Gráinne Úaile Sub Aqua Club
Barnadearg, Ballina, Co. Mayo


Search & Recovery Unit


The club serves the community with a Search and Recovery Unit. This work is totally voluntary responding to requests from statutory bodies and from local communities to assist in search and recovery operations all over the county and more recently in other counties. Over the years the members have been called upon on many occasions to assist in search and recovery missions. It is funded mainly by annual church gate collections and through funding obtained from Mayo County Council and the National Lottery Fund.


The Search and Recovery Unit was formed in 1983 after we were involved in our first search in Lough Talt for two young children that were lost in the lake. We have carried out search and recovery operations in Mayo, Sligo, Galway, Roscommon, Meath and Westmeath to mention just some of the counties we have being called to. On average would get called out eight to ten times a year and this is a totally voluntary unit which responds to requests from the statutory bodies and from local communities to assist in search and recovery operations.   Without the likes of club members, fundraising  events and donations it would not be possible to keep the Unit going and to make sure that when a call comes in to help with the recovery of a lost person we are able to respond. We are all too aware that by the time we get a call, it is too late to help the person involved; however we want to give some peace of mind to the families and friends of the person lost.  


The unit has regular training excercises and below are some pics of the unit setting out on a training dive and also just after finishing a session using our full face masks and under water communication sets.


Search & Recovery Divers Get Long Service Recognition

10 members of the Search & Recovery Unit were presented with medals on Thursday 7th Oct 2010 at an event in Dublin. The then Minister for Justice and Law Reform, Dermot Ahern, presented 96 sub-aqua divers from throughout the country with long service medals. This was the first time long serving members of sub aqua clubs have been honoured for giving up their free time in search and rescue missions. The clubs operate on  a voluntary basis and are regularly called in by the civil power to assist with rescue missions. 

Congrats to our members who were selected out of the Search & Recovery Unit:

John Garrett Brian Bourke
Mick Loftus Noel Kernan
Christy McDonagh Pat Coughlan
Conall O Domhnaill Declan Long
Frank Sheridan Ray Reddington

Here are the group with The President of Ireland Mary McAleese, missing from the photo are Pat Coughlan, Declan Long & John Garrett