Water Safety | Know the risks this August bank holiday weekend

As August is one of the most popular months for open water swimming, Irish Water Safety is appealing to the public to reduce the risk of drowning by swimming at Lifeguarded waterways and within your depth.

Drownings often happen quickly and silently with 80% of drownings occurring within the home county of the victim. Alcohol is a factor in one third of drownings. Of the 109 drownings last year, 84 were male, 25 female. Males overestimate their skills and competencies and underestimate the risk and danger.

Early returns on the work of lifeguards indicates that it is the busiest bathing season in living memory with 149 lives saved by lifeguards since the the 1st of June. 1,189 people were administered First Aid and 113 children were reunited with their parents.

As the bank holiday approaches, there are several ways to prevent drowning:

Safety tips for August:
1. Swim at lifeguarded waterways-click here for ful list
2. Swim within your depth, stay within your depth.
3. Swim with others in areas that are traditionally recognised as safe. Check to see if a Ringbuoy is present.
4. Never use inflatable toys in open water or swim out after anything drifting.
5. When angling or boating: Wear a Lifejacket.
6. Supervise children at all times near water – thirty aged fourteen and under drowned in a decade.

If you see some in trouble:
– Shout to the casualty and encourage them to shore. This may orientate them just enough.
– Reach out with a long object such a branch or a piece of clothing but do not enter the water yourself.
– Throw a ringbuoy or any floating object and call 112 for the coast guard.

Visit Irish Water Safety for more water safety tips

About the Author

Ann Robinson
Has a passion for coastal heritage and maritime history. Loves sharing the best of the Irish coast online. Contact me ann@coastmonkey.ie or follow me on Twitter @AnnRobinson22