Over 100 operations for Foyle Search & Rescue in five months

Volunteers from Foyle Search and Rescue patrolling along the river at night.
Volunteers from Foyle Search and Rescue patrolling along the river at night.

Foyle Search & Rescue have been involved in over 100 operations within the past five months, the charity confirmed last night.

Since the start of this year, 32 people have been rescued from the river’s edge in Derry, while a further five have been rescued from the river alive.

From January 1 to yesterday (May 22), Foyle Search & Rescue volunteers have also been involved in 62 episodes concerning people in distress.

In its latest operation yesterday morning, Foyle Search & Rescue’s Emergency Response Team were activated by the PSNI at 3.38am following reports of a person climbing over railings.

Two boats along with a Land Crew responded, commencing a search of an area where the person was last seen via CCTV.

At 4.43am, a man was located in the immediate proximity to the river and handed over to the PSNI where he was removed to a place of safety.

Tragically, the remains of three people have recovered from the river so far this year.

In the most recent of these operations, the body of Sam Comber (39) was recovered on Saturday following a tragic accident.

It is believed the Leicestershire native, who moved to Derry a year ago, had gone for a swim in the river the previous weekend without knowing about its dangerous currents.

A spokesman for Foyle Search and Rescue said: “We want to express our sincere sympathy and condolences to the Comber family.”

The spokesman said that this year has proved to be a busy year to date, and “has been tragic to the effect that we have recovered three peoples from the river”.

He also vowed: “Next year in June we will have our 25th anniversary and we will continue to do what we have done in serving the community.”

*The Lifeline helpline is open 24 hours a day, every day of the year. Anyone of any age living in the north can call Lifeline free of charge on 0808 808 8000 if they are experiencing distress or despair.

When you phone Lifeline you can talk to a professionally trained counsellor, who will listen and give help and support, in confidence.