Water Safety Awareness Week 2022
National Water Safety Awareness Week takes place from Monday 13th - Sunday 19th June, and aims to increase awareness of safe practices around water to reduce potential risks while enjoying Ireland's coastal and inland waterways.
According to Water Safety Ireland, an average of 126 people drown each year, with the majority (62%) of these occurring at inland water sites. The most common activities resulting in drownings are swimming, bathing, boating and fishing.
When taking part in water-based activities, it is always important to have the correct equipment at hand and to be aware of any potential hazards. A shortlist of essential marine safety gear is as such:
- A life jacket or CE certified personal flotation device (one for each person) – never use inflatables at the beach
- Nautical whistle, air horn and flares
- Communication device
- Life Buoy Ring or Rescue Can
With the correct equipment and a good understanding of water safety guidelines you can minimise potential dangers. The Irish Coast Guard urges anyone taking part in any water-based or coastal activity to first 'PAUSE':
Plan the activity carefully. Account for what clothing and safety equipment will be required, and inform someone of your plans.
Always wear a life jacket or personal floatation device when near or on the water. Bring a reliable communication method, such as a VHF radio or whistle (do not rely on a mobile phone). Ensure you have enough food and water supplies. Carry the correct equipment for the activity and ensure you know how to use it.
Use readily available sources of information to check the environmental conditions (weather and tides) ahead of the activity. Never stay in the water when a storm is approaching.
Seek help straightaway if you or someone you observe is in distress by calling 999/112 or using VHF Radio - CH:16 and asking for the Coast Guard.
Enjoy the water safely and responsibly.
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