Educational videos highlight the danger of using ‘floating killers’ in open water

May 23rd, 2021 7:10 AM

By Southern Star Team

County mayor Cllr Mary Linehan Foley, with (from left): Garret O’Mahony, Goleen Coast Guard; Graham Kerr, Cork County Council Lifeguard service; Sean O’Callaghan, County Council; Peter O’Shea, Ballycotton Lifeboat and Caroline Casey, County Council, promoting the two short films on the dangers of using inflatable toys in open water. (Photo: Brian Lougheed)

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TWO short films on the dangers of using inflatable toys, or ‘floating killers,’ in open water have been produced by Cork County Council in conjunction with the Irish Coast Guard, RNLI and Water Safety Ireland.

The six-minute educational videos, one aimed at primary school children and the other targeting adult audiences, were launched virtually with students of Ballyvongane NS (near Macroom), who feature in the children’s video.

The key message is ‘enjoy the water safely but be safe by not using inflatables on open water.’

Members of the emergency services, including the Coast Guard, RNLI and lifeguard service, outline the dangers of inflatables in the film. In the children’s version, young presenters Tadgh and  Aisling, water safety champions, explain through animation the effects wind and currents have when using these toys in the open water.

John Draper, divisional controller with the Coast Guard said: ‘Last year the Coast Guard coordinated the responses to 20 incidents where small inflatable dinghies, Lilos and inflatable beach toys were involved. This was a threefold increase in this type of incident from the previous year. Tragically 2 of these incidents resulted in two fatalities in addition to 3 near drowning fatalities. We would ask the public not to risk their safety on the water by using these inflatable toys.’

John F M Leech, chief executive of Water Safety Ireland, advises: ‘Inflatable toys should never be used on our waterways as Ireland’s temperate climate is not suitable for them, with wind they become floating killers.’

Kevin Rahill, RNLI’s water safety lead, said inflatables can take a child out of their depth very quickly and as they are unstable, there is a high chance of falling off and ending up in the water. ‘Let’s keep everyone safe this summer and avoid using inflatables in open water. These videos provide some very important information and explain why inflatable toys pose a danger in the water.’

The two films will be available on Cork County Council’s YouTube channel.

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