Cork County Council is appealing to the public to stay safe over the August bank holiday weekend, launching its first ever ‘Amber Thursday’ campaign.
Amber Thursday is a collaboration between safety bodies, fire services and local authorities to help promote fire, road and water safety over the busy bank holiday weekend.
It has been a busy summer for the emergency services across the country.
Tragically, there were nine swimming-related fatalities in Ireland last week.
“The recent dry spell and warm weather has resulted in an increase in outdoor fires while there have also been tragedies on the roads.
“Long journeys can lead to driver fatigue.
“Speeding and non-wearing of a seatbelt are also common factors in serious or fatal injuries by road users,” the county council has stated.
The Mayor of the County of Cork, Cllr Gillian Coughlan is calling on everyone to help ensure this August bank holiday weekend is a safe one.
“Everyone needs to share the road and be cautious and courteous towards one another.
“Evidence shows that the majority of road deaths have occurred on rural roads in 2021.
“Vulnerable road users account for almost half of serious injuries,” she said.
“I am appealing to everyone to remember that the road is a shared space and we must all look out for each other.
“Pedestrians, cyclists and motorcyclists are particularly at risk so please be careful when you are out on the county Cork roads this weekend.”
This weekend is typically a particularly busy time for firefighters who are called to various incidents, including barbeque or domestic fires and road traffic collisions.
Chief Executive of Cork County Council, Tim Lucey encouraged members of the public to enjoy the weekend but to bear in mind the safety aspect of fire-related activities.
“We are also asking everyone to enjoy our stunning coastal landscape but to park responsibly to avoid blocking emergency vehicle access at public amenity areas, and always avail of our lifeguard patrolled beaches,” he said.
During the month of June alone, Cork County Council’s Beach Lifeguards prevented 965 incidents and gave advice to members of the public on 3,556 occasions.
Lifeguards were called upon to rescue people using inflatables at the beach, swimming while under the influence and swimmers out of their depth.
Water and road safety development officer with Cork County Council, Caroline Casey highlighted the important role adults have regarding behaviour around water and on the roads.
“Role modelling safe behaviour around water and on the roads can never be underestimated as younger people in our community are watching and learning from us every day – in short, they will do as we do,” she said.
Martin O’Sullivan, chairman of Water Safety Ireland said good weather and “picture-postcard scenes” can often “lull people into a false sense of security” and said it is important that people make every effort to swim at lifeguarded waterways.
Waterways with lifeguards can be found here.