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Stay safe, smart and sober near water

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Water-related tragedies can happen in seconds and in the wake of 147 drownings last year, Irish Water Safety is drawing attention to the dangers that will put people’s lives at risk this coming Bank Holiday weekend.

 

Wet, windy weather with spot-flooding will make aquatic activities and family bank holiday walks near water hazardous meaning people need to note the following basic measures that if heeded, will avoid needless tragedies this weekend.

 

A danger foreseen is a danger avoided…

 

Walkers should remain alert and stay well away from the edge of ordinarily familiar waterside pathways due to the risk of riverbanks crumbling away. These walks will be all the more hazardous due to windy with conditions and likely spot flooding. Please carry your mobile phone and remain in the company of others.

 

Alcohol should be avoided before or during any aquatic activity. Over 30% of drowning victims had consumed alcohol therefore it is best left until after your activity to celebrate this bank holiday weekend.

 

Those on water should ensure that their family and friends wear a PFD (Personal Flotation Device) at all times.

 

Supervise children at all times – it only takes seconds for tragedy to strike an unsupervised child. On wet weekend days, prompt children in your care to learn water safety in a fun way at www.aquaattack.ie.

 

Anglers will be at risk and foreign nationals in particular should be extremely vigilant as the Atlantic coastline is dramatically different to that experienced on the relatively calmer Baltic Sea. Never fish without your PFD and stay well away from the edge, particularly in windy conditions.

 

Remember your lifeline in an emergency is 112 therefore carry a mobile phone and ask for the coastguard at the first sign of difficulties.