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Safety Appeals on UN World Drowning Prevention Day - & Lion's Mane Warnings

25th July 2021
Dublin Port Company came on board to support Water Safety Ireland for the first UN “World Drowning Prevention Day” on July 25th by illuminating Dublin’s Diving Bell in blue, one of several landmarks taking part in the global initiative to raise awareness
Dublin Port Company came on board to support Water Safety Ireland for the first UN “World Drowning Prevention Day” on July 25th by illuminating Dublin’s Diving Bell in blue, one of several landmarks taking part in the global initiative to raise awareness Credit: Conor McCabe

Diving in for a cool swim after a car journey in warm weather may seem tempting, but it multiplies the risk of drowning, Water Safety Ireland has warned.

As The Sunday Independent reports, the appeal has been issued on the eve of the UN’s first world drowning prevention day  – and after six people died in swimming-related incidents over the past week.

“Even if we have slightly cooler weather to come, travelling in a warm car increases the body’s core temperature, “ Water Safety Ireland chief executive John Leech explains.

“This exaggerates the impact of cold shock if one jumps into the water,” Leech says.

CEO of Water Safety Ireland John LeechWater Safety Ireland chief executive John Leech

Cold shock can induce uncontrolled breathing which can increase heart rate and blood pressure and cause cardiac arrest.

Water Safety Ireland has appealed to people to swim only in lifeguarded areas or on waterways where there is good local knowledge, with shallow shelving allowing people to remain safely their depth.

It is also reminding people never to use inflatable toys in water, to supervise children closely, to wear a lifejacket when on a leisure craft, and to avoid mixing alcohol with water activities.

Buildings and structures including Dublin Port’s diving bell will be illuminated in blue for UN world drowning prevention day, an initiative that was spearheaded by Ireland and Bangladesh.

Ireland records an average of 115 drownings annually.

In the decade to 2020, drowning was responsible for 1,151 deaths in Ireland - and over 2.5 million preventable deaths worldwide.

During the month of June alone, there were 27 rescues by lifeguards in five counties, according to figures supplied to Water Safety Ireland.

Lion's mane jellyfish

Meanwhile, there have been sightings of Lion's mane jellyfish on the east and west coasts at Malahide in Dublin, Mullaghmore in Sligo and Ballyvaughan, Co Clare.

A sting from a Lion's mane can cause nausea, sweating, cramps and headaches.

A spokesman for Sligo County Council warned that people can get into difficulties from panic caused if stung by one of these particular jellyfish.

Fatalities on inland waters

Five of the six fatalities in the water this week occurred inland.

Jay Moffett (13) died in Scarva, Co Down on Monday after he got into difficulty while swimming with friends, and Killian Casey (15) died in hospital late this week after he was rescued from Lough Sheelin, bordering Cavan, Westmeath and Meath on Tuesday afternoon

A 55-year old man named locally as Peter Jones died in Lough Melvin, Co Fermanagh on Wednesday morning.

On Wednesday evening, 29-year-old mother of two Natasha Corr lost her life at Swan lake outside Gowna village on the Longford-Cavan border.

Also on Wednesday,a man in his seventies named locally as Michael Hoey died in a snorkelling incident at Spencer Harbour, Drumkeeran, Co Leitrim.

A man in his sixties died at Dollymount strand, Dublin, on Friday in a suspected case of cardiac arrest.

Read The Sunday Independent here

Published in Water Safety Team

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