The Irish Coast Guard today launched their summer safety campaign “No Life Jacket? No Excuse.”

The campaign highlights the difference between wearing a life-jacket and not wearing one

The Irish Coast Guard today launched their summer safety campaign “No Life Jacket? No Excuse.”

Image: RollingNews.ie

40% of people who drown don’t intend to be on or in the water. Wearing a Life Jacket dramatically increases your chances of surviving. The Coast Guard are highlighting the dangers of not wearing a Life Jacket when entering the water. 

No Life Jacket?

1st minute in the water.

Irish Waters remains cold all year around; falling into the cold water you are literally trying to catch your breath, as you try to get back to the surface your first breath might be taking water straight to your lungs, enough to mean you are instantly in grave danger of drowning. 

2nd minute.

Staying Afloat. Falling in fully clothed without a Life Jacket you are going to struggle to stay afloat. Clothes will immediately absorb water, increasing your weight and add to your struggle.

3rd minute.

At this stage your arms may not be able to return to the surface quick enough to keep your head about water, your breath is going to taking in air and water. Calling for help becomes near impossible as you are gasping for every breath to stay alive.

Life Jacket

1st minute in the water.

Having a suitable Life Jacket you are still going to feel the cold and panic as you first fall into the water. To what extent depends on what clothing you have underneath – wet suit, dry suit etc.

2nd minute.

You will have quickly returned to the surface and you are now able to Stay Afloat, you still help but the focus is different. You are not fighting for your life to stay afloat, you can now focus on how to recover to safety or get help.

3rd minute.

Stay Connected. If can’t recover from the water you now need to move to the second stage, letting the Coast Guard know you are in the water and need urgent help before you get too cold. To do this you’ll need a means of getting connected, ideally a VHF Radio or a smoke flare. On a shore line a whistle might be enough to get someone’s attention to ring the Coast Guard on 112/ 999 for help.