Stephen McNeice
Stephen McNeice

07.50 27 Jul 2021


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Swimmers are being urged to pay extra attention to water safety this bank holiday weekend, after seven drowning deaths across the island in just seven days.

Last week's heatwave saw tragedies in areas including Tramore, Dollymount, Lough Sheelin and several other lakes across the country.

While the heatwave has now ended, there are water safety appeals being issued ahead of the approaching long weekend.

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Minister of State Hildegarde Naughton spoke to Newstalk Breakfast following the recent tragedies.

Swimmers urged to stay safe this long weekend after seven drownings during heatwave

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She said: “I’d like to express my sincere condolences to the seven families who lost somebody over the last seven days.

“The majority of these drownings were in our inland waterways. It just brings it all home to us how quickly accidents can happen at sea or within our waters… it’s a reminder to us all about trying to make personal decisions, and stay as safe as we can in the water."

The August bank holiday weekend is typically one of the busiest of the year for water-based activities, and Minister Naughton urged people to stay safe if they're swimming over the coming days.

She said: “Ensure you’re accompanied by someone else. We’re asking people to check the tide times before you go out. If you’re doing open sea swimming, wear a toe float or high visibility swim cap, and always tell people what time you intend to return home.

“Please don’t use inflatables… they absolutely can [be lethal]. The Coast Guard and RNLI have had first-hand experience of the dangers - children or anyone can be carried out kilometres from the seashore in any amount of time.”

She also encouraged people to only swim at spots that have dedicated lifeguards on duty.

Main image: File photo. Photo: Sam Boal/RollingNews.ie

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