More than 500 people saved from drowning in one month
A staggering 559 people were rescued from drowning in Irish waters during one month last year.
Figures released this morning by Irish Water reveal an average of 140 drownings occur every year and that the majority take place inland.
“On average there are about 140 drownings every year and they could be alarmingly higher but for the fact that there are lifeguarded waterways,” said Rodger Sweeney, the Deputy Chief Executive of Irish Water Safety (IWS).
“If people did not travel and make a point of swimming at lifeguard trained waterways, the number could be alarmingly higher,” he said on Morning Ireland today.
“This month alone last year, lifeguards plucked 559 people from the water,” he said.
While the typical scenario is that drowning happens on beaches, he said that the majority occurs inland and advised that people keep an eye on those they go swimming with, as drowning can be silent.
“The majority of drowning (62pc) occurs inland. Drowning is quiet. It happens close to others who are completely oblivious. People are unable to shout because you need your respiratory system, and you might not even be able to wave your arms if you are below water,” he warned.
He also added that alcohol is a major factor in drowning.
“A third of all drownings had consumed alcohol. They tend to underestimate their ability,” he said