The RNLI text messaging service was introduced by the charity seven years ago
Volunteers at Sligo Bay RNLI are reminding visitors planning a trip to Coney Island to take advantage of the free Text Coney service to help prevent them getting cut off by the tide.
The RNLI text messaging service was introduced by the charity seven years ago in a direct response to a coastal safety risk identified by the local community in Sligo.
The Coney Island causeway and its flooding tidal waters present a risk to people who are unsure of the tide times and the best times to cross from the mainland.
In the past, Sligo Bay RNLI has responded to numerous call outs around Coney Island that relate to tidal cut off and activities around the sandbanks and tidal channels. The lifeboat crews can be restricted by water depth when attending these incidents especially during the crucial early phase of the flooding tide where people are starting to cut off or are bogged in.
The text messaging system accompanied by signage directs people to the numbers to text, encourages safer crossing and decision making.
Anyone planning to visit the island by car, bike or foot is encouraged to Text the word Coney to 51155 (from Republic of Ireland mobiles) or 81400 (from Northern Ireland/UK mobiles) to find out the safe crossing times for that day.
The RNLI will reply with information on the best times subject to good weather conditions along with key safety messages reminding users to always leave extra time to return safely, to never attempt to cross if the strand is covered with water and in the event of an emergency to dial 999 or 112 and ask for the Coast Guard.
Now, as the summer holidays get underway, Willie Murphy, Sligo Bay RNLI Lifeboat Operations Manager is urging people to save the numbers and use them ahead of any planned trip: ‘This is a wonderful free service and I would encourage people to save the numbers 51155 or 81400 to their phones under Text Coney and that way they have the relevant information to hand and know what to do if planning a trip to the island. Simply texting the word Coney means we can help people get the best advice on the day and help them to make safer choices when accessing the coast, reducing their risk of getting into difficulty.’
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