Drogheda River Rescue and Recovery Service is a voluntary rescue group based in Horselane on Trinity Street, Drogheda. We are a registered charity who provide a search, rescue and recovery service along the River Boyne. We also provide a suicide intervention patrol on weekends, as well as event cover both locally and nationally. We are willing to assist in any search operations nationwide.
Drogheda River Rescue and Recovery Service was founded in 1972. The voluntary rescue committee was set up after the tragic drowning of a young child in the River Boyne. An intensive fundraising campaign was mounted, and by the end of May 1972, £900 had been collected. Thanks to the generosity of all concerned, a 13ft dory boat was purchased and proudly put on display on west street. The boat was initially stored in a shed, until the committee, along with support of the local people and Drogheda borough council, acquired the premises where the Rescue boathouse is at the moment, in Horselane.
Other founding members include Patrick Foley, the first chairman, along with a Mayor of Drogheda. Garda Pat Lamb, the dive officer and Frank Godfrey, also a Mayor of Drogheda.
Over a number of years, we purchased many boats which served us well, but the boats we will not forget are the 5.4 Avon Sea rider, which was renamed ‘the Paddy Morrissey’, two ex RNLI D-class boats (one renamed Tommy Campbell) and the dive unit boat which was renamed ‘the Paul Carvin boat.’ The ‘Paddy Morrissey’ has since been on countless rescues in local waters and has been responsible for many recoveries. Paddy Morrissey, after whom the boat was named, was a Garda stationed in Collon, as well as a member of Drogheda River Rescue and Recovery Service in the 1980s. He was the training officer for the divers as well as a founding member of the Garda Sub Aqua Unit. The Paddy Morrissey boat was the biggest boat we had in service and it was a big loss to us when it was written off during a call-out in November 2003. Since then we have operated with 2 D-Class boats.
In 2010 we began our Suicide Intervention Patrol in the town. In 2011, we received the keys to our newly refurbished boathouse in Horselane. Since then, we have been involved in many searches and rescues around the town and further afield.
In 2014, one of our members received the Mayoral award for helping to save 2 lives. In 2015, we were donated a car for use during our suicide intervention patrols by Jack Doran motors and ESB Ireland. In 2017 we purchased brand new dry suits and life vests and began our pathway on the governance code. We also registered with Irish water safety that year. In 2018 we updated our 4×4 vehicle again, thanks to Jack Doran Motors and ESB Ireland.
In 2020, due to Covid 19, we began providing assistance to the community by delivering food, medication, PPE, prescriptions etc. Whilst still maintaining our 24/7 call out service. We also enlisted with Louth PPN and Louth volunteer center.