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Foyle Search & Rescue (Northern Ireland)

Recipient of the 2007 Ireland Medal

Foyle Search and Rescue (FSR)  was founded in 1993 in response to  the large number of persons  successfully completing suicide by  drowning in the River Foyle, Co. Londonderry, Northern Ireland. Since then FSR has helped more than 1000 persons in distress in or near the river.

Working with a team of about 40 key volunteers FSR provides 24 hour / 7 day pager response coverage of the River Foyle, River Faughan and waterways around Strabane.

Shore Patrols patrol the river walkways and the two bridges over the Foyle between 9pm and 3am, with a fully crewed rescue boat on the river, on Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights.

The service has its own permanent base in Prehen and is considering buying a small hovercraft to provide fast easy access to places difficult to reach with their rescue boat.

The Londonderry Sentinal reported in July 2007; “Foyle Search and Rescue emergency response team volunteers have been called out 25 times since the beginning of the year and unfortunately, have recovered three bodies in the space of the last three months.

They have rescued six people from the river who would otherwise have drowned, and assisted in taking a further six people back to safety from the water’s edge.

They have also rescued a boat with four people on board, which was stranded on rocks off Culmore Point. They have attended a further nine incidents which thankfully did not need any further assistance.