#WaterSafety - RNLI volunteers from lifeboat stations across Ireland will be taking to the pitch in Croke Park this afternoon (Sunday 12 August) for the All-Ireland Senior Championship Football Semi-Final to share the ‘Float to Live’ message.
The charity is working with the GAA to share drowning prevention advice with their clubs around the country with the aim of saving lives.
The RNLI’s drowning prevention campaign ‘Respect the Water’ is being supported by the GAA’s Healthy Clubs programme. On the pitch later today, RNLI volunteers will unfurl two giant flags for ‘Respect the Water’ and ‘Float to Live’ to highlight the campaign and give people a single survival skill in the water: floating.
The display will be accompanied by the 30-second ‘Float to Live’ video and a halftime interview with the RNLI, featuring comedian, broadcaster — and Dun Laoghaire RNLI lifeboat volunteer — PJ Gallagher.
Volunteer ambassadors have been recruited and trained from RNLI lifeboat stations to deliver short talks and demonstrations to GAA clubs in their local communities so that young men and women can understand the risks of drowning and how a simple action could save a life. The ambassadors are RNLI volunteers who are also passionate about GAA and include, players, coaches, referees and supporters.
‘Float to Live’ is the key safety message of the ‘Respect the Water’ campaign. Even the strongest swimmers can be caught out by the power of the water. The survival message is to fight your instinct to panic, and instead stay calm and float until you can control your breathing. Then a decision can be taken on the next step, to shout for help or try and swim to safety.
The senior football semi-final features two land-locked counties but the RNLI says it is delighted to have the opportunity to share its safety messages with an audience that may not be traditionally associated with lifeboats. The charity adds that the advice applies to everyone whether on the coast or enjoying inland waters and loughs.
“We are extremely grateful to the GAA for giving us the opportunity to highlight the work our two organisations are doing together to try and raise awareness of the risks of drowning and what action to take that could save a life,” said RNLI head of community engagement Gareth Morrison.
“We are looking forward to visiting many more clubs in the weeks and months ahead to share the message.”
PJ Gallagher added: “I know it might come as a surprise to some but I am an RNLI volunteer lifeboat crew member. It will also be less of a surprise to many that I am a passionate and dedicated GAA supporter.
“Being on the pitch during an All-Ireland semi-final is a bit of a dream come true and I’m delighted that it is for such an incredible partnership. I just hope the message will help save lives and I’d encourage everyone to talk about it and share it.”
To find out more about the campaign, visit RespectTheWater.com.