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Scanning the murky depths of the River Blackwater

On Sunday in bleak wind and rain swept conditions; a contingent of six divers decided to make the best of the austere conditions to use the day for side scan sonar training. After 60 minutes of theoretical orientation training in the clubhouse two new side scan trainee operators Peter Mullen and Willie Keane would soon learn how to assemble and unit and basic operation under the tutelage of Ken Barry, Olan O Farrell and Eugene Whelan. Following the orientation it was then time to launch boats and soon we would be launching in Villierstown near Cappoquin; with a near Southerly gale blowing the river at times was almost more reminiscent of sea conditions such were the number of densely packed white horses relentlessly riding the crests of the waves. By using the meanders of the river to good advantage for shelter we soon found a good spot for orientation training and after almost two hours of training in the lee of many of the large houses facing onto the Blackwater both Peter and Willie were gaining a good apprehension of the basic use of the equipment; in what was a brilliant training session. Search training will continue in the coming weeks along with the project to 3D side scan all river areas in the greater Fermoy area.

Upcoming lectures:

On Friday night next the 10th at 19:30 the club will be starting our spring lecture series with the current national diving officer of the Irish Underwater Council Martin Kiely from Aughinish Sub Aqua Club from Limerick giving the first lecture. Martin is an avid underwater photographer and has travelled much of the globe in the pursuit of his passion and is sure to deliver a very high quality lecture. Everyone is welcome to attend the event; there will be a five euro charge to cover the lecturer’s expenses etc for the lecture series with complimentary tea/ coffee and biscuits etc. Other upcoming lectures include Adrian O Hara from Fermoy discussing coastguard protocol for helicopter rescue which is of huge interest to the divers in the event of an offshore diving injury. Adrian is a current winchman with the coastguard and ex search diver with the club and is from Marion square in Fermoy. Other lectures include Billy Carr on marine life, Eoin Mc Garry on the RMS Lusitania, Barry Mc Gill on the deep wrecks off Northern Ireland and Cyril Saich on the ecology of the river Blackwater.

















 Peter Mullen , Willie Keane and Ken Barry preparing to deploy a side scan towfish sonar in
 the river  Blackwater near Cappoquin last weekend

















Training in Villierstown last weekend Peter Mullen, Ken Barry, Olan O Farrell, Willie Keane
and Eugene Whelan