Displaying items by tag: drowning
#watersafety – The number of people accidentally drowning in the UK has dropped by nearly nine per cent in a year to 371 deaths in 2012, latest figures reveal.
More than half of deaths from accidents or natural causes continued to be in inland waters, such as rivers, lakes and reservoirs(203), while drowning at the coast or in a harbour, dock, marina or port accounted for a third (124), according to new data from the National Water Safety Forum (NWSF).
The NWSF's Water Incident Database (WAID), which breaks down drownings by activity, age and location type, reveals that more than a fifth of fatalities (84) were in the 50-65 age group, many while involved in activities such as sub aqua diving, swimming and angling.
Meanwhile, the under-19s accounted for 12 per cent of deaths (43), of which more than half were teenagers aged 15 to 19 (25) who predominantly got into difficulties in rivers or at the coast or beach. In the youngest age bracket of four and under, seven children drowned, two while in a bath.
Figures are revealed ahead of the National Water Safety Seminar, hosted by The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA), which takes place at The Lowry, Salford Quays, on Thursday (October 17).
David Walker, a member of the NWSF and RoSPA's leisure safety manager, said: "While the figures for 2012 are encouraging, we mustn't get complacent, especially given the prolonged heatwave we had this year.
"There's much more that could be done to save lives and improve water safety. That's why the main focus of the National Water Safety Seminar will be to create a consensus for a national drowning prevention strategy in order to further reduce the number of deaths."
Professionals covering sea, beach, inland, swimming pool and watersports safety including from the Royal Life Saving Society UK, the Royal National Lifeboat Institution, and the Amateur Swimming Association will use the seminar to discuss how best to tackle key issues, such as increasing the number of schoolchildren who can swim the minimum requirement of 25m.
In 2011, 407 people drowned from accidents or natural causes in the UK, with 219 of these (54 per cent) at inland waters. In this year, water-related deaths for children and young people up to the age of 19 reached 47 and nearly half of these - 22 deaths - were in the 15 to 19 age group, and predominantly in a river or lake.
Local coastguard members responded to an emergency call just after 3pm yesterday after the woman, who was swimming with a group at the time, got into difficulty.
Her body was recovered from the water to Purteen Pier in Achill, Co Mayo, where she was pronounced dead at the scene by a local doctor.
It's being reported that one other person was rescued from the river near the Bridgewater Shopping Centre after the alarm was raised in the early hours of this morning (10 September).
Two others thought to have entered the water were able to get out themselves.
The Irish Times has more on the story HERE.
The victim, in his 50s, was with friends when he apparently slipped off the wall of Town Bridge late last night (7 September). A postmortem is due and Gardaí are investigating the incident.
The boy was at Boatstrand near Bunmahon, between Tramore and Dungarvan, with family around 7pm yesterday evening when he went to play away from the group and got into difficulty close to the shore.
Gardaí are investigating the incident and have not as yet released further details.
The tragedy brings to mind last month's shocking series of drownings around Ireland during the recent heatwave.
As RTÉ News reports, a 24-year-old man died while swimming in the sea near Ardara in Co Donegal yesterday afternoon (20 July).
Later, the body of a second victim was recovered from the Shrule River in Newtownstewart, Co Tyrone after getting into difficulty.
A third man in his 60s is was drowned after failing to return from a swim in a quarry near Carrick-on-Suir. His body was recovered earlier today.
The tragedies follow news of a 19-year-old who drowned while swimming with friends in Lough Leane in Killarney on Friday evening (19 July).
And a woman in her 30s was lucky to be rescued after getting into difficulty swimming in the River Nore near Kilkenny. She is currently in a serious but stable condition in hospital.
The Irish Times reports that the 15-year-old boy was airlifted to hospital by police helicopter after getting into difficulty when he fell into the River Roe.
The as yet unnamed teen is the seventh drowning victim on the island of Ireland during the current heatwave.
Last week alone saw five drownings of young people, prompting Irish Water Safety CEO John Leech to make a public appeal for awareness of the dangers of swimming in areas without lifeguards, especially in open water.
“One of the reasons we’re losing all these youngish people is because a whole generation haven’t learned to swim in open water,” said Leech, who added that 32 per cent of victims have consumed alcohol.
The Irish Times has more on the story HERE.
Are you out of your depth when it comes to staying safe? Irish Water Safety is appealing to the public to take the following seven-point approach to safety when enjoying waterways in this good weather, following an analysis of the spate of recent drownings.
Swim at Lifeguarded waterways -
If there is no Lifeguarded waterway nearby then swim at a recognized, traditional bathing area
Swim within your depth - stay within your depth;
Use local knowledge to determine local hazards and safest areas to swim;
Ensure that ringbuoys are present;
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.
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.
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.
As The Irish Times reports, the body of a 17-year-old boy was recovered yesterday from a canal in Ardnacrusha, Co Clare where he had been swimming with friends on what was the hottest day so far this week.
The sad news prompted the Irish Coast Guard to urge the public to "keep water safety in mind" when enjoying outdoor activities at any time this summer.
Irish Coast Guard (IRCG) manager Declan Geoghegan said: “With the warm weather forecast, our thoughts naturally go to enjoying the outdoors and outdoor activities. Whether you enjoy swimming, canoeing, surfing, angling, sail boarding, always remember to wear a personal flotation device.”
PFDs include lifejackets and buoyancy aids, and the IRCG reiterated that it is vital to wear a lifejacket or buoyancy aid if your activity takes you near the water, whether at the sea or on lakes and rivers.
Geoghegan continued: “Each year, the Irish Coast Guard is involved in many search and rescue incidents involving people in our seas, lakes and inland waterways. Wearing a PFD isn’t just common sense, it's basic advice that could save your life.”
Advice from the coastguard to stay safe on the water this summer is to always remember and take heed of the following:
- Never go out alone
- Be able to swim - get the proper training to stay safe
- Never go out on the water having consumed alcohol
- Familiarise yourself with the local areal be aware of your own capabilities and that of your craft
- Check your equipment before you set off and tell someone where you are going and what time you will be back
- Never go out when darkness is approaching
The teen was one of three swimmers who went missing in Annaghmore Lough near Strokestown yesterday evening.
Two of the swimmers managed to reach the shore, but the body of this third was recovered before midnight by a search party led by the Irish Coast Guard's Shannon rescue helicopter and involving local angling boats.
The sad news comes just a day after a 12-year-old boy drowned while swimming in the sea off Youghal beach in Co Cork.
That followed the death of a 21-year-old woman named Lisa Knight who was swimming with friends in the River Feale in Co Limerick late on Tuesday night.
And on Wednesday afternoon a 17-year-old boy drowned after getting into difficulty swimming in a lake in Celbridge, Co Kildare, according to The Irish Times.
Irish Water Safety chief John Leech has appealed to the public on RTÉ Radio 1's Morning Ireland to be aware of the risks associated with the water, especially in unsupervised areas - and particularly for inexperienced swimmers.