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04 Jul 2022

People in Carlow urged to stay away from waterways if drinking alcohol on St Patrick's Day

People in Carlow urged to stay away from waterways if drinking alcohol on St Patrick's Day

Water Safety Ireland (WSI) made the appeal in a statement ahead of the festivities on March 17

People in Carlow and across Ireland who are planning to consume alcohol over the St Patrick's Day festival weekend are being urged to stay away from waterways. 

Water Safety Ireland (WSI) made the appeal in a statement ahead of the festivities on March 17. 

According to WSI, an average of ten drownings occur in Ireland every month, with alcohol a reported contributory factor in one third of cases. 

In their statement, the safety group said: "A full moon on Friday makes the coastline more precarious due to the resulting tides. A higher high tide poses a greater risk of being washed into the sea or being dragged away by a rip current. Lower low tides tempt coastal walkers to explore further from shore, posing a greater risk of being stranded by fast, incoming tides. 

"It is important to check tide times in advance of going on a walk and to carry a fully charged phone to dial 112 in an emergency. Those boating and angling are cautioned that their decisions, even the next day, can be significantly impaired by alcohol. A lifejacket that has a correctly fitting crotch strap, should always be worn on water and when angling from shore." 

WSI advises anyone who spots somebody in trouble in water to SHOUT to calm, encourage and orientate the person in distress, REACH with anything that prevents you from entering the water such as a stick, and THROW a ringbuoy or any floating object to them. 

The group advises never mixing alcohol with water activities and staying away from water edges, particularly in slippery, unstable or uneven places. 

People in or around water are also urged to wear a correctly fitting life jacket when boating and angling away from shore, to carry a means of communication in a waterproof pouch, and to beware of standing by incoming tides.  

In an emergency, people in distress should call 112 and ask for the Coast Guard. 

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