From Sport Ireland
Be Alert to Water Safety; As Sport Ireland and key stakeholders have come together to encourage everyone to be alert to water safety this summer, Waterford City and County Council is actively supporting the message to keep safe in and near water.
Over the last few months there have been many successful campaigns and initiatives in regards to educating the public on water safety. While all stakeholders of this campaign have particular responsibilities and objectives, the overriding priority is the safety of all participants in outdoor physical activities. By pooling resources and collaborating on this campaign, the hope is to spread the message on water safety, and encourage people to be safe on the water and save lives.
Mayor of Waterford City and County, Cllr. Joe Kelly said, “We can’t emphasise enough the need for vigilance in and around water. Unfortunately, throughout the years Waterford hasn’t escaped the suffering and distress caused by drowning, however our aim, in association with Sport Ireland and key stakeholders is to prevent such tragic incidents happening in the future.”
“Our coastal areas are patrolled by skilled lifeguards who have made countless rescues in the last few months. While it’s only natural that families would wish to escape to the seaside, after the uncertainty of the last year, we can’t stress enough the need to be vigilant, be aware and never take the power of nature for granted.”
We are privileged to live on an island with an abundance of water to enjoy and we are spoilt with the choice of activities or enjoyment that people of all ages and abilities can derive from the water. The outdoors has acted as an escape for many during the last year and there has been a significant increase in the number of people taking to the water and enjoying water based activities.
It is however critical that everyone respects the dangers that exist around water and that that people know how to be safe around, on and in the water.
Everyone is encouraged to familiarise themselves with and follow these key water safety messages:
- Check weather, water conditions and tides before going on or in the water
- Let someone know where you are going and what time you expect to be back
- Do not go alone, even if whoever you bring doesn’t get on or in the water
- Have a method of calling for help. In emergency call 999 or 112 and ask for the Coast Guard
- Use an appropriate lifejacket or buoyancy aid if you are doing activities on the water
- Ensure you are visible in the water and do not go in or on the water during reduced light
- Do not use inflatable toys in open water
It is important that parents and guardians educate children on these key water safety messages and that people are aware of the many hazards of swimming in undesignated areas.
If you see somebody in trouble on the water or along the coast dial 112/999 or use VHF Ch 16 and ask for the Coast Guard.
Follow the links below to find out more about education and water safety advice for specific water based activities or learn about general water safety education from the key stakeholders
Water Safety Ireland – www.watersafety.ie/open-water-swimming/
RNLI – www.rnli.org/safety
Leave No Trace Ireland www.leavenotraceireland.org
Swim Ireland – www.swimireland.ie/open-water
Canoeing Ireland – www.canoe.ie/safety-on-the-water/
Irish Surfing – www.irishsurfing.ie/safety-environment/safe-surfing
Irish Sailing www.sailing.ie
The Irish Underwater Council www.diving.ie