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Concerns: Water safety plea after four drowning tragedies are averted

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Riding the waves: Kitesurfers enjoying the good weather at Dollymount, Dublin, yesterday. Photo: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Riding the waves: Kitesurfers enjoying the good weather at Dollymount, Dublin, yesterday. Photo: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Riding the waves: Kitesurfers enjoying the good weather at Dollymount, Dublin, yesterday. Photo: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Emergency services issued a water safety plea for the June bank holiday weekend after four potential tragedies were narrowly avoided within just 24 hours at Irish beaches. 

Eight people had to be rescued in Cork, Kerry and Galway over two days - including children aged five and six, both of whom had separately drifted out to sea on a surf board and an inflatable lilo.

Now, the Coast Guard, Irish Water Safety, RNLI and gardaí have pleaded with people to exercise care near water and also urged families not to allow children use inflatable leisure items in the sea.

Coast Guard official Gerard O'Flynn urged people to adhere to the 5km travel rule and to observe strict safety protocols near water.

The RNLI also teamed up with the GAA to promote the water safety message.

"Our charity has seen a sharp increase in lifeboat call-outs as volunteer lifeboat crews launched 30 times in the last 10 days compared to just 45 call-outs over the previous two months during the coronavirus restrictions," RNLI safety lead Owen Medland said.

"As the good weather is set to continue for the weekend, the RNLI is concerned that lives may be lost as people are beginning to visit the coast."

Irish Independent