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Displaying items by tag: Water Safety Week

#WaterSafety - Thirty-seven children aged 14 and under have drowned in Ireland a decade - a sobering statistic to note just weeks before half a million children in Ireland will be on summer holidays.

To mark Water Safety Week, running from today Monday 20 to Sunday 26 June, Irish Water Safety (IWS) is appealing to primary school teachers to give children the vital information they need before the summer holidays.

Children are naturally curious about water, therefore parents should check if their local primary school has yet introduced IWS's primary school curriculum that teaches children how to stay safe around water.

Much of the programme is easily delivered as it is classroom based yet many primary schools have yet to deliver this training. With just weeks to go before schools close, there is still time for teachers and parents to teach essential life skills to keep children safe from drowning.

People drown silently, quickly and sometimes in only inches of water. An average of eleven people drowns every month. They can drown beside others who are completely unaware. Children are particularly at risk and need constant supervision near water.



Water Safety Week highlights the risks and the steps that need to be taken to avoid drowning over the summer:

  • Swim at lifeguarded zones listed at iws.ie
  • Swim within your depth in case of cramp
  • Beware of currents that may carry you away from a safe exit point
  • Swim in daylight not in darkness
  • Pay attention to signs on the beach
  • Learn to use equipment before trying it out
  • Swim in view of lifeguards and heed their advice
  • Learn swimming, survival and water rescue skills
  • Avoid swimming in unfamiliar places
  • Lifeguards are not babysitters, take care of your child
  • Be aware of water temperature to avoid hypothermia
  • Swim parallel and close to the shore
  • Even if your child can swim, constant uninterrupted supervision is essential
  • Never use inflatable toys in open water
  • Wear a lifejacket with crotch strap when boating or fishing from shore
  • Swim with others, never alone

IWS is also appealing to parents to enrol their children in one of IWS swim weeks at open water venues nationwide. For details visit www.iws.ie.

Published in Water Safety

Royal National Lifeboat Institute (RNLI) in Ireland Information

The Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) is a charity to save lives at sea in the waters of UK and Ireland. Funded principally by legacies and donations, the RNLI operates a fleet of lifeboats, crewed by volunteers, based at a range of coastal and inland waters stations. Working closely with UK and Ireland Coastguards, RNLI crews are available to launch at short notice to assist people and vessels in difficulties.

RNLI was founded in 1824 and is based in Poole, Dorset. The organisation raised €210m in funds in 2019, spending €200m on lifesaving activities and water safety education. RNLI also provides a beach lifeguard service in the UK and has recently developed an International drowning prevention strategy, partnering with other organisations and governments to make drowning prevention a global priority.

Irish Lifeboat Stations

There are 46 lifeboat stations on the island of Ireland, with an operational base in Swords, Co Dublin. Irish RNLI crews are tasked through a paging system instigated by the Irish Coast Guard which can task a range of rescue resources depending on the nature of the emergency.

Famous Irish Lifeboat Rescues

Irish Lifeboats have participated in many rescues, perhaps the most famous of which was the rescue of the crew of the Daunt Rock lightship off Cork Harbour by the Ballycotton lifeboat in 1936. Spending almost 50 hours at sea, the lifeboat stood by the drifting lightship until the proximity to the Daunt Rock forced the coxswain to get alongside and successfully rescue the lightship's crew.

32 Irish lifeboat crew have been lost in rescue missions, including the 15 crew of the Kingstown (now Dun Laoghaire) lifeboat which capsized while attempting to rescue the crew of the SS Palme on Christmas Eve 1895.

FAQs

While the number of callouts to lifeboat stations varies from year to year, Howth Lifeboat station has aggregated more 'shouts' in recent years than other stations, averaging just over 60 a year.

Stations with an offshore lifeboat have a full-time mechanic, while some have a full-time coxswain. However, most lifeboat crews are volunteers.

There are 46 lifeboat stations on the island of Ireland

32 Irish lifeboat crew have been lost in rescue missions, including the 15 crew of the Kingstown (now Dun Laoghaire) lifeboat which capsized while attempting to rescue the crew of the SS Palme on Christmas Eve 1895

In 2019, 8,941 lifeboat launches saved 342 lives across the RNLI fleet.

The Irish fleet is a mixture of inshore and all-weather (offshore) craft. The offshore lifeboats, which range from 17m to 12m in length are either moored afloat, launched down a slipway or are towed into the sea on a trailer and launched. The inshore boats are either rigid or non-rigid inflatables.

The Irish Coast Guard in the Republic of Ireland or the UK Coastguard in Northern Ireland task lifeboats when an emergency call is received, through any of the recognised systems. These include 999/112 phone calls, Mayday/PanPan calls on VHF, a signal from an emergency position indicating radio beacon (EPIRB) or distress signals.

The Irish Coast Guard is the government agency responsible for the response to, and co-ordination of, maritime accidents which require search and rescue operations. To carry out their task the Coast Guard calls on their own resources – Coast Guard units manned by volunteers and contracted helicopters, as well as "declared resources" - RNLI lifeboats and crews. While lifeboats conduct the operation, the coordination is provided by the Coast Guard.

A lifeboat coxswain (pronounced cox'n) is the skipper or master of the lifeboat.

RNLI Lifeboat crews are required to follow a particular development plan that covers a pre-agreed range of skills necessary to complete particular tasks. These skills and tasks form part of the competence-based training that is delivered both locally and at the RNLI's Lifeboat College in Poole, Dorset

 

While the RNLI is dependent on donations and legacies for funding, they also need volunteer crew and fund-raisers.

© Afloat 2020

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