Water Safety Ireland is issuing a warning after a spate of drowning incidents during the heatwave

With temperatures set to rise from today into the weekend, the Irish Coastguard, RNLI and Water Safety Ireland are urging the public to plan ahead for their personal safety when visiting beaches or other waterways during the current heatwave.

After a series of tragic drownings this summer, all three organizations are reminding people of the dangers of cold water shock, which can affect breathing and movement when the water temperature drops below 15°C.

Kevin Rahill, RNLI Head of Water Safety, Roger Sweeney of Water Safety Ireland and Gerard O’Flynn of the Irish Coastguard issued a joint statement today urging the public to be aware of the dangers posed by any body of water.

“With the good weather forecast and high temperatures going into the weekend, we would like to remind everyone to take care of their personal safety.

“With so many people enjoying the water this summer, it’s important that we all know the risks.

“The sea can be unpredictable, and even as temperatures rise, the water is still relatively cool compared to air temperatures.”

“Just because an area looks safe for swimming doesn’t mean it is safe. Only swim in areas manned by lifeguards or where you are familiar.
“On lifeguard-protected beaches, only swim between the red and yellow flags.”

Kevin Rahill, RNLI, said: “Many of the people who find themselves at risk each year never intended to go in the water – slips, trips and falls can also happen.

“The RNLI is urging people to ‘Float to Live’ if they get into trouble in the water.

“That means leaning back and spreading your arms and legs to stay afloat, controlling your breathing, and then calling for help or swimming to safety. In the event of a waterborne or shoreline emergency, call 999 or 112 or use the Ch 16 VHF marine radio and ask for the Coast Guard.”

Roger Sweeney added: “Rip currents are difficult to spot but are common on beaches and quickly carry you out to sea.

“If you do get caught in one, don’t exhaust yourself trying to swim against it. It’s better to swim parallel to the beach until you get out of the narrow current, then walk to shore.”

Gerard O’Flynn also said a record number of people are now using paddleboards and kayaks – often for the first time – and reminded them to make sure they wear a life jacket or buoyancy aid and have a way to call for help – e.g. B. carry a mobile phone in a waterproof case.

Last year there were 79 drownings across Ireland and three people died in drowning incidents during the last heatwave here in mid-July.

Most recently, siblings Dessie Byrne, 53, who is originally from Athlone but lives in Lecarrow, Co. Roscommon, and his sister Muriel Eriksson, 62, tragically drowned while swimming in the sea in Ballybunion, Co. Kerry last Thursday.

Their joint funeral took place yesterday.

https://www.independent.ie/news/environment/water-safety-ireland-issues-warning-following-spate-of-drowning-incidents-during-weather-hot-spell-41903365.html Water Safety Ireland is issuing a warning after a spate of drowning incidents during the heatwave

Fry Electronics Team

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