26 June 2021
By Elaine Murphy
Multi-Agency call for a “Shared Water Space”
The Irish Coast Guard, Water Safety Ireland, Irish Sailing and RNLI have thanked the public for the positive response to a recent appeal to users of Jet Skis to respect the safety and wellbeing of other water users by remaining vigilant at all times. The organisations have reiterated the appeal to a small number of users to avoid encroaching into swimming areas. Open water swimmers are also reminded to ensure that they are visible by wearing brightly coloured swim caps and using tow floats and equally to avoid open water areas where Jet Skis are operating.
The reminder was issued as part of National Water Safety Awareness Week (June 14 – 20) and includes a particular call on the owners of Personal Water Craft (Jet Skis) to demonstrate responsible use of their craft, to inform themselves of local regulations and avoid areas where swimmers are present.
All water users are asked to take individual responsibility for their actions and to contribute to the safety of all water users by adhering to the following safety guidelines:
Be mindful of others as you adopt a ‘Shared Water Space’ approach when on the water and be aware of your impact on other water users.
Never operate any motorised craft within proximity of other water users including, swimmers, divers, anglers and paddleboarders.
When taking up any new water activity get some basic training before entering the water.
Always advise someone ashore of your intentions, where you will be and when you will return.
Swim at Lifeguarded waterways and never swim in channels where there is a likelihood of motor activity.
Be visible from shore and to other water users by wearing a brightly coloured swim cap or use a tow float.
Never swim in unfamiliar areas to social distance.
Swim within your depth and stay within your depth.
Inflatable toys should never be used on the open waters of beaches, rivers and lakes.
The organisations emphasised that the objective is to ensure that all water users enjoy the water and return safely to family and friends. There are a wide number of courses available to allow for improved personal safety and better experience by all water users. See safetyonthewater.gov.ie for links to water safety training information.
If you see somebody in trouble or think they are in trouble Dial 112 or Use marine VHF Channel 16 and ask for the Coast Guard.