THE RIGHT TOOLS FOR THE JOB
The Coast Guard is urging people not to go to sea in unsuitable craft. Coast Guard units all over the country are dealing with an increase in calls because of supermarket-bought inflatable craft being used at sea.The Coast Guard has experienced over 25 incidents in the last few days which involved leisure activities and any one of them could have resulted in disaster and loss of life.
Incidents varied from inflatables being blown out to sea, to people being isolated by the tide and also a notable increase in the use of cheap dinghies with small outboards. All of these can lead to disaster and the Coast Guard strongly advises against their use and also for PARENTS and GUARDIANS to be vigilant especially where young teenagers are purchasing such equipment.
The Coast Guard also had to deal with the dangerous use of Jet-skis.
Coast Guard units are currently running Compliance Monitoring Patrols in all coastal areas and strongly advise the use of PFD’s (lifejackets) at all times.
If you are in difficulty or see someone in difficulty and requiring assistance dial 112/999 and ask for the Coast Guard.
Lifejackets are just that LIFEjackets, and are of no use unless they are worn.
Personal Flotation Devices (PFD’s) include lifejackets and buoyancy aids. It is vital to wear a lifejacket or buoyancy aid if your activity takes you near the water. This doesn’t just mean the sea – it includes lakes and rivers too. If you enjoy sports like jet skiing, windsurfing, water skiing and canoeing, wearing the appropriate Personal Floatation Device will give you added confidence when in the water. Also, in the event of an emergency, it will help you remain afloat while the Search and Rescue services locate you.
Avoid using inflatable toys, such as lilos and rubber rings, on open water.
Also the Irish Coast provide free waterproof wristbands for children to assist the emergency services in contacting a parent or guardian should it be required. These wristbands distributed last year as part of the “Give us a Hand” campaign can be attained at Coast Guard stations nationwide.
For specific advice and information on any water and coastal activity, visit www.safetyonthewater.ie.