Irish Coast Guard issues advice to the public for June Bank Holiday and summer water-safety campaign

The Irish Coast Guard today issued advice to the public (and to holidaymakers) in advance of the June bank holiday weekend.  The weather forecast for this weekend is for relatively dry weather with maximum temperatures at least a few degrees above normal for early June.  Bank holiday Monday is forecast for a dry day for much of the country with southern counties likely to enjoy some pleasant warm sunshine.

Many people like to enjoy the outdoors during good weather and in particular during bank holiday weekends.  Every summer, the Coast Guard responds to thousands of requests for assistance to those in difficulty while on the water, on cliff paths and coastal walks, enjoying water sports, engaged in coastal activities, hill walking and so on.  For specific advice and information on any water and coastal activity, visit www.safetyonthewater.ie 
 
This year, the Coast Guard wishes to build on their very successful 2011 summer safety campaign to ensure that the public stay safe when enjoying the outdoors during summer 2012.  
 
Speaking today, Manager of the Irish Coast Guard Declan Geoghegan said: “This summer, we began our safety awareness campaign in May, which is aimed at holidaymakers, and members of the public who are planning water sports, enjoying cliff walks or engaging in coastal activities throughout Ireland.  We are also targeting walkers and climbers.”
 
Throughout the summer (as at other times of the year), Coast Guard Units throughout the Ireland will patrol our rivers, lakes, waterways and coastlines issuing safety advice and information to holidaymakers and tourists.
 
The following are general safety tips and advice to help enjoy the water and coastal activities in your area this weekend and this summer;
 
Swimming
Only swim at beaches and waterways that have Lifeguards on duty and pay attention to the safety flags. Ask the Lifeguard for advice about safety and water conditions and adhere to their instructions. Avoid using inflatable toys, such as lilos and rubber rings, on the water.
 
Cliff Walking.
There is safety in numbers, so never be alone if possible. Let somebody know when and where you are going and what time you will be back. Stay well away from the cliff edge, both top and bottom. Don’t attempt to rescue people or pets if they fall over the edge. If assistance is required dial 112 and ask for the Coast Guard.
 
Water Sports and Coastal Activities.
Before going to sea check local weather conditions and tides in the area. Wear correctly maintained and fitting lifejackets that are suitable for the activity. Lifejackets are of no use unless they are worn. Ensure your craft is fit for purpose. Always advise someone as to where you are going and the time of your intended return.
Do not overload the craft. If you are in difficulty or see someone in difficulty and requiring assistance dial 999/112 and ask for Coast Guard.
 
ENDS
 
Issued by:
Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport Press Office. (01) 604 1087 / (01) 604 1090. Caroline Ryan (086) 891 5570.
Initial Publication Date: 
31/05/2012