Water and sun safety

sunSafetyTips-300x215 Andrew Carey
SAILORS experienced all kinds of weather at this year’s WIORA event while on the beautiful waters of Clew Bay – some even took to swimming and a quick dip while they waited for the wind to fill in for racing.

But as we leave the memories of Mayo behind, sailors are still reminded to take care under the sun as well as swimmers to be cautious during the months of August as it is recognised as the busiest month for domestic swimming in Ireland.

The Irish Skin Foundation and leading dermatoligists advise to be sensible in the sun

Stay out of the sun if possible, most particularly when the radiation levels are high right up until September. but that is not always possible for sailors on the water so make sure you have adequate sun screen protection with a high SPF and apply regularly. SPF 30 does not mean you can stay in the sun 30 times longer.

Cover up with clothing as much as possible – long sleeves, long trousers – sailors, this is not a sun bathing competition, there is plenty of time for that off the water when you are not trimming sails.

Wear a wide brimmed hat and wrap around sunglasses

Apply sunscreen to any areas of exposed skin – factor 30 or higher, apply generously and frequently.

Meantime, a warning to swimmers during this August as it is the most popular month for outdoor swimming, prompting Irish Water Safety’s appeal to swim at Lifeguarded waterways and to stay close to shore and within your depth.

Ireland averages 135 drownings every year. Drownings happen quickly and silently yet people can stay safe by heeding the following advice:

1. Swim at lifeguarded waterways – all listed at www.iws.ie.

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.

No matter what your aquatic activity, when you are on or near water always wear a correctly fitted lifejacket with a crotch strap.

Children are curious about water therefore it is critical that adults supervise children at all times.

Stay safe folks.

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