#watersafety – On average three people drown every week in Ireland and with St. Patrick's Day 2013 festivities approaching, Irish Water Safety is appealing to all members of the public to ensure that they wear a well maintained and correctly fitting lifejacket for all water-based activities.
IWS also appeals for an awareness of the potential danger of excessive alcohol consumption in or about the vicinity of water as on average a third of all drowning victims will have consumed alcohol.
There is an increased risk of water related accidents and tragedies this coming long-weekend as the number of people taking to activities in and around water will increase. Drowning is often as a result of excessive alcohol consumption(ii) this level will only decrease when the public takes responsibility to protect themselves, family and friends from the dangers around waterways, these are tragic and preventable deaths.
This weekend may entice people to enjoy recreational boating, sailing, angling, surfing, diving, walks and general recreation by waterways nationwide. Water temperatures are still cold at 7 to 11 degrees Celsius at sea and cooler in freshwater. People are at risk to cold shock and hypothermia due to sudden immersion or prolonged periods in water.
Whilst the forecast is for cold weather over the weekend, many people will still take to our waterways so it will be crucial and perhaps lifesaving that a lifejacket, with a crotch strap, be worn. It is also critical that adults supervise children at all times around water.
Information on how to ensure that you have a correct lifejacket that is fit-for-purpose is available at Irish Water Safety's website, www.iws.ie.