Sam’s family in charity drive for Foyle Search & Rescue

The late Sam Comber (right) and his sister Siobhan Aherne and family friend Katie Beattie pictured after completing the mini-marathon.
The late Sam Comber (right) and his sister Siobhan Aherne and family friend Katie Beattie pictured after completing the mini-marathon.

The sister of a man who drowned in a tragic swimming accident in Derry has completed a mini marathon to raise funds for Foyle Search & Rescue in gratitude for the help they received from the charity.

Siobhan Ahearne’s brother Sam Comber (39), was recovered from the River Foyle just over a year ago.

Last month to mark the first anniversary of his passing, Sam's relatives laid flowers at the spot along the River Foyle where the swimmer died in a tragic accident.

Last month to mark the first anniversary of his passing, Sam's relatives laid flowers at the spot along the River Foyle where the swimmer died in a tragic accident.

Siobhan and family friend Katie Beattie took part in the VHI Women’s Mini Marathon 10k race in Dublin on Sunday in a fundraising drive for the Derry charity.

The duo battled blistering heat to complete the race, and while they have reached their initial target of £500, they said they would be very grateful if anyone else wanted to add a contribute to their ‘My Donate’ online fundraising drive in aid of such a worthwhile cause.

Speaking about the race, Siobhan said: “It was difficult as it was really hot. We are not runners so we did it at our own pace and we were so happy to see the finish line.”

Last year Sam’s father Chris and a family friend completed an epic ‘Ride for Sam’ from his previous home in Hinckley, Leicestershire to his adopted home in Derry, raising thousands for FS&R in the process.

Siobhan said that following on from this, she had decided she also wanted to do something to show the gratitude for the help and support they received during and after the search for Sam.

“Sam meant so much to all of us. Foyle Search and Rescue were there for emotional support, conducting searches, kept us informed at every stage and kept to the facts, and gave us all the information we needed.

At that time when you are in crisis, you are looking for somebody, and they were there. They are very valuable to the community.”

“And I know that if I called in there today for a cup of tea they would sit there with me. They are still there, and it is nice to know we have that support.

“This was my way of giving something back.”

Sam’s body was recovered from the river by Foyle Search and Rescue six days after he went missing.

It is believed the keen swimmer, who only moved to Derry in 2016, had gone for a swim in the river without knowing how dangerous it was.

The 39-year-old motorcycling fan, who lived just outside Newbuildings, had gone to the North West 200 the day before.

To donate to Siobhan and Katie’s the fundraiser go to www.mydonate.bt.com/fundraisers/siobhankatie2018