The RNLI and Irish Coast Guard are appealing for people to be safe on the water this bank holiday weekend after a recent rise in callouts.
With the recent warm weather, longer evenings, and easing of travel restrictions, there have been more people heading to the coasts and inland waters.
RNLI Lifesaving Manager Sean Dillion said, “our volunteer lifeboat crews around the coast and on our inland waters are expecting a busy season as more people are out enjoying the water.”
He added that many of their callouts could be avoided with some simple preparation and planning.
“We want people to be safe on the water and enjoy themselves. Whatever activity you are planning please take a few minutes to check the relevant safety advice and always dial 999 or 112 and ask for the Coast Guard if you see someone in trouble on the water.”
RNLI lifeboats crews in Galway were called out 89 times last year, rescuing 85 people over the year.
Some simple safety tips the Coast Guard and RNLI are reminding people to keep in mind as they head to the water this weekend are:
- Check the weather and tide and familiarise yourself with local currents before you participate in any open water or coastal activity.
- Always carry a reliable means of raising the alarm with you.
- Tell someone where you are going and when you will be back.
- Wear a lifejacket or buoyancy aid on or near the water.
- Never ever swim alone and always ensure that somebody ashore is monitoring your progress.
Coast Guard, Head of Operations Gerard O’Flynn added: “Don’t assume that just because we have clear skies and warmer temperatures it is safe to engage in all coastal activities.”
“Please familiarise yourself with weather and tidal information and take the time to observe prevailing conditions before you commence”.
He added that to date this year, the number of incidents they have recorded not only exceeds what was seen in 2020, but are also at a five-year high.