Irish Underwater Council Statement on the six recent diving fatalities in Irish Waters

Jul 16 2014 Posted by Office Administraton

The Executive Council and the members of the Irish Underwater Council (Comhairle Fo-Thuinn, CFT) are shocked by the unprecedented occurrence of six diving fatalities in Irish waters from June 14th – July 14th inclusive.

CFT is the federation of sports diving clubs in Ireland. It is affiliated to Conféderation Mondiale des Activités Subaquatiques (CMAS) and supported by the National Sports Council in Ireland.

On behalf of the 2,000 members of the Irish Underwater Council (CFT) we would like to offer our sincere condolences to the family, friends and dive buddies of the recently deceased divers. We are especially saddened by the death of one of our own members during this unprecedented time. We further wish to acknowledge the role of the professional and voluntary emergency services in assisting divers in distress.

CFT acknowledges that Scuba Diving is an adventure sport which by its nature involves some risk, however, we at the Irish Underwater Council mitigate this risk by providing comprehensive training for all of our members. SCUBA diving is not a dangerous sport and CFT is rightly proud of its safety record. Fatalities in diving are thankfully rare. CFT does not wish to prejudice or second guess ongoing investigations into the six recent fatalities, but a high level analysis suggests there is no emerging trend among the incidents.

Over the past fifty years we have developed an extensive system of rules, regulations and protocols that all members must adhere to whilst diving. These rules are there for the safety of the diver which is our primary focus.
After completion of the initial diver training members then dive within the confines of the club system. Each club has a Diving Officer who is trained and responsible for all club diving. Each dive is carefully planned taking into account weather and sea condition as well as the experience of the divers signed up for the dive. Our diving officers are also trained in emergency response should an incident happen during a dive.

CFT diving is governed by the Technical Commission which is responsible for diving and course standards and the Medical Commission which is responsible for setting medical guidelines to ensure medical fitness to dive.
CFT endorses the sentiments of the Irish Water Safety Board that all divers regardless of their affiliation should be well trained and current in the use of SCUBA equipment. Furthermore, CFT recommends that divers ensure they are medically fit to dive and that their equipment is regularly serviced and in good operating condition.

CFT is happy to provide a spokesperson, Niall Stapleton on 086 8273949, for interview. Niall is a senior instructor within the organisation and is a former National Diving Officer of CFT.CFT_logo1.png