Coastguard urges bathers to show caution
ROCKETING temperatures brought wonderful sunshine to the country yesterday, but with it a spate of emergencies as people took to the water to cool off.
Coastguard crews and mountain-rescue teams had their busiest day of the year as temperatures soared to the high 20s and Met Eireann issued its first warm-weather warning of 2014.
Gardai warned people to allow extra time for travel to popular beach resorts with major congestion reported at scenic spots.
Delays due to access and parking issues are expected to lengthen as we approach the weekend.
Motorists were also warned to slow down and be aware of the risk of slippery driving conditions due to melting road tar.
The ESB also repeated a warning that its reservoirs, two of which are in Cork in the River Lee valley, are not open to swimmers and have uneven ground and dangerous currents.
The Irish Cancer Society warned people to use high factor sun creams, saying the number of skin cancer cases in Ireland passed 10,000 for the first time last year.
The Coastguard also issued a warning on water safety after its members had to deal with a spate of incidents around the country, from swimmers getting into difficulty to windsurfers and small dinghies in trouble.
"We would once again ask people to enjoy the weather but to do so responsibly," said Coastguard officer Dara O'Malley-Daly.
"An important message remains, however. If you see something that doesn't look right, report it immediately. Even if it turns out to be innocent and no action is required, we'd rather that than be sorry."
Animal rights groups also appealed to owners to ensure that water and shade are provided for animals.
They also urged owners not to leave pets in locked vehicles due to the danger posed by in-car temperatures.