Lifejackets float – you don’t.
Think before you sink – Wear a Lifejacket
Accidents can happen fast on water and there may not be time to reach for a lifejacket in an emergency therefore don’t just carry a lifejacket – wear it; if it’s not on you, it can’t save your life.
That’s the pressing message of Irish Water Safety’s Bank Holiday campaign, urging people to make sure that lifejackets are in good order and always worn when boating. Warmer weather has turned waterways into a playground for aquatic sports and boating activities but foolhardy behaviour, such as not wearing a lifejacket costs lives every year and nearly resulted in the loss of three lives in one incident alone already this week.
This risky behaviour increases over Bank Holiday weekends compounded by a complacency that often sees children on school holidays being allowed boating without lifejackets.
Irish Water Safety’s Safe Boating Alert:
- Check condition of boat and equipment, hull, engine, fuel, tools, torch.
- Check the weather forecast for the area.
- Check locally concerning dangerous currents and strong tides.
- Do not drink alcohol while setting out or during your trip.
- Carry an alternative means of propulsion e.g. sails and oars or motor and oars.
- Carry a first aid kit on board and distress signals (at least two parachute distress rockets, two red hand flares).
- Carry a fire extinguisher, a hand bailer or bucket with lanyard and an anchor with rope attached.
- Carry marine radio or some means of communication with shore.
- Do not overload the boat – this will make it unstable.
- Do not set out unless accompanied by an experienced person.
- Leave details of your planned trip with someone ashore – including departure and arrival times, description of boat, names of persons on board, etc.
- Wear a Lifejacket at all times.
- Keep an eye on the weather – seek shelter in good time.
- In Marine Emergencies, call 999 or 112 and ask for Marine Rescue.
- Lifejackets Checklist
- Ensure Cartridges have not been punctured and are secured firmly.
- Ensure all zips, buckles, fasteners and webbing straps are functioning correctly and adjusted to fit the user.
- Check that fitted lights are operating correctly.
- Ensure that Automatic Inflation devices are fully serviced and in date.
- Check that the valve or lifejacket is not leaking.