2013 Volunteer Ireland Awards, Animals and Environment

Declan & Darryl Barry, Waterford Marine Search & Rescue

Waterford, Volunteer of the Year

Declan and Darryl Barry have being involved with marine search and rescue for over 7 years.  In January 2010 they set up Waterford Marine Search & Rescue, a voluntary organisation set up to provide Waterford city with a 24 hour, 365 days a year search and rescue service. Since then the organisation has grown to involve over 40 volunteers and saved 69 lives. The organisation operates a weekend suicide prevention patrol system which Darryl and Declan implemented. This patrol has started to spread nationwide, with several other organisations adopting the same approach after hearing about Waterford’s success rate.

Darryl and Declan are at the organisation’s base 7 days a week and stay sometimes late in to the night making sure that the organisation is working to its full potential, and that members are ok and happy within their roles.  Declan and Darryl were nominated by fellow volunteer David Hearne, he said “if we get called out to a person in distress at 3 o’clock in the morning they will be there along with the rest of the crew. I can’t say how much they have changed the lives of hundreds of people in the county by setting up this organisation and the affect they have had on the members - they are loved by every member. Declan and Darryl Barry have made a huge impact on my life and I want to thank them for all the work they have done for the community.“