In light of 18 angling related deaths in last three years Inland Fisheries Ireland and Irish Water Safety have joined forced to highlight water safety to the angling community. The urge anglers in Ireland to remember the importance of staying safe on the water as they enjoy fishing on Ireland’s rivers, lakes and seas. The two groups have come together to outline some invaluable water safety advice.
Drownings relating to angling are quite common in Ireland with four deaths reported this year. There were nine deaths reported related to angling in 2015 and a further five in 2014. In total, 122 people drowned in Ireland last year, equating to ten deaths every month with drownings often happening quickly, silently and in shallow water. Irish Water Safety advises anglers to follow these steps to avoid any danger on or near the water:
- Wear a lifejacket when on or near the water and make sure that it has a correctly fitting crotch strap.
- Supervise children at all times near water – 30 children aged 14 and under drowned in the last ten years.
- Check locally concerning dangerous currents and carry an alternative means of propulsion.
- Train for your aquatic activity at www.safetyzone.ie.
- Watch for changing weather. Be prepared to seek shelter in good time.
- Learn swimming and lifesaving skills, available nationwide for all ages through Irish Water Safety.
- Avoid alcohol as it impairs judgment, balance and coordination, all of which are essential for boating.
- In Marine Emergencies, call 112 and ask for the coastguard.
Ireland is a popular destination for angling with 74,000 kilometres of rivers and streams, 128,000 hectares of lakes and over 5,500 kilometres of coastline. There are approximately 273,000 domestic anglers in Ireland with a further 163,000 visitors enjoying fishing during a trip to Ireland in 2015.
Suzanne Campion, Inland Fisheries Ireland said: “Ireland is a popular and unique location for fishing which we want anglers to enjoy. Angling can have a positive effect on health and well-being and it is something that can be enjoyed at any age or ability. In light of recent tragedies however, we would appeal to anglers to wear a life jacket at all times whether near or on the water and to follow Irish Water Safety’s top tips to stay safe at all times.”