Displaying items by tag: water safety
#WaterSafety - There were a total of 381 drownings and water-related deaths from accidents or natural causes across the United Kingdom in 2013, according to a report published this week by Britain's National Water Safety Forum (NWSF).
As in previous years, more than half of that number (227) were in inland waters, such as tidal and freshwater rivers, lakes and reservoirs, while fatalities at the sea, on the beach or shoreline accounted for nearly a third (115).
A further 22 deaths happened at harbours, docks, marinas and inland or coastal ports. Eight deaths occurred in the bath and six in swimming pools, while three happened in areas that are not normally watercourses such as marsh and flooded land.
The figures include deaths in water that resulted from natural causes such as a heart attack, drowning or other fatal injuries resulting from falls into water and those that occurred during the course of water-based activities.
The NWSF’s Water Incident Database (WAID) breaks down drownings and other water-related deaths by activity, age and location type. It reveals that in 2013 the five-year age group with the highest number of fatalities (31) was males aged between 20-24.
Meanwhile, 0-19s accounted for 12 per cent of deaths (46), of which more than half were teenagers aged 15 to 19 (27). In the youngest age bracket of four and under, 10 children drowned.
The peak summer months of July and August witnessed the most deaths, with 106 during this period.
The leading activities were people walking alongside water and falling in, swimming (predominantly in open water) and jumping into open water.
There were 260 deaths in England, 56 in Scotland, 41 in Wales and 11 in Northern Ireland. In England, the South West (53) and the South East (50) regions had the highest number of deaths.
NWSF deputy chair Jim Watson said: “Although the number of accidental drownings and water-related deaths has remained consistent in recent years, there should be no room for complacency, particularly as we enter the warmer summer months and more people are drawn to the water.
“We encourage people to enjoy the UK’s waters, but to make sure they understand the risks and come home safely.”
A full copy of the UK Water-Related Fatalities 2013 report can be downloaded as an Excel spreadsheet HERE.
The WAID was developed by NWSF members, including national partners the Canal and River Trust, the British Sub Aqua Club, the Maritime and Coastguard Agency, the RNLI, RoSPA and the Royal Life Saving Society; sports governing bodies; and regional and local organisations, including Cornwall Council. It was developed in partnership with the UK government's Department for Transport.
As the Irish Times reports, the brothers - John and Edward Grimes - had gone for a walk on Donabate beach, north of Malahide, with a cousin last night (2 July) when they were stranded by the incoming tide and became disoriented in the fading light.
The Irish Times has more on the story HERE.
#WaterSafety - The Irish Coast Guard has reiterated its warning to the public not to go to sea in unsuitable craft after two children were recovered from a small dinghy off North Co Dublin on Monday evening.
Coastguard officials highlighted this incident as a perfect example of the kind of dangerous behaviour the public should avoid on the water.
#WaterSafety - After yesterday's warning against taking risks on or near the water during the current hot spell comes news that three teenagers have been hospitalised after an accident at a lake near an apartment complex in Blanchardstown yesterday evening (20 June).
TheJournal.ie reports that a boy and two girls, all aged around 13, were rushed to Temple Street Children's Hospital after the swimming accident. As of last night the boy was said to be in critical condition.
Update 11am: RTÉ News is now reporting that the 13-year-old boy has died in hospital.
The duo struggled to swim against the strong current and eventually made it to rocks at the cliff base, but one of the men was too exhausted to continue.
They were only rescued after attracting the attention of passers-by, tourists who alerted staff at a nearby café.
#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):
#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.
#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.
"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.
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.
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.