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Dublin: 16 °C Monday 19 August, 2019
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Varadkar: "Regrettably" no funding planned for sub-aqua rescue groups

These groups occasionally provide support to garda diving teams.

Image: ianmyles via Flickr/Creative Commons

GRANTS AVAILABLE TO voluntary rescue teams will not be extended to sub-aqua groups, the government has announced.

Payments are currently available to mountain rescue teams and their coordinating body Mountain Rescue Ireland.

A €5,000 grant to each of the twelve Community Rescue Boats Ireland (CRBI) units is also available.

However, when questioned on the issue by Independent TD Denis Naughten, Minister Leo Varadkar said “it is not envisaged” that the funding assistance will be extended to sub aqua or recovery groups.

Varadkar said this was “regrettable”.

While they will not receive funding for their work, the Minister revealed that service level agreements are being drawn up between the Coast Guard and the Irish Underwater Council (IWU).

“The Coast Guard has responsibility for co-ordination of maritime search and rescue on Irish coastal and offshore waters,” he explained, “Diving support to the Coast Guard is provided in the first instance by the Garda Water Unit and the Navy Diving team.”

Volunteer diving teams do on occasion offer assistance but in such scenarios their participation based on an offer of support.

He said that the work with the IWU is aimed at guaranteeing the safety of such operations.

Read: 10 mad things that happen when a diver descends 400 feet on a single breath >

More: Ireland to get its own snorkelling trail >

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Nicky Ryan

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