The Irish Coast Guard has advised members of the public to pay special attention to water safety this weekend.
The warm, sunny weather with temperatures in the high 20s is forecast to last for the weekend when traditionally many people take to the water and enjoy outdoor activities.
Declan Geoghegan, manager of the Irish Coast Guard said: “Warmer weather encourages everyone to enjoy the outdoors and brings thousands of people to our coastlines, to our beaches and the outdoors. We want everyone to enjoy the outdoors but to remember to take simple, basic advice about staying safe on the water and along cliff paths, when hill walking and enjoying the outdoors. Time and again, we see people ignoring basic safety advice, taking risks and then getting into difficulty, sometimes leading to loss of life. The Coast Guard is a 24/7 service but we must again advise caution as too many people are taking risks and ignoring our advice.”
Last month the Irish Coast Guard launched a summer water safety campaign designed to protect children on beaches and near coastlines. The Coast Guard made available thousands of free waterproof wristbands under the ‘Give us a Hand’ campaign.
Parents or guardians can write their phone numbers on the wristband so that lifeguards, emergency services or members of the public can contact the child’s parents if the child becomes lost or becomes separated. The wristbands carry a message reminding the public to call 112 and ask for the Coast Guard for beach, water or cliff emergencies.
The wristbands are available from all Coast Guard units and or by emailing [email protected]
For specific advice and information on any water and coastal activity, visit www.safetyonthewater.ie Throughout the summer (as at other times of the year ), Coast Guard Units throughout Ireland will patrol coastlines issuing safety advice and information to holidaymakers and tourists.
The following are general safety tips and advice from the Coast Guard to help enjoy the water and coastal activities in your area this weekend.
Only swim at beaches and waterways that have lifeguards on duty and pay attention to the safety flags. Ask the lifeguard for advice about safety and water conditions and adhere to their instructions. Avoid using inflatable toys, such as lilos and rubber rings, on the water.
There is safety in numbers, so never be alone if possible. Let somebody know when and where you are going and what time you will be back. Stay well away from the cliff edge, both top and bottom. Don’t attempt to rescue people or pets if they fall over the edge. If assistance is required dial 999/112 and ask for the Coast Guard.
Water sports and coastal activities
Before going to sea check local weather conditions and tides in the area. Wear correctly maintained and fitting lifejackets that are suitable for the activity. Lifejackets are of no use unless they are worn. Ensure your craft is fit for purpose. Always advise someone as to where you are going and the time of your intended return. Do not overload the craft. If you are in difficulty or see someone in difficulty and requiring assistance dial 999/112 and ask for Coast Guard.