Call-outs to coastguards up by more than 50 per cent this year
Coast guard warns against use of inflatables on the coast
The Coast Guard has seen a rise of more than 50 per cent in most of its call-out categories for the past two months compared to the same period last year, new figures show.
There were 90 call-outs for people in difficulties while swimming in inland waterways, an increase of more than 100 per cent on the same time last year, Declan Geoghegan, operations manager with the Irish Coast Guard, said.
Since the good weather began there have been “a lot of close shaves” the public has not heard about, Mr Geoghegan said, and the death toll of 10 people in the past 10 days could “easily have been double”.
Calls to help swimmers in difficulty off the coast, those fishing on the shoreline, and those getting into difficulty while sailing or using dinghies and other pleasure craft were all up by more than 50 per cent on last year.
Canoeing and rowing incidents were up by 40 per cent.
Jet ski danger
Jet skis have also made an unwelcome comeback, Mr Geoghegan said, with more than 20 nuisance incidents reported in the past two months, compared to none at all last year.
They are annoying, create dangerous situations and interfere with swimmers, he said.
He warned against the use of inflatables, including light dinghies, lilos, tubes and air mattresses, on the coast.
Two children aged eight and 10 were rescued yesterday off Ballybunion in Co Kerry after they were blown out to sea on an inflatable, he said.