August is the most popular month for outdoor swimming, prompting Irish Water Safety’s appeal to swim at Lifeguarded waterways and to stay close to shore and within your depth.
Ireland averages 135 drownings every year. Drownings happen quickly and silently yet people can stay safe by heeding the following advice:
Safe Swimming in August:
1. Swim at lifeguarded waterways – all listed at www.iws.ie.
2. Swim within your depth and stay within your depth.
3. Swim parallel and close to shore.
4. Swim with others in bathing areas that are traditionally recognised as safe.
5. Never use inflatable toys in open water or swim out after anything drifting.
6. Pay attention to signs on the beach and supervise children at all times.
7. Never swim in the dark, late at night or after consuming alcohol.
8. Avoid staying in the water too long.
9. In Marine Emergencies, call 112 and ask for the coastguard.
No matter what your aquatic activity, when you are on or near water always wear a correctly fitted lifejacket with a crotch strap.
Children are curious about water therefore it is critical that adults supervise children at all times.
* 135 drownings per year is based on a ten year average to 2013. The total number of drownings in Ireland in 2013 was 91, the lowest since 1936 when 73 drowned. The highest figure recorded in any one year was 235 in 1983. Detailed statistical analysis here: http://www.iws.ie/media/drowning-statistics.178.html