Waterford Marine Search and Rescue Service (WMSARS) an invaluable resource in Waterford City and County, has been responsible for saving over 120 lives since its establishment in 2010.
The service provides a 24/7, 365 days a year search, rescue and recovery service, with almost 50 volunteers giving their time selflessly and risking their own lives.
Originally situated at the Neptune Marina in Canada Square, the organisation moved to a state of the art facility at Unit 10 Park Road Business Park in January 2017. The new 6,000 square feet premises houses an impressive hi-tech communications room, two training rooms, accommodation for families and service volunteers and a family liaison room.
According to Declan Barry, Vice Chair of WMSARS, the generosity and support of local businesses and the general public have enabled the service to provide one of the country’s best marine rescue resources in the country.
“The move to our new premises has been facilitated by donations of cash, time, raw materials and labour from so many great local businesses. As a charity we are wholly reliant on the generosity of the general public to provide funding for a service that, unfortunately, still is a necessity in Waterford city and the surrounding area.”
One of the many local businesses to support the move to the new premises was Likestone, a brick and stone cladding systems provider. Stephen O’ Connor, owner of Likestone was delighted to assist the move to the new Park Road premises.
“Declan and Darryl Barry and the WMSARS volunteers provide a crucial service that often goes unheralded. Most evenings these guys are out on the water on suicide patrol or assisting the Gardai and Emergency Services in the search for missing people.”
“They have saved the lives of hundreds of people who felt they have no other recourse and provided vital assistance to families and the emergency services. The move to the new building is a great one as they now have top of the range facilities which help make their difficult jobs a bit easier and gives families and emergency services a comfortable and accessible base.”
Declan added, “Business owners like Stephen have been so generous and we are very appreciative of the donations, support and assistance we have received over the years, as we are a not-for-profit organisation that receives no state funding.”
Since it was established over seven years ago WMSARS has rescued 25 people alive from the waters of the River Suir, prevented 101 people from entering the river with the intention of taking their life and clocked up over 1400 hours annually on suicide prevention patrols.