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Marine Warning – Gales Put Lives in Danger

28th January 2013
Marine Warning – Gales Put Lives in Danger

#iws – The Chief Executive, of Irish Water Safety, John Leech is warning the public of the increased risk to drowning around our coastline for the next few days. 10% of all recorded drowning in Ireland are as a result of people walking close to the waters edge.

The combination of high tides as a result of the Full Moon on Sunday, low pressure out in the Atlantic and Gale Force winds makes walking along our coastline particularly dangerous today and for the next day or so. Our Estuaries and rivers are also hazardous due to the high levels of rainfall in the last few days and the rain forecast for the remainder of the week.

We recommend that walker's who normally walk along our coastline, promenades, piers and rivers should use an inland alternative away from water for the early part of this week, until the weather and tidal conditions improve to make it a safer environment.

Flood conditions expose the public to hazards they need to be aware of. Fast moving water can exert pressure of up to four times its speed against the legs of someone attempting to cross it. Because water displaces bodyweight, the deeper a person becomes immersed the less the person weighs so the more difficult it is to remain upright. Never put ones feet down if swept away in floodwater, because foot and body entrapments and pinning are the leading cause of accidental death in rivers and fast flowing water.

Motorists need to be vigilant to avoid flooded areas on roads but particularly near rivers; with poor light and short days it is not possible to determine the depth of floods easily. Swift water will carry cars and other vehicles away and there have been very tragic drownings in the past as a result.

Children are naturally curious about water, therefore parents should caution them that floodwater hides the true depth and that manhole covers may be open and that small streams when swollen are very fast and deeper than normal.

Personal Safety

Avoid flood waters at all times

carry a mobile phone at all times in case you need to call for help - call 112 in emergency

Wear suitable protective clothing & a lifejacket on or around water

Do not enter fast flowing water.

Never put your feet down if swept away by fast flowing waters

Flooding on roads will be deeper at dips and around bridges.

Stay away from sea and flood defences.

when walking or driving, be aware of manhole covers and gratings that may have been moved due to the heavy flow of water.

Take care when using electric appliances in damp or flood conditions.

Remember that during the hours of darkness the dangers are multiplied.

What should I do when I hear a Flood Warning?

Listen to the national and local radio for Met Eireann updates and AA Road watch updates

Check on neighbours particularly if they are elderly, infirmed or families with young children

Move your vehicles to higher ground

Move animal stock to higher ground

Check your small craft to ensure they are well secured or moored

Make sure you have warm clothes, food, drink, a torch and radio.

Block doorways and airbricks with sandbags or plastic bags filled with earth. Floodgate products will also work effectively.

Switch off gas and electricity supplies if flooding is imminent.

Check the time of High Water in the Newspaper or on

Check out for more detail on General flooding

After the flood

Avoid eating food that has been in contact with flood water.

Run water for a few minutes and wash your taps.

Check gas and electricity supply.

Leave wet electrical equipment alone to dry and have it checked prior to use.

Ventilate your property well.

Check on elderly neighbours.

Published in Marine Warning Team

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