30 June 2021
By Elaine Murphy
With the return of the official Bathing Season, Cork County Council’s Beach Lifeguard Team are ready to oversee the safety of the public in the water off the beautiful County Cork coast. The Beach Lifeguard team have adopted a ‘Safe on the Sand and in the Sea’ motto this year, with Lifeguards advising a Swim & Go policy to avoid large gatherings of people on our beaches.
Cork County Council has 39 full-time Beach Lifeguards, with a backup team ready to support if required. The service is now on duty full time until the end of August and the first two weekends of September, with the last day of duty being 12th September 2021. The hours of duty are 10.30am to 7pm daily. Lifeguards will raise their Red & Yellow Flags to indicate when they are on duty.
With County Cork hosting 19% of the country’s coastline, the Council’s Beach Lifeguards will monitor the safety of swimmers on 12 Cork beaches, in East Cork at Youghal – Front Strand, Claycastle, Redbarn and Garryvoe, in the Carrigaline Area at Fountainstown, in West Cork at Inchydoney East & West, Owenahincha, The Warren, Tragumna and Barleycove Beaches, and at the Old Head of Kinsale in Garrylucas and Garretstown.
It is important that the public, especially children, are familiar with the Flag System at the beach.
A red over yellow flag means the Lifeguards are on duty.
Swim between the red and yellow flags parallel to the shore as this is the area that the Lifeguards are patrolling.
A red flag indicates that swimming is not advised.
Black & white chequered flags mark the area for surfing only.
Mayor of the County of Cork, Cllr. Mary Linehan Foley asks everyone to remember safety while enjoying Cork beaches this Summer,
“Remember to familiarise yourself with the Flag System before setting off for a trip to the beach. The Beach Lifeguard team are ready & willing to help so don’t be afraid to ask. Lifeguards will be maintaining Social Distancing, so if you need to speak to the Lifeguards at any stage during the season, let’s keep each other safe by staying safe apart and following public health guidelines at all times.”
Chief Executive of Cork County Council, Tim Lucey added,
“Cork County is home to some of the most picturesque beaches in the country, which we are all looking forward to enjoying as part of a much longed for Outdoor Summer. Our Beach Lifeguards are there to serve the public regarding any Water Safety or First Aid events during the Summer Season. We must all play our part in keeping one another safe, please remember to respect the water, bring your litter home with you, park safely and consider an alternative location if the area is already crowded, so that we can enjoy all that our county has to offer.”
Cork County Council’s Water Safety Office reminds the public to supervise children at all times on the sand and in the water, remember to never use inflatable toys or beds on open water and to swim within your depth and stay within your depth at all times.
For further Water Safety information & education visit Water Safety Irelands website, www.watersafety.ie Visit “Cork Co Co Beachguards” on Facebook where daily updates on conditions and flags flying at each beach can be viewed.