Thousands of people will enjoy the Volvo Ocean Race Festival events in the “City of the Tribes” close to waterways that pose a danger if safety is not heeded.
Irish Water Safety (IWS) is pleading with the public to avoid tragedy by supervising children and exercising common sense around Galway city quays and beaches. IWS trained Lifeguards will be on patrol throughout the event but it is critical that adults supervise children at all times. Children are attracted to water but can drown silently in seconds therefore parents should ensure that children do not stray alone at any of these events.
For many this will be their first boating trip of the year and they should ensure that every person on board wears a correctly fitting, well maintained lifejacket with a crotch strap. The Garda Water Unit will patrol to ensure compliance.
Advice to make your Volvo Ocean Race festivities an enjoyable and memorable experience:
· Stay away from the edge of quaysides especially if you have consumed alcohol.
· If keen to see a particular craft, please be careful not to push those in front of you towards the water’s edge.
· If going on board any craft, never jump from the quay onto a boat, or indeed from boat to boat, always use steps and ladders provided and if not, take extreme care when crossing.
· Lifejackets should be worn by those pursuing an aquatic festival activity.
· Ringbuoys and other lifesaving equipment erected on the quays should not be interfered with as a” Stolen ringbuoy could mean a stolen life”
Lifejackets should be checked for the following:
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. Please do not assume that someone else will make the call. Learn how to throw ringbuoys at www.ringbuoys.ie.