The Government today launched the ‘Be Summer-Ready’ 2021 Public Safety Information Campaign. This campaign provides advice across a wide range of topics on staying safe this summer. The focus of this campaign is to “Be Alert to Water Safety”.
The campaign was jointly launched by the Minister for Defence and Chair of the Government Task Force on Emergency Planning, Mr. Simon Coveney T.D., the Minister for Rural and Community Development, Ms. Heather Humphreys T.D. and Minister of State with responsibility for International and Road Transport and Logistics, Ms. Hildegarde Naughton T.D.
Minister Coveney said, “We have had a really tough year because of Covid 19, and as the weather gets better and the days get longer it is so important that we ensure that we are vigilant with regard to our personal safety when working or visiting the coast, lakes, rivers or our countryside.”
The Department of Rural and Community Development is the parent Department of Water Safety Ireland and speaking at the launch, Minister Heather Humphreys said, “Every death by drowning is a tragedy for the family, friends and communities of the victim.
So my big message here today is let’s all work together to minimise these tragedies.
Through the efforts of many organisations, hundreds of people are saved every year from drowning and thousands receive first aid. As we all adhere to government guidelines and restrictions, I urge everyone to take extra care of yourself and your loved ones near any waterways, and be extra vigilant during holidays when we can naturally let our guard down.
Water safety needs to be a part of the conversations we have with our loved ones.
That’s why campaigns such as the ‘Be Summer Ready’ initiative are so important.”
Today’s launch also heard of the importance of the Irish Coast Guard and the role it plays during the summer months. Minister Naughton said, “The launch of the Be Summer Ready campaign is a timely reminder on the need to attend to our own personal safety, to be aware of what to do in the event of an emergency, and to observe a few simple common-sense rules before engaging in any activity. Given the restrictions on international travel we are likely to see increased levels of activity on our coastline and on the water, this summer. Already it is apparent that there has been a significant increase in numbers participating in open water swimming, as an all year-round activity and certainly for longer than what we have regarded as the traditional outdoor swimming season.
Our message today is clear - no matter your activity on the water this summer - before you go on or near the water make a plan. Ensure that you let somebody know where you are going and what time to expect you back. Ensure that you have a means of communication be it a VHF radio, fully charged mobile phone; check the weather forecast and tide times, and always wear a lifejacket if you are going afloat.”
Minister Coveney also said, “Water safety is important to all of us in Ireland. Ireland has some of the most wonderful waterways and beaches in the world and they become very popular in the summer yet, tragically, drownings can happen easily. Everyone should know how to stay safe in the water and it is important that we also teach this to our children”.
The ‘Be Summer-Ready’ campaign is a ‘Whole of Government’ initiative to provide information to the general public on potential risks which may affect them during the summer months. The campaign’s messages will be delivered through internet and social media based information platforms across Government and by the provision of a ‘Be Summer-Ready’ information booklet and a ‘Be Alert to Water Safety’ leaflet which are both available for download at www.gov.ie/summerready.