Approaching the last bank holiday weekend in 2017, Irish Water Safety reports twenty-seven fewer drownings against this time last year. They warn however that an average five people drown per fortnight – and appeal to the public to be vigilant this weekend, and every weekend.

IWS water safety Oct 2017

Paul and Gary O’Donovan, Ireland’s world rowing silver medalists, promote water safety message

Forcasted dry weather on Saturday ‘aqua enthusiasts are likely to be enjoying our waters in various ways and in different types of craft, and people tend to  be more at risk as they can become complacent and put themselves and their families in dangerous situations,’ they warn.

Water-related tragedies can happen in seconds and with an average 133 drownings every year, John Leench, CEO of Irish Water Safety is appealing to the public to take personal responsiblity to ensure no loss of live – and to comply with best practice:

  • always wear a lifejacket when on or near water and ensure that it has a correctly-fitted crotch strap
  • surfers, kite boarders, divers, kayakers and sailors should wear suitably warm and waterproof clothing
  • shore walkers should stay away from the edge, and beach walkers should remain vigilant to the dangers of being stranded and should always carry a mobile phone
  • ensure you are fully trained and competent for your aquatic activity
  • children should be constantly supervised 
  • anglers should be extremely vigilant  of dangersour swells and always wear a lifejacket 
  • alcohol should be avoid before or during any aquatic activity. ( On average, one third of victims have consumed alcohol)
  • sea and freshwater swimmers should take all necessary precautions, never swim alone and be aware that jellyfish are still in Irish coastal waters  
  • In emergency situations, immediately call 112  and ask for the Coast Guard