Many popular and common activities take place on / around water throughout the year. However, there are associated risks so it is important to know the do’s and don’ts around water. Helpful advice should always be considered and easy to follow precautions can be taken prior to getting into water. Likewise, there are actions one can take should they find themselves in trouble or difficult situations.
Water Safety Tips
For most people summer means days at beach, enjoying the sun and sand. By following very easy tips, you can have a safe and happy time at beach
- Learn to swim
- Swim near a lifeguard
- Swim with a buddy
- Check with the lifeguards
- Use sunscreen and drink water
- Obey posted signs and flags
- Keep the beach and water clean
- Learn rip current safety
- Enter water feet first
- Wear a life jacket
Beach and Pool Lifeguards are employed at the following locations:
- Achill Island – Keel, Keem and Silver Strand (Dugort)
- Louisburgh/Westport – Carrowniskey, Carrowmore, Old Head & Bertra
- Killala – Ross Strand
- Belmullet Tidal Pool
The Beach Lifeguards will be on duty for the 2022 Bathing Season as follows:
- Every Saturday, Sunday and Bank Holiday Monday from 12 noon to 6:30 p.m.
1st July to 4th September, 2022, inclusive
- Every day from 12 noon to 6:30 p.m.
The Pool Lifeguards will be on duty at Belmullet Tidal Pool for the 2022 Bathing Season as follows:
- Every Saturday, Sunday and Bank Holiday Monday from 2:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.
1st July to 4th September, 2022, inclusive
- Every day from 2:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. (Hours may be extended from 1:00 p.m. to 7:00 pm, during hot weather and busy swimming events.)
There is nothing quite like walking to get you away from all the hustle and bustle. Fresh air, open surroundings and exhilarating views! Plus, it’s a great form of exercise to keep healthy and improve your fitness.
Walking close to water along Mayo's shores presents its own challenges and should never be underestimated. If you intend to walk on your own or as part of a walking group, we can all take steps to stay safe. Follow our handy tips for both inexperienced and advanced walkers and you will be set to go.
- Before departing for your walk, always check the weather forecast. Ensure no yellow, orange or red warnings in place.
- Check the time of the tides and be cautious of the risk of stranding due to tides. Carry a well charged phone – dial 112 if you feel that you are likely to get stranded or if you / a member of your group gets injured and requires assistance.
- Always let someone know where you are leaving from and going to, as well as what time you expect to return.
- If the walk is not well signposted, carry a map and compass. Fog can come down very quickly in coastal areas.
- Be aware of all edges around the sea and waterside. Slips and falls happen in all locations; it is not just high cliff edges that are a risk.
- Be careful when walking in dark and slippery conditions.
- If you are walking your dog never follow it in to the water, call 112 instead.
Swimming is a great sport to keep fit and here in Mayo we are privilidged to have fantastic pools throughout the county. You should always follow these tips for a safe experience. If you do, you will avoid any nasty accidents and injuries.
- An adult should always supervise playtime in paddling pools.
- Be careful not to dive into shallow water – check to see how deep the pool is.
- If you are with younger children, watch out for them at all times.
- Obey all pool safety rules such as no running, no dives, no horseplay.
- Remember to check for others before entering the water.
- Watch out in case there is no proper barrier between the kids pool and the main pool.
- Find out if there is a Lifeguard on duty and listen to their instructions.
- Watch out for sudden drops in the pool floor.
- Beware of wet and slippery surfaces.
River, Lakes and Inland Safety
- Beware of submerged objects. Always enter the water feet first
- Cold water in lakes can be dangerous – it is often much colder beneath the surface than you think
- Do not play near the edge of riverbanks – they can crumble away suddenly
- Do not retrieve model boats by wading in
- Never walk on ice covered waterways
- Reeds and grass often obscure the edge of the pond
- The banks of a pond may be weak and give way under your weight
- When angling always make sure an adult is with you
If adventure is what you are after, surfing might just be the sport for you. With great waves and lots of beaches Ireland offers some of the best surfing in Europe. Remember though, you can experience the thrills of the surf without taking risks.
From beginners to experienced surfers, we all need to respect the water and others. Before taking out your board be aware of the associated dangers on the water. Many surf schools provide lessons and will give practical demonstrations.
There is some basic surf etiquette you can follow which will make your life and those of others easy. The surfer closest to the peak has priority and you should never ‘drop in’ on anybody else. To avoid collision, paddle for white water or paddle wide on the shoulder.
- Learn to swim.
- Get proper instruction at an ISA approved surf school or club.
- Check local knowledge with lifeguards or experienced surfers.
- Study the waves and only go surfing if you are capable in the conditions which prevail. Stick to beaches until you are experienced – it is important to avoid overconfidence.
- Learn to observe the ocean to identify rips, wind changes and other hazards – if caught in a rip always paddle across current to safety.
- Never go surfing at night when darkness is approaching.
- When you “wipeout” wait before coming to the surface too soon and protect your head with your arms as you come to the surface. Wear a safety helmet.
- Check your equipment, especially your leash. Remember it is much easier to spot a brightly coloured board and wetsuit at sea in the event of you requiring rescue.
- Never go out in the surf alone.