Training for Donegal search and recovery team

Sheephaven SAR team held training at Portnablagh

Training for Donegal search and recovery team

Sheephaven SAR training at Portnablagh.

Sheephaven Search and Recovery (SAR) team held an underwater search and recovery training session at Portnablagh this past cold Sunday morning.

Air temperature was 7 degrees, and sea temperature was 9 degrees.

To be included on the national SAR register, all those wishing to be available to be called upon must be current CFT (Comhairle Fo Thuinn) – Irish Underwater Council club members and conduct two SAR training days per annum.

There was a great turnout for the process of locating and recovering underwater objects that had been lost by two Sheephaven SAC members last weekend. Sea was calm but low tide and poor visibility made the search more difficult. Nonetheless, due to the fantastic, well-trained SAR team at Sheephaven SAC, all three objects were found!

The search and recovery training was held at Portnablagh.

Swim-line search pattern
There are a number of search patterns that can be used. The aim of the swim-line pattern used for Sunday's search was to be accurate and completely cover the search area that was given to the team without missing any area. Overlap is needed to compensate for inaccuracy.

A swim-line search pattern is where a team of divers spreads out along a length of rope at spacing suited to the visibility, terrain and size of the target. The team leader is usually at one end of the rope on the surface. Each diver must ensure that he does not get ahead of or lag behind the diver to his side who is closer to the leader, and that the rope is kept taut. In this way, an evenly spaced line of divers swims a straight sweep with a width equal to the length of the swim line.

It requires concentration and practice, as all the divers are diligently searching for the target. The swim line method can also be applied to a circular pattern. Line signals, which are discussed at brief beforehand, are used to communicate with each other.

Well done to everyone involved – great team work!

Sheephaven Search & Recovery Unit now have a tube (outside Tesco Letterkenny) and are collecting blue tokens, so if you are out in Letterkenny over the next few weeks, Sheephaven Search & Recovery Unit would be grateful if you would add your blue tokens to their tube for this worthy cause. Thank you.

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