Water safety tips this Halloween
On Bank Holiday weekends, people are more at risk as they can become complacent and put themselves and their families in dangerous situations.
Water-related tragedies can happen in seconds and with an average of 133 drownings every year, Irish Water Safety is drawing attention to the dangers that will put people's lives at risk this coming October Bank Holiday weekend.
People have a responsibility to themselves and family to know the dangers:
• Always wear a Lifejacket when on or near water and ensure that it has a correctly fitting crotch strap.
• Surfers, divers, kayakers and sailors should wear suitably warm and waterproof clothing.
• Shore walkers should stay away from the edge and beach walkers should remain vigilant to the dangers of being stranded and should always carry a mobile phone.
• Ensure that you are fully trained and competent for your aquatic activity.
• Children are naturally curious about water and constant supervision is the safest way to avoid tragedy. Parents of primary school children should check if their local school has yet introduced Irish Water Safety's PAWS programme - Primary Aquatics Water Safety, which teaches children all about staying safe around water.
• Anglers should be extremely vigilant when fishing from the shoreline of Atlantic swells - stay well away from the edge.
• Alcohol should be avoided before or during any aquatic activity. On average, a third of drowning victims had consumed alcohol.
• In emergency situations, never hesitate to call 112 and ask for the Coast Guard.
Irish Water Safety encourages everyone to take swimming, lifesaving, survival and rescue classes. For further information click on www.iws.ie. If you locate missing ringbuoys then log on to www.ringbuoys.ie to report them.