14 September 2020
By Mary Bermingham
Following a very busy 2020 bathing season, Cork County Council‘s Beach Lifeguard Service lowered their flags on Sunday, 13th September and have extended their gratitude to the people of Cork and visitors to the coast for their continued cooperation.
The lifeguard’s role is to ensure that the public have a safe and pleasant experience on the beaches of the Cork County coast. This summer season, the Council’s Beach Lifeguard Service carried out 12 rescues, provided first aid on 465 occasions, prevented 5,275 accidents and recorded provision of advice a total of 20,051 times.
As part of their safety awareness programme, Cork County Council has recently launched two new public education initiatives on water safety.
The “Find a Ring Buoy” initiative has seen the identification of Loc8codes of all ring buoys in Cork County to facilitate faster emergency response, as well as the development of a map of ring buoy locations countywide. Members of the public can find the nearest ring buoy and it’s Loc8code to provide to emergency services should an accident occur nearby. The map can be accessed via www.corkcoco.ie A QR Code for the map will also be displayed at each lifeguard station next season and will be added to each ring buoy location on a phased basis.
Cork County Council has also launched a Water Safety Comic, developed by the Council’s Beach Lifeguard Team Members. The comic is based on Water Safety Ireland’s 14 steps to keeping safe around water. The colourful publication features members of the East Cork Beach Lifeguards team providing water safety tips for everyone, while enhancing young beach user’s knowledge on the dangers of using inflatables in open water, the importance of adult supervision around water and the importance of staying between the “red over yellow flags” when at the beach. The comics will form part of Cork County Council’s Water & Road Safety Pack that will be distributed to Primary Schools across Cork County over the next 12 months.
Mayor of the County of Cork, Cllr. Mary Linehan Foley said;
“I’m very proud of our Beach Lifeguards for their incredible work this summer. After what has been a challenging year for many, these brave young people have worked tirelessly to ensure everyone’s safety and allowed many people to enjoy the good weather safely.
Even though the flags are down, the work that they have put into additional resources such as the comics and the “Find a Ring Buoy” initiative will continue to foster water safety in our communities and hopefully inspire a new generation of Lifeguards to make Cork County a fantastic and safe place for visitors and residents alike.”
As the lifeguard season has come to an end, the public are reminded to take extra care and caution around water and remember to dial 999 or 112 in case of an emergency.