The RNLI Coastal Safety Team are performing safety checks on lifejackets. John McKenna, Howth RNLI Coastal Safety Officer commented, ‘”A lifejacket is useless if you don’t wear it, but it’s also important to maintain it properly. Three simple steps could help to save your life - check that the gas canister is in good condition and screwed in properly, the firing head is within its expiry date and that a crotch strap is attached securely.’
Declan Howard, Community Safety Officer with the Irish Coast Guard, Howth is leading a team reviewing the essential safety equipment boats entering the harbour should be carrying. “A roadside breakdown is an entirely different situation to one on the water, having no means of communicating your need for help can have grave implications for you as the boat drifts towards rocks or out to sea. The waters in Ireland can offer great enjoyment but if you ignore carrying some of the basic safety equipment you put your crew and yourself at risk of injury or worse”. He also commented “With no phone masts mobile phone reception is hit and miss on the water, you need another plan to get out of trouble”.
The inter agency approach brings all the stakeholders together with the aim to get the water awareness message out there at the start of the summer. The operation involves issuing water safety advice in multiple languages. Based on the success of the operation it is envisaged to have more joint operations during the year.
For extensive water safety information visit www.safetyonthewater.ie