Message from the new DO

Hi everyone as most of ye know my name is Martin Bowes, I’ve been diving since 2001 and spent 7 years with another sub aqua club in Dublin called true blue sub aqua where I done most of my training. I’m currently a leading diver since 2006, and hopefully will be successful in passing my Mon* next year. When I joined the club earlier this year, I didn’t know what to expect and was a little apprehensive of what type of people and club I was going to encounter. But after a full year of diving with the limerick sub aqua I found the club very well run and organised but yet with a relaxed and fun theme to the diving and also an excellent and well experienced bunch of people. Most of ye will know that I have recently been voted in as diving officer of limerick sub aqua and also to my surprise awarded the club member of the year. I have to admit that filling Brian O’Leary’s shoes will be virtually impossible because of his vast experience, knowledge, understanding and patience with the members of the club and also the huge amount of time he puts in behind the scenes that most people never see. All I can say is that I will do my very best to organise and run dives to the best of my ability and try to make them interesting, fun and try to cater for everyone’s diving needs. I look forward to working with the members of the committee and having a great diving season in the coming year.


Today’s dive in Portroe Quarry;


The day started off quite bright and sunny but with blustery winds blowing from the south west, so as usual the only dive site available was Portroe Quarry. I hope the trainees forgive me when I say this but we had what experienced divers would call “a jolly” (no trainees)! So myself, Brian and Mike Orth got to dive together. It was a leisurely start, as we got kitted up. The usual banter and crack was present and we made the arduous trundle down the ramp to the dive platform. After a quick buddy check, I was nominated to lead the dive, and with a few quick hand signals we were at the bottom of the quarry near the ramp at around 17m. I was having trouble equalising my right ear so I had to ascend a few metres to clear my ear, and join the two lads on the dive. Now just to remind ye, I was supposed to be leading the dive but found out very quickly leading these two guys was like leading geese out of a haggard! We all seemed to be going in different directions! We came to the edge of the drop-off and with an OK signal, down we went. With great surprise to my eyes, I saw Brian doing summer salutes down to about 35m gingerly followed by me. We had previously agreed to remain at a depth of 25m, so I saw Mr. O’Leary disappearing into the depths with the faint glow of a torch, looking back up at Mike at 20m I didn’t know who to follow. I decided on the safer bet of Mike and we waited until we saw Brian coming back up from depth but I don’t know was it his prescribed mask or his compass wasn’t working, he swam in the opposite direction over to polish divers on the shot line off the winch, with me hot on his tail. After retrieving Brian and redirecting him in the right direction, I noticed Mike heading off in his own direction! Since my last dive with Mike was a game of hide and go seek, I guessed he was playing follow the leader! Finally we got ourselves together and we had an enjoyable dive with no casualties. So much for the jolly, I probably would have been better off diving with the trainees, experienced divers my foot!


What’s another year -Welcome to new Committee 2012

The Club held it’s AGM on Friday and so again a new year begins and some faces within the Club committtee.


A number of members who could not make the meeting offered their apologies, even Mike Hynes trying to make the ferry from the Isle of Jersey. Hope you got home safely.


Overall, thanks to all that attended. Great meeting and incoming committee are:-

Chairman – Mike Orth, also announcing a hope to obtain a position on the CFT committee. Good Luck.

Diving Officer – Martin Bowes

Secretary – Eimhear O’ Brien

Treasurer – Frank Hopkins

Training Officers – Peter Walsh, Brian O’ Leary

PRO -Child Liason Officer – Teresa O’Connor

Equipment Officers Team – Dave Keane, Noel Hickey

Search & Recovery Diving Officer – Richard Roche


Well done to all.


Here is the Diving Officers report for 2011.


The Stats

Club Membership Grades comprise of

5 *          Instructors Grades,        

5 *          Leading Diver Grades

6 *          Rescue Diver Grades,    

8 *          Club Diver Grades

14 *        Trainee Diver Grade: Of the trainee grades, one due for test very soon with a potential 4-6 candidates for test early 2012.

6 *          Snorkel Diver Grades,   

7 *          Search & Recovery Diving Grades

14 *        DFR Grades,                      

14 *        Coxswain Grades within the membership also.

This year produced 6 * DFR grades, 1 S&R grade and 1 * Club Diver grade and 4 * Nitrox Divers with another 3-4 Club Diver candidates for test very soon.

In summary, the Club membership logged over 662 dives – Refer to Stats. Despite the poor weather conditions the availability of Portroe Dive Centre has served to provide diving opportunities in times of poor weather or where diving responses have not made it worthwhile to pursue Diving at sea. In all 289, Dives were logged @ Portroe Dive Centre.

The Club away outings to Dingle, Portmagee, Miltown Malbay and Hook Head were generally well supported and offered some very favourable diving and great Club social enjoyment.


The cost of transferring boat to a dive site must and should continue to be a consideration. The numbers interested in availing of diving have for the most part made it worthwhile to run dive operations compared to previous years.



Towing resources continued to be a problem. Available options were diminished with the unavailability of towing vehicles and yet again,

A Club Towing vehicle should be considered the absolute must priority to provide flexibility of diving to a larger population of drivers.


Training and Lecture series

With the surge of Trainee numbers last November, the dilemma of conducting training was managed with the support of a number of Club Diving grades and leveraging the association with Aughinish Sub Aqua Club.

A great debt of thanks is due Aughinish Sub aqua that supported and managed the lecture series and helped with the expense of the pool session costs.  All arranged through our Chairman Mike Orth.

Thanks especially to Dave Ryan, Frank, Johnny, Mike, Ciaran, Dave K and so many more throughout the year, who sacrifice their personal Pool training interests to support the lecture & pool training sessions. 

Dive summary 2011

36 Club members completed 662 dives, credit is due to  Noel, Eamonn, Bill, David and Kieran as new trainees for 2011 and all have been making good progress with their dive training throughout the year.

Well done to Eimhear on passing her Club Diver test 2nd October.

The week long period of Diving in Portmagee continues to be very successful, so I would hope that the tradition will continue. The membership have benefited from the good year of diving and have able to push boundaries of diving experience, particular seen with higher grade attainment, course participation and generally a clear demonstration of greater dive skills.

Fortunately, the August Bank Holiday for once allowed Diving in Miltown Malbay, the opportunity to dive in Doonbeg and Miltown Malbay by the Club membership was well received.

The trip to hook Head was also very enjoyable.

I must take time out to recognise Frank Hopkins, Dave Keane and Martin Bowes who in particular have facilitated dive support of the trainee population in Portroe. The Club membership, in particular, the trainee grades owe them a debt of gratitude for making themselves available to dive with and learn from their skillset and experience.


Incidents 2011

Thankfully, few incidents to report to CFT, again thanks to all members for been safety conscience and vigilant with dive behaviours throughout the year.

Free Flow incident in Portroe 



Divers are asked to prepare well in advance for diving. Dive operation schedule should not be compromised by failure to have adequate air supply or equipment issues prior to diving. Divers are reminded to be aware, adhere & respect CFT rules & recommendations.  Always prioritize the safety of ones diving buddy’s above the needs of personal dive goal’s. It would be advisable to get used to ones own gear & upgrading diving skills before new optional equipment is obtained.


All diving activities and incidents should be reported to the Diving Officer. Divers should make the D.O. aware of intention to dive prior to dive and obliged to report back upon dive completion.

Ensure Bottles filled from Club Compressors are within VIP & Hydro dates. Please feedback issues on diving to Diving officer at all times please. 


Persons notable on Dive sites

I must commend Teresa, Emma and Eimhear who gelled the Club membership together with the onsite picnics & (BBQ in Portmagee) at the back of whatever vehicle served to offer a suitable table space to oversee the ritual nattering sessions and slagging sessions.

Noel Hickey with 50 dives for a trainee grade, amazing stat for the year and always helps club dive operations.

Dave Ryan always dependable to help and makes dive organisation simple relaxed and is an example for all  members.

Eamonn Moloney, the Video clips have served to be a welcome and dismayed addition to the club profile. Great blogs and archive material for the Club.

Martin Bowes whose help, support, advice, encouragement and banter have made running dive operations relaxed, safe and very enjoyable. The Club Blogs speak to a great and very enjoyable safe year of diving. 

Overall the help and support advice provided by you, Frank Hopkins and Dave Keane have elevated the skillset of the trainee membership.



The Diving officer should be alerted to all Diving activities prior to taking place.The Instructors grades would encourage all members and grades to Always strive to be a better diver!  Respect & support your fellow Diving members!



Wearing  my Instructor hat, I have seen the Club grow from a club struggling to dive &  support an imbalance in Trainee numbers. That has changed over the years, thankfully, but, need to continue this development.

An emphasis on Coxswain development, encouraging Leading Diver and Instructor grades from within the membership is a recommendation going forward. For the 1st time in years, I can feel confident that the Club can recommend divers for the upper grades and easily excel and represent the club  with ease.


Meeting’s attended


S&R Regional review – Indicate Issue to highlight in new Committee

Weekly club get together in Locke bar. 




Overall as Diving Officer, it’s been very successful and rewarding time served as D.O. for 2011.  I like to thank all the Club membership for their help & support throughout the year.

Thanks especially and as always to the equipment officer’s team for ensuring the boat and trailer are available for diving which is an ever more difficult task as the years roll on. A major over haul to the Club trailer will be required for 2011 and will need to be considered by the incoming EO team.

Thanks to all who helped with the organisation and support of the Children Of Chernoybl BBQ. It was a very well organised and enjoyable event. Credit is due to KBSR, Killaloe Coast guard , Frank Corr and all those who helped on the night to make it a very enjoyable and safe event.

 I’d like to thank John Breen for relaying CFT and Club related communications.

With that, I hope that I will be allowed to finally step down as Diving Officer for Limerick Sub Aqua. I will continue to help & support an incoming Diving Officer and membership of Limerick Sub Aqua for 2012.

I hope that Limerick Sub Aqua will continue to grow, develop, diving grades, leading divers and Instructors Grades and have enjoyable and safe dives going forward.


Yours in Diving,

Brian O’ Leary.




Back to the Sea! Diamond Rocks 2nd October 2011

This Sunday we returned to the Atlantic after a prolonged wait for good weather. After making the most of training dives at the sheltered quarry site in Portroe for the last while, Sunday was an overload for the senses, I saw two conger eels, lobsters, dozens of wrasse, a shoal of baby cod and even a curious dogfish that butted into my torch.  Everywhere there was loads to see.  Drift dive with a swim through (no sign of Cathedral Cave) in the middle of the bay in Kilkee was followed by a fantastic dive at Diamond Rocks, that was worth waiting for.

The other highs the day included

Eimhear O’Brien aced her Club Diver test, setting the bar high for the rest of us.

Brian made the day look effortless getting the boat in with Dave Ryan before we got there and out again with Matt and Martin an hour after the rest of us had cleared off home. Its only easy if you know how, and the effort to make our day go smoother is much appreciated. 

Great day, here’s the video.