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Displaying items by tag: drowning

#watersafety – The number of people accidentally drowning in the UK has dropped by nearly nine per cent in a year to 371 deaths in 2012, latest figures reveal.

More than half of deaths from accidents or natural causes continued to be in inland waters, such as rivers, lakes and reservoirs(203), while drowning at the coast or in a harbour, dock, marina or port accounted for a third (124), according to new data from the National Water Safety Forum (NWSF).

The NWSF's Water Incident Database (WAID), which breaks down drownings by activity, age and location type, reveals that more than a fifth of fatalities (84) were in the 50-65 age group, many while involved in activities such as sub aqua diving, swimming and angling.

Meanwhile, the under-19s accounted for 12 per cent of deaths (43), of which more than half were teenagers aged 15 to 19 (25) who predominantly got into difficulties in rivers or at the coast or beach. In the youngest age bracket of four and under, seven children drowned, two while in a bath.

Figures are revealed ahead of the National Water Safety Seminar, hosted by The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA), which takes place at The Lowry, Salford Quays, on Thursday (October 17).

David Walker, a member of the NWSF and RoSPA's leisure safety manager, said: "While the figures for 2012 are encouraging, we mustn't get complacent, especially given the prolonged heatwave we had this year.

"There's much more that could be done to save lives and improve water safety. That's why the main focus of the National Water Safety Seminar will be to create a consensus for a national drowning prevention strategy in order to further reduce the number of deaths."

Professionals covering sea, beach, inland, swimming pool and watersports safety including from the Royal Life Saving Society UK, the Royal National Lifeboat Institution, and the Amateur Swimming Association will use the seminar to discuss how best to tackle key issues, such as increasing the number of schoolchildren who can swim the minimum requirement of 25m.

In 2011, 407 people drowned from accidents or natural causes in the UK, with 219 of these (54 per cent) at inland waters. In this year, water-related deaths for children and young people up to the age of 19 reached 47 and nearly half of these - 22 deaths - were in the 15 to 19 age group, and predominantly in a river or lake.

Published in Water Safety
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#NewsUpdate - The Irish Times is reporting that a women has drowned while swimming off Achill Island yesterday afternoon (Thursday 10 October).

Local coastguard members responded to an emergency call just after 3pm yesterday after the woman, who was swimming with a group at the time, got into difficulty.

Her body was recovered from the water to Purteen Pier in Achill, Co Mayo, where she was pronounced dead at the scene by a local doctor.

Published in News Update
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#Drowning - The body of a man has been recovered from the Avoca River in Arklow, Co Wicklow while the search continues for a second missing person, according to The Irish Times.

It's being reported that one other person was rescued from the river near the Bridgewater Shopping Centre after the alarm was raised in the early hours of this morning (10 September).

Two others thought to have entered the water were able to get out themselves.

The Irish Times has more on the story HERE.

Published in News Update
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#Drowning - The Irish Times reports that the body of a man who fell into the River Shannon while on a night out in Athlone has been recovered.

The victim, in his 50s, was with friends when he apparently slipped off the wall of Town Bridge late last night (7 September). A postmortem is due and Gardaí are investigating the incident.

Published in News Update

#Drowning - TheJournal.ie is reporting that a two-year-old boy has drowned in a "freak accident" at a Waterford beach yesterday (22 August).

The boy was at Boatstrand near Bunmahon, between Tramore and Dungarvan, with family around 7pm yesterday evening when he went to play away from the group and got into difficulty close to the shore.

Gardaí are investigating the incident and have not as yet released further details.

The tragedy brings to mind last month's shocking series of drownings around Ireland during the recent heatwave.

Published in News Update
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#WaterSafety - Four more people have drowned in separate incidents around Ireland as the heatwave continues.

As RTÉ News reports, a 24-year-old man died while swimming in the sea near Ardara in Co Donegal yesterday afternoon (20 July).

Later, the body of a second victim was recovered from the Shrule River in Newtownstewart, Co Tyrone after getting into difficulty.

A third man in his 60s is was drowned after failing to return from a swim in a quarry near Carrick-on-Suir. His body was recovered earlier today.

The tragedies follow news of a 19-year-old who drowned while swimming with friends in Lough Leane in Killarney on Friday evening (19 July).

And a woman in her 30s was lucky to be rescued after getting into difficulty swimming in the River Nore near Kilkenny. She is currently in a serious but stable condition in hospital.

Irish Water Safety have renewed their appeal for the public to take extra care when taking to the water during this extraordinary hot weather that had already claimed seven lives as of Thursday last.

Published in Water Safety

#WaterSafety - Water safety chiefs have yet again underscored the dangers of swimming in unsupervised areas after a teenager drowned in Co Derry yesterday afternoon.

The Irish Times reports that the 15-year-old boy was airlifted to hospital by police helicopter after getting into difficulty when he fell into the River Roe.

The as yet unnamed teen is the seventh drowning victim on the island of Ireland during the current heatwave.

Last week alone saw five drownings of young people, prompting Irish Water Safety CEO John Leech to make a public appeal for awareness of the dangers of swimming in areas without lifeguards, especially in open water.

“One of the reasons we’re losing all these youngish people is because a whole generation haven’t learned to swim in open water,” said Leech, who added that 32 per cent of victims have consumed alcohol.

The Irish Times has more on the story HERE.

Published in Water Safety

Are you out of your depth when it comes to staying safe? Irish Water Safety is appealing to the public to take the following seven-point approach to safety when enjoying waterways in this good weather, following an analysis of the spate of recent drownings.

Swim at Lifeguarded waterways - 
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.

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.

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 Marine Warning
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#WaterSafety - Water safety chiefs have urged the public to take proper care after the fifth drowning of this week's heatwave.

As The Irish Times reports, the body of a 17-year-old boy was recovered yesterday from a canal in Ardnacrusha, Co Clare where he had been swimming with friends on what was the hottest day so far this week.

It follows the tragic deaths of four other young people ranging from 12 to 21 years of age in various incidents around the country in both coastal and inland waters.

The sad news prompted the Irish Coast Guard to urge the public to "keep water safety in mind" when enjoying outdoor activities at any time this summer.

Irish Coast Guard (IRCG) manager Declan Geoghegan said: “With the warm weather forecast, our thoughts naturally go to enjoying the outdoors and outdoor activities. Whether you enjoy swimming, canoeing, surfing, angling, sail boarding, always remember to wear a personal flotation device.” 

PFDs include lifejackets and buoyancy aids, and the IRCG reiterated that it is vital to wear a lifejacket or buoyancy aid if your activity takes you near the water, whether at the sea or on lakes and rivers.

Geoghegan continued: “Each year, the Irish Coast Guard is involved in many search and rescue incidents involving people in our seas, lakes and inland waterways. Wearing a PFD isn’t just common sense, it's basic advice that could save your life.” 

Advice from the coastguard to stay safe on the water this summer is to always remember and take heed of the following:

  • Never go out alone
  • Be able to swim - get the proper training to stay safe
  • Never go out on the water having consumed alcohol
  • Familiarise yourself with the local areal be aware of your own capabilities and that of your craft
  • Check your equipment before you set off and tell someone where you are going and what time you will be back
  • Never go out when darkness is approaching

Geoghegan urged anyone planning to join in water-based activities to check out the Safety On The Water website which includes guidelines and advice on most watersport and related activities.

Published in Water Safety

#WaterSafety - RTÉ News reports that a teenager has drowned in Co Roscommon in the fourth such tragic incident during this week's heatwave.

The teen was one of three swimmers who went missing in Annaghmore Lough near Strokestown yesterday evening.

Two of the swimmers managed to reach the shore, but the body of this third was recovered before midnight by a search party led by the Irish Coast Guard's Shannon rescue helicopter and involving local angling boats.

The sad news comes just a day after a 12-year-old boy drowned while swimming in the sea off Youghal beach in Co Cork.

That followed the death of a 21-year-old woman named Lisa Knight who was swimming with friends in the River Feale in Co Limerick late on Tuesday night.

And on Wednesday afternoon a 17-year-old boy drowned after getting into difficulty swimming in a lake in Celbridge, Co Kildare, according to The Irish Times.

Irish Water Safety chief John Leech has appealed to the public on RTÉ Radio 1's Morning Ireland to be aware of the risks associated with the water, especially in unsupervised areas - and particularly for inexperienced swimmers.

Published in Water Safety
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Ireland's offshore islands

Around 30 of Ireland's offshore islands are inhabited and hold a wealth of cultural heritage.

A central Government objective is to ensure that sustainable vibrant communities continue to live on the islands.

Irish offshore islands FAQs

Technically, it is Ireland itself, as the third largest island in Europe.

Ireland is surrounded by approximately 80 islands of significant size, of which only about 20 are inhabited.

Achill island is the largest of the Irish isles with a coastline of almost 80 miles and has a population of 2,569.

The smallest inhabited offshore island is Inishfree, off Donegal.

The total voting population in the Republic's inhabited islands is just over 2,600 people, according to the Department of Housing.

Starting with west Cork, and giving voting register numbers as of 2020, here you go - Bere island (177), Cape Clear island (131),Dursey island (6), Hare island (29), Whiddy island (26), Long island, Schull (16), Sherkin island (95). The Galway islands are Inis Mór (675), Inis Meáin (148), Inis Oírr (210), Inishbofin (183). The Donegal islands are Arranmore (513), Gola (30), Inishboffin (63), Inishfree (4), Tory (140). The Mayo islands, apart from Achill which is connected by a bridge, are Clare island (116), Inishbiggle (25) and Inishturk (52).

No, the Gaeltacht islands are the Donegal islands, three of the four Galway islands (Inishbofin, like Clifden, is English-speaking primarily), and Cape Clear or Oileán Chléire in west Cork.

Lack of a pier was one of the main factors in the evacuation of a number of islands, the best known being the Blasket islands off Kerry, which were evacuated in November 1953. There are now three cottages available to rent on the Great Blasket island.

In the early 20th century, scholars visited the Great Blasket to learn Irish and to collect folklore and they encouraged the islanders to record their life stories in their native tongue. The three best known island books are An tOileánach (The Islandman) by Tomás Ó Criomhthain, Peig by Peig Sayers, and Fiche Blian ag Fás (Twenty Years A-Growing) by Muiris Ó Súilleabháin. Former taoiseach Charles J Haughey also kept a residence on his island, Inishvickillaune, which is one of the smaller and less accessible Blasket islands.

Charles J Haughey, as above, or late Beatle musician, John Lennon. Lennon bought Dorinish island in Clew Bay, south Mayo, in 1967 for a reported £1,700 sterling. Vendor was Westport Harbour Board which had used it for marine pilots. Lennon reportedly planned to spend his retirement there, and The Guardian newspaper quoted local estate agent Andrew Crowley as saying he was "besotted with the place by all accounts". He did lodge a planning application for a house, but never built on the 19 acres. He offered it to Sid Rawle, founder of the Digger Action Movement and known as the "King of the Hippies". Rawle and 30 others lived there until 1972 when their tents were burned by an oil lamp. Lennon and Yoko Ono visited it once more before his death in 1980. Ono sold the island for £30,000 in 1984, and it is widely reported that she donated the proceeds of the sale to an Irish orphanage

 

Yes, Rathlin island, off Co Antrim's Causeway Coast, is Ireland's most northerly inhabited island. As a special area of conservation, it is home to tens of thousands of sea birds, including puffins, kittiwakes, razorbills and guillemots. It is known for its Rathlin golden hare. It is almost famous for the fact that Robert the Bruce, King of Scots, retreated after being defeated by the English at Perth and hid in a sea cave where he was so inspired by a spider's tenacity that he returned to defeat his enemy.

No. The Aran islands have a regular ferry and plane service, with ferries from Ros-a-Mhíl, south Connemara all year round and from Doolin, Co Clare in the tourist season. The plane service flies from Indreabhán to all three islands. Inishbofin is connected by ferry from Cleggan, Co Galway, while Clare island and Inishturk are connected from Roonagh pier, outside Louisburgh. The Donegal islands of Arranmore and Tory island also have ferry services, as has Bere island, Cape Clear and Sherkin off Cork. How are the island transport services financed? The Government subsidises transport services to and from the islands. The Irish Coast Guard carries out medical evacuations, as to the RNLI lifeboats. Former Fianna Fáíl minister Éamon Ó Cuív is widely credited with improving transport services to and from offshore islands, earning his department the nickname "Craggy island".

Craggy Island is an bleak, isolated community located of the west coast, inhabited by Irish, a Chinese community and one Maori. Three priests and housekeeper Mrs Doyle live in a parochial house There is a pub, a very small golf course, a McDonald's fast food restaurant and a Chinatown... Actually, that is all fiction. Craggy island is a figment of the imagination of the Father Ted series writers Graham Linehan and Arthur Mathews, for the highly successful Channel 4 television series, and the Georgian style parochial house on the "island" is actually Glenquin House in Co Clare.

Yes, that is of the Plassey, a freighter which was washed up on Inis Oírr in bad weather in 1960.

There are some small privately owned islands,and islands like Inishlyre in Co Mayo with only a small number of residents providing their own transport. Several Connemara islands such as Turbot and Inishturk South have a growing summer population, with some residents extending their stay during Covid-19. Turbot island off Eyrephort is one such example – the island, which was first spotted by Alcock and Brown as they approached Ireland during their epic transatlantic flight in 1919, was evacuated in 1978, four years after three of its fishermen drowned on the way home from watching an All Ireland final in Clifden. However, it is slowly being repopulated

Responsibility for the islands was taking over by the Department of Rural and Community Development . It was previously with the Gaeltacht section in the Department of Media, Tourism, Arts, Culture, Sport and the Gaeltacht.

It is a periodic bone of contention, as Ireland does not have the same approach to its islands as Norway, which believes in right of access. However, many improvements were made during Fianna Fáíl Galway West TD Éamon Ó Cuív's time as minister. The Irish Island Federation, Comdháil Oileáin na hÉireann, represents island issues at national and international level.

The 12 offshore islands with registered voters have long argued that having to cast their vote early puts them at a disadvantage – especially as improved transport links mean that ballot boxes can be transported to the mainland in most weather conditions, bar the winter months. Legislation allowing them to vote on the same day as the rest of the State wasn't passed in time for the February 2020 general election.

Yes, but check tide tables ! Omey island off north Connemara is accessible at low tide and also runs a summer race meeting on the strand. In Sligo, 14 pillars mark the way to Coney island – one of several islands bearing this name off the Irish coast.

Cape Clear or Oileán Chléire is the country's most southerly inhabited island, eight miles off the west Cork coast, and within sight of the Fastnet Rock lighthouse, also known as the "teardrop of Ireland".
Skellig Michael off the Kerry coast, which has a monastic site dating from the 6th century. It is accessible by boat – prebooking essential – from Portmagee, Co Kerry. However, due to Covid-19 restrictions, it was not open to visitors in 2020.
All islands have bird life, but puffins and gannets and kittiwakes are synonymous with Skellig Michael and Little Skellig. Rathlin island off Antrim and Cape Clear off west Cork have bird observatories. The Saltee islands off the Wexford coast are privately owned by the O'Neill family, but day visitors are permitted access to the Great Saltee during certain hours. The Saltees have gannets, gulls, puffins and Manx shearwaters.
Vikings used Dublin as a European slaving capital, and one of their bases was on Dalkey island, which can be viewed from Killiney's Vico road. Boat trips available from Coliemore harbour in Dalkey. Birdwatch Ireland has set up nestboxes here for roseate terns. Keep an eye out also for feral goats.
Plenty! There are regular boat trips in summer to Inchagoill island on Lough Corrib, while the best known Irish inshore island might be the lake isle of Innisfree on Sligo's Lough Gill, immortalised by WB Yeats in his poem of the same name. Roscommon's Lough Key has several islands, the most prominent being the privately-owned Castle Island. Trinity island is more accessible to the public - it was once occupied by Cistercian monks from Boyle Abbey.

©Afloat 2020

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