Menu

Ireland's sailing, boating & maritime magazine

In association with ISA Logo Irish Sailing

Safety on the Water Urged During Heatwave

27th March 2012
1407 Views
Safety on the Water Urged During Heatwave

Irish Water Safety has stressed the importance of vigilance and caution to avoid drowning tragedies during our current heat wave. Many people nationwide are enjoying trips to waterways nationwide however further tragedies are always a danger with water temperatures still so low in many bathing places.

Cold water and currents on open water require more energy than swimming in a pool.

Many people are not used to open water swimming at present so they should exercise great care if swimming especially as the water temperature is hovering close to a cool 10 degrees. All activities should include the wearing of a correctly fitting and well maintained lifejacket with crotch strap at all times when on or near water.

Vital water-safety advice...

Ireland is blessed with some of the most beautiful swimming locations in the world. This advice is designed to teach children and adults important water safety messages vital to these open-water environments. The rules of water safety may seem familiar, however people often take them for granted and risk their lives if not adhered to:

-      Wear a Personal Flotation Device such as a Lifejacket. Find out what device suits your needs at www.iws.ie.

-      Avoid unsupervised areas. Never swim alone or after dark and do not stay in the water too long as you risk hypothermia.

-      Stay vigilant abroad. The picture-postcard scenes at venues abroad can often mask hidden dangers. Beaches and swimming pools may not be guarded and warning signs may differ.

-      Learn swimming and lifesaving. Irish Water Safety has swimming and lifesaving classes for children and adults.

-      Take lessons when you try a new water sport. Start your lessons, if they're available, before your trip. Be sure you tell a responsible adult, where you plan to go.

-      Never go alone. You'll be safer and have more fun if you pair up with another adult for water sports. If one of you gets into trouble, the other can help - and call for additional help if necessary. Always wear a Personal Flotation Device.

-      Watch for changing weather. Be prepared to get out of the water and take cover if the skies look threatening.

-      Avoid alcohol. Water sports and alcohol don't mix. Tragically, alcohol is often a factor in adult deaths from drowning or injuries incurred in the water. Alcohol impairs judgment, balance and coordination - all essential for swimming and boating well and avoiding hazards in the water.

-      Watch children constantly. Children are irresistibly attracted to water. Take the time to protect your children from the dangers of water.

-      Lifejackets Checklist

Visually Check all lifejackets and buoyancy aids for the following deficiencies:

Ensure CO2 Cartridges have not been punctured and are secured firmly

Ensure all zips, buckles, fasteners and webbing straps are functioning correctly and adjusted to fit the user

Check that their lights, if fitted are operating correctly

Ensure that Automatic Inflation devices if fitted are fully serviced and in date

Check that the valve or lifejacket is not leaking by inflating the lifejacket overnight

Discard any faulty lifejackets by destroying them

-      In Marine Emergencies, call 999 or 112 and ask for Marine Rescue.

Water-related tragedies happen in the blink of an eye and it is a tragedy that an average of 146 lives are lost to drowning each year. Make sure you return safely to shore - and ultimately back home - by playing it safe.

Published in Marine Warning
Afloat.ie Team

About The Author

Afloat.ie Team

Email The Author

Afloat.ie is Ireland's dedicated marine journalism team.

Have you got a story for our reporters? Email us here.

We've got a favour to ask

More people are reading Afloat.ie than ever thanks to the power of the internet but we're in stormy seas because advertising revenues across the media are falling fast. Unlike many news sites, we haven’t put up a paywall because we want to keep our marine journalism open.

Afloat.ie is Ireland's only full–time marine journalism team and it takes time, money and hard work to produce our content.

So you can see why we need to ask for your help.

If everyone chipped in, we can enhance our coverage and our future would be more secure. You can help us through a small donation. Thank you.

Direct Donation to Afloat button

Featured Sailing School

INSS sidebutton

Featured Clubs

dbsc mainbutton
Howth Yacht Club
Kinsale Yacht Club
National Yacht Club
Royal Cork Yacht Club
Royal Irish Yacht club
Royal Saint George Yacht Club

Featured Brokers

mgm sidebutton
bjmarine sidebutton
xyachts sidebutton

Featured Webcams

webcam sidebutton

Featured Associations

ISA sidebutton
ICRA
isora sidebutton

Featured Events

tokyo sidebutton
sovscup sidebutton
vdlr sidebutton

Featured Chandleries

CHMarine Afloat logo
osm sidebutton
viking sidebutton

Featured Sailmakers

northsails sidebutton
uksails sidebutton

Featured Marinas

dlmarina sidebutton

Featured Blogs

W M Nixon - Sailing on Saturday
podcast sidebutton
mansfield sidebutton
BSB sidebutton
sellingboat sidebutton

Please show your support for Afloat by donating