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Billy Carr to conquer Ironman 2019


Billy Carr to Conquer Ironman 2019


Before taking up the sport of Scuba diving Billy Carr had no knowledge of the great voluntary work of the Blackwater Search and Recovery Unit or indeed its existence despite living only 12km from the club’s base in Fermoy.
Blackwater Search and Rescue unit is based in Fermoy, Co Cork and has quietly served all the towns on the river Blackwater and has been involved in search and rescue and search and recovery operation in the Blackwater Valley, and coastal communities since 1981. The unit consist of 24 divers and support personnel, all giving freely of their time and equipment. All expenses incurred by the unit whether in searches or training are covered by the individuals involved, and most use personal leave from work during these operations. The work of the unit varies from providing rescue cover for water based events, to rescuing stranded domestic and farm animals to the grimmer task of recovery of missing persons from local waterways. Since the unit’s inception, it has been involved in close on 150 rescue/recoveries in the locality. Local waterways are normally cold with low to nil visibility and due to this each of the unit’s members are trained to the highest standards. Indeed the standards used by dive clubs throughout Ireland and U.K are in no small part due to the courses developed by our Club Instructors. We in Blackwater are responsible for the Training of many of the units throughout the country. Along with setting benchmark standards in Training, we pride ourselves in having equipment of the highest standard. The recover a missing person in a timely manner, is paramount. And equipment needs constant maintenance or replacement. Sadly our job is often to bring the missing home. 

Billy Carr took up the sport of scuba diving in 1997 drawn to the thought of adventure and excitement of the underwater world by joining Blackwater Sub Aqua Club in Fermoy, Co. Cork. During that summer of 1997 Billy went on to learn about this other world of underwater adventure. 
From the outset water safety was highlighted to Billy and the rest of the trainees. Each of the experienced divers in the club gave their time freely and over time Billy began to learn about search and recovery and developed an interest in partaking in same. 
After training to qualify as a full search and recovery diver Billy’s first involvement was a successful recovery only 3km from his home. On the evening Billy was struck by the professional manner of the rescue unit and this fact was mentioned to him by onlookers so it was a great source of pride to be part of the team.
Due to the nature of the work carried out the unit, it has always maintained a low profile in relation to search operations as the primary focus of the search unit is in carrying out successful recoveries in a safe and dignified and respectful manner (for the families and friends of the deceased). All the divers pay for their own equipment, training, medical and all other expense and any funds raised are used for the maintenance and purchase of specialist search equipment.
In late 2016 Billy was diagnosed with prostate cancer which due to insurance resulted in not being allowed dive for a period of time. To help his mind Billy took up swimming and as he recovered from treatment started doing short cycles and runs also until one day he found himself joining the South Coast Triathlon club in Youghal and signing up for Youghal Triathlon in September 2017 which he completed in 2 hours 1 minute.
When learning of the first ever full Ironman in Ireland was going to be held in Youghal Billy knowing the difficulty of fundraising saw an opportunity and a challenge. Billy is now signed up to attempt completing Ironman Cork in Youghal on June 23rd 2019 and hoping to raise sponsorship for Blackwater Search and Recovery unit in the process and hopes you can look favourably on this request.

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