Half a million primary school children will not be attending school over the St Patrick’s Day period (and will be off for the next two weeks) and if they are near water, constant responsible supervision is essential. While children are at home take advantage of the opportunity to teach them how to stay safe near water by using the free resources available at https://www.teachpaws.ie
ALCOHOL AND WATER NEVER MIX – Avoid water activities after consuming alcohol.
Water Safety Ireland is appealing to people not to engage in boating, angling or any aquatic activities after consuming alcohol over the St Patrick’s Day period. On average, eleven people drown in Ireland every month, one third after drinking alcohol.
COLD SHOCK & HYPOTHERMIA KILLS – Stay away from the water’s edge.
The St Patrick’s period is a popular time for walks near water however water temperatures are still cold (9 degrees Celsius) and sudden accidental immersion can be fatal due to cold shock and hypothermia. Coastal walkers risk being trapped by incoming tides so avoid walking on sandbanks during low and incoming tides. Inland waterways account for the majority of drownings where the dangers of underwater hazards and currents are magnified due to hypothermia in cold water. Hypothermia advice
LIFEJACKETS SAVE LIVES – Always wear one on water:
For those of you who will venture afloat please wear a lifejacket and ensure that if it is self-inflating that it has been serviced and has a correctly fitting crotch strap to avoid the possibility of slipping out through it in an emergency. Check it daily. Lifejacket advice
In an emergency, call 112 and ask for the Coast Guard.