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Sport Ireland Launches New Water Safety Campaign: Be Alert to Water Safety

28th July 2021
Two people swimming in a blueway
Swimming in blueways and other open-water locations is an increasingly popular activity around Ireland Credit: Waterways Ireland

Sport Ireland and key stakeholders have come together to encourage everyone to be alert to water safety this summer.

The initiative comes at a crucial time, with the August Bank Holiday approaching and the shocking news of more than seven water tragedies within a week around the island of Ireland.

“By pooling resources and collaborating on this campaign, we all hope to spread the message on water safety, and encourage people to be safe on the water and save lives,” Sport Ireland says.

“We are privileged to live on an island with an abundance of water to enjoy and we are spoilt with the choice of activities or enjoyment that people of all ages and abilities can derive from the water.

“The outdoors has acted as an escape for many during the last year and there has been a significant increase in the number of people taking to the water and enjoying water based activities.

“It is however critical that everyone respects the dangers that exist around water and that that people know how to be safe around, on and in the water.”

Everyone is encouraged to familiarise themselves with and follow these key water safety messages:

  • Check weather, water conditions and tides before going on or in the water.
  • Let someone know where you are going and what time you expect to be back.
  • Do not go alone, even if whoever you bring doesn't get on or in the water.
  • Have a method of calling for help. In an emergency call 999 or 112 (or use VHF Channel 16) and ask for the coastguard.
  • Use an appropriate lifejacket or buoyancy aid if you are doing activities on the water.
  • Ensure you are visible in the water and do not go in or on the water during reduced light.
  • Do not use inflatable toys in open water.

“It is important that parents and guardians educate children on these key water safety messages and that people are aware of the many hazards of swimming in undesignated areas,” Sport Ireland adds.

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Published in Water Safety
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