Irish Water Safety, Coast Guard and the RNLI have issued a joint appeal reminding the public to stay alert to the risk of drowning at all times and especially in the current hot weather.
On average, five people drown in Ireland every fortnight and the risks increase during July and August, the most popular months for swimming and other water based activities.
Swim within your depth and stay within your depth.
Never swim alone.
Wear a Lifejacket/Personal Floatation Device when on or near the water and make sure that it has a correctly fitting crotch strap.
This applies when boating but equally to both experienced and once-off casual anglers fishing from shore.
Supervise children closely and NEVER NEVER use inflatable toys in open water.
Swim at Lifeguarded waterways listed on www.iws.ie or in areas that are known locally as safe and where there are ringbuoys present to conduct a safe rescue.
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.
- Reachout with a long object such a branch or a piece of clothing but do not enter the water yourself.
- Throw a ring buoy or any floating object.
- Call 112 and ask for the Coast Guard.
Meanwhile Irish Water Safety have also confirmed that the Lion’s Mane jellyfish has arrived here much earlier than normal, and in some numbers.
Swimmers are urged to swim at designated bathing areas and lifeguarded waterways.
The Jellyfish have been spotted in Port Beach and Clogherhead Beach in Co Louth , Galway Bay and also in Dublin’s Sandycove
John Leech, chief executive of Irish Water Safety had this warning:
“This year is the earliest and largest infestation of Lion’s Mane jellyfish in my experience. They are very, very big and cannot be mistaken for anything else”
The sting from these jellyfish, can cause anaphylactic shock, with many hospitalised as a result of its venomous sting. The sting from their tentacles lasts for several days after they have died.
IWS warned that more lion’s mane jellyfish are likely to appear on more of our beaches in coming weeks.