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Stay safe in the water this bank holiday

Thursday, 3rd August, 2017 9:06am

August is a popular month for outdoor swimming and the bank holiday weekend is almost here.

The Irish Water Association is urging people to take precautions to reduce risks of drowning.

Last year, 123 people drowned, 94 male and 29 female. Drownings often occur quickly and quietly, with 80 per cent of last year's victims drowning in their home county. 

Irish Water Safety is appealing to the public to reduce the risks of drowning by taking the following actions:

Only swim at lifeguarded waterways. These can be found at http://www.iws.ie/bathing-areas/map.372.html.

Swim with others in areas traditionally recognised as safe.

Swim within your depth. Swim parallel to and close to the shore.

Do not use inflatable toys in open water and do not swim out after anything that is drifting. 

Never swim in the dark.

Avoid staying in the water for too long, due to the risk of hypothermia.

Train for your chosen aquatic activity at www.safetyzone.ie.

Supervise children near water at all times. 

In the event of a marine emergency, call 112 and ask or the coastguard. 

Never mix alcohol and water sports. Alcohol is a factor in one third of adult deaths from drowning. 

When angling or boating, wear a lifejacket. To see what device suits your needs, see http://www.iws.ie/boting/personal-flotation-devices.327.html.

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