Members of Limerick Suicide Watch with Mayor Francis Foley, local councillors and local businesses with one of the HoverArcs.
SUICIDE prevention group Limerick Suicide Watch this week launched some vital new lifesaving equipment to aid in their nightly riverside patrols.
On Thursday last, members of the river patrol group took to the quayside for a far more celebratory affair than their usual nighttime watches. The members were joined by Mayor Francis Foley, local councillors, and local businesses to launch their new HoverArcs.
The HoverArc is a remote controlled, motorised lifebuoy, with a range estimated around one kilometre, which will aid the group in lifesaving scenarios on the riverside.
Speaking to the Limerick Post after the launch, which saw members of Limerick Suicide Watch showcase the capabilities of the HoverArc publicly for the first time, the organisation’s chairperson Yvonne Cook said the new equipment will make a huge impact in her team’s work.
“The arcs will change things in a huge way for us. Realistically we’d never be able to throw a throw bag or lifebouy to the middle of the River Shannon. But we can deploy these and throw them straight over the railing and into the water.”
Ms Cook said the new equipment will be paramount in expanding the important work of the group in the city, without creating additional safety concerns for emergency services.
“The most important thing for us during interventions is that we don’t do anything until we call 999 first if there’s somebody in the water,” she said.
“Once we’ve made that phone call, we deploy the lifebouys and we do not enter the water ourselves. It’s something people need to understand, once you go in the water, the services – like fire brigade or marine search and rescue – they are trying to rescue two people.”
“Since its foundation in 2016, the group has always been looking at new equipment and technology – anything we can do to make our response better.”
Mark explains that three arcs will be in use across the city. One stationed on Harvey’s Quay, one by Robert Byrne Park, and one that will be kept mobile in the group’s van that can be deployed at any point on patrols.
The three arcs are also available to emergency services including Gardaí, the ambulance and fire services, and marine search and rescue.
The boxes housing the arcs were donated by Chemstore Ireland, based in the Clondrinagh Industrial Estate on Limerick’s Ennis Road, who also built the units in collaboration with Limerick City and County Council.
Article by Limerick Post, May 14, 2023.
Original link: https://www.limerickpost.ie/2023/05/14/new-lifesaving-equipment-for-limerick-river-patrol-group/