CORK County Council and Irish Water Safety are asking members of the public to safeguard ringbuoys along the coast and at lakesides and ensure that they are not interfered with, or damaged, in order to help reduce the number of drowning incidents.
The Council says there have been incidents of malicious damage and theft of these lifesaving appliances.
‘There is a continuing need for the public to be made aware that damage, or theft of, such Ringbuoys or the attached rope, could result in the loss of life,’ the Council said in a statement this week. They pointed out that ringbuoys have played an important role in reducing accidental drowning.
The Irish Water Safety Association introduced a specific colour code for the ring buoy, rope and box to enhance visibility and reduce vulnerability to theft and abuse. It is compact and light in design, allowing it to be thrown to the casualty in the water, and if missed enable swift retrieval and re-throwing, said the Council.
Cork County Council said that ringbuoys act as a constant visible reminder of the danger that water can represent, and are also intended to be used to rescue any person in distress. ‘Cork County Council, in carrying out regular inspections, has discovered Ringbuoys either missing or damaged. While there is a financial implication to this act of vandalism, the serious risk is to human life caused by the deliberate damage to this equipment could have devastating effects,’ it added.
Cork County Council and Irish Water Safety are appealing to the public to assist in keeping these vitally important lifesaving appliances in good condition at all times. Any person seen tampering with, or in possession of, these lifebelts should be reported to Cork County Council and/or the gardaí. The gardaí have convicted individuals for interfering with and damaging lifesaving equipment but they require the public’s continued assistance for successful prosecutions.
Any person coming upon the Ringbuoy or ropes in unsatisfactory condition can assist in public safety by untangling the rope and replacing it in the boxes or hooks provided for the purpose. The advice is to coil the ropes in a clockwise direction and place the coil of rope at the bottom of the box or on the hanging hook provided. Please report missing ringbuoys to www.ringbuoy.ie