the club’s S&R unit, which provides an important voluntary service all over the country. The service includes searching for people who go missing, as well as for equipment and valuable personal items underwater.
Mike took the opportunity to thank all members of the club for their assistance over the years and asked all to acknowledge the unique sacrifice that Search & Recovery divers make in providing this voluntary service, which he hoped would continue long into the future.
Despite the unprecedented challenges of 2020, it was a good year for the club with diving and snorkelling trips to places like Kilkee, the White Strand, the Bridges of Ross, Hook Head, and of course Portroe Dive Centre. The club also held an underwater cleanup in Dromineer with the assistance of the local community. Several members achieved new grades and qualifications during the year, and the club has an excellent group of trainees that made fantastic progress in the space of a few short months.
Among the priorities for the coming year, the club is still actively looking to establish a permanent base in the Nenagh area with dry storage for a boat and trailer. Any parties that might be able to help are very welcome to get in contact with the club. Please visit our website – www.ldsac.ie – or Facebook and Instagram page for further details.
LDSAC group pictured at the Bridges of Ross, Co Clare, in August. From left: Michael Hogan, Elaine Healy, Simon O’Duffy, Stephen Ryan, Bry Sweeney, Mags Cleary, Kevin O’Connor, Paradzai Havatitye, Jerry Hogan, Dave McCann and Richie O’Donnell.

CLUB NEWS

The club has been busy with diving every weekend since the lifting of travel restrictions. New protocols are in place with Covid-19 in mind, and while the weather has not been favourable enough to get our boat back in the sea, we have enjoyed diving locally at Portroe Dive Centre and from the shore at Miltown Malbay, Co Clare. Several members of the club spent the August bank holiday weekend shore diving and snorkelling at Hook Head in Co Wexford.

Also in recent weeks, the club was involved in an underwater cleanup of the harbour in Dromineer, which was a very successful exercise.

Training is continuing for new members and going very well; all are making good progress and thoroughly enjoying the experience!

The weather forecast for this weekend is more promising and we might finally have the chance to the take the boat out at Kilkee, Co Clare. Please see our Facebook page for further information.

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LDSAC group at Portroe Dive Centre in July when new members Kevin O’Connor and Bry Sweeney passed their One-Star test. From left: Brian Hoare, Tom Shaw, Simon O’Duffy, Bry, Kevin, Dave McCann, Conal Dolan, Colin Calway and Eileen Finn.

CLUB NEWS –   JUNE MEETING

We held our June meeting via Zoom on Thursday, June 25th. This was the third club meeting held online since the Covid-19 restrictions were put in place last March.

Central to the topics discussed were the new guidelines on returning to diving in the restricted situation wrought by Covid and the need for personal responsibility. We have enjoyed several snorkelling sessions at Garrykennedy over recent weeks and we are slowly but surely getting back to diving now too. Search & recovery training has continued and Lough Derg SAC’s voluntary S&R unit remains on standby.

Our trainees are also progressing very well and looking forward to their first dives very soon!

Looking further ahead, we plan to get back to the sea in July after the travel restrictions are lifted. We also have plans for a number of local community events. Keep an eye on our Facebook page for photos and activity updates over the coming weeks.

CLUB NEWS – FEBRUARY MEETING

Our February meeting took place at the Hibernian Inn in Nenagh on Wednesday, February 26th.

Not much diving happening at this time of year but training sessions have been continuing weekly at Nenagh Leisure Centre.

A number of club members have also commenced the Leading Diver and Rescue Diver courses, and training was facilitated at Portroe Dive Centre last Sunday. We have also been busy working on our entry in the upcoming St Patrick’s Day parade in Nenagh!

Looking ahead, open water snorkelling sessions at Youghal Quay will be recommencing later this month and we’re planning our first diving weekend away of the year at the wonderfully scenic Killary Fjord in Connemara on the May bank holiday weekend.

Please visit our Facebook page to see more.

COLLECTION AT BARACK OBAMA PLAZA

Lough Derg Sub Aqua Club and Search & Recovery Unit would like to thank everyone who supported our collection at Barack Obama Plaza, Moneygall, on the weekend of January 18th/19th. Special thanks to Henry Healy and all the team at Obama Plaza.

LDSAC members John Dunne, Colin Calway, Eileen Finn and ‘helper’ at our recent collection at Barack Obama Plaza, Moneygall.

Reminder that we will be holding a free ‘try-a-dive’ night at Nenagh Leisure Centre this Wednesday, January 22nd, at 7pm.

Experience diving in the safety of the swimming pool with fully-qualified instructors. There is no charge and all the gear will be provided; all you need to bring is your togs and towel. The only requirements are that you are over the age of 18 and able to swim. The try-a-dive will be followed by a short information session in which you will learn about everything needed to join the club.

Please visit our Facebook page for further information.

TRY-A-DIVE AT NENAGH SWIMMING POOL

Have you ever wondered what scuba-diving is like?

Lough Derg Sub Aqua Club will be holding free ‘try-a-dive’ nights at Nenagh Leisure Centre on Wednesday, January 15th and Wednesday, January 22nd (7pm both nights).
Experience diving in the safety of the swimming pool with fully-qualified instructors. There is no charge and all the gear will be provided; all you need to bring is your togs and towel. The only requirements are that you are aged 18 or over and able to swim.

You can attend on either night or both nights. The try-a-dive will be followed by a short information session in which you will learn about everything needed to join the club.

Please see our Facebook page for more about LDSAC.

AGM

Our AGM was held at the Hibernian Inn on Wednesday, November 27th.

The following are the club officers for the next 12 months: Chairman/PRO: Simon O’Duffy; Secretary/Training Officer: Brian Hoare; Treasurer: Gordon Liston; Dive Officer: Tom Shaw; Search & Recovery Dive Officer: Michael Hogan; Equipment Officer: John Dunne; Snorkelling Officer: Barry Lemasney, Child Protection Officer: Mary Calway.

The AGM was also an opportunity to reflect on a very eventful year for the club, highlights of which included hosting the Dive Ireland International Expo in Nenagh, winning the ‘best entry’ award in Nenagh’s St Patrick’s Day parade and featuring on RTÉ television. Diving and snorkelling excursions took place all over Ireland and abroad. The club’s Search & Recovery unit was also involved in a number of operations during the year.

There is not as much diving taking place during the winter months but pool training sessions are continuing every week at Nenagh Leisure Centre. See our Facebook page for further information.

October meeting

Our October meeting was held at the Hibernian Inn, Nenagh, on Wednesday, October 30th.

It was another busy month for the club, during which nine members travelled to Egypt to experience spectacular diving in the Red Sea. Lough Derg SAC also held a nitrox gas blending course in Nenagh during the month. Club members were very glad to hear that the insurance issue that arose at Portroe Dive Centre has been resolved and that the centre will remain open in 2020.

Members of Lough Derg SAC with some of the Pharaoh Dive Club team on our recent visit to Roots Red Sea in Egypt. Visit our Facebook page to see a collection of great photos of some of things we saw while diving in the Red Sea.

Last Wednesday we held the first of our two try-a-dive events at Nenagh Leisure Centre. This was a well-attended and enjoyable experience for all involved.

We will be holding another try-a-dive at Nenagh Leisure Centre again this Wednesday, November 6th, at 7pm, when you can experience scuba diving in the swimming pool free of charge. This will be followed by a presentation about the club at the Hibernian Inn at 8.30pm; all welcome. Please visit our Facebook page for more information.

Try-a-dive in Nenagh swimming pool

Have you ever wondered what scuba-diving is like?

Lough Derg Sub Aqua Club will be holding free ‘try-a-dive’ nights at Nenagh Leisure Centre on Wednesday, October 30th and Wednesday, November 6th (7pm both nights).

Experience diving in the safety of the swimming pool with fully-qualified instructors. There is no charge and all the gear will be provided; all you need to bring is your togs and towel. The only requirements are that you are over the age of 18 and able to swim.

You can attend on either night or both nights. The try-a-dive will be followed by a short information session in which you will learn about everything needed to join the club.

Please visit our Facebook page for further information.

Gas blending course

Lough Derg Sub Aqua Club ran the CMAS Gas Blender course in Nenagh last Wednesday and Thursday evening.

Five members of LDSAC and one member from Dalkey Scubadivers learned about the practicalities, procedures and precautions of gas blending on the course, which provided all candidates with a good academic understanding as well as practical instruction in nitrox filling. The candidates will now assist with the filling of nitrox cylinders for their club ahead of next year’s diving season.

Thanks to Alex Buda and Tom Shaw for running this course.

 

September meeting

Our September meeting took place at the Hibernian Inn, Nenagh, on Wednesday, September 25th.

Despite the poor weather conditions of the last few weekends, club members still managed to get out diving. There was a return to the wrecks at Cork Harbour early in the month, while we also enjoyed diving locally at Portroe Dive Centre, and there was a fantastic mid-week night dive at Doolin.

The diving season is starting to wind down now but there will still be plenty happening with courses being run over the winter months, and a return to pool training at Nenagh Leisure Centre later this month.

We will also be holding two ‘Try-a-dive’ nights at the leisure centre on Wednesday, October 30th and Wednesday, November 6th (7pm both nights), when people are invited to give scuba diving a go in the swimming pool – free of charge – and learn about everything needed to join the club. Keep an eye on this website, and see also our Facebook page for further information.

Flag day success!

Thanks to everyone who contributed to our flag day in Nenagh on Saturday, August 31st.

It was very well supported by the local community and this is very much appreciated. Special thanks to Centra, Eason, DV8, A Sportsman’s Dream and Nenagh Post Office for allowing the setup of collection points at their premises.

LDSAC members Simon O’Duffy, David McCann and Eileen Finn collecting money outside DV8 on Flag Day. See our Facebook page for more photos.

The club held its August meeting at the Hibernian Inn, Nenagh, on Wednesday, August 28th. As well as diving and snorkelling activities over the last month, Lough Derg SAC provided boat cover for the World’s End Triathlon at Castleconnell. Four members of the club took part in the search for a missing person off the coast of Clare. Three members also completed a VHF radio course.

Congratulations to David McCann on passing his two-star diver test at Kilkee during August, and to Conal Dolan on becoming a one-star diver at Portroe Dive Centre on Sunday, September 1st.

New one-star diver Conal Dolan pictured with instructor Eileen Finn (M1) at Portroe Dive Centre. Well done, Con!

Boat for sale

We are selling a boat. The Lencraft 7m RIB features a four-stroke Suzuki 150 HP engine (2007), Vhf radio professionally fitted (2017), Simrad GPS and depth sounder (fitted 2016), compass, bottle rack, console and rack cover, anchor, twin-wheel trailer, CW hub wash kit, winch and fitted LED lights.

This is a very reliable and well-cared-for boat that Lough Derg Sub Aqua Club used for diving and covering events such as boating regattas and triathlons.

Asking price: €12,000

For further information, contact Tom Shaw: 087 2535417

 

New Club Diver

Congratulations to LDSAC member Dave McCann on passing his Two-Star Club Diver test in Kilkee at the weekend. Well done Dave!

Dave McCann pictured after passing his test with Examiner Mary O’Malley.

Dave celebrating in Kilkee with fellow LDSAC members Richie O’Donnell, Eileen Finn, Kevin Finn, Simon O’Duffy, Mary O’Malley (Examiner) and John Dunne.

Annual Flag Day

Our annual flag day is coming up in Nenagh on Saturday, August 31st. We will have collection points around the town throughout the day and all contributions will be gratefully accepted. Lough Derg Sub Aqua Club provides a voluntary Search & Recovery service locally and around the country. Public donations help to keep this service going.

July meeting

Our July monthly meeting was held at the New Institute in Nenagh. The club looked back on an eventful few weeks, with some fantastic diving at Cork Harbour, Hook Head and Kilkee.

Closer to home, we enjoyed a dip in the flooded former slate quarry at Portroe Dive Centre. A number of members also went snorkelling at the quarry and in the lake off Youghal Quay

There are plenty more diving excursions to look forward to in the weeks ahead.

Also coming up soon is the club’s annual flag day in Nenagh on Saturday, August 31st. We will have collection points around the town throughout the day and all contributions will be gratefully accepted.

Have a look at the Gallery section of this website for some photos of our recent activities. See also our Facebook page.

June meeting
The club held its June monthly meeting at the Hibernian Inn, Nenagh, last Wednesday night. Among the items discussed were diving and snorkelling plans for July and the sale of our old boat. A number of club members took part in the spectacular Skellig Michael dawn dive on June 23rd. Among the excursions coming up this month is the South East Dive Rally at Hook, Co Wexford.

Lough Derg SAC would like to thank everyone who contributed to our annual church gate collection in Nenagh last weekend.

Nenagh church gate collection
Lough Derg Sub Aqua Club will hold its annual church gate collection in Nenagh this Saturday and Sunday, June 29th and 30th. Lough Derg SAC provides a vital search and recovery service in the local area and throughout the country. This service is dependent on fundraising.
All contributions this weekend will be gratefully accepted.

Lifeboat and diving club in joint exercise on Lough Derg

(photographs by Bridget Delaney)

MEMBERS of Lough Derg Sub Aqua Club and the Dromineer-based RNLI lifeboat service teamed up for a joint exercise on the lake recently.

The ‘Sea Survival’ course involved a workshop of short lectures followed by the water-based exercise. The workshop was developed in conjunction with the RNLI to improve diver safety at sea. It aimed to refresh diver safety skills as well as teach some techniques for improving chances of being located on the surface.

The course also represented a training opportunity for the lifeboat crew to locate and rescue divers from the water. The exercise involved the use of both group’s newly-acquired state-of-the-art boats, the RNLI’s ‘Jean Spier’ and Lough Derg SAC’s ‘Flo Jo’. It furthermore represented an experience-sharing opportunity for these two local groups that provide a hugely important voluntary service.

The workshop was developed in association with the British Diving Safety Group, which is formed from all the major training agencies including the Irish Underwater Council as well as the HSE and Coastguard. The overall aim of the workshop is to reduce serious incidents and fatalities at sea.

Topics covered included an introduction to the role of the Dive Officer and the importance of dive planning using charts, weather and tide information. Equipment checks and personal fitness was also discussed, as was navigation and safety kit for boat dives, including an overview of the use of such equipment as lifebuoys, handheld VHF radios, flares, etc.

There was a section on out-of-gas emergencies and the importance of an alternative air source, as well as one on the diver’s means of calling or signalling for help, and visibility on the water surface. The final section looked at some basic procedures to follow to best ensure survival at sea.

Thanks to RNLI and Lough Derg SAC member Stephen Smith for overseeing the course, and to Lough Derg SAC members Eileen Finn, Michael Hogan and Tom Shaw for facilitating the lectures.

Lough Derg Sub Aqua Club on RTÉ!

LOUGH Derg Sub Aqua Club featured on RTÉ’s Winning Streak TV programme on Saturday, May 25th, at 8.30pm.

A RTÉ crew was filmed in Dromineer ahead of the ‘Good Causes’ feature, which highlights how National Lottery funding is put to good use. This year Lough Derg SAC purchased a new boat with the help of the funding. The club’s old boat was in need of replacement and is now available for sale. The new vessel will enable the local club to maintain its voluntary Search & Recovery service not just on Lough Derg but all over the country.

Lough Derg SAC’s Search & Recovery divers have been involved in all manner of search operations over the years, from searching for missing persons to recovering equipment and valuable items that have been lost underwater.

Affiliated with Comhairle Fo-Thuinn (the Irish Underwater Council), Lough Derg SAC supports community events by way of boat cover for water-based sports such as regattas and triathlons. Our divers have also removed rubbish and debris from the water at local lakeside amenity areas as part of An Taisce’s Spring Clean initiative.

The club was delighted to have been chosen for the National Lottery programme and to arrange another opportunity for RTÉ’s cameras to focus on Dromineer.

Click on the LDSAC logo to visit our Facebook page, where you can watch the video.

Lough Derg SAC wins Nenagh St Patrick’s Day parade award

LOUGH Derg Sub Aqua Club won the inaugural ‘Best Entry’ award in Nenagh’s St Patrick’s Day parade.

The club’s contribution to the parade served to highlight single-use plastic waste, and it was deemed best entry – an award introduced for the first time since Nenagh’s parade was revived 10 years ago.

Cllr Hughie McGrath, chairman of Nenagh’s St Patrick’s Day Parade Committee, presented the award to members of Lough Derg Sub Aqua Club after the event. Cllr McGrath said the award was introduced to encourage parade entrants to come up with novel ideas. Lough Derg SAC’s entry highlighted single-use plastic waste, which Cllr McGrath said is
a major problem that people need to be aware of.

The club was delighted to accept the inaugural award, a Tipperary
Crystal vase kindly sponsored by Ger Gavin’s House of Gifts, Nenagh.

Lough Derg Sub Aqua club hosts Dive Ireland 2019 International Expo in Nenagh

LOUGH Derg Sub Aqua Club would like to thank everyone who came to Dive Ireland International Expo 2019 and supported the event in any way.

The local club hosted Ireland’s annual scuba diving trade show at the Great National Abbey Court Hotel in Nenagh on March 2nd and 3rd. There was a fantastic attendance over the two days and the feedback from all present was very positive. Indeed, most of the visitors – who came from the UK, Canary Islands, Egypt, France, Malta and Finland, as well as from all over Ireland – spoke very highly of Nenagh and the hospitality they received in and around town that weekend.

There were also many comments about the exceptional standard of service demonstrated by the management and staff of the Abbey Court, and Lough Derg SAC would like to add a special word of praise to everyone at the hotel for helping to make the event such a success.

Lough Derg Sub Aqua Club’s Michael Hogan and Denis O’Loughlin received medals for 10 years of Search & Recivery service at an awards ceremony at the Dive Ireland Expo. PHOTOGRAPHS: ODHRAN DUCIE

A big thank-you to everyone who sponsored this local event and provided raffle prizes, including Carey Glass International, Great National Hotels, Abbey Machiney, Barack Obama Plaza, Una Powell’s/Bistro 41, The Peppermill, The Hibernian Inn, The Thatched Cottage, Mackey Plant, Steeples, Spillane Precast Concrete, Breo Jewellers, Arrabawn, Centra, Eason, Permanent TSB, Jack Bayly (G7 Farm Navigator), Premier Cabs and Landtech Soils. A special mention to Digren Energy Ltd for sponsoring the conference room that staged Jim Warny’s enthralling talk on Saturday and the Search & Recovery medal presentations on Sunday.

A further word of thanks must go to local wood sculptor (and diver!) Paradzai Havatitye, whose stunning creation of a dolphin from bog oak took centre stage among the raffle prizes. We would also like to acknowledge David Attenborough Productions for providing the prize of a signed Attenborough T-shirt, and Aiken Promotions for supplying two tickets to the upcoming Blue Planet II show at the Three Arena. Thanks too to Suunto, South West Technical Diving and OceanAddicts for joining in the raffle prizes, and of course to speaker room sponsors Roots Red Sea for the dive holiday prize draw.

Thanks also to Guardian Print Ltd for providing the raffle tickets, banners, posters, wristbands and hand-stamps for the event.

Photos and video clips from the event can be seen on the Dive Ireland Facebook page. Find out more about Lough Derg Sub Aqua Club and how you can learn how to scuba dive locally on our Facebook page.