Thursday 22 February 2018

Coast Guard issues safety warning about swimming and snorkelling at Dalkey Island

Dalkey Island. Picture: Dun Laoghaire Coast Guard
Dalkey Island. Picture: Dun Laoghaire Coast Guard

Zainab Boladale

The Coast Guard has issued a warning to beach-goers ahead of the anticipated warm weather this weekend.

Temperatures on Saturday and Sunday are expected to climb into the mid-20s, with strong sunshine and little chance of rain.

And the Dun Laoghaire Coast Guard has advised all water sports enthusiasts around Dalkey Island to be especially careful.

Writing on Facebook, the Coast Guard said: "Swimmers going to, from and around are virtually invisible to see until it's too late, along with snorkellers who are nearly impossible to see."

The message continued: “Leisure craft and ferry boats travelling to and from sometimes distract your eye from noticing people in the water."

They said kayakers also need to be cautious.

A Dun Laoghaire Coast Guard spokesperson said: “A lot of activities go on there on any particular weekend. A lot of people wouldn’t expect to see that amount of swimmers for such a small area. As well as that there are diving schools going to the Island all year round.”

The Coast Guards has recommended a speed of five knots around Dalkey Island county council bylaws stipulate that all craft must stay at least 300 metres off land.

A swimming ban was introduced last week for two of Dublin's popular bathing areas, Dollymount Strand and Sandymount following a sewage spillage due to heavy rainfall.

Heavy rainfall in the nearby drains filled to their capacity and rain began to enter the sewage system, which washed out into the sea.

"Thousands of families that cannot afford to fly off on holidays can afford to go to Dollymount beach, and that should not be denied to them. It's quite frankly wrong,” said Labour councillor Dermot Lacey.

The weekend's weather will attract a lot of beach goers across the country with most parts remaining largely dry and highest temperatures climbing into the mid-20s.

Irish water safety has also issued advice to minimise the risk of drowning: “We appeal to the public to inform themselves of the dangers will reduce the chance of drowning tragedies that average five per fortnight.

“The warm weather will tempt many people to swim in open waters for the first time this year,” they said.

They reminded the public to “never swim in the dark, late at night or jump into water from heights” and to “swim within your depth, parallel and close to shore”.

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