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Mark Stedman/
Stay on your feet

Rescue services urge public to avoid water-based exercise while Covid-19 restrictions are in place

It’s feared rescue crews and emergency services could face by being unnecessarily exposed to the coronavirus.

RESCUE SERVICES HAVE asked the public not to engage in any water-based activity on or in the sea while current Covid-19 restrictions remain in place. 

The Irish Coast Guard and Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) issued the request to highlight the risk that search and rescue crews and emergency services could be unnecessarily exposed to the coronavirus.

It comes at a time when members of the public would normally travel to coastal areas to enjoy the Easter bank holiday weekend.

However, both organisations are instead urging people to follow government instructions to stay at home and protect frontline services, as well as to observe a physical distance of two metres and stay within 2km of their residence when exercising.

The RNLI and Coast Guard confirmed that their search and rescue services would be fully operational.

Gerard O’Flynn of the Irish Coast Guard said that arrangements are still in place for services to assist HSE, gardaí and local authorities to provide community and logistical supports this weekend.

“We need our people to stay healthy during this emergency to enable us support the national action plan,” he said.

Both organisations also recommended against exercising in the sea, saying that while search and rescue teams were operational, every callout had the potential to put additional pressure on emergency services.

“We know people who live near the coast still want to exercise by the sea, but when you do this, please think of the potential impact of your actions on RNLI lifeboat volunteers and other emergency services,”  Gareth Morrison, Head of Water Safety at the RNLI, said.

Tomorrow will see dry spells in most places with hazy sunshine, although a few showers could develop in the afternoon. Highest temperatures will be between 15 and 20 degrees Celsius.

The warm weather will continue into the weekend, although it will be cloudy with some rain on Saturday with highs of 12 to 17 degrees, and occasional showery rain on Sunday, with drier and brighter intervals and maximums of 13 to 15 degrees Celsius.

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