The warm weather is back at last, the beaches are filling up and Irish Coast Guard units are getting ready for another busy day. We would encourage parents to help us during this good weather.
Despite the best efforts of parents sometimes children go missing at beaches. A lost child on the coastline is treated very seriously by the emergency services and responders will immediately be deployed to assist with locating the missing child. This may involve Coast Guard shore teams, boats and helicopters working alongside our colleagues from the Life Guards, Lifeboats and An Garda Siochana.
So what can parents do before going to the beach? We encourage them to put an identity bracelet on their child's wrist with their own contact details on it so if their child gets lost a member of emergency services can quickly contact the parent and get them reunited.
To help with this the Irish Coast Guard are currently distributing identity wristbands to Coast Guard patrols and Life Guard stations around the country, these are available free to charge to the public. An Garda Siochana have also partnered with the Coast Guard in helping to distribute the bands through their community policing network. The wristband is made of tyvek material which is very strong and difficult to tear, it also water resistant making it ideal for beach conditions. With the help of a scissors the band can be easily removed and disposed of. If you’re going to the beach make sure your child knows where the Life Guards are based in case they do get lost.
The wristbands also carry a message reminding the public to call 112 and ask for the Coast Guard for Beach, Water or Cliff Emergencies. 112 is the European wide emergency number, commonly known in Ireland as 999.