Lifeboat Crews Have Helped Twi...

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Lifeboat Crews Have Helped Twice As Many People As They Did In 2019

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11:01 20 Nov 2020


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The Coast Guard and RNLI are reminding open water swimmers of key safety advice after they had to attend 8 incidents in 4 days.

Meanwhile the Lifeboats have had to help twice as many people this year than they did in 2019.

They say most people who swim in the sea are doing it safely, but others may not know how to avoid danger.

Most people who participate in open water swimming do so safety but some and in particular those who are new to the sport may be unaware of important safety measures which can help them avoid getting into difficulty.

Swimmers - If In Doubt, Don't Go Out

The Coast Guard and RNLI have shared the following safety advice for swimmers, highlighting the dangers of swimming alone and the importance of being monitored from the shore.

  • Always check the weather forecast and understand the wind, tides and currents.
  • Never swim alone and have somebody on the shore, ideally to watch.
  • Only swim in sheltered areas.
  • Ensure that you are visible from the shore.
  • Wearing a wetsuit is a good way to stay warm.
  • Slowly get into cold water to reduce the risk of cold water shock.
  • Get warmed up afterwards and wrap up well in extra layers of clothing
  • If in doubt, don’t go out!
  • Tell someone else where you’re going and when you are due back.

Dangers Far Outweigh Challenges In Summer

Coast Guard Head of Operations, Gerard O’Flynn said,

"At the outset we are grateful that anybody who sees someone in trouble or thinks they may be in trouble, dials 112 and alerts the Coast Guard. "

" Seasoned open water swimmers have a great deal of experience and do observe proper safety precautions."

"However the dangers this time of the year far outweigh the challenges that apply in summer time."

RNLI Water Safety Lead Kevin Rahill added,

"Cold water and currents can tire a swimmer quickly and make it harder to return to shore."

"Lifeboat crews are seeing a lot more callouts to people who are taking part in water based activities by themselves and while it is great to enjoy our beautiful waters, this time of year, the water temperature drops and of course it is dark for longer."

If you see somebody in trouble or think they are in trouble

Dial 112 and ask for the Coast Guard.

Photo: Eamonn Farrell/RollingNews.ie

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