EASTER HOLIDAY DROWNING RISK
Play safely to prevent tragedy
Thousands of people will enjoy Easter bank holiday breaks on or close to waterways that pose a danger if safety is not heeded especially as there will be a Full Moon and some of the highest tides of the year. Irish Water Safety is pleading with the public to avoid tragedy by supervising children on holidays and exercising common sense around our shorelines, rivers and lakes.
Children are attracted to water but can drown silently in seconds. It is critical that adults supervise children at all times. Visitors to rural homes should ensure that children do not stray alone to septic tanks, quarries or riverbanks.
Those boating over the holiday weekend will share their enthusiasm with swimmers, divers, anglers, canoeists, surfers and thousands more walking the shoreline. Walkers and shellfish pickers should be aware of the dangers of stranding posed by the spring tides. Those enjoying what is commonly their first boating trip of 2012 should ensure that every person on board wears a correctly fitting well maintained lifejacket with crotch strap.
Cold-water temperatures are close to ten degrees at present. Most swimmers will not yet be acclimatized to such conditions and should not stay too long in open water.
Alcohol is a contributory factor in approximately one-third of all drownings, therefore alcohol should not be consumed before or during aquatic activities.
If you have not used your lifejacket since last year then you will need to carry out the following checks.
Visually Check all lifejackets and buoyancy aids for the following deficiencies:
Ensure CO2 Cartridges have not been punctured
Ensure all zips, buckles, fasteners and webbing straps are functioning correctly
Check that fitted lights are operating correctly
Check that the valve or lifejacket is not leaking by inflating the lifejacket overnight or immersing it in water checking for air bubbles
Discard any faulty lifejackets by destroying them
Always use your crotch strap when fitting your lifejacket
If you see someone in difficulty in the water dial 999 OR 112. Don’t assume someone else will make the call.
For water safety information for children www.aquaattack.ie
To report missing ringbuoys www.ringbuoys.ie