Posts by Brian O'Leary

Man Overboard – Pass the gel coat please

mutton isl

I was really looking forward to a weekend of diving in Quilty. The weather leading up the weekend was poor with reports of a strong swell on Thursday. Early feedback on availability of divers for diving over weekend was suggesting Saturday –Monday. In saying that, Club Diving was arranged for Monday.

However, I managed to dive with Burren SAC on Sunday and benefitted from some great dives on Brandon reef and Seal cave.

Quilty offers some amazing diving, the reef walls are amazing, the life is stunning, it’s reefs are typically littered with crab, lobster and congers. The amount of Wrasse, that I came across that appear to be sleeping in the nooks. I still find myself, anxious to dive there every time I drop into a dive in the vicinity of Brandon Reef, Seal Rock, Seal Cave, and Lime Rock. Many dive options are, as yet to be discovered.

Quilty offers challenges, and much to my dismay, more than I bargained for…..  The challenge of Quilty is the shallow slip where tides play havoc. It dries out quickly.   It is recommended that boat is launched on high springs, so need to be careful with timing. The outer slip is cover in weed, making it very dangerous when loading/unloading boat. All leading to a little more effort to run dive operations and a little more physical effort from all concerned. Indeed, Monday required the boat to be on site at 9am.  With 14 persons expected to dive, it was going to be a demanding day.

3 dive outings were conducted on Branding Reef –Seal Rock and Seal Cave. Indeed, the slagging re the need to lift and lower bottles to the boat between dives 2&3. It was indeed fortunate to escape with the boat out of quilty and the comments about the gel coat raised its head once again.

As we exited, the conditions started to deteriorate, visibility dropped, wind picked up dramatically, knowing that it would, but, not to the degree that it did…. But, diving lee side of Seal Rock, through the gully was the last request of the day.

It was decided earlier to recover boat in Doonbeg, easier on towing vehicle and future dive ops would be out of Kilkee.

It’s out a habit that the boat is recovered in Doonbeg when tides are low in Quilty. In previous years, a lot of negativity has been attributed to trying to recover the club boat off the beach. Conditions and visibility were poor and frankly not good but, manageable.

Little did I know, what was ahead of me…. I went out and was checking some areas around lime rock, but popped back to Quilty to get a finbag just in case I needed it for Doonbeg to learn everyone had left. Going back out, I noted,   It’s was very rough as I neared Brandon Rock, in fact, throttling up and down as the waves climbed and dropped away under the boat.

I rounded the West side of Mutton only to start heading for Doonbeg, as visibility dropped, I took a moment to clean my glasses, only to drop them, instinctively bending over to the side to pick them up, I was suddenly thrown over the tubes and into the water.

Shock, my glasses gone, I’m in the water, the boat stops about 10 yards away. Relief, Deadman’s did the trick, I start to swim. Aaagh, I’m not getting anywhere, the wind is pushing the boat away. I need fins, It’s rough, what do I do now, I have to give up chasing the boat, I am expending too much energy. I emit a flurry of curses, I set my lifejacket off, cursing, even more buoyant now, I wrestle with it as I deal with the bags at either side of my head. I close off the valve on my drysuit. Now, what do I do? I was a cork floating on the water, not able to do a thing, helpless to the mercy of the sea and winds and boat gone. I lost sight of it, blinded by waves, wind and no glasses.

All I could do was lie there and pray the “folks awaiting my return at Doonbeg” would make that “call” when I would not show up. Indeed, as I came to terms with the situation, I calmed down and started to consider my options. I spent ages “ admiring” the tower on the south side of Mutton. I was heading towards some rough water but, fortunately, I managed to paddle and pull myself such that I was carried more easterly. I began to look at my watch, Time passed away and I was getting closer to a pinnacle formation east of the tower. Both my legs cramped from paddling, but really getting nowhere. Then the Helicopter came from East side of Mutton, crossing to south and West side.. Hurray, rescue!!!, but alas no, they did not see me, but now I knew, only a matter of time.  I said thanks to the guys at Doonbeg for making that call. I have a better chance of rescue now.

Curses and yet again that pinnacle formation, a possible exit both tempted and caused me concern, would I get bashed about, but, yet again my efforts to get near it failed. The helicopter was around again, I realized, I had my torch, I shone it at the helicopter, it still did not see me, I was to try to attract it’s attention a few more times. I was insulated in my suit, I was not in a boat, and as it turned out, the boat was hidden away from viewing eyes.

It was close to high tide now, the pinnacle loomed closer, I said to myself, I’ve got a better chance of getting help if I can get out, it was slack enough to risk climbing onto the rock. I paddled, I pulled my myself through the water, I, finally got within reach of the pinnacle, I turned to face it, I let the wave catch me and push me onto it. I got a grip hold with my left hand and planted my knees, the wave abated, I stayed holding on. Yes, relief, I waited for the next wave, I was lifted up further, the wave abated, I stayed on and I clambered up further, I was safe, out of the water. I sat down, my legs like jelly and got my breath back. Safety  at long last. I got my life jacket off, Opened my drysuit, got rid of some fluids and cooled down…Refreshed, I sealed myself up and walked about to see what to do next. My chances of rescue increased a 100 fold now. I could hear the Coast guard off to the west side of Mutton searching…  Then I spotted a boat coming around Mutton in my direction, I picked up my lifejacket, waved it, and shone my torch in their direction. Rescue at last!!

So I informed them, that I was ok. Did they recover the Club boat?  No…. Perplexed, they did not know. I was confused, where was it? Attention was focus on my rescue, I was winched off and then requested that my club mates be informed of my rescue. I was medically assessed, however, I was fine, tired, but relieved to be back in contact with the world once again. I relayed that I was toppled from the boat and advised that I believe that craft must surely be in some cove on the south side of Mutton.

As I landed in Shannon, I learned that a passing fisherman had spotted the boat in a cave, it’s Nav light attracted attention. Alas, the craft is damaged, the prop and skeg bore the brunt of the damage as well as the hull shoe, it suffered the ravages of the cave.

I made a call to Emma as soon as I landed, all was ok and I re assured the Helicopter crew that I was fine and transfer to hospital was not required. I had tea and sat down for the debrief and awaited collection from the rescue centre. Once meeting Mike and Emma, the barrage of calls and chat began, while all who had been waiting at Quaysides returned home at long last. Rescue complete.

I can only say thanks and incalculable gratitude to all those who were involved, worried and stressed by this emergency situation. I owe so much to the “Daves”, Mike, Richard, Emma, Noel, Martin, Doolin Coast guard, Kilkee Rescue and the Shannon based helicopter crew for my speedy rescue.

Thought’s of what if’s,  plague me afterwards for a while, I note learning about a lot of negativity re my situation, something that really did not concern me while buoyant off Mutton. I was warm in my drysuit, overly buoyant with the aid of the lifejacket and with a torch, all good to increase my chances of survival.

Lessons learned will forge changes club policy going forward, in the meantime, the boat is now undergoing repairs. Hopefully, we can get back up and running quickly. In the meantime, I look forward to my next dive.

 

Please note Boat was not capsized despite some amazing Media articles.

I took some time quite recently to convey some lessons learned to a leading diver candidate. Especially, to consider some “what if”  risks if been alone on a boat in rough seas. 

Discussion on Never travel Alone

Wearing a Fin bag on Coxswain back if alone

Investigate a harness for Coxswain

Purchase the “Foldable fins”

Funny options.. Wipers for glasses, Get a neck cord for my specs, Get laser treatment now. 

The list of options and the slagging will no doubt go on..  All deserved 🙂

http://www.doolincoastguard.com/man-rescued-off-mutton-island

http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/ireland/2012/0807/1224321631143.html

 

Discovery of “Kilimanjaro in Portroe”

Ok, you all know, I am pulling your leg, so let me explain my blog.

 

 

I have dived Portroe a lot. So while I often vary the routes I travel out and back on, I was up to a bit of mischief with our dive group of Eamonn, Marcin and Noel as well as myself of course.

So, I dropped down to in an around the Shaft area, and travelled out towards the gully for the Winch area, but, hey, instead, of that, I turned back down, off to the left and went to the area where the old huts used to be.

 

Before the comment start….

I know Profile is not exactly ideal, but I was also testing buoyancy control of our 2 trainees. So overlook that one !!

 

So really.. in my usual round about way, I was messing at the start of the dive, by coming to the base of the cliff wall/ridge that sat at about 18meters and climbed up the wall to the 7 meter peak. Hence, Noel’s photos of us at the peak, chilling out after the “arduous Climb”

 

I know the guys thought I was off my trolly, Climb up the wall. Honest, I’m not mad!!

 

Was I narked?

Was I temporarily insane?

Well, as I still want to dive, please overlook this moment of madness and don’t tell anyone from the CFT medical council.  5B does not need the pleasure of my company, just yet!!

 

 

Refer to Photo page for better pics of Profile

 

I enjoyed the dive, bit of messing, visibility was very good and it was a dive on a miserable day at sea, and at least Noel gets to test him camera skills some more.

 

Where do Tides comes from? Portmagee 2012 :-)

 

 

From Portmagee 2012

 The Annual trip to Portmagee was again a great success, Members logged over 90 Dives through out the week. I guess the Sunday and Monday were the peak days for members to dive as numbers dwindled as the week wore on. 

 

The South Westerly Swell as opposed to the weather was the only drawback of the week, which directed diving to occur on the Knight’s town side of Valentia.  In a way, no harm as the Club have not had the opportunity to focus in diving there in recent years.

Bassalt Cliffs wooed many a diver into having big fat happy grins on their faces after completing their dives on Sunday and Wednesday.  It was great to spot Craw, lobster and indeed Donal and Robyn wowed the boat with a feast of Mackerel caught near Bassalt. 53 Mackerel caught.  Where are the pictures of the gutting exercise afterwards during the SI. What a feast we had later for supper.

PhotoSaturday Morning Day 1. unveiled the numbers using Portmagee as a base for Diving operations. Portmagee was thronged with Divers from Limerick, Galway, University of Limerick and Ocean  Divers. Dalkey divers also worked out of the Glen with Willie Kennedy and Inbher Sceine also worked out of the Glen over the weekend also.  With all these Dive crews, the Moorings was yet again taken over with the chatter and “tall Tales” of the various Diving experience.

I must personally thank GSAC for allowing to tag along for 2 dives over the course of my stay in Portmagee.  Friday night Dive in Echalla was amazing. What a drift, with some amazing life.  I also must mention our buddies in UL who invited me for a dive on Bassalt, leading the way to the Club dives on Sunday in the same region.

Lemantaugher, the Coos and the lee side of Long Island and  the min channel got a visit on Saturday/Monday. Never a disappointing dive, especially with you can spot the nudibranchs and the odd Craw fish looking at you.

The BBQ was held on Satuday evening, thanks again to Teresa and Co., very enjoyable and more so after the dive with the UL guys in Bassalt.  I had worked up a good appetite for it. The chat and tales from diving were great as well as the UL guys popping in a drink and a chat.  Memories of Egypt came flooding back as the Sisha Pipe was lit and the aroma of the apple flavour wafted around the conservatory area.  Some retired to the Moorings for a chat to hear Aoife recant her dives with Seals on Little Skelligs.

 

Sunday’s dives out of Knightstown were fab, Bassalt Dives were very enjoyable and especially the recess of the caves/overhangs at the end of that gully. All I need was a buddy with more air.

Tuesday was chosen to catch up on my sleep with opting for coxswain duty.  I ventured to the North Puffin with our divers. Not a bad dive by all account.  Alas, the only diving out of the Glen by the Club was a night dive on Thursday night.  Loads of small stuff out, but, still a 48min dive was a nice bit of exercise for the evening.

Wednesday        Club worked out of Knightstown, a glorious days diving on Dolus and Bassalt. Thursday  Night Dive out of “the Glen”

Friday                    Day Off J  Relax and chill. Chat and haggle with Michael in the Antiques shop in Cahirciveen, where Teresa picked up Ronnie’s present at Martin’s suggestion. 

 

Saturday             

A new dive spot “the Bull” has now been added to the selection of dive options(thanks gearoid ) , a number of Craw spotted , Loads of nooks to inspect and great fish life up along the northern wall. When we dropped on top of the pinnacle @15m, myself and Mike headed to the drop off only to see a craw ambling through the kelp. That was just the start of a number spotted throughout the dive. I ended going back for another later dive with Emma on it later that evening,  J Great diving, another dive limited only to, the Dive time limit of 40mins and I suppose I should mention the cold

Sunday

Outside of Lemantaugher – Great wall dive, Lots to see. Load of Eninimee, Small fish, nooks to check out, great visibility – a bit of a drift also to make it effortless.  I showed Mike Nudibranchs, now he sees them on his dives since?  Our stated dive time ran out of 40mins , as opposed to Deco or air limitations. Great diving with Mike.

 

So another Portmagee trip comes to an end, I regret missing the opportunity to dive out of the Glen, South Puffin, Lemon Rock and the Skelligs. That south westerly did not stop us, thankfully.

 

Aside from that, we missed some of the usual trippers to Portmagee, time, other factors and commitments are having their impact.

The Fisherman’s and the Moorings always attracts our company. Great food and the craic is mighty.  However, Mike still would need a translator for the Fisherman’s.

 

Will it be Portmagee next year… We ask every year, but, it too easy and enjoyable to consider anywhere else other than Portmagee. I already miss it. Still over 90 dives were logged by 17 members of the club in Portmagee. For those who did not avail.. You missed some great diving and experiences, but, there’s always next year… 

A Bridge too Far

Dive – Bridges of Ross
What a Lovely day for Diving. Neap tides, Sun shining and a light SW breeze… Perfect

As, the boat is undergoing repairs. Boat and trailer are getting a major overhaul
at the moment, thanks to the Equipment team.

It was decided by Martin, to divert to the brideges for some shore diving. As the Coxswain course

was been run out of Kilkee, and other Club clubs diving out of Newfy, we could not pass up

the opportunity to Dive the Bridges. I think this was certainly the 1st large scale outing the Club has
had at the Bridges in years.

13 members turned up to dive, So all took the time to venture out to the outer shelf
to drop gear and then we headed back up and got changed for diving.

Martin gave the brief and buddy pairs and off we ventured to a lovely dive, thankfully
entries and exits were simple. The visibility was very good and was a great introduction
for a first sea dive for our new trainees.
The benefits of the dive that is offered, is that
It is sheltered
Shallow
Lots of areas to look for the interesting sealife.

I was able to show John, my buddy, Urchins, sea cucumber, we spotted a number of Lobster and

had fun showing John how to encourage a Lobster to nip at my fingers instead of frightening it off.
At the second attempt, I also managed to show John Shrimp and a Conger eel aswell as handling a
large Spider crab.
The temptempation to go further along the wall to the right side was strong, however,
I had to be patient and make way back to keep to the agreed dive time.

In between dives, we returned to a feast, the aroma of the BBQ feeding the queue for sausage
sandwiches that Christine served up 🙂 a lovely post dive treat.
The debrief continued and then the dolphins were breeching out to sea as they were chasing
mackerel. Wow…
The 2nd dive beckoned with the hope that the dolphin would be attracted in to our group of
divers, Alas, it was not to be…. The Visibilityv was poorer on the second dive but, nevertheless it was

a pleasure to get in another dive in, on the Bridges.
It’s certainly a way to get you fit. Put’s the yearly fitness regime to the test.
Portroe thursday night for a dive, however, I dare say we won’t spot any ballan wrasse
and lobster on that dive.

Busy weekend 1st Open water Dive’s + New Gas Blenders

Well, at long last, Limerick Sub Aqua got its trainee Divers for 2012 off to a glorious start yesterday.

With the last open water snorkels out of the way, Marcin Ludzik, Roybn Gleeson, Jack Ryan, John Moloney, Leo Taylor, Anthony Wiseman. We were also joined by Richard Ryan, and David O’Rourke as well as the seasoned veterans of Dave Ryan, “Heston” and Martin Bowes.

Martin Directed operations for the day, giving the Dive Brief to us all and with me, adding the usual reminders about Equalizing, and putting on and sorting weight belt for the dive.

What a lovely day, and with the appearance of Peter, Amy and Liam made it a great occasion and great turn out at Portroe from the Club.

With that in mind, please note Portroe will re start it’s thurdays evening openings on 5th April.

The sun beamed down and punched through the water to make it very attractive for a 1st open water dive. Visibility was great. Hee hee, until three sets of buddy pairs went ploughing… We were afterall diving around the Car, van, and canoe area as such, so some did really stir it up…  J

But, all had a great intro, safe, enjoyable dive, the water temps made it easy. Everyone benefitted from a great day’s diving. Hopefully, all the photos will be added up later. I think there were some lesson learned, but, must say overall, impressed and happy with how this year’s group have progressed from Pool to open water.

Loads of Photo’s taken.. Even Amy’s phone got in on, the act; it was hard to avoid the “Rabbits ears”.

“Heston” had a great day and even managed to drop Noel off the Dive. More ear trouble… I don’t think Martin is going to count that as an attempted dive Noel… aaaahhhhh…. LOL.. To cap it all off, there was no money back from Peter also. Aaahhh Poor Noel….

Nevertheless, the weekend also proved to produce some qualified Gas Blenders from the Blenders course on Saturday. It turned out to be a longer than planned day with the Exam paper posing a challenge to all attendees. I also managed to finally get my Gas Blending Instructor certification, so at least I can run and assist with courses in future if required.

It was great to see the Burren Membrane compressor and see it in operation. Thanks to Cormac and Alex and Pat for running and supporting the course.

Congrats to John Hassett, “Heston”, Emma Sheehan, Noel Hickey, & Paul Doherty.

To Snorkel or not to Snorkel?

That was the question, I bet some of our trainee’s were asking themselves as they viewed the waters of Portroe yesterday.

 

Yesterday unveiled itself as the day in which the trainees for 2012 would start their open water training. While sea conditions are inviting normally to do this, last weekend was out. So Portroe was selected to start our new eager beavers off.

 

Portroe waters have been traditionally cold in recent years, but fortunately, it was a lot milder than previous years. A reported 8degree temperature were mentioned, and while I can’t say preach much about the cold from languishing in my snug O3 drysuit, I think as the introduction to open water progressed all the folks enjoyed the experience after the initial shock of the cold water hitting their backs.

 

 

The group assembled at 10.40am in Killaloe and then we moved in convoy to Portroe.  Our 1st task was to talk about the layout and facilities at Portroe. We registered all the crew and then back to the cars to get changed.

Some had more “fun” than other trying to get into suits…

 

Sorting out weight belts then became next task and making sure all had gloves to stave of the bite of the waters of Portroe.

 

So, came the squeels of shock as the trainees entered the water. All settled, took some breaths to get used to the water, sensation of floating and getting the splash of water on their faces. All, eventually got settled and we snorkelled around to get used to the suit and buoyancy J.

 

A few duck dives complete, the folks then headed back to the platform where we practiced our entries. This became fun and the all relaxed now and had warmed into their suits to somewhat enjoy the event.. Yes, even Leo got into the madness of it all with the top half of suit unzipped… Hard man, Well done.!!!

 

2 snorkels now out of the way and so a hearty congrats to all who took part, and conquered the cold.  The 1st open water dives are not far away now. Will tomorrow’s session at the warm pool be a welcome return J

All hands on deck please!!

As the Club nears the phase for open water diving once again, the weekend boat handling sessions are now over. certainly, an interesting time and challenges for those who took part. The exercises under the bridge in Killaloe and the entry to Ballina slip posed the most interesting challenges 🙂

Alas, the boat did not come away unscathed, but, at least, the club may hopefully develop a few more qualified coxswains this year. Congrats to Noel, Anthony, Eimhear, Dave, kate, and Frank.

So, now the task of prepping the boat and trailer for the season. Again, john hassett has supported the club by allowing his premises to be used to refurb the boat. We met up on saturday to extract the boat from the water and we gave it a good clean and checked out what needed to be done. The boat was stripped, even the instruments, windsreen &hand rails were removed. Next, the engine service, and an impeller change :-). meanwhile we awaiting the parts to over haul the trailer. That is going to be some job. Still, very necessary. Help will be needed. All voluteers welcome, that means You, members…  🙂

 

Aside from that, Pool training is coming to an end, the trainees are been pushed through the Pool scuba tests and been coached on the last elements of scuba before the inevitable move to open water. It all begins in two weeks time, so the last of the equipment is been searched for from all sources at the moment. Francis Jenkins dropped by to service the compressors and drop back and pick up equipment for service.

 

Martin continues his prep work for the Mon1. Busy times all round!!

 

So, that’s it.. Help out and if anyone knows where there is a few euro’s, we could do with a few of them right now. 

 

At least the weather is calming, Open Water sea diving not far away. 

 

This year’s CFT Dive conference will be welcoming the University of Limerick offically to CFT. Looking forward to the year ahead.

 

 

 

 

 

Dive Summary 2011

I can see 2012 bringing in some new changes, the Dives logged will cetainly be a challenge as the recession bites even further and costs sky rocket.

In the meantime, this was last years summary for reference.

Dives in 2012 have already been logged last Sunday.  The Boat handling training continues every weekend for the would be trainee Coxswains. One or 2 places still left..

Coxswain course on in UL on 21st January in Room CG054/Ref:7076

 

BRIAN O’LEARY 80
NOEL HICKEY 57
FRANK HOPKINS 51
MARTIN BOWES 51
EAMON MOLONEY 39
EMMA SHEEHAN 34
DAVE KEANE 34
THERESA O CONNOR 33
EIMHEAR O’BRIEN 24
PAUL DOHERTY 22
WILLIAM O’SULLIVAN 21
DAVID O ROURKE 19
DAVID RYAN 19
MAEVE CALLANAN 18
JOHN BREEN 18
TOM MC DONNELL 16
MIKE ORTH 16
JOHN MULLINS 15
JAMES GAFFNEY 15
MATTHEW WARDLE 16
MIRIAM DONNELLY 14
KENNETH DEVEREUX 10
KIERAN BOWLER 9
RICHARD RYAN 9
JOHN HASSETT 8
ROSE KELLIGAN 6
RICHARD E ROCHE 6
ALMA POWER 5
ANTOINETTE MCNAMARA 4
JASON MCGRATH 4
CIARAN ENRIGHT 4
BRIAN KEARNEY 3
PAUL JOYCE 3
TOMAS HANRAHAN 3
COLUM MC CARTHY 3
RONNIE HURLEY 3

All in all 692 Dives were logged through 2011, 319 dives were logged in Portroe accounting for 46% of the Clubs Diving. So a huge thanks to Portroe for supporting the Clubs wish to dive. The training has been invaluable to the training population.

 

 

 

What’s another year -Welcome to new Committee 2012

The Club held it’s AGM on Friday and so again a new year begins and some faces within the Club committtee.

 

A number of members who could not make the meeting offered their apologies, even Mike Hynes trying to make the ferry from the Isle of Jersey. Hope you got home safely.

 

Overall, thanks to all that attended. Great meeting and incoming committee are:-

Chairman – Mike Orth, also announcing a hope to obtain a position on the CFT committee. Good Luck.

Diving Officer – Martin Bowes

Secretary – Eimhear O’ Brien

Treasurer – Frank Hopkins

Training Officers – Peter Walsh, Brian O’ Leary

PRO -Child Liason Officer – Teresa O’Connor

Equipment Officers Team – Dave Keane, Noel Hickey

Search & Recovery Diving Officer – Richard Roche

 

Well done to all.

 

Here is the Diving Officers report for 2011.

 

The Stats

Club Membership Grades comprise of

5 *          Instructors Grades,        

5 *          Leading Diver Grades

6 *          Rescue Diver Grades,    

8 *          Club Diver Grades

14 *        Trainee Diver Grade: Of the trainee grades, one due for test very soon with a potential 4-6 candidates for test early 2012.

6 *          Snorkel Diver Grades,   

7 *          Search & Recovery Diving Grades

14 *        DFR Grades,                      

14 *        Coxswain Grades within the membership also.

This year produced 6 * DFR grades, 1 S&R grade and 1 * Club Diver grade and 4 * Nitrox Divers with another 3-4 Club Diver candidates for test very soon.

In summary, the Club membership logged over 662 dives – Refer to Stats. Despite the poor weather conditions the availability of Portroe Dive Centre has served to provide diving opportunities in times of poor weather or where diving responses have not made it worthwhile to pursue Diving at sea. In all 289, Dives were logged @ Portroe Dive Centre.

The Club away outings to Dingle, Portmagee, Miltown Malbay and Hook Head were generally well supported and offered some very favourable diving and great Club social enjoyment.

Finance

The cost of transferring boat to a dive site must and should continue to be a consideration. The numbers interested in availing of diving have for the most part made it worthwhile to run dive operations compared to previous years.

 

Towing

Towing resources continued to be a problem. Available options were diminished with the unavailability of towing vehicles and yet again,

A Club Towing vehicle should be considered the absolute must priority to provide flexibility of diving to a larger population of drivers.

 

Training and Lecture series

With the surge of Trainee numbers last November, the dilemma of conducting training was managed with the support of a number of Club Diving grades and leveraging the association with Aughinish Sub Aqua Club.

A great debt of thanks is due Aughinish Sub aqua that supported and managed the lecture series and helped with the expense of the pool session costs.  All arranged through our Chairman Mike Orth.

Thanks especially to Dave Ryan, Frank, Johnny, Mike, Ciaran, Dave K and so many more throughout the year, who sacrifice their personal Pool training interests to support the lecture & pool training sessions. 

Dive summary 2011

36 Club members completed 662 dives, credit is due to  Noel, Eamonn, Bill, David and Kieran as new trainees for 2011 and all have been making good progress with their dive training throughout the year.

Well done to Eimhear on passing her Club Diver test 2nd October.

The week long period of Diving in Portmagee continues to be very successful, so I would hope that the tradition will continue. The membership have benefited from the good year of diving and have able to push boundaries of diving experience, particular seen with higher grade attainment, course participation and generally a clear demonstration of greater dive skills.

Fortunately, the August Bank Holiday for once allowed Diving in Miltown Malbay, the opportunity to dive in Doonbeg and Miltown Malbay by the Club membership was well received.

The trip to hook Head was also very enjoyable.

I must take time out to recognise Frank Hopkins, Dave Keane and Martin Bowes who in particular have facilitated dive support of the trainee population in Portroe. The Club membership, in particular, the trainee grades owe them a debt of gratitude for making themselves available to dive with and learn from their skillset and experience.

 

Incidents 2011

Thankfully, few incidents to report to CFT, again thanks to all members for been safety conscience and vigilant with dive behaviours throughout the year.

Free Flow incident in Portroe 

 

Comments

Divers are asked to prepare well in advance for diving. Dive operation schedule should not be compromised by failure to have adequate air supply or equipment issues prior to diving. Divers are reminded to be aware, adhere & respect CFT rules & recommendations.  Always prioritize the safety of ones diving buddy’s above the needs of personal dive goal’s. It would be advisable to get used to ones own gear & upgrading diving skills before new optional equipment is obtained.

 

All diving activities and incidents should be reported to the Diving Officer. Divers should make the D.O. aware of intention to dive prior to dive and obliged to report back upon dive completion.

Ensure Bottles filled from Club Compressors are within VIP & Hydro dates. Please feedback issues on diving to Diving officer at all times please. 

 

Persons notable on Dive sites

I must commend Teresa, Emma and Eimhear who gelled the Club membership together with the onsite picnics & (BBQ in Portmagee) at the back of whatever vehicle served to offer a suitable table space to oversee the ritual nattering sessions and slagging sessions.

Noel Hickey with 50 dives for a trainee grade, amazing stat for the year and always helps club dive operations.

Dave Ryan always dependable to help and makes dive organisation simple relaxed and is an example for all  members.

Eamonn Moloney, the Video clips have served to be a welcome and dismayed addition to the club profile. Great blogs and archive material for the Club.

Martin Bowes whose help, support, advice, encouragement and banter have made running dive operations relaxed, safe and very enjoyable. The Club Blogs speak to a great and very enjoyable safe year of diving. 

Overall the help and support advice provided by you, Frank Hopkins and Dave Keane have elevated the skillset of the trainee membership.

 

Note

The Diving officer should be alerted to all Diving activities prior to taking place.The Instructors grades would encourage all members and grades to Always strive to be a better diver!  Respect & support your fellow Diving members!

 

Development

Wearing  my Instructor hat, I have seen the Club grow from a club struggling to dive &  support an imbalance in Trainee numbers. That has changed over the years, thankfully, but, need to continue this development.

An emphasis on Coxswain development, encouraging Leading Diver and Instructor grades from within the membership is a recommendation going forward. For the 1st time in years, I can feel confident that the Club can recommend divers for the upper grades and easily excel and represent the club  with ease.

 

Meeting’s attended

CFT AGM

S&R Regional review – Indicate Issue to highlight in new Committee

Weekly club get together in Locke bar. 

 

Thanks

 

Overall as Diving Officer, it’s been very successful and rewarding time served as D.O. for 2011.  I like to thank all the Club membership for their help & support throughout the year.

Thanks especially and as always to the equipment officer’s team for ensuring the boat and trailer are available for diving which is an ever more difficult task as the years roll on. A major over haul to the Club trailer will be required for 2011 and will need to be considered by the incoming EO team.

Thanks to all who helped with the organisation and support of the Children Of Chernoybl BBQ. It was a very well organised and enjoyable event. Credit is due to KBSR, Killaloe Coast guard , Frank Corr and all those who helped on the night to make it a very enjoyable and safe event.

 I’d like to thank John Breen for relaying CFT and Club related communications.

With that, I hope that I will be allowed to finally step down as Diving Officer for Limerick Sub Aqua. I will continue to help & support an incoming Diving Officer and membership of Limerick Sub Aqua for 2012.

I hope that Limerick Sub Aqua will continue to grow, develop, diving grades, leading divers and Instructors Grades and have enjoyable and safe dives going forward.

 

Yours in Diving,

Brian O’ Leary.

 

 

 

A sad day for the Community of Diving – RIP Artur Kozlowski(Conrad)

He has achieved so much in Irish Cave exploration – He will be sadly missed.

 

 

Rescuers continue efforts to recover body of cave diver

 

Cave diving trainer Artur Kozlowski, from Shankill, Dublin, whose body was discovered in a cave network near Kiltartan in Co Galway last night

By Barry Duggan

Wednesday September 07 2011

Efforts will resume today to recover the body of a diver who died exploring a cave in Co Galway.

The alarm was raised when Artur Kozlowski, (34), a Polish man who was one of Ireland’s most experienced cave divers, failed to resurface from a diving trip in a flooded inland cave on Monday night.

Members of the Irish Cave Rescue Organisation located his body last night, nearly 24 hours later, about 52 metres down in the deepest section of the cave.

They plan to bring it to the surface during the day.

Mr Kozlowski had been living in Ireland for a number of years and held several records in Ireland and Britain, including one for the longest and deepest cave traverse of 103 metres.

He had enough oxygen to last more than six hours when he went into the water at Pollonora cave, Kiltartan about two and a half miles north of Gort at 3pm on Monday.

His close friend and experienced diver Jim Warney found the Polish national’s body in an underwater passage at around 6pm yesterday.

It took Mr Warney an hour to dive to the narrow passage where the victim lay with his oxygen tanks and guide rope fully attached.

The location where he was found is almost a kilometre from the access point to the cave and is 52 metres deep.

The family of the diving training instructor in Poland were informed of his death shortly after the search diver returned to the surface.

The rescue team has now requested the assistance of a UK dive rescue unit to assist in the recovery of Mr Kozlowski’s body.

Mr Kozlowski was on the final day of an underground expedition when he vanished.

The Polish national was regarded as the most prominent cave diver in the country — and it was hoped that he had sought sanctuary in an air pocket in the extensive underground cave network.

Experienced

Originally from Poznan in Poland, Mr Kozlowski lived in Shankill, Dublin, and was known to his Irish friends as Artur Conrad.

He arrived at the rural location in Co Galway on Saturday, and spent Sunday diving, before going underground for a final exploration on Monday.

Mr Warney’s search last night was his second dive in less than 24 hours, having spent Monday night searching after the alarm was raised.

After two divers searched an initial 350 metres to no avail, Mr Warney examined an un- searched area of the 800 metre-wide cave which is 52 metres deep.

Conor McGrath of the Irish Cave Rescue Organisation said a considerable air space had been discovered halfway into the underground cave and that they had hoped to uncover more. “The air space is near the surface so that gives us hope that the cave may have more similar air spaces and that he is in one of them,” Mr McGrath said before the discovery of the diver’s body.

“He is very experienced. He has very good equipment, very good training and very good knowledge. He is the only one who has been into this cave to its known limits,”

All five divers involved in yesterday’s search were friends of Mr Kozlowski. A quantity surveyor by trade, he had been living in Dublin since 2006 and began cave diving in 2007.

Friends said he quickly became involved in all aspects of cave diving and soon opened his own training company.

In 2008, he recorded the deepest underwater cave dive in Ireland and the UK at Pollatoomary, Co Mayo.

Explored

For the past two years he had extensively explored the vast underground cave network in south Galway.

Tom Nolan (86) of Croker House in Kiltartan, Co Galway, had known Mr Kozlowski since he first explored the cave at the rear of the family home in 2007.

Mr Kozlowski became a familiar face at the the bed and breakfast. “He’d come and ask: ‘What room am I in? I’ll dress the bed myself’.

“He arrived on Saturday night and was diving Sunday and Monday.

“On Monday he told my son, John, that he was going for the last stage. He wanted to see if he could connect this with the caves in the Burren. If so, it would be the biggest underground cave network in Europe.

“Artur was underground there one day and he could hear this noise,” said Mr Nolan.

“He checked all his gear to see if there was something wrong and couldn’t figure out where the noise was coming from.

“He kept listening though and eventually figured out it that the noise was from the traffic on the road above him. That is how big it is underground here.”

Shakin a Tackie

Nancy’s seen a few of the members get together on Friday night to get out an wish Eimhear a happy birthday. Indeed, a “few” pints were consumed and some were led to the Outback to “shake a tackie” into wee small hours of Saturday morning. The sun rise was been watched by some once again. 🙂  Much Chattin was done, some hangovers were been walked off, cooled off by Adare farm food ice cream or dissipated by a good hearty breakfast-lunch on Saturday. Many photos was taken in evidence, however, they are deemed not suitable for public display. 🙂  

Reports from the night suggest all had a great night and never know some new relationship may soon kick off 🙂

 

Diving update

Apologies to those who thought that we were finally going to get out of Kilkee and go diving in Doolin, alas, getting out the boat on Sunday morning proved to be a bit of a challenge, but we finally sorted it out, only to revert diving back to Kilkee. So yet again, Club membership were spoiled for Diving around Kilkee. 14 divers came to Dive Kilkee and indeed it was great to see Lough Derg and Athlone out in force also. Thanks to the DOD’s John and Frank for organising the proceedings and getting diving running to cater for the numbers coming to dive.  I think the hot sunny day twarted the desire to run the boat a 4th time, however, not bad when the boat was back in the yard at 4pm.

Rest assured, however, Doolin will finally see the Club boat next Sunday, weather permitting. 

Also, please note, no harm turning on your phones early in the morning when setting off for diving, it may help with getting up to date messages regarding deviations or delays. Fortunately most of the diverted divers turned up in the right spot!

John Breen reported that he had 2 lovely dives in Doolin. 1st in Chinaman’s Hole and the other in Bones Bay. Roll on next week’s trip to Doolin.

 

Next Thursday sees the Annual BBQ @ 2mile gate for the Children of Chernoybl. Lookin forward to it.

 For those into Stats so far 351 Dives have been logged by members so far this year. Club has already surpass last years dive numbers for this time last year.

 

Name Dives
BRIAN O’LEARY 47
NOEL HICKEY 27
EMMA SHEEHAN 25
FRANK HOPKINS 20
DAVE KEANE 18
MARTIN BOWES 18
WILLIAM O’SULLIVAN 18
EAMON MOLONEY 16
THERESA O CONNOR 16
PAUL DOHERTY 14
JOHN BREEN 13
EIMHEAR O’BRIEN 11
TOM MC DONNELL 11
JAMES GAFFNEY 11
DAVID O ROURKE 10
DAVID RYAN 9
MIKE ORTH 9
KIERAN BOWLER 8
RICHARD RYAN 7
KENNETH DEVEREUX 6
MIRIAM DONNELLY 5

4th July

As our Chirman Mike was tending to his own celebrations, preparing for the christening of G Tyler Dallas Orth on Sunday. Myself & Emma dropped by to wish the latest addition to the Orth’s a great day. Mike’s was busily “flipping the burgers” for his guests and thankfully the great day came to an end in the late evening.

Indeed the BBQ theme was in the air over the weekend as we dropped into to make an appearance in the Skinny for the Aughinish BBQ. Prior to making an appearance, we managed to pick up the Club boat and launch it in preparation for Sunday’s diving. The crowd and the music in the Skinny was great, great to chat with our Aughinish Diving Buddies :-).

Sunday unveiled a perfect day for diving, while overcast, the seas was calm and so did the members of Limsac. Despite missing 5 of our regular divers, Emma & John were tasked with organizing diving for initial 15 divers, but 2 late addiitions were announced on Sunday morning.

So dive operations kicked off at 9.30am with dry coxswains for each dive outing”Stick”, All 17 divers were catered for with dives on Middle rock, The Diamonds and Toni’s craic 🙂 All 4 dive outings were wrapped up at 5pm even with the lunch time break. Thanks especially to the Dry Coxswains and the folks for going with the flow. Even the 1st boat of divers managed to drop into Cathedral caves.

Ronnie even logged his 1st dive of 2011 with the club, and I really enjoyed our dive on middle Rock with Ronnie and Eimhear. I dearly would like to get to the age of 79 and still be able to dive… Wow!!!

Thanks to all for keeping to the Dive schedule in a timely manner. Indeed the Textsof thanks to Emma and John were very much appreciated

Martin even wowed the Club with the introduction of Zelda, me thinks he has his hands full, but, you never know we could get another coxswain for the Club 🙂  But, was the dive on Toni’s craic as good as the wedding bash celebrations in Bunratty?

Meanwhile, those Touchy feely days are not quiet over for some of us. Don’t worry – Be happy

Bowling night on Tuesday night at the Leisure Bowl on the Ennis Road and not forgeting that little celebration in Nancy’s bar.

The weather is deteriorating, so hopefully it will be ok to get the boat to Doolin to support the seasearch course next weekend. A dive is been planned for Kilkee on Wednesday, so fingers crossed, conditions will be ok. Also, dont forget our annual Children of Chernoybl BBQ at 2 mile gate, Killaloe. All help appreciated.

 

 

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