Minister of State Noel Ahern and the Irish Coast Guard have urged members of the public and water users generally to be very careful over the Christmas holidays. The Minister said: “No matter what the water activity is, think safety and obey the basic rules. Remember, check the weather and tides; if conditions are unsuitable, cancel your trip out on the water and stay safe.”
The Minister continued: “A lifejacket is useless unless worn. Whether it’s canoeing, surfing, angling, sail boarding, jet skiing, or any form of boating at sea, on lakes or rivers, you should always wear an approved, properly serviced personal flotation device – it’s the law for leisure craft.” Advice from the Coast Guard for safety on the water during this festive season is:
• Never go out alone. Less than three should never be, is the advice from the Irish Canoe Union.
• Be able to swim. Get the proper training to stay safe, join a club or association.
• Never go out on the water having consumed alcohol.
• Check the weather forecast and sea conditions. Know the area. Be aware of your own capabilities and that of your craft. Check your equipment. Tell someone where you are going and what time you will be back and never go out when darkness is approaching.
•Never, ever, attempt to go out on ice over any form of water.
The Minister continued: “This is basic, common sense advice. It could save your life and allow you, your family and friends to enjoy the water safely during this festive season.”
If you see someone in difficulty on the water dial 999 or 112 and ask for the Coast Guard.