As we head into the busiest holiday weekend of the year, Michael Gavin, Mayo County Council’s water safety officer is advising everyone to take personal responsibility for their own safety while in or near water.
Twelve people drowned accidentally in Ireland over a two-week period in July this year. All of these drownings could have been avoided by taking the best water safety advice.
Teenagers and young adults
You are the people most at risk of drowning. If you take the risk, you could become the next drowning statistic.
Forty children have drowned in Ireland in the last 10 years. Keep your eyes on your children at all times when they are in or near the water.
Always wear lifejackets when on your watercraft, it makes good sense. Slow down, keep a safe distance, and respect the presence of other water users.
Alcohol is a contributory factor in 32 per cent of accidental drownings in Ireland. Never drink and dive, or swim, or surf, or sail, or engage in any water based activity. Enjoy the water - but don’t play with your life.
The safest places to swim and enjoy water based activities are at lifeguarded locations. Visit any of these lifeguarded areas in Mayo this Bank Holiday weekend: Bertra, Westport; Old Head, Louisburgh; Carramore, Louisburgh; Carrowniskey, Louisburgh; Mulranny; Achill Island at Keel, Keem, and Silver Strand, Dugort; Ross, Killala; Tidal Pool, Shore Road, Belmullet.
www.ringbuoys.ie Report any damaged or missing ringbuoys to your local authority.
www.iws.ie For all your water safety advice log on to the Irish Water Safety website.
Water safety awareness from Mayo County Council.