With temperatures of up to or above 29C forecast across the weekend, many people will be taking to seas, rivers and lakes around the country to cool down.

However, while swimming or just near water, it’s important to stay safe.

Water Safety Ireland (WSI) report that an average of nine people drown every month nationwide.

WSI has the following advice during warm weather:

  • 1. Swim within your depth and stay within your depth.
  • 2. Swim between the red and yellow flags at a lifeguarded waterway, listed here. Otherwise, swim in areas that are known locally as safe and where there are ringbuoys present for rescues.
  • 3. Avoid swimming in unfamiliar areas that are potentially unsafe. Ask for local knowledge to determine local hazards and the safest areas to swim. Pay attention to any safety signage.
  • 4. Make sure that the water’s edge is shallow shelving so that you can safely enter and exit.
  • 5. The air temperature is warm but open water is cooler than air – avoid extended stays in the water as your muscles will cool, making swimming more difficult.
  • 6. Never use inflatable toys in open water as a gentle breeze can quickly bring a person away from shore.
  • 7. Always supervise children closely and never leave them alone near water.
  • 8. Alcohol is a factor in one third of drownings. Do not mix it with water activities.
  • 9. To escape a rip current, swim parallel to the shore and then swim back ashore. More information is available here.
  • 10. If you see somebody in trouble in the water: SHOUT – REACH – THROW
  • - A. SHOUT to calm, encourage and orientate them;

    - B. REACH with anything that prevents you from entering the water (clothing/stick);

    - C. THROW a ringbuoy or any floating object to them.

  • 11. When boating, always wear a correctly fitting lifejacket and have to hand a VHF radio and a fully charged mobile phone in a waterproof pouch.
  • Visit www.watersafety.ie for more information.

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