Search & Recovery

Athlone Sub Aqua Club responds, on a voluntary basis, to requests from the Coast Guard and local communities to assist in search and recovery operations. While we are not a rescue service we have been able to assist many vessels in distress and have assisted the RNLI Lough Ree lifeboat on rescues. However divers volunteering for search and recovery activities face considerable challenges. Lakes and rivers can be quite dark and murky underwater. Visibility is often reduced to a few feet at best. Divers risk entanglement with submerged hazards and exposure to water borne diseases such as Leptospirosis otherwise known as Weil’s disease.

Nevertheless Athlone Sub Aqua Club is dedicated to carrying out this particularly difficult diving activity in Athlone and the broader midlands area and does this with the Midlands regional Search and Recovery Team made up of specially trained volunteer Search and Recovery Divers from sub-aqua clubs in the midlands region. This team trains together to over weekends in various parts of Lough Ree and the River Shannon practicing search and recovery techniques and training in the use of specialised equipment with the different clubs so on a live search we carry on as one unit.

Athlone Sub Aqua Club also places considerable emphasis on the prevention of accidents on local waters. Consequently the club provides water safety cover for a number of sporting organisations and public events. Examples of activities that benefit from this water safety cover service include sailing events run by Lough Ree Yacht Club, regattas organised by Athlone Boat Club, Athlone River Festival, RNLI River Festival, TriAthlone and the Shannon Swim Challenge.

All our club members and search and Recovery divers are volunteers but providing a Search and Recovery service requires significant expenditure on insurance and equipment. Athlone Sub Aqua Club would not be in a position to provide these services without the people of Athlone’s public’s generous support, financial contributions from the business community and donations received from local organisations. The club is extremely grateful for all of the assistance it receives towards the provision of its services.