Safety chiefs issue cold water and high tide warning for Easter weekend
Spring tides and Good Friday’s full moon will mean ‘very, very big tides’
If it is 20 to 21 degrees, (the water) in coastal areas will be 10 degrees and in inland waters it will be 8 degrees. File Photograph: Dara Mac Donaill
Water safety chiefs have warned people taking to the coast and inland waterways over the Easter bank holiday weekend about cold temperatures and high tides.
John Leech, chief executive of Irish Water Safety, the statutory body established to promote water safety in Ireland, said despite a forecast for warmer weather in the coming days, water temperatures will be significantly lower.
“The water will be half of what the air temperature is,” he said.
“So, if it is 20 to 21 degrees, (the water) in coastal areas will be 10 degrees and in inland waters it will be 8 degrees.
“So we want people who are not used to swimming to wear wetsuits and people who are going out canoeing, kayaking, stand up paddle boarding, or whatever activity it is, to wear drysuits - and obviously all of those must be wearing life jackets.”
Mr Leech said spring tides and a full moon on Good Friday would also mean “very, very big tides”.
The likes of Galway are expected to see swells ranging more than five metres high.
People out mussel picking and periwinkle picking because of the tides, as well as those just walking on beaches and coastal areas, should carry phones and dial 112 for the coast guard if they get into trouble, said Mr Leech.
“There are lots of areas around our lovely island nation where unfortunately we can get stranded,” he told RTÉ radio.
Mr Leech encouraged people to enjoy the water over the Easter weekend but cautioned them to be properly dressed for it and prepared for emergencies.