Irish Water Safety is appealing to the public to take care when swimming in this warm weather. 62% of all drownings occur at inland water sites. Water temperature is 16° Celsius and less in many inland sites and is 13° and less at sea. Cold Shock is the greatest contributing factor to drowning on our island nation
Swim at Designated Bathing Areas and remember that there are NO lifeguards on duty yet
Bathing season runs from the 1st of June to the 15th September
If there is no Designated Bathing Area near you then swim at known traditional bathing areas where there are ringbuoys erected that you can use if somebody gets in to difficulty
Swim within your depth – stay within your depth
Use local knowledge to determine local hazards and safest areas to swim
Always ensure that the ringbuoy is in its yellow box before entering the water
Make sure that the edges are shallow shelving so that you can safely and easily enter and exit the water
Wear a wet suit if you are not used to the cold water
Stay Away From The Edge after you consume alcohol as 30% of all drowned victims have consumed alcohol.
The majority of drownings, 62%, occur inland where river and lake beds can be difficult to see and therefore extremely difficult to determine if you are swimming within your depth. The onset of cramp, combined with the panicked realisation that you are out of your depth can have tragic consequences and be compounded further by the muscle cooling effect of longer periods in open water.
If you see someone in difficulty, these simple steps may save a life:
Shout to the casualty and encourage them to shore. This may orientate them just enough.
Reach out with a long object such a branch or a piece of clothing but do not enter the water yourself.
Throw a ringbuoy or any floating object and call 112 for the coast guard.