‘We are indebted to them’

Attendees at a reception held in the Guildhall this week to mark the 25th Anniversary year of the Foyle Search and Rescue.
Attendees at a reception held in the Guildhall this week to mark the 25th Anniversary year of the Foyle Search and Rescue.

Foyle Search & Rescue have been praised for their dedication to the local community after receiving a Mayoral reception to mark the charity’s 25th anniversary.

The event is one of a number of engagements and activities taking place this year to mark the anniversary of the charity, which was established in 1993 in response to a number of local tragedies.

The event at the Guildhall, was hosted by the Mayor of Derry City & Strabane District Maolíosa McHugh.

Mayor Mc Hugh spoke of his visit to and interactions with FSR during his time in office, while FSR Chairman Stephen Twells has expressed his thanks to the Mayor for his support, and discussed briefly the varied roles that FSR undertake including their Education role to schools, youth groups and others.

During the event, Mayor McHugh presented a commemorative piece of crystal in recognition of 25 years service.

Speaking to the Journal after attending the event, Sinn Fein Councillor Kevin Campbell said:“I would like to pay tribute to the Foyle Search and Rescue as they mark their 25th Anniversary this year.

“I saw throughout my year as Mayor the hard work and dedication of the volunteers of Foyle Search and Rescue.

“They keep this essential service going in all weathers 365 days a year to keep people safe and save lives.

“We are indebted to them.”

Events are planned to mark the anniversary over the coming months including a past volunteers reunion, Viking Boat Race and a summer Gala Ball. This Saturday, April 28, Bounce Away Entertainment will be holding the popular 5K Wiped Out Challenge at City of Derry Rugby Club.

FSR are widely regarded as the city and region’s fourth emergency service.

Figures released by the charity earlier this year revealed that since it was founded in 1993, the hundreds of people who have volunteered over the years were involved in rescuing over 360 people from the river, and intervened to help in excess of 3,000 potentially suicidal people during duty nights and emergency call outs.

Over the years, FSR have also recovered the bodies of over 130 people who lost their lives in the River Foyle.

The charity plans to hold a Memorial Service during this, its anniversary year in memory of all those who have died by suicide.

For more programme details, and to register for specific events, see FSR’s website at www.foylesearchandrescue.com/