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Displaying items by tag: lifejackets

#WaterSafety - Lifejackets should be made compulsory on Northern Ireland’s waterways, the inquest into the drowning of a former Lough Erne Yacht Club commodore has heard.

As BBC News reports, coroner Joe McCrisken suggested that Michael Beattie may have had a better chance of survival if he had been wearing a personal flotation device.

Beattie, whose body was found in the lough on 12 December last year, is thought to have slipped into the water in icy conditions while attempting to board his luxury motor cruiser the night before.

CCTV footage showed him struggling in the water for almost two hours hours before swimming to land, apparently in a confused state, and falling back into the water 90 minutes later.

The inquest found Beattie died from drowning as a result of cold water immersion and hypothermia.

“County Fermanagh has some of the most tranquil and beautiful waterways in the world, but water has inherent dangers,” McCrisken said.

BBC News has more on the story HERE.

Published in Water Safety

#RNLI - A one-day cycling fundraiser for the RNLI is set to take place on Sunday 16 September when four cycling friends will ride 310km from Dublin to Clifden in Co Galway while wearing lifejackets for the entire trip.

Clifden RNLI’s station mechanic Robert King will cycle along with John James Flaherty, Daniel King and Ciaran Hickey of the Twelve Bens and Western Lakes Cycling Clubs.

The quartet will set off from the RNLI Regional Office in Swords on the morning of Sunday 16 September and make their way west across the Shannon to Clifden lifeboat station.

Organiser Rob King said: “Since we all share a common interest in cycling with our local clubs, we thought it would be a good idea to undertake a trip like this raising funds but also to raise awareness around water safety at the same time.

“We feel that since lifejackets are so compact nowadays that this exercise will highlight how easy it is to wear one. Our basic message is ‘If we can wear one, so can you’.”

The Lifejacket Cycling Challenge has an online donation page and you can also follow the group and see more photos and updates on Facebook.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

#WaterSafety - Alistair Rumball of the Irish National Sailing Club shares a story from a friend that serves as a timely reminder of the importance of keeping vigilant whenever on or near the water.

Alistair’s friend was mooring his Jeanneau Sun Odyssey 35 for the night at Conwy Quays in North Wales when tiredness got the better of him as he manoeuvred the boat into the narrow berth available.

Forgetting the dinghy tied to his stern, he allowed the smaller vessel to wedge between his starboard and the pontoon, with the port bow leaning against the fender of the neighbouring boat.

“Having untied the line I somehow decided to head back on to the pontoon in order to manoeuvre the dinghy out of the way, but in my haste I attempted to step straight from the transom to the pontoon. It didn’t work," he writes.

“Of course I snagged myself on the line holding the yacht to the pontoon. One foot just about made it to the pontoon but, now overbalancing because I have tripped on the line, I ended up in the water.”

Luckily for Alistair’s friend, his lifejacket sprang into action, and he was only underwater “for perhaps a split second” before the device fully inflated.

Hauling himself out of the water was a different matter, however, as his choice of boots — now flooded with marina water — instead of deck shoes made the move exceedingly difficult.

The INSC website has more on the story HERE.

Published in Water Safety

#WaterSafety - Finding a lifejacket for your child isn’t hard — but it is vital to choose the right jacket with the right features, as CH Marine’s new handy buying guide explains.

Lifejackets are now designed even for infants as young as a few months. Paying attention to comfort, fit, colour and style will encourage your child to enjoy wearing their lifejacket — as well as keep them safe and supported should they enter the water.

CH Marine’s lifejacket buying guide is available as a PDF to read or download HERE.

Published in CH Marine Chandlery
Tagged under

#WaterSafety - Irish Water Safety, the Irish Coast Guard and RNLI have issued a joint appeal reminding the public to stay alert to the risk of drowning at all times and especially in the current hot weather.

On average, five people drown in Ireland every fortnight — and the risks increase during July and August, the most popular months for swimming and other water-based activities.

The joint appeal includes the following water safety advice to avoid summer tragedy:

  • Swim within your depth and stay within your depth. Never swim alone.
  • Wear a lifejacket or personal floatation device when on or near the water and make sure that it has a correctly fitting crotch strap. This applies when boating but equally to both experienced and once-off casual anglers fishing from shore.
  • Supervise children closely and never use inflatable toys in open water. The recent multiple rescue off Fethard is testament to the dangers of using inflatables where a sudden current can put lives under threat.
  • Swim at lifeguarded waterways listed by Irish Water Safety, or in areas that are known locally as safe and where there are ring buoys present to conduct a safe rescue.

 If you see someone in difficulty, these simple steps may save a life:

  • Shout to the casualty and encourage them to shore. This may orientate them just enough.
  • Reach out with a long object such a branch or a piece of clothing but do not enter the water yourself.
  • Throw a ring buoy or any floating object, call 112 and ask for the coastguard.

Waterways Ireland is also running a campaign with Irish Water Safety to encourage the wearing of lifejackets and personal flotation devices on the Shannon Navigation during the 2018 summer boating season.

The awareness campaign will aim to emphasise the importance of wearing lifejackets at key focal points along the Shannon.

You may notice some new signage which will be erected at key locations – locks and marinas — encouraging water safety. Information leaflets will also be distributed to water users at these key locations on the water.

Waterways Ireland encourages the safe use of its waterways by all. The wearing of lifejackets and personal flotation devices is not only an effective way of enhancing water safety, it is also a legal requirement on all pleasure craft in Ireland.

Published in Water Safety
Tagged under

#WaterSafety - The latest Marine Notice from the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport (DTTAS) advises everyone on or near the water of the correct use of lifejackets or personal flotation devices (PFDs).

Lifejackets should always be warn over all clothing, so that there is sufficient space for the device to inflate, the wearer’s breathing is not restricted, and there is easy access to activate a manual personal locator beacon.

Marine Notice No 34 of 2017 comes after the recent MCIB report into the death of lobsterman Patsy Kelly in Galway Bay last September, as previously reported on Afloat.ie.

Kelly, who went overboard from his vessel while retrieving a string of lobster pots, was found to be wearing a PFD but underneath an oilskin smock, significantly limiting his ability to signal for help.

The report also found that Kelly’s lifejacket was five months overdue for service of its active components, such as its gas canister and battery-operated light.

Published in Water Safety

#WaterSafety - The latest Marine Notice from the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport addresses pleasure and recreational craft owners, masters and users with a brief summary of the legal requirements in relation to the wearing and carrying of lifejackets and buoyancy aids, the penalties arising from non-compliance, as well as advice on the selection and maintenance of personal flotation devices, or PFDs.

The reminder follows from a previous notice in August 2012, and subsequent notices on the care and use of lifejackets, as well as the 27 January edition of This Island Nation concerning good habits over the wearing of PFDs.

Full details can be found in Marine Notice No 10 of 2016, a PDF of which is available to read or download HERE.

Published in Water Safety

Tara McCarthy has a magnificent view out of her office windows.

“You could look out there all day,” she says as we chat in the office on Crofton Road in Dun Laoghaire, looking out on Dublin Bay. Even on a damp January afternoon it is a great vista as a ship heads out of Dublin Port into what it seems will be a harsh enough time ahead at sea. However, it is not the view we have met to discuss, but whether a taboo can be created around a troubling issue – safety at sea and those who will not wear lifejackets.

Tara McCarthy is Chief Executive of Bord Iascaigh Mhara, the State fisheries board, which has launched a campaign to persuade fishermen that they must wear lifejackets. There has been an attitude amongst them that it was better not to wear one. If a fisherman fell into the sea from the boat, it was likely that the sea would take him, so it was better not to struggle to live.

That was the attitude, about which a taboo would be in place if Tara McCarthy has her way.

The statistics are frightening. Fishing is thirteen times more dangerous than the construction industry. Over the last ten years 53 fishermen have lost their lives at sea. BIM research showed that quite a number of fishermen knew colleagues who died at sea but many of those fishermen, even though they knew a colleague who had died in a tragedy, would still not wear a lifejacket.

THE NEW BIM LIFEJACKET WITH BUILT IN POSITION FINDER

The new BIM lifejacket with built-in position finder

That shocked me and so it did the CEO also, which is why the lifejackets campaign is tough, hard-hitting.

“Those fishermen should realise the impact they could have on their families by a decision not to wear a lifejacket. It is, perhaps, shocking to face them with that realisation but we have launched a campaign that is deliberately hard-hitting campaign. “It is not soft, just saying that it would be nice to wear a lifejacket. We are facing fishermen with a life-impacting decision. We talked to fishermen about this and they told us to make it hard-hitting and that is what we are doing.”

• Listen to the BIM CEO on the programme above

Published in Island Nation

#WaterSafety - Shore angler Colm Plunkett, who credits his lifejacket with saving his life after he was swept into the sea earlier this year, is supporting a water safety campaign launched this week by the RNLI throughout Ireland and the UK.

Plunkett and the RNLI are urging all shore anglers to wear a lifejacket, which could buy them vital time should they end up in the water unexpectedly.

Between 2010 and 2014 there were 29 anglers rescued while fishing from rocks or the shoreline in Ireland and the charity’s lifeboats were launched 43 times to shore angling callouts.

According to research conducted by the RNLI, only 10% of shore anglers wear lifejackets. Yet an expert casualty review panel found that 81% of the fatalities reviewed between 2007 and 2013 could have been prevented had the casualties been wearing lifejackets.

The safety campaign advises: ‘Don’t be an amateur – wear a lifejacket.’

Irish angler Colm Plunkett is one of those who chose to wear his lifejacket – a decision which ultimately saved his life after he was swept from rocks while fishing at Dursey Sound on the Beara Peninsula in West Cork in August this year.

Plunkett and his daughter Orlaith are backing the campaign and have shared their story with the RNLI for the campaign.

"I was fishing when a rogue wave washed me into the sea," he recounts. "I spent the next 55 minutes fighting for my life. Fortunately I was with my 16-year-old daughter, who immediately called the coastguard. Upon entering the water my lifejacket automatically inflated and kept me on the surface of the sea.

"For the first 15 to 20 minutes I was swept by the current out to sea. I spent 30 minutes or so fighting to get air into my lungs while spitting sea water out of my mouth; as the waves broke over my head and the water ran down my face.

"Much to my relief, the current then pushed me back towards the land and to calmer waters. My state of exhaustion and oncoming hypothermia prevented me from reaching the shore but my daughter shouted to me that help was on the way and, for the first time my spirits rose."

Ten minutes later, he recalls, the inshore rescue boat from Derrynane, Co Kerry reached him. "I was brought to shore with a life-threatening low temperature and was taken to hospital by helicopter for further assessment and treatment.

"I am here solely because I wear a lifejacket. If you are not wearing a lifejacket, you are as good as dead."

There are some simple steps anglers can follow to keep themselves safe:

  • If fishing from the shoreline, wear a lifejacket.
  • Tell someone where you’re going and when you expect to be back.
  • Carry a means of calling for help.

The campaign forms part of the RNLI’s work to halve the number of accidental coastal deaths by 2024.

Published in Water Safety

#Lifejackets - The Sunday Independent writes on Donegal firm Mullion Survival Technology's new innovative lifejackets that come with the latest tech to ensure help comes quickly.

The compact design sits like a collar around the user, with plenty of room for movement, but most important is the built-in GPS beacon that pinpoints the location of the user to rescuers, and a bright light that activates automatically once they hit the water.

What's more, each Mullion lifejacket is registered to a particular user, so that emergency services can know exactly who they're searching for when the alarm is raised.

Mullion's devices have already been credited with saving the life of a fisherman off Co Down, as previously reported on Afloat.ie, and as of this year will be the standard personal flotation device (PFD) for the Irish fishing fleet.

Independent.ie has more on the story HERE.

Published in Water Safety
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