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RNLI & Irish Coast Guard Urge People To Respect The Water This June Bank Holiday

2nd June 2017
RNLI & Irish Coast Guard Urge People To Respect The Water This June Bank Holiday

#WaterSafety - The Irish Coast Guard and the RNLI have issued a joint call urging people to be vigilant and take care in and on the water or along the coastline this June Bank Holiday weekend and over the summer holidays.

Both organisations have launched safety campaigns to highlight the potential dangers of the water.

The coastguard is promoting a new message this summer asking people to Stay Afloat – Stay in Contact, which aims to underpin the concept that if you are wearing a lifejacket or floatation device and can raise the alarm then you stand an excellent chance of being rescued.

Meanwhile, the RNLI’s drowning prevention campaign Respect the Water is asking people to fight their instincts and not the water to stay alive.

The advice comes as new research commissioned by the charity has revealed that 39% of Irish people questioned said they would follow their instincts and fight against the water, if they unexpectedly fell into it.

However, the RNLI is asking people to fight these instincts and remember one simple piece of advice – floating – that could save lives from drowning.

The public are also being reminded to avoid unnecessary risks when walking on cliffs and exposed coastlines by keeping to recognised routes and keeping dogs on a lead at all times.

Both organisations have emphasised the importance of not only wearing a lifejacket but also ensuring that it is regularly serviced.

Speaking ahead of the Bank Holiday weekend, Irish Coast Guard operations manager Gerard O’Flynn said: “This is an exciting time of the year to get out and enjoy the coast and the sea. We want people to enjoy the water but ask that you please adhere to your personal safety.

“Always respect the water and if you plan to go to sea ensure that if you are unfortunate to fall in that you can manage to stay afloat and raise the alarm.”

RNLI lifesaving delivery manager Gareth Morrison added: “The RNLI’s volunteer lifeboat crews launch to hundreds of calls for help every year in Ireland but sadly, not everyone can be reached in time.

“If you find yourself in danger in the water, you can help yourself by floating and regaining control of your breathing.

“We want people to enjoy their day out this summer without having to call the rescue services and you can do this by following some simple safety advice. For those planning to go into the water, the best way to stay safe is to choose a lifeguarded beach and swim between the flags.

“We would remind everyone to always wear a lifejacket and, importantly, ensure it is fully serviced as you are risking your life if it is not in working order.”

Morrison added: “Over the summer months the RNLI’s community safety team will be hosting a number of free lifejacket advice clinics and we would encourage all owners to avail of the opportunity to check their lifejacket is safe to use.”

Remember if you do get into trouble or see someone in difficulty, call the Irish Coast Guard on VHF Channel 6 or dial 112 and ask for the coastguard.

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