Displaying items by tag: water safety
And the lifesaving charity is calling for the public to think ahead and never underestimate the strength and power of the sea and inland waters as it today releases its 2014 lifeboat launch and rescue statistics, based on detailed returns of service, from each of its 45 lifeboat stations in Ireland.
The figures show more people are getting into difficulty on leisure craft, and the RNLI advises that proper safety advice and maintenance is vital to ensure people stay safe on the water.
The busiest lifeboat station on the island of Ireland last year was Lough Ree RNLI in Athlone. The charity’s lifeboat crew there launched 69 times and brought 142 people to safety.
This was followed by Howth RNLI, which had 62 launches and brought 107 people to safety, making it their busiest year ever.
Dun Laoghaire RNLI in south Dublin launched 56 times and brought 55 people to safety, while lifeboat crews on the Aran Islands off Galway and Arranmore Island off Donegal launched 78 times, helping 80 people.
Enniskillen RNLI on Lough Erne, which operates two separate lifeboat stations on the upper and lower lough, also had a busy year with 59 calls for assistance and 57 people brought ashore.
Elsewhere in Northern Ireland, Bangor RNLI in Co Down was the busiest single site station, launching 49 times and helping 51 people. Portrush RNLI on the Antrim coast launched their lifeboats 31 times and brought 28 people to safety.
In all, RNLI lifeboats in Northern Ireland launched 261 times in 2014, bringing 281 people to safety, while the charity’s lifeguards helped 284 people on 10 beaches during the season.
Compared to the previous year, when they launched 255 times, NI lifeboat launches show a slight increase. A total of 36 more people were brought to safety by RNLI lifeboats in 2014.
While lifeboat launch figures throughout the island of Ireland remain largely the same as last year, there has been a 10% increase in the amount of people brought to safety by lifeboats.
The types of callouts that the RNLI responded to last year included aid to leisure craft users (536), assistance to fishing vessels (140), help to people who got into difficulty along the shoreline (119) and to people in the water (185).
"These figures are based on every lifeboat station in the RNLI returning a detailed service report and are a valuable insight into what our volunteer lifeboat crews are facing when they launch and what conditions they face," said RNLI operations manager Owen Medland.
"Overall 35% of our lifeboat callouts were carried out in the hours of darkness. Almost half of the callouts last year were to leisure vessels and of these callouts many were to groundings and engine problems.
"Breaking down at sea or on a lough can be a frightening experience. Weather and darkness can turn a bad situation very serious in a matter of minutes. Nobody who sets out thinks anything bad will happen but calling for help early is always the right choice."
Medland continued: "Our volunteer lifeboat and shore crews have shown the commitment and courage we have come to rely on them for, but we must also thank our supporters and fundraisers, who work tirelessly to ensure the charity, which is dependent on donations from the public continues.
"There are also hundreds of employers around the country who let our lifeboat crews drop what they are doing and respond to a callout. We would not be able to run this service without them and we are extremely grateful to them for that."
Last year also saw the introduction of the RNLI’s 45th lifeboat station in Ireland, when Union Hall RNLI in south west Cork went on trial for a 24-month period in November.
And in the coming months, Lough Swilly RNLI in Buncrana, Co Donegal will become the first station in Ireland to receive the new Shannon-class lifeboat.
The €2.4 million lifeboat, which is due to arrive later this year, is the first class of lifeboat to be named after an Irish river, recognition by the charity of the role of Irish lifeboat crews and volunteers throughout the history of the RNLI.
In 2014 the charity marked 190 years of lifesaving and the RNLI is aiming to reduce coastal drowning significantly by 2024.
To do this, it will be expanding its preventative work and will launch Respect the Water, engaging with water users on how to stay safe and maintain their equipment. Water safety advice is available on rnli.org/safety.
#KillCord - Kill cords are an invaluable safety feature for both professional and leisure boat helms, but the system is far from perfect. It's easy to neglect to attach them, as was the case in last year's RIB tragedy in Cornwall, and sometimes they can malfunction, causing a boat to go out of control.
But there are a number of alternative solutions on the market that aim to make the use of kill cords as seamless as possible, as Motor Boat & Yachting reports.
The key to ease of use is wireless - a radio transmitter that you can wear as a clip or lanyard and never have to worry about it, as the engine is cut off automatically as soon as you're out of range.
Two wireless solutions are already available, however they are by no means foolproof, relying on batteries for power. MBY readers have already suggested a significant improvement, using RFID tags to make even smaller transmitters that don't need a power source, but even that comes with its own cons.
Motor Boat & Yachting has much more on the story HERE.
#WaterSafety - The Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport advises that, in accordance with SOLAS Chapter III Regulation 17-1, 'Recovery of persons from the water', cargo ships over 500 gross tonnage and all passenger ships on international voyages shall develop ship-specific plans and procedures for recovery of persons from the water.
The plans and procedures shall identify the equipment intended to be used for recovery purposes and measures to be taken to minimise the risk to shipboard personnel involved in recovery operations.
Ships constructed before 1 July 2014 shall comply with this requirement by the first periodical or renewal safety equipment survey of the ship to be carried out after 1 July 2014, whichever comes first.
The plans and procedures shall be developed taking into account MSC 1/Circ 1447 'Guidelines for the Development of Plans and Procedures for Recovery of Persons from the Water'; MSC 1/Circ 1182 'Guide to Recovery Techniques'; and MSC 1/Circ 1185/Rev 1 'Guide for Cold Water Survival'.
#watersafety – After a busy Summer season, Ireland's top Lifeguards will compete in the IWS National Beach Rescue Championships at Brittas Bay, Wicklow tomorrow. (9am-5pm, Saturday 6th Sept.)
Competitors will gather from counties nationwide and will include lifeguards from Ireland's International Lifesaving Team who will compete in the World Lifesaving Championships in France on September 16th.
Competitors at the National Championships will have their skills tested in events that simulate emergency rescue scenarios.
Teams will fend off strong competition from the fittest Lifeguards nationwide - the most significant and breathtaking life saving competition in Ireland. Ireland's best Lifesavers will contend with the open water conditions at Brittas Bay coast to rescue potential "casualties" in testing swim races, rescue board races and other competitive events.
On average, 135 people drown in Ireland every year yet this figure would be far higher but for the actions of trained Lifesavers. Last summer for example, Lifeguards rescued nearly 900 people from drowning and reunited almost 1,000 children found wandering near water.
Commenting on the additional challenges of open water competitions, the Chairman of Irish Water Safety's Sports Commission, Seamus O'Neill is confident of each team's readiness for the challenge. "Athletes will not only compete with each other while using their life saving equipment but also with the open water conditions of Brittas Bay Beach as they vie for National Championship medals."
The Sport of Lifesaving has been developed to improve the standard of life guarding in Ireland. The skills they have honed will demonstrate that lifesaving skills are an important lifeline in an emergency.
#WaterSafety - The Guardian reports on a remarkable evening for lifeguards on Cornwall's Polzeath beach yesterday (Tuesday 12 August) when 32 people had to be rescued from am "incredibly strong" rip current.
The seven bathers and 25 bodyboarders had reportedly fallen from a sand bank "straight into the path of the rip current" at the northern end of the beach, according to senior lifeguard Ben Miskowicz.
The Guardian has more on the story HERE.
Within minutes of the incident the girl was vomiting, spasming and suffering severe difficulty with breathing in what Goleen Coast Guard officer-in-charge Michael O'Regan called a "vicious reaction".
"After 50 years, I thought I'd seen everything," he told the Examiner. "I've done about 30 first aid courses over the years but have never come across anything to prepare us for something like this."
These warnings have been reiterated since the predicted arrival of the giant lion's mane jellyfish, which has been spotted off Sutton in North Dublin.
#watersafety – The CEO of Irish Water Safety, John leech is urging the public to use the Local Authority manned lifeguarded bathing places to ensure there are no more swimming tragedies this summer.
Please take heed of advice given by the lifeguards and supervise your children, as lifeguards are not baby sitters.
Lifeguards rescued 413 casualties from our beaches, rivers and lakes during the month of July, that is 146 less than for last July during that memorable heat wave.
There were 353 lost children reunited with their parents.
There were another 8,442 accidents prevented by the proactive actions of our lifeguards.
The CEO is also warning the public that due to the high temperatures in our waters, the prevailing westerly winds and Atlantic current, potentially dangerous jellyfish are appearing on our beaches.
Portuguese man o 'war jelly fish have been reported on Bunmahon and Clonea strand in Waterford, whilst barrel jellyfish have been reported on beaches in Cork.
#WaterSafety - The mother of a boy who tragically died from cold water shock while swimming in open water has called on the public to be mindful that warm weather does not equal warm water.
Dylan Ramsay, 13, drowned while swimming with friends at a quarry in Lancashire three summers ago.
Though the sporty youth was regarded as a capable swimmer, Dylan was overcome by the coldness of the water in the quarry lake.
In the video above, his mother Becky expresses her profound shock and sadness at the lost of her son who may still be alive today if the public were as aware of the dangers of swimming unsupervised in open water as they are of the 'green cross code'.
The RNLI has cited cold water shock as one of the main contributing factors in accidents around Britain's coasts in 2013, which saw the highest number of water-related deaths in four years, according to ITV News.
As previously reported on Afloat.ie, Ireland fared better statistically in 2013, recording the lowest number of drownings since 1936 - though 91 people still died in the water.
And Irish Water Safety called on the public to remain vigilant, especially with news of the death of 13-year-old boy who had been swimming with friends at a water treatment plant in Drogheda earlier today (24 July).
#safetyonthewater – Irish Water Safety (IWS) has appealed to the public to stay vigilant around water and not to become another drowning statistic. This appeal comes in the wake of IWS drowning statistics for 2013 which recorded 91 drownings, the lowest for 78 years.
Following a particularly hot two weeks in July 2013 during which thirteen tragically drowned, IWS noted a marked decrease in the number of tragedies during the rest of the summer period as the public adjusted their behaviours and attitudes to staying safe. This resulted in an overall total drowning figure of 91 for 2013, the lowest since 1936 when 73 people drowned.
Males were particularly at risk, accounting for 75% of drownings in 2013. Half of all those who drowned were adults aged 30-59. An extract from Irish Water Safety's 2013 Annual Report notes that the highest figure recorded in any one year to date is 235 in 1983. There was an average of 135 drownings each year in the decade to 2013.
Extracts from Irish Water Safety's analysis reveals that*:
60% were accidents, 20% suicides and 20% undetermined (55,19,17)
53% of drownings were aged 30-59 (48); 16% of drownings were aged under 29 (16)
75% of all drownings were male (69)
60% of total male & female drownings were accidental (42 of 69 & 13 of 22)
14% of female drownings were suicide (3); 23% of male drownings were suicide (16)
In the 1970's, we averaged 91 accidental drownings each year. We ended the 00's averaging 55. In the decade to 2013, the figure dropped to 51.
In the 1980's we averaged 207 total drownings each year. We ended the 00's averaging 150. In the decade to 2013, the figure dropped to 135.
Complacency is not an option for anybody as the statistics frighteningly reveal. Although 75% of total accidental drownings were male, the adage 'boys will be boys' is muted by the fact that the vast majority of drownings were not boys at all but grown men - 53% aged 30-59, compared to 16% aged under 29."
It only takes seconds for tragedy to strike and this can so easily be avoided if people take responsibility for their own safety by taking note of the following in advance of any trip:
Swim at Lifeguarded waterways - http://www.iws.ie/bathing-areas-page.html
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;
Only drink alcohol after your aquatic activity has ended. Stay Away From The Edge after you consume alcohol.
Never use inflatable toys at beaches, rivers or lakes.
#Diving - Irish Water Safety chief John Leech has called on divers to ensure they are well trained and 'diving fit' before going underwater following the deaths of five divers in separate incidents around the Irish coast.
The latest casualty, who died after an accident off St John's Point near Killybegs in Co Donegal on Saturday (12 July) has been named as 57-year-old Presbyterian minister Rev Dr Stewart Jones from Strabane, Co Tyrone.
Speaking this morning on RTÉ Radio 1's Morning Ireland, Leech said: "Diving by its nature is not risk free - it's all a case of managing risk."
He added that "the more training you do, the less chance you have of dying."
Listen to John Leech on Morning Ireland via the RTÉ Player HERE.