IN ANTICIPATION of another long hot summer, Cork County Council has given assurances that lifeguards will be on full-time duty from mid-June if the weather is good.
In East Cork, lifeguards will be posted at Youghal Front Strand, Claycastle, Redbarn and Garryvoe.
Three lifeguards will be posted at each of these beaches for the weekends of June, before becoming full-time across July and August and covering the first two weekends of September as well.
The council said that should Cork be blessed with blue skies and sunshine over the summer months, that the lifeguards would be working full-time from mid-June. A total of 38 lifeguards will service 12 beaches across the county in 2019. They will be allocated based on usage and on risk assessments by Irish Water Safety.
The Local Authority said the general rule is to have a minimum of 200 users per day over a prolonged period of time. Despite this, the council also said that while there are some beaches that may have that usage, no lifeguards are appointed due to the status of those beaches as ‘dangerous’.
“In such cases, the advice is not to put lifeguards in place as it would lead to increased usage,” senior executive officer Seán O’Callaghan said.
In 2019, new purpose-built lifeguard stations will be provided at Claycastle and Redbarn while a new overhead lifeguard station is going to Part Eight planning in the near future.
Councillor Noel Collins, who made the request for information on lifeguards at a recent Southern Committee meeting, also requested Garda surveillance on seashores, to protect swimmers and their belongings. This request was ignored in the response from Cork County Council. Mr Collins acknowledged this, but thanked Mr O’Callaghan for his detailed response to the rest of his query.
“I hope it will be a happy and sunny summer for swimmers and I welcome the major improvements for our lifeguards.”