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Ireland set for two periods of fine weather this month – people urged to take extreme care in water

  • Ireland is set for two weeks of fine weather with temperatures soaring to 24C
  • Lifeguards have now commenced operations at all marked Irish beaches
  • Campaigners urged people to heed water safety warnings amid a major increase in water sports activity

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Artist Sean Corcoran, from Waterford, Ireland, creates a piece of sand art on the beach at Tyninghame, East Lothian, during the European Land Art Festival in East Lothian. Jane Barlow/PA Wire

Artist Sean Corcoran, from Waterford, Ireland, creates a piece of sand art on the beach at Tyninghame, East Lothian, during the European Land Art Festival in East Lothian. Jane Barlow/PA Wire

Artist Sean Corcoran, from Waterford, Ireland, creates a piece of sand art on the beach at Tyninghame, East Lothian, during the European Land Art Festival in East Lothian. Jane Barlow/PA Wire

Water safety groups issued an appeal for people to exercise extreme care in rivers, lakes and seas as Ireland is set for two weeks of fine weather with temperatures soaring to 24C.

Ireland is set for two periods of fine weather over the next six weeks - July 7-13 and July 19-Aug 6 - with extended dry spells and temperatures never dropping below 20C. July 12 could see temperatures soar to 24C.

Lifeguards have now commenced operations at all marked Irish beaches – and campaigners urged people to heed water safety warnings amid a major increase in water sports activity.

Water Safety Ireland (WSI), the Irish Coast Guard and the RNLI have appealed to people to follow safety rules and to adhere to all regulations when engaged in water sports.

A total of 79 people drowned in Ireland last year - almost 5pc more than in 2020.

Over the past decade, Ireland has suffered 1,108 drownings - the bulk  of which occur in the June-August period when people engage in water sports in rivers, lakes and seas.

Repeated safety campaigns have seen the number of drownings steadily declining over the past 15 years.

While 2007 witnessed a total of 168 drownings, that figure has steadily been brought down to 105 in 2019, 76 in 2020 and 79 in 2021.

WSI chief executive Roger Sweeney said drownings remain a significant public health issue.

"Drownings can happen quickly and silently and warmer weather sometimes lulls people into a false sense of security," he said.

"However, waterways are still quite cool which affects the muscles needed to swim safely back to shore. Swim at lifeguarded waterways or in designated bathing areas that are known to be safe and have ringbuoys present."

"Stay within your depth, supervise children closely and never use inflatable toys on open water as you can be swept from shore in an instant."

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Some Irish beaches have now banned the use of inflatable downs as flotation devices for children after a number of near-tragedies.

WSI warned that, sadly, alcohol remains a factor in one-in-three drownings in Ireland.

"Alcohol should never be consumed before any aquatic activity as it can lead to someone overestimating their ability and underestimating the risks," he said.

RNLI Water Safety Lead, Kevin Rahill, urged people to follow simple safety guidelines.

"If you are going swimming, try to avoid going alone and make sure you are visible at all times by wearing a brightly coloured swim cap."

"Use a tow float and carry a suitable means of communication such as a mobile phone in a waterproof pouch and a whistle.

"If you get into trouble in the water, Float to Live: lean back, using your arms and legs to stay afloat. Control your breathing, then call for help or swim to safety.

"For those going afloat, wear a lifejacket or personal floatation device and carry a reliable means of raising the alarm such as a VHF radio or mobile phone. Go prepared by checking the weather forecast and tide times, tell someone where you are going and what time you will be back, and importantly, what to do if you do not arrive back on time."

Lifeguards have commenced operations at Ireland's major holiday beaches including those in Dublin, Wexford, Waterford, Cork, Kerry, Clare, Galway and Donegal.

Normal lifeguard hours are from 10.30am to 7pm seven days a week - and bathers are urged to watch for safety flags displayed on guarded beaches.

Cork alone has 40 full-time lifeguards as well as support personnel deployed to ensure water safety across a county that accounts for one-fifth of Ireland's coastline.


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