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Displaying items by tag: water safety

#GalwayBaySwim - Organisers of the Frances Thornton Memorial Galway Bay Swim are appealing for support boats to help out on the day.

As Galway Bay FM reports, this year's event in aid of Cancer Care West will take place on Saturday 23 July with 75 swimmers signed up to cross the bay from Auginish to Salthill.

And as ever, safety comes first, with race organisers seeking volunteers from the local maritime community who can spare their time and their boats – preferably 5m RIBs with a 50HP engine – for the duration of the 13km crossing.

Earlier this year a new documentary celebrating the first 10 years of the Galway Bay Swim was screened in the city, as previously reported on Afloat.ie.

Published in Sea Swim

#WaterSafety - This summer the RNLI is launching the second year of the popular Beach Builder Challenge using the interactive video game Minecraft, which allows children to create and build virtual worlds.

Available to play from Monday 1 August, the Beach Builder Challenge was created by the RNLI to teach children about beach and water safety.

The RNLI has this year expanded the virtual world to include a Beach Island Adventure, which means that as well as being able to create epic beaches, creative youngsters are also tasked with completing four levels based on the charity’s Stay SAFE acronym: Spot the dangers, Take Advice, Stay close to a Friend or family member, and learn what to do in an Emergency.

"This is a fun and interactive game for 7–14 year olds to play during the summer holidays," says Jenny Thompson, RNLI lifeguard supervisor on the Causeway Coast. "We really hope the challenges will help Minecraft users visiting the beach this summer put their newly acquired beach safety knowledge into reality, and have fun while staying safe."

Last year’s Beach Builder Challenge was a huge success with more than 8,000 children participating from all over the world, including Canada, Australia and the USA. It also proved successful in helping to reach a high number of children living in inland communities across Ireland and the UK.

Feedback from 2015 suggests the game is an excellent education platform particularly as results found that 97% of participants, after playing the game, knew to go to a lifeguarded beach; and there was a 20% increase in the number of children who knew to dial 999 and ask for the coastguard if they saw someone in trouble at the beach.

Bridiee Appleby-Gunnill, the RNLI’s Community Safety Product Manager, added: "We’ve created a fun, educational experience where a young person can engage and learn about water safety in a self-organised way and where academic ability does not limit learning.

"Research suggests that children learn and retain more when they can organise their own learning. Last year’s feedback has shown Minecraft to be a fantastic enabler in allowing this to happen.

"I’m really hopeful the results of this year’s challenge will be just as encouraging. We’ll be looking for participants to take part in research, to help us further develop ways to enable water safety learning in this age group."

This year, children using different platforms will be able to talk to one another while taking part in the challenge. To register your child’s involvement email [email protected]

Published in Water Safety
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#Jellyfish - Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council has raised the red warning flag in Sandycove and erected signs warning swimmers of the presence of stinging jellyfish in the water and washed up on the beach. Photographs have been taken and sent off for expert identification of the marine species.

Published in Water Safety

#Lifeguards - RNLI lifeguards will commence full-time summer patrol on 10 beaches in Northern Ireland from next Saturday 25 June.

Following a busy period of intensive training in preparation for the new season, the lifeguards will be keeping visitors safe on seven beaches along the Causeway Coast and three in Co Down.

The beaches include Benone, Downhill, Castlerock, Portstewart Strand, Portrush West, Portrush East, Whiterocks, Tyrella, Murlough and Cranfield.

From next weekend, the RNLI will take up full-time daily duty on all beaches continuing to Sunday 4 September, when weekend duty will then resume on selected beaches throughout September.

Lifeguards will be on the beach daily between 11am and 7pm on the Causeway Coast and between 10am and 6pm in Co Down.

Speaking ahead of the new season, RNLI lifeguard manager Mike Grocott is encouraging those planning a visit to the beach this summer to bear in mind some key water safety messages.

"The RNLI’s advice for anyone planning a trip to the beach is to check weather and tide times before you go and if planning to go into the water, swim at a lifeguarded beach, between the red and yellow flags," he says.

"Avoid using inflatables in strong winds or rough seas. If you get into trouble, stick your hand in the air and shout for help and if you see someone else in trouble, tell a lifeguard. If you can’t see a lifeguard, call 909 or 112 and ask for the coastguard."

The RNLI is running its annual national drowning prevention campaign Respect the Water throughout the summer months with the charity this year warning the public to watch out for key dangers that can catch people out in or near water.

Central to the campaign are the dangers that can lead to accidental drowning: cold water, unexpected entry into the water, and rip currents and waves.

Published in Water Safety

#InlandWaters - Waterways Ireland has warned masters and users of Ireland's inland navigations of the dangers associated with overhead power lines.

In particular, sailing vessels, sailing dinghys and workboats with cranes or large air draughts should take extra care around any overhead cables.

Vigilance is required especially in the vicinity of slipways and dinghy parks, while voyage planning is a necessity in order to identify the location of overhead lines crossing the navigations.

If the vessel or its equipment comes in contact with an overhead power line, do not attempt to move the equipment or a person if either is still in contact with or close to the cable, as the conductor may still be live or re-energise automatically.

Maintain a five-metre clearance if possible, and prevent third parties from approaching you or your vessel because of the risk of arcing.

Contact the emergency services for assistance: the ESB Networks emergency number is (+353) 1850 372 999 and Northern Ireland Electricity Networks is (+44) 0800 616 817.

Those engaged in angling are also reminded that a minimum ground distance of 30 metres should be maintained from overhead power lines when using rod and line.

Published in Inland Waterways

#WaterSafety - Waterways Ireland has echoed the recent advice over the dangers of the water during the current warm spell across Ireland.

The latest marine notice from the management body for Ireland's inland navigations warns the public on the dangers of swimming and diving in and around navigation infrastructure such as bridges, locks, weirs, pontoons and harbour jetties.

The possibility of a swimmer being struck by a vessel, its propeller or being run over is ever present while powered craft are manoeuvring. Swimming is therefore prohibited at these locations.

It follows similar warnings from the Irish Coast Guard, RNLI and Irish Water Safety urging caution to anyone engaged in activities on or near the water this summer.

The latest incident saw a 12-year-old boy airlifted to University Hospital Galway after wounding his leg on a jagged rock while cliff diving in the Gaeltacht, as Independent.ie reports.

Published in Water Safety

#Fishing - Out-of-date safety equipment has seen a Cork trawler skipper and owner landed with €4,000 in fines, as RTÉ News reports.

Pat O'Mahony of Kinsale and the Crosshaven-based Labardie Fisher Ltd pled guilty at district court in a case taken on behalf of the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport.

The former was convicted of having expired distress signals and hydrostatic life raft releases on his fishing trawler on 5 October last year.

Meanwhile, the trawler owner was fined on a charge of arriving in port with expired distress signals, and for failing to send the port superintendent a signed crew manifest as of 28 May last year.

The court heard that both skipper and owner, who lost 12 days of fishing during the investigation, co-operated fully during the process.

RTÉ News has more on the story HERE.

Published in Fishing

#MarineNotice - Marine Notice No 19 of 2016 advises that the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport (DTTAS) has become aware of a small number of possible fraudulent Irish seafarer certificates, and an associated fraudulent website, which purports to verify such fraudulently issued seafarer certification.

The department advises that Irish seafarer certification is only issued by the DTTAS and that all Irish certificates are to be verified at the following address:

Mercantile Marine Office
Irish Maritime Administration
Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport
Leeson Lane, Dublin 2
DO2 TR60
Ireland
Email: [email protected] Tel: +353 1 6783480

In addition, Ireland has agreements under the IMO STCW Convention and EU legislation as set out in Marine Notice No 6 of 2011 with various administrations for the recognition of certificates of competency for merchant ships.

Maritime administrations, companies and seafarers seeking to verify Irish seafarer certification should only do so with the Irish Maritime Administration directly as above.

Published in Ports & Shipping

#Recall - The UK's Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) has issued a recall notice for certain models of Safetmade hydrostatic release units (HRUs).

While these HRUs have been approved as having a service life of three years, investigations have shown that some units suffered water ingress, causing corrosion leading to their malfunction under normal conditions.

The affected models are the Safetmade LR-1 and EP-1, and owners are advised to return any such units to their nearest service station or port where they can be exchanged for an equivalent HRU up till 1 September 2016.

The MCA's Safety Bulletin No 6 of 2016 has more HERE.

Published in Water Safety

#Lifeguards - RNLI lifeguards are hitting the surf again and bringing their popular beach safety programmes to school children and youth groups in Northern Ireland.

Hundreds of children have already been through the programmes and learned valuable and important advice to keep safe in the water and along the shore, in a fun and interactive way.

Last summer 345,027 people visited the 10 RNLI-lifeguarded beaches on the Causeway Coast and in Co Down. Of these people 27,043 entered the water while 9,975 took part in surfing or other water leisure actives such as body boarding and kite surfing.

The lifeguards responded to 182 incidents, coming to the aid of 218 people. As well as rescues carried out in the water, lifeguards also dealt with falls, first aid and lost children.

The RNLI lifeguarding season has already begun on five beaches along the Causeway Coast and this cover will be extended for the peak summer season from Saturday 25 June through to Sunday 4 September.

In the run up to this and before schools break up for the summer, the RNLI is encouraging primary schools and youth groups to sign-up for its two beach safety education programmes.

The ‘Meet the Lifeguards’ and ‘Hit the Surf’ programmes teach young people the importance of beach safety in a fun and practical way.’

‘Meet the Lifeguards’ is an interactive session where RNLI lifeguards visit a school or youth group and teach the children key safety advice that they then put to use when they visit a beach with family and friends.

Children learn what the different beach safety flags and signs mean, the safety of using inflatables, the dangers of 'tombstoning', sun safety and how to identify natural and man-made hazards in and around the water. They will also learn about body boarding and surfing safety and how to escape a rip current. Information on tides and waves is included in the session.

The ‘Hit the Surf’ programme, meanwhile, offers a unique opportunity for school children or youth groups to get practical lessons in lifesaving and beach safety at one of the 10 RNLI-lifeguarded beaches located on the North Coast and in Co Down, or inland for the first time on the shores of Lough Erne in Cp Fermanagh.

The two-and-a-half-hour session includes a lesson on staying safe at the beach and explains the role of the RNLI and its lifeguards. It is followed by a lifesaving lesson and learning surf-based skills while building the children’s confidence in the sea. They will also learn about local hazards and the beach environment.

For more information on how to book your school onto an RNLI education programme in Northern Ireland, contact RNLI lifeguard supervisor Jenny Thompson 077 8992 4563 or email [email protected]

Published in Water Safety
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