Watch: Lord Mayor issues safety message on first World Drowning Prevention Day

Watch: Lord Mayor issues safety message on first World Drowning Prevention Day

Pictured at the beach at Garretstown Co Cork are beach guards Dan O'Grady and Conall Boyle. World drowning prevention day is today and Cork lifeguards are reminding people to be extra vigilant in the warm weather. Picture Denis Boyle

CORK City Hall is to be illuminated in blue this evening to mark Ireland's very first World Drowning Prevention Day.

To mark the important day, the Lord Mayor of Cork Cllr Colm Kelleher has issued a safety message to the people of Cork, reminding them to exercise caution when enjoying the water and to ensure to swim on lifeguarded beaches.

In a video message, Cllr Kelleher said World Drowning Prevention Day was created by the United Nations (UN) to officially recognise that drowning is an important international issue.

In Ireland, 76 people drowned in 2020.

"This number compares to 105 drownings in 2019 and the lowest number since 1936 when 73 people drowned in Ireland," he said.

“In the current heatwave, more and more people are enjoying the water, so I ask you to please remember to swim on lifeguarded beaches and to wear a life jacket when going afloat or angling from shore."

Cllr Kelleher reminded members of the public that details on lifeguard cover at local beaches are available on  watersafety.ie/lifeguards.

He added: “If you see someone in trouble, call 999 or 112 and ask for the Coast Guard.”

On Friday, the death of a man in Dublin brought the number of people who died in lakes or seas this week to six.

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