Monday 15 July 2019

Fun in the sun, hopefully without loss of life

Deborah Coleman - Straight Talking

Summer is finally here - and every Irish person is stripping off and making sure they get their annual dose of Vitamin D.

It is so unusual for us to enjoy such beautiful weather that very often we lose the run of ourselves and forget about taking precautions when it comes to the sun.

The day after every spell of sunshine, there are scorched bodies walking around in agony, in shock that they actually got sunburned - and as for the need of many Irish men to walk around topless - let's not even go there.

It's funny, because, we take such care when abroad. We wear our hats, drink plenty of water, lash on the sunscreen but yet, at home we act like we are under a different sun.

Tourists in Ireland exercise the same caution during out heat-waves, yet we can be seen without a scrap of sunscreen, and often with a drink in hand - and not water.

Of course, the novelty is wonderful and why wouldn't we want to hit the beach or laze in the garden?

Ireland is the most beautiful country when the sun shines and who can blame us jumping with excitement when we get a rare heatwave?

For the first time in years, Met Éireann has issued a weather warning for high temperatures rather than storms and floods, but will we pay the same attention?

It was widely agreed that the winter weather warnings, saved lives, as people heeded the message and followed the advice of the experts.

In terms of hot weather however, are we as inclined to do the same?

A major concern, according to Irish Water Safety is swimming in unsuitable areas including quarries, reservoirs and lakes as well as beaches which are not designated bathing areas.

Many will roll their eyes and say that the fun-police are out in force again, but in reality, following the safety advice given to us can only help to make this weather an enjoyable time free from tragedy.

To date, almost a dozen people have sadly lost their lives through drowning to date, this summer season and it is not even the end of June.

Anything we can do to prevent further loss must be welcomed, and the role of water safety agencies including local authorities who provide life-guard services cannot be overstated.

Enniscorthy Guardian