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#WaterSafety - The latest Marine Notice from the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport addresses pleasure and recreational craft owners, masters and users with a brief summary of the legal requirements in relation to the wearing and carrying of lifejackets and buoyancy aids, the penalties arising from non-compliance, as well as advice on the selection and maintenance of personal flotation devices, or PFDs.

The reminder follows from a previous notice in August 2012, and subsequent notices on the care and use of lifejackets, as well as the 27 January edition of This Island Nation concerning good habits over the wearing of PFDs.

Full details can be found in Marine Notice No 10 of 2016, a PDF of which is available to read or download HERE.

Published in Water Safety

#WaterSafety - Shore angler Colm Plunkett, who survived a near drowning incident last August, assisted the RNLI community safety team at the Ireland Angling 2016 show last weekend (20-21 February).

Plunkett shared his experience with hundreds of fellow anglers and watersports enthusiasts from all over Ireland – and promoted the wearing of lifejackets to help prevent the loss of life along coasts, rivers and lake shores.

As previously reported on Afloat.ie, Plunkett was swept from rocks when he was angling near Dursey Island in Cork last August. He spent 55 minutes fighting for his life before he was rescued. He was wearing a lifejacket at the time.

“My main message is that I wasn’t lucky - I was prepared but not nearly as much as I needed to be," he said. "A splash hood on my lifejacket would have saved me from an experience somewhat akin to waterboarding. A personal locator beacon (PLB) would have brought the coastguard directly to me should I have continued out to sea. It would also have initiated a distress call if I had been fishing on my own, which I often do.

"The lifejacket saved my life; the prearranged plan with my daughter saved my life; the cell phone saved my life; the emergency services saved my life. And if through telling others of my harrowing experience, on a ‘calm’ sea, I can get other fishermen to wear a life jacket then it was an experience worth having but definitely not worth repeating."

Plunkett also suggested a prearranged plan for anyone heading out on or near the water:

  • Wear a well maintained lifejacket with crotch straps at all times.
  • No one else should enter the water in an emergency.
  • Call 112 or 999 immediately and ask for the coastguard.

John McKenna, Howth RNLI community safety officer, added: "It was fantastic to have Colm here to share his experience with other anglers. He is a very engaging speaker and he was able to offer targeted, practical suggestions to the visitors at the RNLI stand.

"We hope that it encourages people to think twice and be prepared before they go out fishing on or near the water."

The RNLI’s volunteer lifeboat crews rescued 240 shore anglers and saved 28 lives between 2010 and 2014.

The charity is aiming to reduce coastal drowning significantly by 2024 by expanding its preventative work and launching the Respect the Water campaign, which engages with water users on how to stay safe and maintain their equipment.

If any angling, sailing or boating clubs would like a member of the RNLI sea safety team to give a sea safety presentation and carry out a free lifejacket clinic, contact John McKenna at [email protected]

Published in Water Safety

Clare lifesavers emerged as the dominant county once again despite strong challenges over two days at the University of Limerick pool for the IWS National Championships at the weekend.

Defending their overall titles in several key events, Clare won the Junior Boys, Men's and Mixed Masters contests but were beaten into second place by Wicklow in the Junior Girl's standings. Wicklow also placed second in the Senior Ladies series.

The championships attracted a record entry of 310 competitors from 12 counties around Ireland in addition to several other competition records.

This annual competition gives the best swimming pool lifesavers in Ireland an opportunity to compete in conditions that Lifesavers can encounter in real­ life rescue situations.

The sport of lifesaving teaches participants the skills necessary to rescue people in distress in water. Many of the competitors, having worked as Lifeguards in pools nationwide, got their chance to pitch their skills against the finest lifesavers in the country.

The events are varied and challenging with competitors swimming under obstacles, rescuing 'casualties' from the water and skilfully testing a variety of lifesaving skills in the process.

"The strong turnout this year means we can look forward to a steady stream of new lifeguards for Ireland's pools and beaches in the coming years," commented Seamus O'Neill, IWS Sports Commission chairman. "Competitors not only acquire life-saving skills but form enduring lifelong friendships around Ireland and overseas."

The championships encourage people to enrol in one of Irish Water Safety's many courses nationwide in swimming, rescue and lifesaving skills.

The event promotes the fitness and readiness for action of the lifesavers and demonstrates Lifeguard water rescues to the public through a series of competitions based around key lifesaving skills such as swimming, towing, line-throwing and use of mannikin dummies.

A total of 71 teams entered from 12 counties around the country ­and a team from Belfast.
Ten Irish National Records were broken; two from the Junior age category (13­-16), seven in the Senior category (16+) and one world record in the masters (50 - 54)

RESULTS:
Junior Boys:
1st: Clare A
2nd: Cork A
3rd: Waterford A

Junior Girls:
1st: Wicklow A
2nd: Clare A
3rd: Waterford A

Senior Men:
1st: Clare A
2nd: Waterford A
3rd: Sligo A

Senior Ladies:
1st: Clare A
2nd: Wicklow
3rd: Wexford

Masters (male/female combined):
1st: Cork
2nd: Donegal
3rd: Wexford

New World Record (Masters aged 50-54): Norma Cahill: 200m obstacle (2m27.29secs, beating 2m32.44secs)

Published in Water Safety
Tagged under

#MCIB - Protocols for SAR helicopter rescues and the use of emergency portable pumps should be included in safety training for fishing vessels.

Those were among the recommendations from the Marine Casualty Investigation Board's (MCIB) report on the sinking of the trawler Iúda Naofa off Scotland a year ago.

As previously reported on Afloat.ie, the Aran Islands registered trawler sank suddenly off the Outer Hebrides on 20 January 2015 after it began taking on water.

The boat's five crew were rescued immediately by an accompanying vessel and the UK coastguard, and none required medical attention, according to the MCIB.

But the board's report into the incident highlighted the lack of knowhow regarding hi-line protocols for helicopter operations among the crew, with only one fisherman on board having any prior knowledge.

As a result the crew were unable to release the emergency pump dropped from the helicopter from its standard clasp, nor determine how to operate it despite the instructions being included – though in this particular situation the flooding was too great for the pump to be of use.

The MCIB was unable to determine the cause of the water ingress without physical evidence from the trawler, which could not be recovered.

It was noted that the vessel had adequate stability for normal working conditions, and that the crew made every effort to save the vessel – but were hampered by flooding in the compartment with the pumps and generators, which rendered them useless.

Also noted was that the while the crew were not all wearing lifejackets or fully zipped up in survival suits, after expressing difficulty working on rescuing their boat with them on, they evacuated the vessel without panic and looked after each other.

The release of the report coincides with a new campaign by Bord Iascaigh Mhara (BIM) to encourage all in the fishing industry to wear personal flotation devices – or PFDs – where appropriate, according to The Irish Times.

BIM's statistics show that more than half of all fishermen in Ireland do not wear a lifejacket or PFD while at sea, despite the availability of free safety gear on subsidised training courses.

It's also despite 36% of fishermen reporting that the know of a colleague who has died at sea.

The Irish Times has much more on the story HERE.

Published in MCIB

Not all of our politicians have the necessary awareness and training to understand the daily risks of working and living on an island nation with the coastline, streams, rivers, lakes, ponds and canals that have the potential for drowning tragedies – unless care is taken and safety on the water observed.

That became clear to John Leech, Chief Executive of Irish Water Safety, the State body responsible for promoting safety on the water, during the recent flooding. I have known him for many years, a man dedicated to making people aware of being safe around water.

He is not a man who merely talks about this concept. A former Lt.Commander in the Naval Service, where he served for 21 years, he is a qualified Naval diver. He has been in charge of the Naval Diving Section, commanded Naval Service vessels and been involved in search-and-rescue operations. So he knows all about tragedy, its effects and the aftermath of such tragedies.

I have the highest admiration for him.

JOHN LEECH SPEAKING AT CONFERENCE

John Leech speaking at a conference

In his pursuit of creating a mindset about safety he has spoken out strongly against disregard for the wearing of lifejackets by yachtsmen and women and there has been a noticeable change in attitudes in this regard, including by myself. I now never allow anyone aboard my boat for racing without a lifejacket. I carry extra lifejackets aboard in case people arrive without them. This is not to make sailing unpleasant or to stress danger instead of enjoyment. It is to value life and enjoyment and to ensure that everyone who sails on our family boat, cruising, racing or just out for a day, returns safely.

John would not have endeared himself to everyone in the fishing industry either when he campaigned for the wearing of ‘personal flotation devices,’ a generic term used to describe lifejackets and buoyancy aids. However, he persevered and there too a change has been noticed, with less of the old adage in fishing that if a man fell into the sea it was better to drown than to fight for life.

“It is vital to wear a buoyancy aid or a lifejacket when afloat or if your activity takes you near the water,” he has often told me.

John is also a sailor himself and a Race Official, so he knows the water from many aspects. His dedication has led to the introduction of safety regulations for different type of craft and so, when he makes a point it is for a good reason and should be listened to. On this week’s edition of my radio programme THIS ISLAND NATION he discusses the winter flooding and the effects in County Galway where he lives himself:

“For those of us who have to live and operate in a flooded area like myself who lives in South East Galway or my mother’s house on the banks of the Shannon in Athlone, there are some very simple measures that we should all take,” he says on the programme, recommending the wearing of lifejackets “in all aquatic environments.”

He speaks favourably of those seen wearing lifejackets, “however quite a few people still don’t wear them, perhaps they think it will never happen to them and this culture is what prevents many people from wearing them.”

He refers to the Taoiseach and the Minister for the Marine, Simon Coveney, filmed on television in flooded areas wearing lifejackets “and in the case of Minister, a dry suit, which demonstrates his awareness of the risks surrounding flood waters. Being a keen sailor he is aware and understands the risks of drowning in these situations.”

Then he makes a point about Tanaiste Joan Burton seen falling out of a canoe in County Kilkenny. For many people it became an incident occasioning some hilarity, the water depth seeming to be only about a foot and there were many comments as to why she had not walked the area rather than going into a boat.

John – and I credit to his courage for saying so and pointing the incident out – takes a view about water safety in this regard and I support what he said on my programme:

“What was very disappointing to me was to see our Tánaiste and Minister of State Ann Phelan fall out of a canoe with no lifejackets on. They were demonstrating very poor example to our Island Nation. Then, not all of our politicians have the necessary awareness and training to understand the daily risks of working and living on an island nation with thousands of floods, streams, rivers lakes, ponds and canals to drown in.”

What John has said may not go down well in some political circles. That would be regrettable. The incident may have originated from a publicity photo opportunity stunt conjured up by some public relations or media official which was ill thought-out and rebounded on them. John Leech as Chief Executive of Irish Water Safety is correct to point it out. The Tanaiste and the Minister of State should not have been in the boat without lifejackets. It was a bad example. It was disregard for water safety.

Well done John Leech for your courage in highlighting it.

I hope that the two Ministers concerned, senior and junior and their advisor or advisors responsible for the publicity stunt, will admit their mistake and never again go afloat without a lifejacket.

It is the lesson, as John has often told me, to always wear a lifejacket.

• Listen to John on the programme above

Published in Island Nation

#StormFrank - Stay away from coastal areas for the next 24 hours - that's the message from the Irish Coast Guard as Storm Frank sweeps in from the Atlantic today (Tuesday 29 December).

As the Belfast Telegraph reports, all vessels off the West and South Coasts in particular have been advised to seek shelter as Met Éireann has declared Status Orange national and marine warnings for high winds and heavy rains.

"The storm has the potential to lead to a loss of life," warned Irish Coast Guard director Chris Reynolds, who added that seas will be at their most treacherous this afternoon starting on the East Coast.

And at-risk areas in western counties are already making preparations. According to the Galway Advertiser, the Salthill Promenade will be closed to traffic from noon today as a precaution. (Update: closure of the promenade has been postponed with Galway City Council monitoring the situation, as Galway Bay FM reports.)

Motorists nationwide have also been advised to avoid unnecessary travel tonight and into Wednesday (30 December) due to the significant flood risk.

Hopefully that message will be heeded by the group of bored young men in North Tipperary whose video of them waterskiing on a flooded has gone viral overnight, as Entertainment.ie reports.

 

Been real irish about things

Posted by Oisin Harding on Monday, 28 December 2015
Published in Weather
Tagged under

#LifeRing - A life ring belonging to the US Coast Guard was found more than 6,000km from home on the Clare coast recently.

As BreakingNews.ie reports, the ring was spotted from the air by the crew of the Shannon-based Irish Coast Guard helicopter Rescue 115 near Byrnes Cove in Kilkee during another search in the area some weeks ago.

Poor weather prevented coastguard teams from retrieving the water safety apparatus and its attached strobe light for several days.

But upon taking it in, they learned that the ring had drifted all the way across the Atlantic after it was lost overboard from a US Coast Guard vessel in Port Canaveral in Florida more than two years ago.

BreakingNews.ie has more on the story HERE.

Published in Coastal Notes

#WaterSafety - Irish Water Safety's "long and proud history" has been paid tribute in a new book by author Tiarnan O'Sullivan

The History of Irish Water Safety is the culmination of two years of research by the Cork-based writer, who has been involved with IWS since 2002 both as a pool and beach lifeguard and as an instructor and committee secretary.

The result, published just in time for Christmas, comprises 288 pages of reflections and remembrances from people involved in the organisation right back to its very beginnings in 1945.

Available to order from Irish Water Safety, The Long Walk, Galway or online via [email protected], the book costs €25 for the hardback edition and €15 for the paperback.

Published in Water Safety

#StormDesmond - It was a 'red' alert for western coastal counties this weekend as Storm Desmond blew in from the Atlantic with extreme gusts and downpours.

But amid the damage and disruption across the country, Galway-based photographer Cathal Devlin took to social media to share his dismay at the recklessness of two would-be divers who decided the stormy conditions presented the perfect time to take a dip.

Devlin's video of the "stunt" at Blackrock Diving Tower in Salthill – which clearly shows the young men ignoring basic water safety advice by diving into rough seas, with blasts of spray occasionally obscuring the pier – has gone viral in the 24 hours since he first uploaded it to Facebook. But he says he did not post it for entertainment purposes.

"I do not know if they are strong swimmers or not, that is not the case," Devlin writes. "If any one of them got into difficulties there was no one there to do anything for them.

"The voluntary and rescue services are kept busy enough without having to worry about this type of stupid behaviour."

Published in Water Safety

Forty-two rescuers from twenty-four dramatic near-death incidents will receive recognition at Irish Water Safety's National Annual Awards Ceremony at The Print Works Conference Centre, Dublin Castle tomorrow. Twenty-eight lives were saved from drowning through the brave actions of these rescuers.

Mr Alan Kelly, Minister for Environment, Community & Local Government will present the "SEIKO Just in Time Rescue Award" to rescuers in appreciation for saving so many lives.

"Tragically an average of 135 drownings occur in Ireland every year," commented Minister Kelly, "and although that's 135 too many, the figure would be even higher but for the dramatic efforts of these individuals who saved others from drowning and the ongoing work of volunteers teaching swimming and rescue skills."

In 2014, the 114 drownings in Ireland were nine fewer than in 2013, and 21 fewer than the annual average, reason enough to highlight today the work of Irish Water Safety Volunteers and their partners in the public and private sector in educating more people on how best to enjoy our wonderful aquatic facilities more safely. Complacency around aquatic environments is simply not an option", he remarked, adding "Six children aged fourteen and under drowned in 2014, reflecting the importance of constant uninterrupted child supervision."

"I appeal to all adults to make themselves more aware of the dangers in, on and around water", continued Minister Kelly. "It only takes seconds for tragedy to strike and this can so easily be avoided if people take responsibility for their own safety by learning about the hazards. I ask that people encourage friends and family to read Irish Water Safety's guidelines at www.iws.ie so that they have the knowledge, skills and attitudes necessary to avoid becoming a drowning statistic. It is very important that people take training before pursuing aquatic activities."

"Drownings often happen quickly and silently with an average of 80% of drownings occurring close to the victim's home and 62% occurring inland. The range of aquatic activities is extremely varied yet what is tragically constant each year is the gender most at risk - males - accounting for 79% of drownings (90) in 2014. 53% of drownings were aged 30-59 clearly demonstrating that regardless of age, one is never too old to learn how to stay safe around water."

Long-Service Awards will also be presented, recognising 1,535 years of personal service of 84 Irish Water Safety volunteers from around the country for teaching swimming, rescue and water survival skills.

Interviews and photographs are available with Award recipients on the day at Dublin Castle from 2pm onwards.

SEIKO Just In Time Award Recipients:
Presented to those who came to the assistance of person(s) in difficulty in water and in danger of drowning. 

1. Garda John Power
2. Garda John foote
Tipperary
On the 19th of February 2014, a call was received at Clonmel Garda station regarding a person that had fallen into the River Suir. Garda Power and Garda Foote attended the scene. Without hesitation Garda Power entered the water. With the aid of a ringbuoy both Gardai brought the person to safety where an ambulance crew were waiting. The person made a fully recovery.

3. Garda Kevin Gaynor
4. Garda Cormac McGill
Dublin
On the 7th March 2014, at approximately 5am, Garda Gaynor and McGill received a call that a man had fallen into the sea at Clontarf Road. When they arrived at the scene, the person was conscious and calling out for help. It became evident that this person's life was in danger so, without hesitation, and with the aid of a ringbuoy, both Gardai entered the water. They secured the man onto the ringbuoy and brought him safely to shore. The man made a full recovery.

5. Mr Nick Facer
6. Mr Kevin Carter
Sligo
On Sunday 26th October 2014, at Lackanarra, Co. Sligo, Torrance California Fire-fighters Nick Facer and Kevin Carter noticed two people in the water having difficulties in the weather conditions. It became apparent that, without assistance, the two individuals would not make it back to shore. Without hesitation, both men entered the water after instructing others to call for help. Kevin Carter took the first surfer to shore as he seemed to be exhausted and Nick Facer continued to search for the other surfer in extremely rough sea conditions. Upon reaching the man he gave one end of his leash to him and began the long swim towards the shore with the surfer in tow. They were assisted by many other surfers upon reaching the shore. Both surfers were treated at the scene and taken to hospital where they made a full recovery.

7. Mr Diarmuid McInerney
Donegal
On the 16th May 2015, Diarmuid was working on a golf course in Bundoran when he heard a cry for help. Upon sighting two people having difficulty in the water he advised the Coastguard and went to the aid of the swimmers. Diarmuid was passed a ringbuoy by a member of the public and without hesitation he entered the water. He instructed the two swimmers to thread water. Conditions were rough but Diarmuid managed to pull the nearest person to him to safety onto nearby rocks. The Bundoran lifeboat arrived but was unable to approach the swimmers due to the heavy swell surging onto the rocks. After four attempts of throwing the ringbuoy, the casualty finally grabbed hold of the buoyancy aid and was brought to safety. The rescuer used his IWS lifesaving skills to carry out an effective and safe rescue. Both swimmers made a full recovery.

8. Garda Shaun Durkan
9. Garda Gerard Carroll
Galway
On the evening of the 24th June 2015, D/Garda Durkan received a call regarding a woman in difficulty in the river at the Claddagh basin. Garda Durken immediately went to the scene and observed that the female was being carried out to sea by the strong current. Without hesitation he entered the water with a ringbuoy and swam towards the casualty. She took hold of the ringbuoy. D/Garda Gerry Carroll arrived at the scene and also entered the water to assist D/Garda Durkan in bringing the female to safety. The person made a full recovery.

10.Mr Stephen Andrews
11.Mr Brendan Connolly
12.Mr Thomas O'Brien
Mr Martin Mullen - Rescue Appreciation Award
Dublin
On the 31st July 2011, Martin Mullen entered the water in an attempt to rescue a man in distress in the river Liffey. He then got into difficulty. Stephen Andrews entered the water and with the help of Brendan Connolly & Thomas O Brien brought Martin Mullen to safety.

13.Garda Thomas Hennessey
14.Garda Donal Lawlor
Carlow
On the night of the 14th January 2015, Gardai Tom Hennessy and Donal Lawlor bravely entered the water alongside Carlow Rowing Club to assist a man in distress in the water. They both swam in the icy waters and brought the man to safety. He made a full recovery.

15.Garda Emlyn Mulligan
Longford
On the 2nd August 2013, Garda Mulligan received a report regarding a female in difficulty in the water at the river Camlin in Longford town. Upon arrival to the scene, Garda Mulligan assessed the situation and without hesitation entered the water and swam out to the woman. He brought her to safety and she made a full recovery.

16.Mr Danny Gillespie
17.Mr Eamonn Gillespie
18.Mr Connie Gillespie
19.Mr Tadhg Diver
Donegal
On the 13th of September 2014 at approximately 8pm at Bunbeg pier, Donegal, Danny, Eamonn, Connie Gillespie along with Tadhg Diver heard a loud noise and immediately went to investigate. Eamonn immediately went for help and called emergency services. Without hesitation Mr Gillespie steered his boat to where the van was located and with the assistance of Connie and Tadhg managed to attach a rope to the rear of the van and towed it to the harbour slipway. Eamonn, who was waiting at the pier, secured the rope and assisted by the fact that they were in shallow water, Danny managed to get the door open to get the person to safety. The person was subsequently taken to hospital and made a full recovery.

20.Detective Garda Jo Ann Holahan
21.Garda Frank Howlin
Dublin
On the 23rd April 2015 at approximately 6.45pm D/Garda Jo Ann Holahan & her colleague Garda Frank Howlin received a call regarding two people in distress in the sea at Salthill. Upon arrival to the scene they assessed the situation and without hesitation D/Garda Holohan grabbed a ringbuoy and swam out to sea towards the unconscious woman and her distressed cousin. Garda Howlin having established the situation - requested further Garda assistance and the services of the RNLI and Coastguard. Using a ringbuoy, both Gardai brought the women to safety to nearby rocks at the bottom of the cliff. They successfully administered CPR on the unconscious woman. Both women were treated for Hypothermia and made a fully recovery.

22.Garda Joe O'Connor
Garda Barry Moran - Rescue Appreciation Award
Dublin
On the 19th of July, at Aston Quay, Gardai Joseph O Connor and Barry Moran (RES Appreciation) were on a uniform beat patrol when they came upon a female in distress in the water, Garda Moran lowered a life buoy to the lady but she was unable to reach it and was slowly going under water. Without hesitation Garda O Connor entered the water and upon reaching the woman, managed to keep her afloat. Meanwhile a person in a RIB motor boat manoeuvred her boat over the Garda O Connor, and they both managed to lift the distressed woman onto the boat. Both Garda O Connor and the casualty were taken to safety. The woman made a fully recovery. . The quick response and actions for both Gardai in this instance undoubtedly prevented the loss of a life.

23.Garda Aidan Monahan
24.Garda Niall Kenny
Kilkenny & Dublin
First rescue: On the 23rd of July 2010, at the River Nore, Kilkenny - Garda Monahan (Off Duty) came to the rescue of a woman in distress in the water and with the aid of two life buoys that were thrown to him during the rescue he managed to bring the casualty and himself to safety.
Second Rescue - On the 4th of May of 2012 at approximately 4am, Garda Monahan was on patrol and received a call regarding a man in distress at the River Liffey. Upon reaching the scene, Garda Monaghan requested the assistance of the Dublin Fire Brigade; he then retrieved a ringbuoy and without hesitation entered the water. He brought the casualty to the side of the river, where Garda Niall Kenny helped to bring the casualty to safety.

25.Garda Carroll Walsh
26.Garda Carrie O'Connor
Dublin
On the 18th August 2012, at approximately 2.30am, Garda Walsh responded to a call for assistance on Aaron Quay. Upon arrival he saw a woman in distress in the water. Without hesitation Garda Walsh entered the water and with the assistance of Garda Carrie O Connor pulled her to safety, where he began to perform CPR by administering back slaps. The casualty made a full recovery.

27.Garda Brendan Flannery
28.Garda John Teehan
29.Garda Cathal Mulvihill
30.Mr David Turner
Westmeath
On the 29th of March, Gardai Teehan, Flannery, Mulvihill and Mr Turner rushed to the scene of a young man in distress, attempting to jump into the Shannon. The Gardai spoke to the person at great length in an effort to talk him down off the bridge. Garda Teehan climbed over the bridge and was suspended by his colleagues from the top of the bridge in an attempt to reach the person. He managed to grab hold of the person and pull him over the ledge to safety.

31.Mr Fergal Swaine
Dublin
On the 7th May 2014, Fergal was cycling to work when he came upon a person in distress in the water at the Canal at Cross Guns Bridge, Phibsboro. Without hesitation he grabbed a ringbuoy and entered the water. Upon reaching the man, he grabbed hold of his jacket and managed to swim to the bank where a number of people helped to pull him to safety. Fergal administered CPR and the casualty was taken to hospital.

32.Mr Seamus McCarthy
33.Ms Fionnuala Quigley
Garda Brian O'Donnell - Community & Social Responsibility Award
Inish Mor, Aran islands, Galway
On the 8th of April, Apu Gupta, an Indian tourist was swept off a rocky ledge by a wave on Inis Mór, Galway. The accident was witnessed by tourist and advanced paramedic Seamus McCarthy and his girlfriend Fionnula Quigley. Seamus phoned 999 but there was no reception, so Fionnuala ran to the nearest house to call for help. Meanwhile, Seamus put together a makeshift rescue rope using a jacket and backpack and lowered it to the casualty. She tightened the backpack around her waist and Seamus and another person began to pull her slowly up the cliff face. They successfully pulled her to safety and Seamus managed to stabilise her until the rescue helicopter arrived then took her to the hospital. The person made a full recovery.

Garda Brian O'Donnell helped to raise public awareness about the dangers of being too close to the edges of the Atlantic ocean coastline by sending the video of the incident to Irish Water Safety which became a feature on the RTE news and quickly went viral online with hits to date in excess of 1.2 million. Brian also ensured that the rescued girl and her family were accommodated by the relevant authorities while the 21 year old visitor made a full recovery in hospital. Irish Water Safety's public awareness campaigns rely on the input of people like Brian to bring stories to the public and for this we are deeply grateful.

34.Ms Alexis-Elizabeth Vaganova
Kildare
On the 18th June 2014, Alexis was swimming with her friends at Salmon Leap. They had jumped into the water, when she noticed that one of her friends had not surfaced. Without hesitation Alexis swam underwater towards her friend, grabbed her and brought her up to the surface. She reassured her friend and instructed her to kick her legs. She managed to take her safely to shore.

35.Mr Niall Clarke
Carlow
On the 12th February of this year, Niall Clarke came upon a car parked haphazardly at a barrier on the river bank at the River Barrow at Leighlinbridge Village. He then noticed a person face down in the water. Without hesitation he entered the water and swam towards the casualty. He brought the person to safety and successfully performed CPR on them. He placed the casualty into the recovery position and went to a nearby shop and told them to call emergency services.

36.Mr Martin Gavaghan
Garda John O'Brien - Rescue Appreciation
Garda Kevin Fitzpatrick - Rescue Appreciation
Arklow
On the 23rd of December 2014, at a Swimming pool in Arklow, Deirbhile aged 8, alerted her father Martin Gavaghan that a boy wasn't moving and was lying on the pool floor. Without hesitation Martin swam down to the boy and lifted his lifeless body to the pool side. Two Leisure assistants began CPR on the child and called emergency services. Garda John O Brien & Garda Kevin Fitzpatrick (Rescue Appreciations) arrived at the scene and took over the CPR. They continued to work on him for over ten minutes and eventually got a pulse. The Ambulance crew took over and the boy is currently recovering very well.

37.Mr David McCarthy
38.Mr Martin Dennehy
Cork
On the 12th of September 2015, Fisheries officers Martin Dennehy & David McCarthy were on patrol at Lough Bofinne when they heard cries for help. Being experienced officers, they did a risk assessment and confidently instructed the casualty and managed to get him to turn on his back and start kicking to propel him back to shore. Both officers waded out to the lake and threw a rope towards the casualty, who managed to grab hold of it. They proceeded to pull the casualty towards the shore. They took him to hospital where he made a full recovery.

39.Mr John Clancy
Galway
On the evening of the 27th October 2015, John was walking along the Claddagh quay when he noticed a person in the water. He called out but there was no response. John called out to two people nearby to call emergency services and without hesitation entered the water and swam towards the casualty. At this stage the casualty had began to submerge and John had lostsight of this person. He successfully retrieved the casualty and pulled the person to safety.

40.Ms Erika McCarthy
Cork
On Tuesday the 25th August 2015, Erika was training at Inchydoney beach, and swimming back to shore with her team members when she heard a faint cry for help in the distance. She turned back and came upon a male and female in difficulty. Erika managed to calm the male and encourage him to swim towards the shore, while, at the same time she carried the woman. As Erika was swimming closer to shore, she came upon a fellow colleague and directed him to take the female back on his board while she continued to encourage the male swimmer. Both swimmers were brought safely to shore.

41.Mr Eric Nolan
42.Mr John Dimond
Wexford
On the 5th of August 2013, both Erik Nolan and John Dimond noticed a person enter the river from O Hanrahan Bridge at New Ross and without hesitation they readied and launched a RIB. They approached the person in water and persuaded him to be helped aboard the RIB. They calmed the person and returned to the boat house and waited with him until emergency services arrived.

Published in Water Safety
Tagged under
Page 4 of 16

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