Sunday, July 25 was National Drowning Prevention DayKilkenny Water Safety: Gary Knox, Clair Dunphy, Lisa Power and Mayor of Kilkenny Andrew McGuinness PICTURE: VICKY COMERFORD
Sport Ireland and key stakeholders including Kilkenny Recreation and Sports Partnership have come together to encourage everyone to be alert to water safety this summer.
Sunday, July 25 was National Drowning Prevention Day, and the day was particularly poignant given a spate of water tragedies nationally in recent days. To mark the occasion in Kilkenny, City Hall was lit up in blue.
Over the last few months there have been many successful campaigns and initiatives in regards to educating the public on water safety. While all stakeholders of this campaign have particular responsibilities and objectives, the safety of all participants in outdoor physical activities is the priority of all. By pooling resources and collaborating on this campaign, they hope to spread the message on water safety, and encourage people to be safe on the water and save lives.
"We are privileged to live on an island with an abundance of water to enjoy and we are spoilt with the choice of activities or enjoyment that people of all ages and abilities can derive from the water. The outdoors has acted as an escape for many during the last year and there has been a significant increase in the number of people taking to the water and enjoying water based activities," said the groups.
"It is however critical that everyone respects the dangers that exist around water and that that people know how to be safe around, on and in the water."
Everyone is encouraged to familiarise themselves with and follow these key water safety messages:
Check weather, water conditions and tides before going on or in the water
Let someone know where you are going and what time you expect to be back
Do not go alone, even if whoever you bring doesn’t get on or in the water
Have a method of calling for help. In emergency call 999 or 112 and ask for the Coast Guard
Use an appropriate lifejacket or buoyancy aid if you are doing activities on the water
Ensure you are visible in the water and do not go in or on the water during reduced light
Do not use inflatable toys in open water.
It is important that parents and guardians educate children on these key water safety messages and that people are aware of the many hazards of swimming in undesignated areas.
If you see somebody in trouble on the water or along the coast dial 112/999 or use VHF Ch 16 and ask for the Coast Guard.
Follow the links below to find out more about education and water safety advice for specific water based activities or learn about general water safety education from the key stakeholders.
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