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Safety Advice for those visiting The Tall Ships Races in Waterford,

20th June 2011
Safety Advice for those visiting The Tall Ships Races in Waterford,
The Chairman of Irish Water Safety has issued advice to all those visiting the Tall Ships visiting Waterford. This event is anticipated to attract large crowds of sightseers and a large flotilla of smaller vessels on each day to the quaysides during the period the Tall Ships are visiting Waterford. No doubt, it will be a wonderful spectacle for both young and old to see and enjoy, bringing back memories of days when we learned John Masefield's poem "I must down to the seas again".

However, from June 30-July 3, when the ships are moored in Waterford and when we do go down to the quays to see them, the public must be aware of the dangers associated with closeness to water and be actively responsible for their own safety and that of their children! No doubt, every precaution will be taken to ensure as far as is practical that safety precautions and rescue equipment are in place for your protection. However, this does not alter the responsibility we have for our own personal safety and that of our children at all times.

For this reason, the host port team for the Tall Ships visit will have in place comprehensive safety and management arrangements, coupled with regimes for rescuing people in the event of a water related accident.  Again, this in no way relieves any visitor to the quaysides of responsibility for their own personal water craft and all on board and the safety and care of all.

Therefore:

Do not go too near to the quayside edges; remember falling down between a quay and a boat is one of the most difficult places to get rescued from.
If anxious to see or visit a particular Tall Ship, don't push those in front of you towards the water's edge.  Take your time; the ships are in Waterford over three days.

If going on board any boat or ships, never jump from the quay onto the boat, or indeed from boat to boat. Always use a gangplank if available. If not, you must take extreme care when crossing.
Excessive alcohol and water do not mix. Therefore, visitors to the quaysides should ensure that they do not have excessive drink taken.

Those who invite people on board their vessels, regardless of size, must take a responsible approach to the availability of alcohol - bearing in mind the inherent dangers of being on board a vessel at all times under the influence of any alcoholic drink.

Do not climb on or over any railings, walls or other barriers that protect the quays from the water.
On smaller vessels, there is a definite legal requirement in relation to wearing life-jackets and one should be familiar with this requirement.

Ringbuoys and other lifesaving equipment placed on the quaysides should not under any circumstance be interfered with, they are provided to save lives in the event of someone falling into the water.

For those afloat, MARINE NOTICE 047 of 2011 has significance and all should make themselves aware of this important document which covers all recreational craft afloat and the responsibilities with regard to their vessel.

In conclusion, it behoves every person to ensure that The Tall Ships Races will be a safe and memorable occasion to visit Waterford with its noble quays, a once-in-a-lifetime spectacle to have seen and enjoyed by all who visit the city and port.

Calling  "112" or "999"- Ask for the "Coast Guard".

If you see someone in trouble in the water (or you think someone is in trouble) don't hesitate to dial one of the emergency numbers (112 or 999) and ask to be put through to the "Coast Guard". When you are connected to the Coast Guard, give a brief description of what you saw and the Coast Guard will decide on the necessary action to take.  

Remember!  Always ask for the Coast Guard, as this will avoid any unnecessary delay by being connected to the wrong service particularly if someone is in trouble in the water. During the Tall Ships visit to Waterford should a telephone not be available ask any Garda, Civil Defence Officer or other steward on duty for help.


Published in Tall Ships
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