The Irish Coast Guard, RNLI and Irish Water Safety are keen we all stay safe in the water, particularly this with sunny Bank Holiday with the added numbers likely heading to the coast.
With schools closed and an extra day off work this weekend, large numbers are expected to hit the waves to soak up the great weather.
Chief of Operations, Coast Guard Eugene Clonan, said “there has been a noticeable increase in the number of calls over the weekend. Sunday was particularly busy with twenty three calls in response to maritime recreational incidents and he urged members of the public, particularly younger people to exercise caution in and around the water”.
Gareth Morrison RNLI Lifesaving Delivery Manager said, ‘As the weather improves we notice an increase in callouts for our lifeboats. Many of these incidents relate to leisure activities where a nice day out has unfortunately ended in a call for help. Seeking some simple advice before you take to the water or coastline could make all the difference. Our volunteer lifeboat crews are always on call but when every second counts in an emergency you need to be prepared. The RNLI urges everyone to Respect the Water.’
Roger Sweeney, Deputy CEO of Irish Water Safety said that “Ireland averages eleven drownings every month and that constant responsible child supervision will help prevent further tragedies. Parents should check that their local primary school is teaching Irish Water Safety’s classroom based curriculum that instills good habits for a safe summer ahead.”
The three agencies are stressing a number of points that should be considered before heading into the water:
- Sea, lakes, canals and inland water ways are still pretty cold, users should exercise caution and be aware of cold water shock and hypothermia.
- Avoid swimming alone, and stay parallel to shore.
- On beach walks, be careful that you are not cut off by the tide.
- Check the seaworthiness of your boat or craft before heading out
- Before heading out, have a look at the weather. And always wear a life jacket
- If you see someone in trouble in the sea, on the shore, cliffs, lakes or rivers dial 999/112 and ask for the Coast Guard.