West Cork Underwater Search and Rescue 2017 training roundup
Saturday, January 6th, 2018
2017 was a busy training year for the unit. Below are some of the training missions and education events we carried out last year:
  1. May 23, 2017. Underwater surveys in Glandore Harbour
  2. July 25, 2017. Participated at Water Safety Awareness Day in Owenahincha
  3. August 6, 2017. Training dives at Lispatrick Pier, Old Head
  4. August 20, 2017. Low viz navigation training at Blindstrand, Seven Heads
  5. September 17, 2017. Grid search training at Reen Pier, Castletownsend
  6. September 21, 2017. Training dives at Lispatrick Pier, Old Head
  7. October 7, 2017. Training dives at Magharee Islands, Co. Kerry
  8. October 7, 2017. Training dives at Adams Island, Glandore Bay, Co. Cork
  9. October 8, 2017. Navigation training dives at Kilshannig Harbour, Co. Kerry
  10. October 29, 2017. Low viz navigation training at Seven Heads Bay, Co. Cork
  11. October 29, 2017. Aga Divator comms training at Reen Pier, Old Head
  12. November 4, 2017. Deep dive training at Portroe, Co. Tipperary
  13. November 10, 2017. WCUSAR Fundraiser in Clonakilty, Co. Cork
  14. November 21, 2017. Tracking technology trials with SafeTrx at Small Sound, Glandore Bay, Co. Cork
  15. November 26, 2017. Recovery training with Old Head/Seven Heads Coast Guard unit at Seven Heads Bay, Co. Cork
  16. December 28, 2017. Deep dive training at Portroe, Co. Tipperary

wcusar 2017

West Cork Underwater  Search and Rescue online fundraising website now up and running
Thursday, December 24, 2015

As a voluntary organisation with no state or local government funding we rely solely on donations from the public to provide our Search and Rescue service. To date we have been fortunate that people have raised funds for us and that certainly has been a big help to date. To make it easier for people we have set up an online donation webpage using Ireland’s leading online fundraising and donation service – iFundraise.

ifundraise screenshot

Please visit our page on www.ifundraise.ie/wcusar If you are interested in making donation to the unit. We are appreciative of any all donations to the unit!


Enniskeane Search Operations
Tuesday/Wednesday, December 22/23, 2015
The West Cork Underwater Search and Rescue unit carried out a dive operation in Enniskeane, West Cork in support of search of a missing person. Working with Civil Defence, Gardai, Coast Guard and local volunteers the team carried out a detailed assessment of the river conditions before activating the dive plan.
The team used a window of opportunity on Wednesday to activate the dive plan after the water level had dropped 2 meters. Photos below show conditions early on Tuesday.
50 years diving in the Irish Navy – An illustrated talk by Martin Buckley in aid of West Cork Underwater Search and Rescue
Friday, December 18, 2015
Skibb fundraiser
An Illustrated talk by MARTIN BUCKLEY in aid of
WEST CORK UNDERWATER SEARCH AND RESCUE (WCUSAR) TEAM. Tickets cost €10 with all the proceeds being donated to WCUSAR.Tickets may be purchased from any WCUSAR member. Alternatively you may contact the WCUSAR team at westcorkunderwatersar@gmail.com

Endurance Swimmer and National Champion Nancy Edmead raises €601 for West Cork Underwater Search and Rescue

Sunday, December 6, 2015

West Cork Underwater Search and Rescue (WCUSAR) are delighted to accept a donation of €601 raised by Cork Surf Life Saver and Endurance Swimmer Nancy Edmead. Now eighteen, Nancy won the Lough Erne 17km National Championship in August in an amazing winning time of 4 hours and 4 mins! The following weekend Nancy went on to win the Irish National Open Water 10km at Coosan Point in Athlone. Now in sixth year at Castletroy College in Limerick, Nancy hails from Ballinglanna, West Cork and comes from a family of strong swimmers.

We asked Nancy how she prepared for her epic 17km swim. Her answer impressed us. “I was really worried that it was going to be cold. And it was, but I was motivated that I was doing it for a good cause”.

On accepting the donation, John Kearney, Chairman of West Cork Underwater Search and Rescue said, “Nancy is a fantastic example of a determined and community spirited young woman, and the money she raised will go a long way towards purchasing vital equipment for the WCUSAR unit”.

Thank you Nancy and we hope you take us up on the offer of a try dive next summer!



Charity Hero nomination closes on Friday December 4th at 5pm

Wednesday, December 3, 2015

Please help us show much we appreciate the work of West Cork Underwater Search and Rescue by voting for them, in the Better Together Charity Hero awards!



Interview with WCUSAR Chairman John Kearney ahead of Irish Volunteer Awards

Tuesday, December 2, 2015

Great article in today’s Evening Echo about why we do what we do.

“The way I look at things, it’s a bigger risk not to do anything,” says John. “In a situation, people look at fear and risk, but I tend to look at it in a different light. To me, it’s a bigger risk to do nothing. If we have got a skill base and it can be put to use, then use it,” he says.

Nominated in the Volunteer Ireland awards taking place tomorrow, John is keen to shift the focus off himself and onto the team at West Cork Underwater Search and Rescue (WCUSR), established in the wake of the three tragic drownings in John’s home village of Baltimore during the summer.

It’s a huge honour for Kearney to be named among some of Ireland’s most hard-working and committed volunteers.
“I know volunteer awards are about the person, but this one is really about the people involved and and how they have come together to do this,” he said.

The full interview can be found at the link below.


West Cork Underwater Search and Rescue team complete CFT Search and Recovery training programme

Saturday-Sunday, November 21-22, 2015

Ten WCUSAR divers successfully completed the CFT Search and Recovery training programme run by Blackwater Search and Recovery unit. The two day course was hosted in the Blackwater Sub Aqua team’s club house in Fermoy, Co. Cork.


Day one of the course consisted of theory and written tests with day two allocated to practical training in the River Blackwater. All our divers are very experienced sea divers but we had much to learn from one of the most experienced river Search and Recovery dive teams in the country. Our thanks to all our old and new friends at Blackwater Search and Recovery. More photos over on the West Cork Underwater Search and Rescue Facebook page.


West Cork Underwater Search and Rescue team meeting, Baltimore, Co. Cork

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Southern Star West Cork Underwater Search & Rescue team photographed at Baltimore with their specialist dive van and jeeps.L-R John Kearney, Niall McCarthy, Don Buckley, XXX, Kathleen Murphy, Pat O'Driscoll, Pat Mulcahy, Kim Jacobson, Aodh O'Donnell, Carl Wycherley, Eamon Barry & John Murphy. Picture: Emma Jervis Photography

West Cork Underwater Search and Rescue team met in Baltimore recently to announce the launch of the West Cork Sub Aqua Club (WCSAC). Affiliated to the Irish Underwater Council (CFT), WCSAC aims to be a dive club for those that live and dive in West Cork. WCSAC and WCUSAR are sister organisations and we hope that some divers in West Cork Sub Aqua Club transition over to the WCUSAR unit upon completion of the necessary training.

2015 Volunteer Ireland Awards shortlists John Kearney, WCUSAR for national award

Wednesday, November 4, 2015


Volunteer Ireland is delighted to announce the 30 shortlisted nominees for the Volunteer Ireland Awards 2015. Read the inspiring stories of all the shortlisted volunteers below.

10 Category Awardees will be announced at the gala Volunteer Ireland Awards Ceremony on December 2nd at Dublin City Hall. One volunteer will also receive the Christine Buckley Volunteer of the Year Award.

Many thanks to all those who nominated a volunteer for the Volunteer Ireland Awards 2015. Every nominee for the Volunteer Ireland Awards 2015 received a special ‘thank you’ card in recognition of their contribution to volunteering.

The text of the nomination is as follows (http://www.volunteer.ie/events/volunteer-ireland-awards/2015-nominees/):

2015 Volunteer Ireland Awards, Environment

John Kearney, West Cork Underwater Search and Recovery Team, Baltimore, Co. Cork

Most of us will remember the tragic drowning of Barry Davis-Ryan along with his girlfriend Niamh O’Connor and father Barry Ryan off the coast of Baltimore, Cork in July 2015. John Kearney was one of the dedicated volunteers who helped in the search which eventually recovered Barry’s body. While the main search was winding down, John refused to quit and called on the general public to join the search. He amassed over 100 volunteer divers and 100 support volunteers which had a huge impact on the search.

John O’Brian, who nominated John for an award, said “John has helped our family find Barry so that we could properly close out a tragic chapter in our lives. He and his team coordinated a very professional operation with risk to their own lives. He and his team are amazing people who went out of their way to help a family in distress.”

West Cork Emergency Services and Friends Charity Cycle donates €3,000 to WCUSAR

Thursday, September 17, 2015


WCUSAR Vice Chairman Pat Mulcahy, WCUSAR Diving Officer Aodh O’Donnell (pictured above) and WCUSAR divers Niall McCarthy and Don Buckley were delighted to accept the donation of €3,000 from the West Cork Emergency Services and Friends Charity Cycle at the The Parkway Hotel, Dunmanway. All financial contributions are very important and deeply appreciated, regardless of the amount.

West Cork Underwater Search and Rescue (WCUSAR) website goes live.

Friday, August 28, 2015
Our new website has just gone live so please drop over and have a look. Please feel free to leave us feedback on our contact page or on Facebook.

West Cork Underwater Search and Rescue (WCUSAR) meet with Navy Diving Unit

Friday, August 14, 2015

The West Cork Underwater Search and Rescue (WCUSAR) team met with the Diving Unit of the Irish Naval Service at the Headquarters of the Irish Naval Service in Haulbowline. The purpose of the meeting was to discuss search techniques, diving equipment and SAR operations. Most of the WCUSAR team attended the very informative meeting and we are looking forward to continuing our cooperation with the Navy.