The RNLI has urged people to practice water safety and stay in their depth as the country braces for a week of sunshine and soaring temperatures.
Lisa Hollingum, support officer for workplace safety delivery, said the RNLI’s key message is the Float to Live campaign.
She said it’s important to “fight the urge to struggle” and avoid panic if you get into trouble while swimming.
“If you run into trouble in the water or unexpectedly find yourself in the water, fight your urge to panic and lie on your back with your arms and legs outstretched like a starfish and the only thing you can do is gently tread water and hold your breathing to control it,” she says .
“And that can take 60 to 90 seconds and once you get your breathing under control you can take your next step, you can either call for help or you can swim to safety.
“But in the beginning you shouldn’t panic because when you panic you start a gas reflex and you take on water, then you gulp water and then you start drowning.”
Ms Hollingum said everyone can swim and parents can also practice this technique with their children in shallow areas.
“Control your breathing, gather your thoughts, and then plan your next move. It’s something really good to practice with your kids, just practice in the shallow water or in the pool,” she said.
“Swimming is definitely a life skill but you don’t have to be a strong swimmer to be able to float, anyone can float and if you’re having a bit of trouble just gently move your arms and legs to help you.”
Ms Hollingum advised people to take the necessary safety measures before leaving the home, such as B. Checking the tides, making sure the beach they visit is a lifeguard beach, and wearing brightly colored clothing.
She urged the public to dial 999 or 112 immediately and ask for the Coast Guard if they see anyone fighting in the water.
People should avoid going in the water and instead look for something that floats, such as a boat. B. a ring buoy that you can throw to the person to help them.
“The more information they can share over the phone, the more obviously the Coast Guard will then assign the appropriate response unit, be it the helicopter or the lifeboat, to ensure the fastest response is sent,” she said.
“Definitely don’t go into the water behind someone, that’s an instinct factor that people naturally want to go and help, but what often happens is that it’s not just one person that needs help, it’s two people.
“The best thing that person can do is get their phone and call 911, because that’s when the right help will come.”
https://www.independent.ie/news/rnli-stress-importance-of-float-to-live-campaign-during-heatwave-41897867.html RNLI emphasizes the importance of the Float to Live campaign during the heatwave