Irish Water Safety is concerned that many people planning to take part in sponsored Christmas and New Year swims may take chances beyond what is acceptably safe.
Irish Water Safety is cautioning the public to minimize the length of time they remain in the water due to the risk of hypothermia as water temperature is approximately 11° Celsius at sea and 5° Celsius in freshwater.
Cold water immersion and hypothermia can overwhelm the fittest of swimmers, but the steps can be taken to remain safe.
On average, 127 people drown every year - 11 every month. Safeguarding your loved ones extends beyond Christmas and New Year swims to family walks by rivers, lakes and shorelines. A full moon on December 22 and a new moon on January 6 will increase the risk of stranding on the coastline due to the strong spring tides.
At inland water sites, parents can be lulled into a false sense of security when visiting areas close to water hazards such as slurry pits, exposed drains, rivers and canals. Safeguard your children with constant uninterrupted supervision and make a New Year’s resolution to learn swimming and lifesaving skills and to always wear a lifejacket on water.
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