Sheephaven Dive Notes

Sheephaven SAC was delighted to have the success of the qualification of Anne Boyle as an M3 Instructor followed so quickly by the gaining of  a further three new M2 instructors last weekend.

For Kieran Doherty, Simon Henderson and Paul Mc Cabe their part in the delivery of a Coxswain Course examination in Killybegs last Saturday was the completion of their journey to the M2 Instructor grade and the outcome of a few very busy years diving indeed.

Prior to commencing the Irish Underwater Council (CFT) Instructor (or Monitor) programme each candidate will have qualified as a Leading Diver, during which they will have to have successfully completed courses on CPR (Diver First Responder),  Rescue Diver and Boat Handling (Coxswain), amongst others.

Once qualified as a Leading Diver the Instructor candidate will demonstrate their knowledge and in-water expertise to a level that will assure CFT that they could be allowed to safely train new divers into the sport.

Initially this process includes written examinations and presentations, as well as practical in-water snorkelling and diving skill tests, followed by a weekend of examination after which a successful Instructor candidate will be awarded a grade of M1.

In the following year the M1’s will assist in the delivery of other CFT courses and tests, after which they will be appointed as M2 Instructors and considered to be sufficiently competent to examine other Leading Diver and M1 candidates in due course.

On Saturday last the three Sheephaven divers were part of such an examination of boat handing skills under the CFT Dive Coxswain course, which provides the opportunity for club members to train in the safe handling of dive boats in the proximity of divers in the water.

In addition to taking charge of the practical handling of a boat the Coxswain will also be expected to know how to read a navigation Chart and know how to determine tides, currents and weather conditions relevant to where the intended dive is to take place.

This is always a popular course with divers and it is essential for a dive clubs long term success to have as many members qualified to take boat safely out to sea.

The day was also given over to examination of four new club divers from Donegal Bay SAC, who now are qualified as Two Star Divers, along with one Rescue Diver. In addition to the three new M2 from Sheephaven SAC there were other examiners present from Donegal Bay and Dungannon SAC’s.

While last week Anne Boyle was Sheephaven’s first M3, the appointment of the new M2’s – Kieran, Simon and Paul – follow’s in a long tradition of Instructors in the club, who have previously set a standard many years ago that has left a profound effect in the club of today.

Nobody knows more that the three new M2’s and indeed the new M3 how long a journey they have been on, but their efforts will be to the better of all in Sheephaven and we are delighted with their success.

Finally on a more familiar note for those who were not involved with Saturdays course in Killybegs there was a Sunday morning snorkel out from PortnaBlagh Pier, where the air temperature was down to 6 degrees Celsius but in-water a very cosy 13 degrees.

While Storm Ali and to less extend Storm Bronagh left their mark on Donegal the gale that threatened to come though on Sunday didn’t materialise, but nonetheless the following northerly winds had picked up quite a sea in Sheephaven Bay and the Sunday morning swimmers took full advantage of snorkelling in two metre breaking swells, just for the shear fun off it all.