Donegal Bay Sub Aqua Club and Search and Recovery Unit celebrated 30 years in existence with an anniversary dinner in the Abbey Hotel, Donegal Town on Friday night 19th October. The Chairman, Sean Staunton, thanked the large numbers who attended including several past members and representatives from other Sub Aqua Clubs, including Sligo, Sheephaven , Monaghan, Pisces Snorkelling Club, Enniskillen, Strabane, City of Derry and Seal Bay. It was an honour for him to be the first Chairman in 1987/88 and again as the current Chair on the occasion of the 30th anniversary.
The Club was affiliated to the Irish Underwater Council in March of 1988, the Regional Diving Officer at the time, Don McGlinchey, from the City of Derry Sub Aqua Club recalled been asked by the National Diving officer at the time to visit the Club and he attended one of our training sessions, prior to our application for membership and he was impressed by what he saw.
The Club has remained vibrant over all the years, it has trained hundreds of new divers and assisted and supported many in achieving all diving grades including leading divers and instructors. The most senior diver is Miriam Feely from Donegal and she has been a constant in the Club over the years.
Some of the key achievements were noted on the night, including the building of the Club House at Killymard, obtaining all the equipment need for an activity sport, including boats/trailers, diving compressor and our new jeep for Search and Recovery operations at which the Unit is actively involved. The current Regional Diving Officer, Martin McGee from Ballyshannon, acknowledged the success and safe diving record of the Club.
The club organised the only weekend Diving Conference and Show and invited famous early divers and photographers Hans and Lotte Hass from Austria, Dive Ireland 1995. Many of the members of that committee were present on Friday night and memories were recalled. More recently it has organised two Regional Dive Rally’s which have been very successful in 2017 and 2018, operating from Killybegs.
The Chairman acknowledged the work of the many committees and sub committees over the years and the inputs of all members, who work to hard as a team, to make the club the success that it is without doubt.