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Belfast Live
Belfast Live
Shaun Keenan

Foyle Search and Rescue £150,000 funding boost "incredible step forward"

Derry-based Foyle Search and Rescue has welcomed a £150,000 boost from the Rural Community Rescue Scheme.

The charity, which saves countless lives of people in distress in our community every year, said the monies through the Department for Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs would be an "incredible step forward" for the organisation.

The news was revealed after SDLP MLA for Foyle, Mark H Durkan, asked Minister Edwin Poots about the funding.

Mr Durkan said the money would be a "huge boost" to FSR and help them in their life-saving work.

He said: “After stressing the importance of the work FSR do in our city and the need for additional funding to secure essential equipment I was delighted to have it confirmed that they will benefit to the tune of over £150,000 from the fund to support vital search and rescue teams.

“Since being established in 1993 FSR has saved countless lives of people in distress in our community. Their tireless volunteers give up huge amounts of their own time for training purposes and to monitor the River Foyle for anyone who might need assistance."

"There are few families in Derry who have not been touched by their work on some occasion.

“FSR also plays a vital role in reuniting families with loved ones who have sadly passed away and that’s something we’ve seen highlighted numerous times in recent years as a result of the mental health crisis.

"This much-needed closure means so much to families and our city would be truly lost without them."

A spokesperson for FSR added: "Our sonar team have been researching advances in their field for quite some time and have been specifically looking at multi-beam sonar technology in helping to improve our search capability as an organisation.

"This multi-beam upgrade would cost just over £159,000, of which £151,554 will be funded by DAERA. We, as a charity, will fund the remainder.

"We are delighted to have been awarded such a significant investment. It is an incredible step forward for us as a charity and for the local community."

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