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Katie doing her bit by joining rescue team that helped search Foyle for missing brother Jack

By Donna Deeney

The sister of a young man whose body was recovered from the River Foyle last month has joined one of the groups that spent almost eight weeks searching for him.

Katie Glenn has got involved with Mourne Search and Rescue because she wants to help other families who find themselves in the same dreadful situation hers endured for two months while they hunted for Jack.

The 23-year-old was reported missing on February 2 and his family launched a public appeal to help search the river and its embankments for him.

Each day hundreds of people answered that call and arrived from every part of Ireland.

Among them were rescue charities from across the north west like Mourne Search and Rescue, which operates along the River Mourne in Co Tyrone, where Katie lives.

This week she began her intensive training to join the team as a fitting tribute to the brother she idolised.

Katie's mother Hester wrote on her Facebook page: "I am so proud of my amazing daughter Katie for joining Mourne Search and Rescue so soon after losing her beautiful brother Jack.

"Jacko will look after you darling."

Speaking to the Belfast Telegraph, Katie said: "I really wanted to give something back in thanks for all the people who helped us when we were searching for Jack.

"Hopefully what we went through will not happen to any other family, but if it does I want to be able to help.

"Both Mammy and Daddy are proud of me.

"Daddy wanted to come and watch me but I told him not on the first night, maybe later.

"I didn't really think twice about it, I thought I will just do it.

"I first had the idea to do something like this during the search, and I talked about it with my best friend Rebecca Crumley, who was down at the search every single night with me.

"Neither of us really go out much at the weekend so we decided we would do something useful, so we both signed up for Mourne Search and Rescue.

"We got to know so many people down at the camp during the searches for Jack.

"Among them were a few of the boys from Mourne Search and Rescue - Paddy and Marty who were the team leaders and, so, with all of that combined, it felt like the right thing to do."

After submitting their application forms and passing an interview, the pair of pals arrived at the rescue charity's base to begin training.

Katie explained: "Rebecca and I turned up for the first night of the training last Wednesday and we were a bit nervous when we went in because most of the people there were older men, but we got on brilliant with them.

"They did know I was Jack's sister because I'd sent in my application a few weeks ago, had an interview and went to get fitted for my suit, so that all broke the ice a bit on the first night."

The family is also doing its bit for Mourne Search and Rescue by organising a fundraising golf tournament to be held in Strabane Golf Club on July 23.

Katie added: "It cost so much to bring me on to the team, to get me kitted out and insured, that we have organised the tournament to raise funds for Mourne Search and Rescue as a thanks for everything.

"So far the response has been great.

"One of the men there at my first night of training, Andy Milligan, who was also on the searches for Jack, actually ended up buying his own boat to help us.

"Me and Andy went around the shops in Newtownstewart and Castlederg to help with the fundraising and managed to get £390 in just one day. It was great to be able to raise that, and hopefully there will be so much more after the golf tournament."

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