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Avoid Drownings for the Remainder of the Summer

23rd August 2013
Avoid Drownings for the Remainder of the Summer

#watersafety – Irish Water Safety is appealing to the public to stay safe for the remainder of the summer. John Leech, CEO of IWS is pleading with the public to be careful when you go swimming for the remainder of the summer. We have already lost too many people this year to drowning. The forecast is promising for the remainder of the traditional bathing season. Please follow the following simple steps to keep you and your family safe:

Swim at Lifeguarded waterways - http://www.iws.ie/bathing-areas-page.html;
If there is no Lifeguarded waterway nearby then swim at a recognized, traditional bathing area.
Swim within your depth - stay within your depth;
Supervise children at all times until you are in your car driving home;
Use local knowledge to determine local hazards and safest areas to swim;
Ensure that ringbuoys are present where you swim;
Make sure that the edges are shallow shelving so that you can safely and easily enter and exit the water;
Only drink alcohol after your aquatic activity has ended. Stay Away From The Edge after you consume alcohol.
Never bring inflatable toys or floating killers to beaches, lakes or rivers
There was a full moon on Wednesday so beware of rip currents as they will be strong over the coming days.

The majority of drownings, 62%, occur inland where river and lake beds can be difficult to see and therefore extremely difficult to determine if you are swimming within your depth. The onset of cramp, combined with the panicked realisation that you are out of your depth can have tragic consequences and be compounded further by the muscle cooling effect of longer periods in open water. Bear in mind that in a recent analysis on drowning over the last 25 years we discovered that 32% of drowning victims had consumed alcohol so stay away from water when you have been drinking.

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 ringbuoy or any floating object and call 112 for the coast guard.

Published in Water Safety
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