IN advance of the bank holiday weekend, Cork County Council has come together with the Irish Coast Guard, An Garda Siochána and the RNLI to issue a public appeal to continue to abide by government guidelines, stay within 5km of home and to act responsibly.
It has emerged that gardaí had to ask people to leave Inchydoney beach on Wednesday because they had travelled beyond 5km from their homes.
This appeal comes after emergency services attended an incident at Inchydoney Beach on Wednesday afternoon, in which four people had gotten into difficulty whilst swimming. All four were taken safely to shore but two required hospital treatment. Another incident also occurred in Glandore on the same day.
Tim Lucey, chief executive of Cork County Council, advised:
'Cork County Councils lifeguard service at beaches commences on Saturday, May 30thdue to the present period of good weather and the potential risks that arise, despite the restrictions on travel within 5km of your home and the social distancing 2m guidance. We would appeal to all to be responsible and choose a lifeguarded beach within your 5km limit if you are going for a swim,' he said
'Adopt a Swim & Go policy. Warm air temperature does not mean that the water is warm. It is still too cold for extended swims and doing so places you at risk of hypothermia. Let’s all continue to work together to keep Cork as safe as possible. Above all please supervise children around water & be safe.'
Chief Superintendent Con Cadogan added that during the incident at Inchydoney Beach, gardaí had to ask members of the pubic to leave the area as there were large crowds gathered on the beach, who travelled out of their 5km zone.
'With the nice weather we are experiencing, we all want to get out and enjoy ourselves. But we cannot be complacent and we need to act responsibly. I would ask that everyone stays with the 5km of their home and to not get involved in activities like swimming where there are no lifeguards present. Wednesday’s incident could have been a tragedy,' he said.
Gerard O’ Flynn from the Irish Coast Guard is also asking people to observe the 5x2 rule – that's 5km travel restrictions and 2 metres physical distancing.
'Never ever swim alone or in areas that you are not familiar with. Think of the consequences of endangering other lives if you have to be assisted. If you do see somebody in trouble on the water or along the coast or think they are in trouble, dial 112 or use Marine VHF Channel 16 and ask for the Coast Guard,' said Gerard.