BRAVE members of the Ennis Sub Aqua Club will be taking on the cold winter waters of the River Fergus for their annual ‘Fin Swim’ this St Stephen’s Day.
The event raises funds for the club and supports its search and recovery activities. The swim will be passing over the falls at the Mill Road and under five bridges, and the club are encouraging people to get out and show their support for the swimmers.
Paddy Egan of the club explained, “Each Christmas, divers from the club take to the cold, dark and sometimes frozen waters of the River Fergus in their annual Fin Swim event.
“Aside from the help it provides to the club finances, the swim also showcases the club to the town of Ennis, many of whom line the bridges of the town to cheer us along, as we swim through the centre of the town. More than one person found their way to the club, as a result of the swim.
“This event has become popular for people taking a post-Christmas walk around town to view the swimmers passing under the bridges,” he said.
The Ennis Sub Aqua Club has approximately 30 senior members and is affiliated with CMAS and the Irish Underwater Council. The club’s senior members range from trainee divers, club divers, rescue divers, lead divers and instructor divers.
There are also 35 junior members, who are in training on a weekly basis at the Ennis Swimming Pool and will train in the open sea during summer. The club teaches its juniors about water safety, water awareness, self-rescue and snorkelling techniques. Juniors are taken on a number of water excursions during the dive season.
The Fin Swim is an important event in the club’s calender, raising funds for the search and recovery service and the running of the club.
Members carried out a number of search and recovery dives in Blacksod, County Mayo; Galway Bay; Kilkee and Doolin. Over the years, they have also assisted local Civil Defence with searches around Ennis in the River Fergus. The search and recovery divers also carried out a number of training exercises over the last few months.
During 2017, they assisted Ennis Tidy Towns in recovering rubbish and cleaning the river banks.
Some of the members went on a diving holiday to Malta this year, where they enjoyed lots of diving in warmer water. In November, they held a Try A Dive night for anyone who was interested in diving or just wanted to experience using scuba equipment under water. “
This was a very successful event and attracted some new members to our club,” said Paddy.
By Jessica Quinn