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Irish Water Safety Issues Bank Holiday Warning

22nd October 2012
Irish Water Safety Issues Bank Holiday Warning

#watersafety – Water-related tragedies can happen in seconds and in the wake of 128 drownings last year, Irish Water Safety is drawing attention to the dangers that will put people's lives at risk this coming Bank Holiday weekend.

Dry, crisp weather will prompt people to enjoy activities near water however the air temperature will be considerably colder due to a returning polar air mass meaning people need to dress appropriately for their specific aquatic activity. The dry weather also makes for ideal walking conditions however there is a higher risk of being cut off from shore on coastal walks because the tidal range will be significant due to the Bank Holiday full moon and associated spring tides. There is a risk of cold shock due to sudden immersion in water and of hypothermia due to prolonged immersion, therefore some basic measures, if heeded, will avoid needless tragedies this weekend.

A danger foreseen is avoided...

Walkers should remain alert and stay well away from the edge of ordinarily familiar waterside pathways due to the risk of riverbanks crumbling away or beach walk stranding. These walks will be all the more hazardous due to shorter daylight hours and relatively large tides. Please carry your mobile phone and ideally in the company of others.

Anglers will be at risk and foreign nationals in particular should be extremely vigilant as the Atlantic swell is dramatically different to that experienced on the relatively calmer Baltic Sea. Never fish without your lifejacket.

Those boating should ensure that their family and friends wear a lifejacket at all times.

Alcohol should be avoided before or during any aquatic activity. Over 30% of drowning victims had consumed alcohol therefore it is best left until after your activity to celebrate the holiday weekend.

Forty children aged fourteen and under drowned in the last ten years, therefore it is essential that kids are constantly supervised when on or near water.

Published in Marine Warning Team

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