Irish Coast Guard Advises Public to Stay Safe During The Bank Holiday Weekend
The Irish Coast Guard has issued advice to those who plan on heading out on the water or on cliff walks this bank holiday weekend.
“With the warmer weather and bank holiday weekend we are expecting more people to enjoy water and coastline activities but we would remind people to be safety conscious when engaged in such activities” said Declan Geoghegan, Manager at the Irish Coast Guard.
“Water sports are a popular and enjoyable pastime but we ask people to heed the advice and if you see someone in difficulty dial 112/999 and ask for the Coast Guard”.
Last year the Coast Guard saw an increase in incidents and they’re urging the public to be careful as they’re enjoying the sun and sea over the next few days. Here's the advice that they're giving:
- Only swim at beaches and waterways that have lifeguards on duty and pay attention to the safety flags, avoid locks and weirs.
- Ask the Lifeguard for advice about safety and water conditions and adhere to their instructions.
Never go out on the water, including rivers and lakes, having consumed alcohol.
- Be able to swim. Get the proper training to stay safe.
- Never go out alone.
- Familiarise yourself with the local area, be aware of your own capabilities.
- Swim parallel to the shore and not in deep water.
- Keep warm before and after swimming.
- Have a means of alerting the emergency services.
- 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. D
- on’t attempt to rescue people or pets if they fall over the edge.
- If assistance is required dial 112/999 and ask for the Coast Guard.
Water Sports and Coastal Activities
- Before going to sea check local weather conditions and tides in the area.
- Personal Flotation Devices include lifejackets and buoyancy aids. It is vital to wear a lifejacket or buoyancy aid if your activity takes you near the water. This doesn’t just mean the sea – it includes lakes and rivers too. If you enjoy sports like jetskiing, windsurfing, water skiing and canoeing, wearing the appropriate Personal Floatation Device will give you added confidence when in the water. Also, in the event of an emergency, it will help you remain afloat while the Search and Rescue services locate you. 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 112/999 and ask for the Coast Guard.
The Irish Coast provide free waterproof wristbands for children to assist the emergency services in contacting a parent or guardian should it be required.
More information can be found on the Irish Water Safety website here.