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Public Vigilance Urged After Lifebuoy Vandalised in Limerick City

16th July 2013
Public Vigilance Urged After Lifebuoy Vandalised in Limerick City

#watersafety – Limerick City Council is urging members of the public to report damaged, stolen, missing or retrieved ringbuoys after a lifebuoy box and pole were vandalised at Athlunkard Bridge.

A member of a local boat club last night reported the missing lifebuoy to the Council's Water Safety Development Officer who on inspection determined that the lifesaving device was either stolen or thrown into the River Shannon. The lifebuoy, which is due to be replaced in the coming days, is one of 16 lifebuoys to have been replaced around Limerick City since the beginning the year.

According to Valerie Stundon: "Lifebuoys are crucial to preventing drownings in Limerick's waterways. The damaging or removal of such vitally important equipment endangers lives which is why I urge members of the public to report such incidences directly to Limerick City Council or via www.ringbuoys.ie ."

Commenting on last night's incident at Athlunkard Bridge, the Council's Water Safety Development Officer said: "The lifebuoy box and pole were ripped from the ground and more than likely thrown into the river. A report was received from a member of Athlunkard Boat Club who reported that some people who have been jumping into the river have taken the buoy, got rid of the ring and have used the rope to make a swing by tying it on to a tree. I have now requested the Council's Roads Department to have a new pole, lifebuoy box and buoy erected during the coming days."

Ms. Stundon confirmed that a lifebuoy box and pole at Corbally Baths have recently suffered a similar fate as the Athlunkard Box and Pole.

She continued: "Keeping in mind that a stolen ringbuoy means a stolen life, it is regrettable that a very small minority of people continue to engage in stealing or vandalising ringbuoys, and fail to appreciate the potentially very serious consequences of their actions. The WSDO would ask members of the public to refrain from interfering with any lifebuoy around the City and only use them in the event of someone entering the river and requiring assistance. Lifebuoys are not a toy."

Limerick City Council has 53 lifebuoys located around the City. 45 replacements were made in total in 2012 with a recurrence for replacements of 3-4 times at some locations. 16 have replaced to date in 2013.

Members of the public are requested to report damaged, stolen, missing or retrieved ringbuoys via www.ringbuoys.ie , or by emailing [email protected] or calling 061-407100.

Published in Rescue
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