Have fun and be safe

Can you believe the weather? It’s a miracle I tell you. And long may it last. And with all this lovely weather, and the fact that we’re in the Lake County no doubt we’ll all be going for a swim sooner or later.

There have already been some tragic drownings in the country, including Westmeath as as a result the Irish Water Safety organisation is strongly urging people to follow steps to ensure that they are safe when swimming in open water.

Swim at lifeguarded waterways and bathing areas where possible (listed at www.iws.ie ). If you are swimming without lifeguards present then ensure that at least one of you has taken an Irish Water Safety course in lifesaving rescue skills.

Water temperature is currently only about 14 degrees Celsius; therefore spend no more than 10 minutes in water at any one time, and less for children.

River bathing areas tend to be deeper and prone to strong currents.

Access and egress from the water at areas which are not designated bathing areas can be steep, muddy, and hazardous.

Strong currents can overcome a relatively good swimmer.

Don't swim in strange or unusual places or ever swim alone, and always seek local knowledge.

Don't swim after dark.

Always swim within your own ability, avoid dares, bets and pranks.

 Don't consume alcohol as approximately 30 per cent of all drowning victims will have consumed alcohol.

 

Remember the 14 steps to safe swimming as follows:

 

1. Don't swim alone 

2. Don't swim just after eating 

3. Don't swim when you're hot or tired 

4. Don't swim in strange places 

5. Don't swim out after anything drifting

6. Don't stay in the water too long

7. Don't swim out to sea

8. Swim parallel and close to the shore

9. Do what the lifeguard tells you

10. Never use inflatable toys

11. Pay attention to signs on the beach

12. Don't be a bully

13. Learn to use equipment before trying it out

14. Learn Basic Life Support

It’s great that the sun is shining, and what better way to enjoy the summer than in the water, but we don’t need any more tragedies so be responsible and safe.

More information is available at www.iws.ie or for children at www.aquaattack.ie

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