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Dublin: 6 °C Friday 17 November, 2017
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'Always respect the water': Coast Guard and RNLI issue bank holiday warning

Lots of people will be enjoying Ireland’s coastline over the summer.

Image: Shutterstock/RimDream

THE IRISH COAST Guard and the RNLI have issued a joint call urging people to be vigilant and take care in and on the water or along the coastline this bank holiday weekend.

Both organisations have launched safety campaigns to highlight the potential dangers of the water.

The Coast Guard’s Stay Afloat, Stay in Contact campaign highlights that if a person is wearing a lifejacket or floatation device and can raise the alarm they stand a very good chance of being rescued.

Meanwhile, the RNLI’s drowning prevention campaign Respect the Water is asking people to fight their instincts, not the water, to stay alive.

The advice comes as new research commissioned by the charity found that 39% of people would fight against the water if they unexpectedly fell into it. However, floating is more likely to help save them.

Both organisations have emphasised the importance of wearing a lifejacket and ensuring it is regularly serviced.

Members of the public are also being reminded to avoid unnecessary risks when walking on cliffs and exposed coastlines by staying on recognised routes and keeping dogs on leads at all times.

‘Respect the water’

Gerard O’Flynn, Irish Coast Guard Operations Manager, said: “This is an exciting time of the year to get out and enjoy the coast and the sea. We want people to enjoy the water but ask that you please adhere to your personal safety.

Always respect the water and if you plan to go to sea ensure that if you are unfortunate to fall in that you can manage to stay afloat and raise the alarm.

Gareth Morrison, RNLI Lifesaving Delivery Manager, added that the organisation’s volunteer lifeboat crews respond to hundreds of calls for help every year but don’t reach everyone in time.

“If you find yourself in danger in the water, you can help yourself by floating and regaining control of your breathing.

“We want people to enjoy their day out this summer without having to call the rescue services and you can do this by following some simple safety advice.

For those planning to go into the water, the best way to stay safe is to choose a lifeguarded beach and swim between the flags. We would remind everyone to always wear a lifejacket and, importantly, ensure it is fully serviced as you are risking your life if it is not in working order.

Over the summer months the RNLI’s community safety team will be hosting a number of free lifejacket advice clinics.

If you get into trouble in the water or see someone in difficulty, dial 999/112 or call the Coast Guard on Marine VHF channel 16 (for boats).

For more information, click here

Read: While training last night, the Coast Guard was called to help tourists adrift near Sandymount beach

Read: ‘We’ve seen first-hand the work of the RNLI’ – GAA stars join forces with lifesavers

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