With just over a fortnight remaining in the school holidays, Limerick City and County’s Water Safety Officers have reminded parents and children alike of the steps they should take to stay safe when spending time in the water. Statistics show that one swimmer was rescued from Limerick waters during July while 3 people were rescued from marine crafts. The Irish Water Safety figures also show that 8 people received first aid treatment, while 27 accidents were prevented due to the presence of on-duty lifeguards at Glin Pier and Kilteery Pier.

Brian Kennedy, the County’s Water Safety Development Officer, said Limerick County Council employs seasonal lifeguards at Glin Pier and Kilteery Pier. He continued: “The lifeguards work shifts in time with the high tides, so that cover is available while water is deep enough for bathing. I would urge members of the public to observe notices at designated swimming locations, and also observe the Lifeguard’s rules and regulations regarding off- limit swimming locations. Anyone who sees a water user in difficulty should summon help immediately. People should also be aware of the locations of ring buoys, of which there are 86 located around Limerick.”

“We want families and friends to enjoy their time together during the last couple of weeks of the summer holidays and therefore would appeal to the public in the city and county to be mindful of the importance of water safety awareness,” explained City Water Safety Development Officer Valerie Stundon. “We are urging the public to only use the local authority manned lifeguarded bathing places to ensure there are no tragedies during the remainder of the summer.  We also are reminding the public to take heed of advice given by the lifeguards and to supervise your children at all times.”

Regarding those taking to Limerick’s waterways on leisure crafts and boats, Ms Stundon said: “Before entering the water, people are advised to check local weather conditions. People are also asked to wear correctly maintained and fitting lifejackets that are suitable for the activity and to ensure their craft is fit for the purpose. Under no circumstances should alcohol be consumed prior to entering the water.”