Members of Mallow Search and Rescue will end their year with a splash as they brave the cold waters of the River Blackwater for their annual Christmas Day swim. While most of us spend Christmas relaxing amid the trappings of the festive season, more than a dozen members of the unit will brave the elements in order to raise funds for the running of the unit over the coming 12 months. The swim will start from the Ten Arch Bridge at 11.15am and reach Mallow Bridge by about 11.45am. Unit chairman John Woulfe said that conditions in the water should be good, and although the river might be high, it shouldn’t present any problems to the swimmers. “While the water will be cold, it is not as bad as in previous years, which will make getting into it that little bit easier,” he smiled.

John said that the unit was grateful for the support they received from the public and that the unit hopes the continued support will carry on into 2014. “The money that has been raised through this support will be spent on new vital lifesaving equipment, maintaining our existing equipment and the general running of the unit during 2014. Without the wonderful support that we have received from the people of Mallow and the wider North Cork area over the years it would have been very difficult to keep the unit going,” he added.

Once again the unit had a busy year, assisting the emergency services on a number of search and rescues missions across the country. As the unit relies on fundraising and the generosity of the public to keep going, it is important that events such as the Christmas swim, which is one of the main annual fundraisers for the unit, are well supported.