Large increase in beach rescues by Cork lifeguards due to soaring temperatures

Large increase in beach rescues by Cork lifeguards due to soaring temperatures

People making the most of the sunshine on a packed beach at Garretstown this summer.

The number of beach rescues carried out by Cork lifeguards during the month of June has skyrocketed compared to last year.

A total of 12 rescues, eight without a craft and four with a craft, were carried out by Cork lifeguards along the coast during June, up 10 from last year.

During the month of June, lifeguards also administered 177 first aid treatments compared to 31 last year.

Cork Lifeguards advised 5,666 people over the five weeks of June and also prevented 2,368 accidents by intervening as a swimmer/beachgoer was about to wander into a dangerous situation.

Cork County Council Water Safety Officer Caroline Casey said, considering the volumes of people on the beaches over the past month, the figures were quite low.

“We were actually very surprised there wasn’t more,” Ms Casey said. “We had 180 people an hour in the water and we were thrilled with the number of incidents we had to deal with considering the volume of people.” 

Ms Casey said they had very little incidents of sunburn or dehydration and she said she thought people were paying attention to safety notices.

Chief Executive of Irish Water Safety John Leech urged the public to be mindful of the fact that lifeguards are under extreme pressure this summer, due to the hot weather, and to be responsible at the beach.

“This year, lifeguards are under a lot of pressure. Since they started on June 1 they have been flat out. We have not had a summer like this since 1976 and it is putting an enormous strain on them.” 

As well as this, Mr Leech said the numbers of lost children on the beaches, had decreased in recent years with just 15 children going missing in June on Cork beaches.

“A couple of years ago, missing children was a huge problem, but the issue has subsided. There has been a big improvement, which is encouraging.” 

“The Cork lifeguards are very well trained. They have been working throughout the winter with Irish Water Safety and they were assessed at Easter and then selected for duty. They are doing great work.” 

Ms Casey said there are 12 beaches in Cork with lifeguards and she would encourage people to swim between the red and yellow flags and avoid inflatables.

Cork’s Water Safety Officer also directed people to the Cork County Council Beach watch Facebook page: @Corkcocobeachlifeguardservice to avail of updates on the conditions of beaches on the Cork coast.

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