26 July 2021
By Elaine Murphy
Cork County Council in conjunction with the Irish Coast Guard and Water Safety Ireland are appealing to members of the public to be mindful of their personal safety if they’re visiting the coast this week.
The three organisations have issued guidelines for anyone taking part in coastal walks. They’re asking people to stay away from exposed coastal and cliff edges, tell someone where you’re going and to pay attention to tide times and safety signs. They’re also advising people to dress appropriately for the conditions, to wear a high-factor sunscreen and to bring enough food and water for their journey.
A status yellow high temperature warning remains in place for the entire country. Met Éireann is predicting maximum temperatures of between 25 and 30 degrees for County Cork until Friday.
Mayor of the County of Cork, Cllr Gillian Coughlan said,
“We all appreciate the vital work that the Council’s Beach Lifeguards, Coastguard, and RNLI do on a daily basis, and the last thing anyone wants is to put these vital services under unnecessary strain. By staying informed and prepared, we can help ensure our own safety and the safety of our family members. Plan your route carefully and keep an eye on the tide times to avoid being cut off by a tidal cutoff. Keep to the path when enjoying our beautiful coastal walkways; keep dogs on leashes and keep a safe distance from cliff edges, which can be extremely unstable. Cork has an unmatched coastline; let us take advantage of it safely.”
Chief Executive of Cork County Council Tim Lucey added,
“County Cork is home to 19% of the country’s coastline and thousands of people are expected to flock to the seaside to make the most of the good weather. I hope that holiday makers and day trippers will follow these simple guidelines to ensure that they have a safe and enjoyable visit. I would also remind visitors to park safely and to ensure that they are not blocking vital access for the emergency services.”
The Chief Executive Officer of Water Safety Ireland, John Leech highlights the fact that there will be a full moon on Saturday which will bring with it Spring tides which increases the risk of stranding,
“Please carry a mobile phone and call 112 and ask for the Coast Guard if you find yourself in difficulty or being cut off by the tide.”
Head of Operations with the Coast Guard Gerard O’Flynn said that the number of incidents coordinated by the Coast Guard is at a five-year high and appealed to the public, to at all times to be mindful of their personal safety be it on the water or along the coast.
“Please ensure that any activity you engage in is being monitored by a colleague who should be aware of your plans and estimated return time”.
Cork County Council’s Beach Lifeguards are also on full-time duty at 12 beaches. Lifeguards will be on patrol from 10.30am until 7pm at Youghal Front Strand, Claycastle, Redbarn, Garryvoe, Fountainstown, Inchydoney East & West, Owenahincha, The Warren, Tragumna, Barleycove Beaches, Garrylucas and Garretstown.
Coastal Walking Safety Guidelines
Stay in Contact -Tell someone where you are going and what time you expect to be back, it is always best to be accompanied.
Tides – Pay attention to local tidal times to avoid the danger of getting stranded or cut off.
Route – Familiarise yourself with your planned route and any associated hazards. Seek local knowledge if you are unsure of the area.
Phone – Charge your phone: Make sure your battery is charged and consider buying a USB power stick to recharge it if it runs low while on the walk.
Weather – Check the weather forecast. met.ie : and chose suitable clothing
Sunset – To avoid walking in darkness, be aware of the time the sun sets. If you know both this and the expected duration of the walk, you’ll have an optimum start time to set off.
Sun Protection – Wear a hat. Wear a high factor sun protection.
Safety Signage – pay attention to any safety signage identifying hazards
Clothing – Dress Appropriately & wear suitable walking footwear. Be visible: Aim to wear at least one item of bright colour such as red, or orange so that you remain visible to the people in your party or rescue services if needs be.
Food and Water – Bring enough food and water for your journey and some extra rations in case your excursion goes on for longer than expected.
Children – Ensure children are always supervised, keeping small children close to parents or adults during any coastal walking activity.
Coastal and Cliff Terrain – Stay away from exposed coastal and cliff edges
Sea Conditions – do not underestimate the unpredictable nature of sea conditions where swell or wave activity can change dramatically and sweep a person without warning from a rock edge into the sea. Stay Back – Stay High, Stay Dry.
Dogs – Keep dogs under control & do not enter the water to rescue animals Ring 999/112 for assistance