THE Port of Cork and Cork Water Safety has issued a safety message to all marine leisure users in Cork Harbour, as well as swimmers and jet ski users ahead of the May Bank Holiday.
A particular emphasis is on personal watercraft safety, in this case, jet skis. Users are reminded to adhere to the 6 knots speed limit when within 60m of a pier, jetty, slipway, mooring, shore or another vessel and 120m of a swimmer or dive flag.
They want to remind people that freestyling is not permitted within 200m of swimmers, or the shoreline and users should always maintain a proper lookout for boats and keep clear of all other craft. Wearing a life jacket is essential and the engine kill switch must be used.
The Port of Cork Harbour Master, Captain Paul O’Regan, said it is imperative that people respect other users, wildlife and the environment.
“It’s absolutely wonderful to see leisure users on the water around Cork Harbour, but we want to ensure all activities are carried out safely.
"Marine craft often use these piers and slipways and may not always see swimmers in the water, please instead swim at designated swimming areas,” he said.
Mr O’Regan continued:
“New awareness signage has been erected at different locations around Cork Harbour to remind people of the safety procedures they should take,” he added.
A spokesperson for Cork Water Safety said:
"It is vitally important to be mindful of water safety in the coming months. It is fantastic to see so many open water swimmers getting active during the pandemic. Let's try to keep ourselves safe as more of us flock to the water this summer.
‘Tell someone you’re going for a swim and when you’ll be back. Wear a toefloat. Keep warm with an insulated rash vest and two hats. If possible, never swim alone. Only swim at designated swimming areas, especially in a busy harbour like the Port of Cork.
"Whether you are an experienced swimmer or new to the sport the advice stays the same. If you are new to the area, research and ask locally about the possible dangers. It is better to be safe than sorry.”
The Irish Coastguard recently launched their ‘Be Alert To Water Safety’ campaign and remind people that if they see anybody in difficulty on the shore or in the water, dial 112/999 and ask for the Coast Guard.