The Coast Guard, RNLI and Water Safety Ireland have issued a joint water safety appeal asking people to take some basic precautions to stay safe when they visit the coast or participate in water activities, coastal or inland.
With the evenings getting brighter and the weather improving, more people are expected to get out on the water and knowing some simple water safety advice could help prevent an accident or tragedy. There will also be spring tides this weekend, which means higher than normal water levels at full tide. This can increase the risk of getting cut off by tide so people are asked to be mindful before planning a trip.
The three organisations are issuing some important safety advice to people who will be engaging in a range of water-based activities:
Always check the weather and tides
Carry a reliable means of raising the alarm (i.e. phone or VHF radio)
Tell someone where you are going and what time you will be back
Wear a suitable Personal Flotation Device on the water
Watch out for incoming tides to avoid getting cut off
If you are swimming:
Water temperatures are still cold at this time of the year, consider wearing a wetsuit to stay warm
Wear a bright swimming cap and consider a tow float to increase your visibility
Never swim alone and always ensure that your activity is being monitored by a colleague
If you are kayaking, canoeing or paddle boarding:
Always have a means for calling for help and make sure you can access it when you are out on the water
Tell someone where you are going and what time you expect to return
Wear a lifejacket or buoyancy aid
Always check the weather forecast and sea conditions before you set off.
Paddle in a group where possible. If you’re exploring somewhere new, seek knowledge from experienced practitioners in the area.