THE Irish Coast Guard is warning people to be conscious of water safety now that the 5km travel restrictions have been lifted.
Since yesterday, people are able to travel countywide, or 20km from their own home if living close to a county boundary.
According to the Irish Coast Guard, the lifting of the travel restrictions “coupled with spring’s warmer weather” will result in “our beaches, waterways and beauty spots becoming much busier”.
The body advises: “Please take the time to plan your activity, be prepared and let someone know where you are going and what time you expect to be back. If you are planning on getting in the water follow the advice outlined by Water Safety Ireland.”
According to Water Safety Ireland’s most recent statistics 105 people drowned in Ireland in 2019, of which 62 were accidental.
In the same year, there were 260 rescues carried out across the country by lifeguards.
The organisation advises: “When swimming in open water, make sure you can be seen. Wear a brightly coloured swimming cap, so other water users can see you.
“You should also use a bright coloured tow float for the same reason.”
It also advises caution to people walking along coastlines, particularly in relation to falling in to cold water.
According to Water Safety Ireland: “When cold water contacts your skin, the cold shock response causes an immediate loss of breathing control, possible dizziness and panic. This dramatically increases the risk of sudden drowning even if the water is calm and you know how to swim.
“For those who survive this but are unable to get out of the water, progressive body cooling leads to hypothermia and muscle cooling, making swimming more difficult or impossible.”
Stay safe and if you see someone who may be in trouble on the cliffs, beach or water call the Irish Coast Guard at 112 or 999.