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Displaying items by tag: water safety

#WaterSafety - Despite Irish Water Safety's sensible advice for open sea swimming and inland water bathing during the current hot spell, some reckless souls have been taking their lives in their hands with some scary jumps into the drink.

The video above from Independent.ie shows youths leaping from a rusted old derrick into the Grand Canal as it joins the River Liffey in Dublin's Docklands.

And such dangerous dives have been echoed elsewhere, with popular spots from Howth to Dalkey springing up on social media as young people Instagram their seaside adventures. SEE BELOW FOR MORE

One place where no one's doing any diving or swimming right now is Bettystown Beach - where people have been warned away by Meath County Council over elevated levels of Ecoli and other bacteria detected in the water this week, according to TheJournal.ie.

In any case, best leave the diving to the professionals - specifically the competitors in the returning Red Bull Cliff Diving World Series.

The Meath Chronicle has the full list of elite divers who will descend on Inis Mór next weekend, including last year's winner Artem Silchenko and cliff diving legend Orlando Duque.

Rounding up some of the craziness... Robin Blandford posted this image of young people leaping from the Baily cliffs at Howth into unknown waters below:

These kids at Bullock Harbour in Dalkey were also taking a big chance jumping in so high above the water and so close to the rocks:

Perhaps they should take a leaf out of this chap's book and take the plunge from a more sensible height (provided bathing isn't prohibited, of course):

Published in Water Safety

#watersafety – Irish Water Safety is appealing to the public to stay within their depth when swimming in open water during this current spell of hot weather, following an analysis of the thirteen drownings in last years heat wave.

Swim at Lifeguarded waterways - here
If there is no Lifeguarded waterway nearby then swim at a recognized, traditional bathing area
Swim within your depth - stay within your depth;
Use local knowledge to determine local hazards and safest areas to swim;
Ensure that ringbuoys are present;
Make sure that the edges are shallow shelving so that you can safely and easily enter and exit the water;
Only drink alcohol after your aquatic activity has ended. Stay Away From The Edge after you consume alcohol.
Never bring inflatable toys or floating killers to beaches, lakes or rivers
The majority of drownings, 62%, occur inland where river and lake beds can be difficult to see and therefore extremely difficult to determine if you are swimming within your depth. The onset of cramp, combined with the panicked realisation that you are out of your depth can have tragic consequences and be compounded further by the muscle cooling effect of longer periods in open water. Bear in mind that in a recent analysis on drowning over the last 25 years we discovered that 32% of drowning victims had consumed alcohol so stay away from water when you have been drinking.

If you see someone in difficulty, these simple steps may save a life:
Shout to the casualty and encourage them to shore. This may orientate them just enough.
Reach out with a long object such a branch or a piece of clothing but do not enter the water yourself.
Throw a ringbuoy or any floating object and call 112 for the coast guard.

Published in Sea Swim

#watersafety – Hot weather often lulls people into a false sense of security that will place lives at risk this weekend at beaches, rivers and lakes. Knowing the dangers will reduce the chance of drowning tragedies that average five per fortnight.

Rip-Currents - the tidal influence of a full moon on Friday 13th June will cause stronger than normal rip currents this weekend. It will be the first outdoor swim of the year for many people unaware of the dangers of swimming in open water. To escape a rip current, never swim against this narrow current of water flowing away from a beach. Instead, swim parallel to shore, out of the narrow current, then swim back to shore at an angle.

Lifeguards - swim at the lifeguarded waterways listed at www.iws.ie.

Lifejackets - When boating, wear a correctly fitting Lifejacket with a crotch strap.

Stranding - the tidal influence of a full moon on Friday will expose greater areas of beach, increasing the risk that walkers will be stranded by a fast incoming tide.

Supervision - Children are curious about water therefore it is critical that adults supervise children at all times.

Published in Water Safety
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#WaterSafety - HM Coastguard has issued a safety warning over dangerous riptides along Northern Ireland's north coast this week after strong currents claimed one life and put two others at risk.

BBC News reports on the death of 25-year-old Stephen Pentony, who got into difficulty while bodyboarding off the popular surfing hotspot of Portrush in Co Antrim last Friday 16 May.

"These waters are known for rip currents," said Coleraine coastguard Chris Little, who said they "can be a very frightening experience".

Meanwhile, the Londonderry Sentinel has news of a lucky escape for two others in nearby Benone on the same day.

The two men were pulled out to sea on their personal water craft after it malfunctioned, but they managed to reach the shore with some difficulty.

One of the men was later treated in hospital.

Published in Water Safety

#MCIB - 'Safety first' is the message from marine investigators in their report into an incident on board a sightseeing vessel off the Skellig Islands two years ago.

The Flying Horse, a 33-foot passenger boat crewed by a single skipper, was carrying 14 passengers towards Skellig Michael on the morning of 29 June 2012 when it began taking on water after coming off a large wave.

The skipper then turned the boat around and attempted to contact the owner by mobile phone, without making any use of the vessel's VHF radio.

The passengers also have difficulty accessing the boat's lifejackets from their storage compartments, and there were not enough for all on board.

All were landed safety ashore at Ballinskelligs, Co Kerry, though they were "somewhat traumatised" by the experience.

The official report into the incident my the Marine Casualty Investigation Board (MCIB) identified a number of safety issues with the Flying Horse, not least a lack of proper instruction for donning lifejackets.

MCIB investigators identified the boat's speed before the incident to be around 18 knots, too fast for the rough seas at the time, which contributed to the hull damage that saw the boat take on water.

Moreover, no official records could be found to show that the skipper held the necessary qualifications to be the master of boat in question. or that he was in possession of a Radio Operator’s Certificate - a requirement for all passenger vessels.

The boat was also found to be technically overloaded, carrying two more passengers than allowed by its licence - not to mention "insufficient" crew for her safe operation.

The full report is available to download below.

Published in MCIB

#WaterSafety - A new case that turns a smartphone into a VHF radio could revolutionise safety on the water, as the Irish Examiner reports.

The VHF Casemate is the brainchild of Dublin-based product designer Seán Toomey, who developed the idea as his degree thesis at the Dublin Institute of Technology.

As he explains, it's a solution to the problem of boaters taking mobile phones out on the water as their only means of communication, despite poor network coverage even a short distance from the shore.

His design, which offers all a standard waterproof case provides, comes with a built-in VHF radio operated by app that also signals distress to any other vessels in the vicinity.

And it could soon be on the market, once Toomey finds a partner to help put his final design into production.

The Irish Examiner has more on the story HERE.

Published in Water Safety
Tagged under

#WaterSafety - The crew of Bundoran RNLI's lifeboat, together with local fishermen and members of Irish Water Safety, recently welcomed a group of students from Lucan, Co Dublin who created a new school’s guide to water safety in Ireland’s rivers, lakes and seas.

The group of students from St Joseph’s College in Lucan are participating in the 2014 Young Social Innovators programme and were tasked with picking an issue of concern in their local area and to take action to change it for the better.

They decided to tackle the ongoing problem of drowning, particularly after the tragic summer last year when so many young people lost their lives needlessly during the hot spell.

Their vision for the information pack is to “think before you splash” – encouraging young people to become more involved in water activities and to increase their awareness of the water.

The pack consists of a lesson plan for teachers as well as a local ecology & water safety survey, 10 water safety rules and more.

Speaking during the visit, Bundoran RNLI crewmember Killian O’Kelly said: "It’s heartening for us who volunteer to save lives at sea to see this initiative being undertaken so enthusiastically by this group of students – they are to be commended for such an excellent piece of work and if it helps to save one life this summer then it’s time well spent."

The group hope to make the booklet available online in the coming weeks.

Published in Water Safety

#Lifejackets - The Sunday Independent writes on Donegal firm Mullion Survival Technology's new innovative lifejackets that come with the latest tech to ensure help comes quickly.

The compact design sits like a collar around the user, with plenty of room for movement, but most important is the built-in GPS beacon that pinpoints the location of the user to rescuers, and a bright light that activates automatically once they hit the water.

What's more, each Mullion lifejacket is registered to a particular user, so that emergency services can know exactly who they're searching for when the alarm is raised.

Mullion's devices have already been credited with saving the life of a fisherman off Co Down, as previously reported on Afloat.ie, and as of this year will be the standard personal flotation device (PFD) for the Irish fishing fleet.

Independent.ie has more on the story HERE.

Published in Water Safety

#Fishing - Fishermen in Ireland have a risk of on-the-job fatality that's 40 times greater than average, as The Irish Times reports.

The shocking statistic comes with new figures from the Health and Safety Authority (HSA), which is launching a new campaign to reduce the rates of death and serious injury in the fishing sector.

This campaign will concentrate on the proper management of heath and safety before leaving port as well as safety at sea, by encouraging fishing boat skippers to carry out proper risk assessments and prepare safety statements.

Current figures show only 20% of vessels inspected last November by the HSA has completed a risk assessment, while just 30% had a safety statement.

HSA chief Martin O'Halloran said: "It’s vital that skippers and fishermen manage the very serious risks they’re facing and work to ensure that tragedy doesn’t strike their boat.” More on the story HERE.

Meanwhile, The Irish Times is also reporting on the loss of as many as 230,000 farmed fish off West Cork in one of the series of Atlantic storms that battered Ireland's coasts in the first few weeks of this year.

A site survey at an aquaculture facility run by Murphy's Irish Food in Bantry Bay found that storm damage to its mooring system and several of its cages caused the death of most of its farmed salmon.

But local anti-fish-farming campaigners Save Bantry Bay say that the damage also resulted in the "largest single salmon farm escape" in Irish history, posing a "significant genetic risk" to native wild stock.

The Irish Times has more on this story HERE.

Published in Fishing
Tagged under

#RushPier - "Reckless disregard" for the safety of bathers on the part of Fingal County Council was the finding of the High Court in its award of more than €59,000 in damages to a man injured in a fall at a popular North Co Dublin swimming spot.

As The Irish Times reports, 58-year-old Joseph McGrath slipped on algae on the steps of Rush pier on 27 July 2009, causing him to break his arm and twist his ankle, and putting the self-employed barber out of work for three months.

McGrath sued Fingal County Council, claiming its negligence over failing to ensure the safe condition of the pier for swimmers in the harbour.

Justice Daniel Herbert found in his favour, saying that the council knew the steps - though originally for boat access - were regularly used by swimmers, but failed to apply standard safety measures such as a installing a handrail.

The Irish Times has more on the story HERE.

Published in Irish Harbours
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