ONE of the key emergency services operating in Wexford over the Christmas Holidays will be Wexford Marinewatch, staffed entirely by volunteers for 365 days a year.
The voluntary suicide prevention organisation celebrated its fourth anniversary yesterday (Monday) and have not lost one single life to suicide in Wexford Harbour since it was founded in December 2012.
Working closely alongside the other Emergency Services such as the RNLI, the Coast Guard and the gardai, over 100 volunteers patrol the waterfront several nights a week offering help and support to anyone suffering or contemplating self-harm.
In the four years, volunteers have dealt with over 250 incidents and prevented 99 people from self-harm. Assistance was requested from the RNLI 26 times, Garda assistance was given in 97 incidents, and the Irish Coast Guard was summoned on 42 occasions.
Marinewatch is managed by a group of core individuals from the Emergency Services, including the RNLI, the Gardai, the Coast Guard, the Ambulance Service, the Order of Malta, the Civil Defence and the Fire Service.
The organisation provides suicide prevention measures and increases water safety in the Wexford Harbour area.
Chairman and Founder, Frank Flanagan said: 'We are delighted to have reached this milestone and we are very proud of our volunteers for the work they do.
Talking someone back from the brink of suicide is not an easy task, but with the training they are given they have managed to save 99 lives and prevented countless families from heartbreak and carnage. We will continue to provide support to anyone who needs it.'
Marinewatch were the proud recipients of a 'Special Recognition Award' at the 'IPB Pride of Place' competition in Belfast recently, which honours local voluntary groups who make a difference to lives in their community.
Further information about the organisation can be seen at www.wexfordmarinewatch.com
Anyone suffering mental health issues are encouraged to talk to someone - the Samaritans can be contacted 24 hours a day on 116123 or the Pieta House Helpline on 1800247247