Funding and volunteering for IUSRU

Photo: Kathrin Kobus.

By Kathrin Kobus

At Poolbeg yacht Club on the last Friday in January, The RNLI and the IUSRU received money raised at two charity events last autumn. Each organisation got a cheque over €7,500. 

The Feilimh Drew Concert in St Patrick’s church and the All in A row at St Patrick’s rowing club, had raised the funds in support. Every last cent and euro that went in had been counted and was duly divided between the two organisations. 

Singer Lisa O’Neill the surprise guest at the concert was back again to present the cheque to the RNLI. 

It is important to stress that both are run almost solely on a voluntary basis, with only one paid employee engaged by the RNLI. That is the mechanic. 

Rose Michael from the RNLI Howth recalled the last call out for them at the end of the year. “There was a kite surfer who got his legs tangled in the ropes. We were doing our training exercises that suddenly became an actual rescue on the spot.” 

NewsFour also spoke with Richard Kaye how the Recovery Unit operates.

“You cannot simply join, you will be invited in. Plus, you will have to be an experienced rescue diver first.” Next step: you put the gear on and get a first try into the basin at the Waterways. Since the visibility there is usually too clear for the purposes of the IUSRU “We actually black out the visor.” After that comes a dive into the Liffey or the river Boyne.  

Asked about murky conditions in waters like the Liffey, Richard Kayes’s reply came with a smile, not a grin. “Murky, well that would be pleasant.” The tasks of the unit are about recovery and not rescue. So the outcome of a successful operation means to bring a a deceased person who has been missing after an accident back to the family and bring closure. That’s why a bit of gut feeling comes in as well, not every rescue diver may be up for the demands of a recovery diver. 

While the rowing clubs like St.Patrick’s and Stella Maris do their winter training and participate in indoor championships, there is never a time off for RNLI or the IUSRU.