RNLI and Coast Guard ask people to stay away from the sea

Galway Daily news Safety warnings issued ahead of Storms Dudley and Eunice

The Irish Coast Guard and RNLI are urging people to stay home, and not to head to the sea for recreation or exercise during the current emergency.

Under normal circumstances people would be flocking to the coast for the Bank Holiday weekend for a splash in the sea as Ireland basks in its first spell of sunshine this year.

But given the current coronavirus pandemic, the RNLI and Coast Guard are asking people not to take part in any water based activity to avoid endangering their personnel.

Both organisations are highlighting the importance of minimising the risk to Search and Rescue volunteer crews, helicopter crew and other front line emergency services, through being unintentionally exposed to COVID-19.

Gareth Morrison, Head of Water Safety at the RNLI, said: ‘We know people who live near the coast still want to exercise by the sea, but when you do this, please think of the potential impact of your actions on RNLI lifeboat volunteers and other emergency services.’

While people are allowed out for exercise during this lockdown, both organisations are that people to avoid exercising on the water, and obey all travel restrictions.

Search and Rescue lifeboat and helicopter services are still operating as normal, but every callout has the potential expose rescue workers to coronavirus, further stretching those services.

Gerard O’Flynn from the Coast Guard said that people need to stay home to stay safe, and that they should observe the 2×2 rule, two metres of physical distancing, and a two kilometre travel limit.

“Arrangements are in place for Coast Guard services including Helicopters and Volunteer Coast Guard units to assist HSE, Gardai and Local Authorities in provision of community support and other logistical support.”

“We need our people to stay healthy during this emergency to enable us support the national action plan.”