Sheephaven SAC activity 22nd Feb & info on upcoming courses

Feb 24 2015 Posted by Office Administraton

Sheephaven SAC had a special dive on Saturday morning, which involved a very fast drift dive from Alcorns Head to Dunloan Rock, Mulroy Bay on an ebbing spring tide. The divers covered a distance of over a kilometre in a time of 15 minutes, a speed over ground of 4 KPH and it felt every bit of it, very fast indeed. On the surface air temperature was just above freezing, while in water it was a bit warmer at 6 degrees Celsius for the 40 minute dive to a maximum of nearly 28 meters. However as thrilling as the drift dive was the presence of an Otter at Alcorns Head, which was captured on film landing and eating a large fish, was an outstanding moment for any divers’ career. Videos of the Otter are uploaded on Sheephaven SAC Facebook page, Sheephaven SAC for public viewing. It was undoubtedly another top class mornings’ dive for Sheephaven SAC divers.

Well done to the Sunday morning Sheephaven Snorkelers who put in a 30 minute snorkel from PortnaBlagh Pier in less than perfect weather conditions. While the southerly gale blew, the harbour was sheltered from the worse of its effect and the hardy snorkelers got out to the Golf Course point. Water temperatures remain at 6 degrees Celsius, while in-water visibility was not great at no greater than one meter or so. In particular well done to the Sheephaven SAC Trainee Class of 2015 who got their first open water experience as they joined the rest of the club snorkelers on Sunday morning. Thanks once again to the club instructors, under the leadership to the club’s Training Officer Joe Neely, for taking them through the theory and practical elements of their Trainee Dive Course, which has brought them to this stage.

Comhairle Fo-Thuinn or CFT, to whom Sheephaven SAC are affiliated, has just released a list of courses and tests available to club members over the following months. The first course available is the Nitrox Course delivered by Donegal Bay SAC on the 7th March and led by Martin Mc Gee.

This course will qualify successful candidates to safely use oxygen enriched breathing air or Nitrox. On occasions where divers have a series of intensive dives, such as a week of diving in the Red Sea, Nitrox is invaluable in such situations to reduce the compounded effect of nitrogen on the body over the prolonged diving period.

This is to be followed in April by a Diver First Responder Course hosted by Sheephaven SAC and delivered by Anne Boyle. This course has to be repeated every few years by those divers who have previously completed the course, but is open to all club members whether divers or snorkelers. While this course deals with First Aid including CPR and the use of Automatic External Defibrillators (AED), it is delivered in a manner relevant to divers and the situations that they may find themselves in.

In May Sheephaven SAC is hosting a Coxswain Course, this time led by Joe Neely and provides the theory and practical elements of taking the helm of a dive boat. It is essential that as many club members as possible are capable of taking charge of a dive boat, should such an occasion arise. In due course, after the candidates have completed a series of supervised hours at the helm of a dive boat under a range of variable conditions, they will sit an examination to demonstrate their ability as coxswains.

Finally in June there is a Rescue Diver course to be led by the Regional Dive Officer, Gearoid Mc Carthy at a location to be arranged. This course will teach a diver how to safely complete an in-water rescue lift of a diver in distress and afterwards care for the casualty on the surface until such time as the Rescue Services take over. The candidates practice a number of Rescue Dives over the summer and in the autumn they will be examined by demonstrating what they have learned by conducting a simulated rescue lift of a buddy from depth under the watchful eye of a CFT examiner.

For the Sheephaven SAC 2014 Class of Trainees there will be an opportunity to undergo their Club Diver of 2 Star Test in April, which is being kindly led once again by Joe Neely. For the Trainees who have completed their 2 Star lectures and all their dives, which culminate with three 30 meter dives, this theory and practical examination allows them to progress onto the next level, which is entry into the Leading Diver programme.

Prospective Leading Diver candidates will be required to have gained their Coxswain, Diver First Responder and Rescue Diver qualifications as a pre-requite of entering the course.

Meanwhile for the new club members the adventure begins here, just add water.

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