Stephen McNeice
Stephen McNeice

17.11 30 Apr 2020


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People are being urged not to take part in water-based activity over the bank holiday weekend.

The RNLI and Irish Coast Guard are concerned that people may be tempted to 'take to the water' or travel to coastal areas, despite the coronavirus restrictions remaining in place.

Both organisations say people avoiding the water is crucial to minimise the risk of their volunteers being exposed to COVID-19.

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RNLI and Coast Guard services are still available during the ongoing crisis, but they say every incident they have to respond to risks putting extra pressure on emergency services.

While there have been a number of callouts during the crisis, the vast majority have been to working fishing vessels or in response to medical issues.

The RNLI's Kevin Rahill said: ‘We would ask those wanting to exercise in the water to consider the potential impact of their actions on RNLI lifeboat volunteers and other emergency services if they get into difficulty or if their presence would encourage others to join them.

"We would like to thank everyone who has heeded our message and stayed away.

"We know it is difficult when you may have been a regular water user and we are looking forward to seeing people visiting the coast and taking to the water when it is safe to do so, and the restrictions have been lifted."

Some local authorities have already taken the decision to close bathing areas amid the coronavirus crisis, with popular bathing spots along the Dublin coast currently sealed off.

Pictured are warning signs at the entrance to the 40 Foot bathing spot in Dublin, which has been closed and blocked off until further notice. Photograph: Sasko Lazarov / RollingNews.ie

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