Local Sub Aqua clubs are welcoming calls to see Government increase support for the search and recovery services.
Diving club volunteers from across the Shannonside Region regularly assist emergency services in the search for and recovery of remains from inland water ways.
This issue was highlighted in Dail Eireann recently, with Local Independent TD Denis Naughten calling for the Department of Transport to include the clubs in maintenance grants currently available to mountain, cave and community boat rescue groups.
While grants are available to clubs as part of their sporting activities, search and recovery efforts are not covered.
At present, local sub aqua volunteers fund their own equipment, travel and expenses, with public fundraising used to maintain clubs throughout the region.
Athlone Sub Aqua Club Search and Recovery Coordinator Liam Sherringham says, members would benefit greatly from inclusion into further government supports
"All our members actually pay a subscription fee to be part of the club and partake in search and recovery. All our search and recovery divers, snorkelers, and helpers use their own equipment so there is a huge cost in that equipment and maintenance. The people of Athlone and the surrounding areas have been very generous to the club and have supported us from day one but 90% of all club funding comes from subscriptions and fundraising"