Donegal divers assist with Sheephaven Swim

Another busy week for Sheephaven SAC

Donegal divers assist with Sheephaven Swim

Sheephaven boats under way.

Sheephaven SAC's diving activities last week began with an extended snorkel on Wednesday evening, and included a boat dive on Saturday morning, followed by providing boat cover for the 2017 Sheephaven Swim in the afternoon, and finished off with another snorkel on Sunday morning.

Club Diver Officer Ryan Ward led a snorkel party out from PortnaBlagh Harbour on Wednesday evening, taking full benefit of the settled seas at the time.

Weather conditions were perfect for an evening snorkel to Killyhoey beach, providing clear and warm waters for the divers’ enjoyment.

On Saturday morning, Sheephaven's activities commenced with a Kevin Boylan-led dive across the bay from Downings to Pat McGee’s. This site can be quite spectacular in the right conditions, and has been known to provide the observation of some unique fish life.

Indeed on this occasion the divers were fortunate to observe a John Dory, which is not unheard off but certainly a very rare occurrence.

In the afternoon, Willie Sheridan led the three Sheephaven Dive Boats as party of the small armada of boats involved in the Sheephaven Bay Swim.

Fifteen boats of all shapes and sizes put out from Portnablagh Harbour to ferry 110 swimmers across the bay to the tip of Horn Head. At White Horse Rocks, under the start of local endurance swimmer Anne Marie Ward, they commenced their 3.5km swim back to the harbour.

The first swimmer was home in around 50 minutes and the rest followed in their own time; the athleticism of all involved was very much to be admired.

However, special praise has to be given to the Gartan Swimmers, who organised the event with great precision and no doubt put in boundless energy and emotional energy over the preceding days.

In particular Keith McClean, ably assisted by his younger brother Colin, were onshore dealing with the details that allowed the swimmers to enjoy their day in safety, along with Karen Crawford, Paddy Bond and ex-Sheephaven SAC member Mark McCollum.

The boats and kayaks were organised by Charlie Robinson, who also made his home available to feed the hundreds who turned up on Saturday afternoon.

Weather conditions were not ideal, with a stiff westerly breeze that would have sapped the strength of the swimmers on the long leg towards Killyhoey and pushed them eastwards as they made the run home across the final section.

The Sheephaven Dive Boat crews were able to use their expertise in assessing and assisting the very few swimmers who may have been struggling in their endeavour. Well done indeed to all involved.

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