Warning as full moon to make Irish beaches and bathing spots more dangerous

NewsBy Shuki Byrne
Met Eireann is expecting some sunny spells in parts of the country on Saturday
Met Eireann is expecting some sunny spells in parts of the country on Saturday

Irish Water Safety is urging caution ahead of a full moon which will make swimming and bathing around the country more dangerous.

A full moon which is to occur on Friday will make beaches and bathing spots around the country considerably more hazardous. 

The full moon, and subsequent spring tides, mean will leave the public exposed to stranding around our coastline and to strong rip currents.

Irish Water Safety have issued a warning as a result, as August is the most popular month for swimming and aquatic activities. 

They are appealing for swimmers to swim at lifeguarded waterways and to stay close to shore and within your depth. 

Ireland averages around 135 drownings a year, and they can happen at any time. 

To stay safe this Bank Holiday weekend, Irish Water Safety urges the public to follow their advice: 

  1. Swim at lifeguarded waterways
  2. Swim within your depth and stay within your depth.
  3. Swim parallel and close to shore.
  4. Swim with others in bathing areas that are traditionally recognised as safe.
  5. Never use inflatable toys in open water or swim out after anything drifting.
  6. Pay attention to signs on the beach and supervise children at all times.
  7. Never swim in the dark, late at night or after consuming alcohol.
  8. Avoid staying in the water too long.
  9. In Marine Emergencies, call 112 and ask for the coastguard.

Met Eireann said they expect much of the weather over the weekend to be pretty dull. However, there are expected to be some sunny spells and warm temperatures on Saturday in places around the country. 

CEO of Irish Water Safety John Leech, in the past, issued the following advice for swimmers and anglers.

"Walkers should remain alert and stay well away from the edge of ordinarily familiar coastal walks due to the risk being washed in by large Atlantic swells," he said.  

"Those walking on our beaches and collecting sea shells should be alert to a fast advancing tide and of being stranded. Please carry your mobile phone and ideally in the company of others.

"Anglers should be extremely vigilant, three having drowned so far this year. Atlantic swells present a clear danger to shoreline anglers and a substantial distance from the edge should be maintained at all times and always wear a life-jacket.

"Swimmers be aware of rip currents, especially on surfing beaches, never swim against this narrow current of water flowing away from a beach. Instead, swim parallel to the shore, out of the narrow current, then swim back to shore at an angle.

Last year, 114 people drowned in Ireland; 55 of them were accidents, while 25 were undetermined. 

Males are more at risk of drowning (79%) while 23% of all those who drowned were adults aged 50-59. A total of six children aged 14 and under died by drowning last year. 

The most deaths occurred in Leinster (39%), followed by Munster (33%), Connaught (17%) and Ulster (11%). 

Dublin (16) was the county which witnessed the most drownings followed by Limerick (13) and Cork (13).