Tuesday 21 August 2018

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Cork Waterkeeper making a splash

Wednesday, 1st August, 2018 5:01pm

A Cork group has become the first in Europe to use a new app on water safety.

Cork Harbour Waterkeeper has become the first in Ireland and Europe to use the mobile app, which gives water safety information for areas around Cork Harbour.

The swim guide mobile app can be used for beach goers to determine the best places to swim and for other water recreation in their areas.

Cork Harbour Waterkeeper has selected 12 locations in the Cork Harbour area at which they will begin sampling and testing the water quality. The results will be posted to the app and will show whether these locations are safe for swimming and other forms of water recreation.

“My own two boys were hospitalised when they were younger and ended up in isolation for nearly two weeks from a rotavirus they contracted from swimming in Rocky Bay,” said Noel Sheehan, Co-Founder and Executive Director at Cork Harbour Waterkeeper.

“It’s terrifying for any parent or child to have to experience that. The free Swim Guide app and our independent water quality sampling will inform parents and the people of Cork on a factual basis as to what is in the water that we use for recreation, whether it’s swimming, fishing or drinking.”

A Waterkeeper Alliance member and Swim Guide affiliate, Cork Harbour Waterkeeper was launched in April 2018 to bring attention to pollution locally and in the media in order to hold polluters accountable for their actions.

Swim Guide was originally launched back in 2011 by Lake Ontario Waterkeeper (now Swim Drink Fish) in Canada, and has grown from 7,000 users originally to more than two million today. The app is available in French, English and Spanish for both iOS and Android in countries like the United States, New Zealand and Mexico.

Mark Mattson, President of Swim Drink Fish, said he was delighted to make Cork the first European user of the app.

“It’s very significant for us to move into Europe, because we never thought we would get this beyond Lake Ontario,” he said. “Seeing the passion and commitment of Noel and the rest of the Cork Waterkeeper team at made me very much want to help out. I had a real connection with Noel, and I hope they will set a great example.”

The locations selected in Cork are Crosshaven, Monkstown, Fountainstown, Garryvoe, Myrtleville, Youghal, Carrigaline, Ringaskiddy, Cobh, Blackrock Village, Midleton and Churchbay. Cork Harbour Waterkeeper will be adding more locations and are open to suggestions from the public.

For more information visit corkharbourwaterguardians.com.

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