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.
Mark McGibney from @RNLIDunLaoghair tells me they have dealt with double the number of incidents this year compared to 2019.
The advice for sea swimmers is “If in doubt, don’t go out”. pic.twitter.com/GydlQc2cYN
— Josh Crosbie (@JoshCrosbie3) November 20, 2020
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.
— Hugh Cahill (@hughcahill7) November 11, 2020
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."
Two callouts today, 40ft for a swimmer in difficulty and Bullock harbour for two kayakers in difficulty. @RNLIDunLaoghair ILB assisted us today. All ok and crews stood down. Remember high tides this weekend may cause issues entering & exiting water. Stay safe! pic.twitter.com/y5bFZ5jGg9
— Irish Coast Guard - Dun Laoghaire (@DLCoastGuard) October 17, 2020