herald

Thursday 20 September 2018

'Behave on the beach and stay safe', lifeguards warn

Lifeguard Liam Lochrin keeps watch on Sandycove beach. Photo: Damien Eagers
Lifeguard Liam Lochrin keeps watch on Sandycove beach. Photo: Damien Eagers

Soaring temperatures have seen thousands of people flocking to beaches to have fun in the sun.

However, not everyone is behaving responsibly.

A group of young people who had been drinking were seen yesterday throwing glass bottles at people on Dollymount Strand.

One of the bottles narrowly missed a woman who was sunbathing.

"That sort of behaviour can lead to injuries, particularly if the bottles smash. It's especially dangerous if broken glass ends up in the sea where people can't see it," said a lifeguard.

"Wildlife could also get hurt. We're close to a bird reserve."

Meanwhile, lifeguards had to help parents who had lost their children.

They also had to help people who were suffering from sunstroke. Lifeguards said they were not wearing sunblock and had not brought water to the beach.

Guard Briete Devany, from Clondalkin, said: "The main problem is that many of these people don't normally come to the beach. They don't realise that there's beach etiquette to make sure everyone is safe.

"A lot of people come out drinking and try to start barbecues on the beach. That can be really dangerous.

"A few days ago, coastguards and lifeguards had to rescue a group of young lads who were in danger of being cut off by the water."

Gardai tend to move any-one displaying anti-social behaviour from beaches, but lifeguards would prefer people to behave responsibly so that others can enjoy the good weather.

Lifeguard Oisin Corrigan, from Dun Laoghaire, is also a lifeguard at Dollymount.

He said parents should be mindful of where their children are on the beach, and should not place them in inflatables.

Quads

"We're very busy. The beach can be a frightening scene for some parents. Children are getting lost when their parents are sunbathing and don't notice they're gone.

"We've been finding children quickly on our quads, but it's best parents always keep an eye out and come say 'Hello' to the lifeguards on the beach.

"We also want parents to stop putting their children in inflatables.

"They don't realise that it only takes a gust of wind and the inflatable takes off with their child in it.

"We have been dealing with that a fair bit in the heat in the past few days."

Irish Rail is doing its bit to keep customers cool - with 50,000 bottles of water.

They will be handed out, free of charge, at stations over the coming days. The company is also giving out heatwave travel tips.

It says unnecessary travel should be avoided by anyone who feels unwell.

It is also encouraging people to ask for assistance, or a seat on a busy service, if they are overcome by heat.

Dr Laura Melody, a consultant in paediatric emergency medicine, advised parents to take extra care of children in the heat, particularly young infants and babies.

"All children should avoid being out in direct sunlight between 11am and 3pm," she said.

"We would advise that if a child will be out in the sun they should be appropriately covered with loose fitting clothes and hats which shade both the face and ears and where sun glasses where applicable."

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