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Dublin: 3 °C Friday 17 January, 2020

Water warning issued for swimmers as the warm weather continues

The government is asking people to be aware of the risks of drowning.

Roundwood Reservoir in Wicklow during the heatwave last year.
Roundwood Reservoir in Wicklow during the heatwave last year.
Image: Eamonn Farrell/

PEOPLE ARE BEING warned to stay safe while swimming in the coming days, as the high temperatures and warm weather look set to extend into the weekend. 

Minister for Rural and Community Development, Michael Ring, called on people to be “vigilant” when swimming outdoors.

“The unfortunate reality is that incidences of drowning increase greatly during warm weather,” he said in a statement. 

In the UK, a 12-year-old girl drowned yesterday in a river in Manchester – prompting warnings of the dangers of playing and swimming in lakes and rivers. 

As temperatures soar across Europe, Ireland is also enjoying a period of warm weather. Beaches are expected to be busy as the hot temperatures continue into the weekend.

The west and south of the country have been experiencing the highest temperatures – topping 27 degrees in some places – but for most people this week has been warm and sunny. 

Ring called on people who are considering going for a swim in the warm weather to stay within their depth and to ensure children are properly supervised

In 2017, 109 people drowned in Irish seas, lakes and rivers last year – 62 of those deaths came from accidental drowning. 

Ring also advised people to swim where lifeguards are on duty or where ring-buoys are present. Alcohol, he warned, should not be consumed before going swimming or entering the water. 

“Almost two thirds of drownings occur in lakes and rivers and it’s really important that people stick to safe swimming areas,” he said. 

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