WITH the summer now well and truly upon us, the public have been returning to our beaches in their droves. Never before have we appreciated our coast so much and we can be forgiven for being a little over-enthusiastic about getting back to the fun and sun.
But with such huge numbers heading to the sea, there are bound to be some incidents associated with what, at times, can also be a dangerous location – especially for our young people.
Over the past few weeks there have been several incidents which called for the help of our voluntary RNLI crews, the Coast Guard, and our lifeguards, now called ‘beach guards’.
Indeed, our beach guards are the ones who are ‘on site’ on beaches and can respond, in seconds, to an emergency or dangerous situation. They are generally only employed for weekends in June and September, with full-time hours kicking in for July and August. But, with the amount of people already on the coast, Cork County Council recently agreed to employ the beach guards’ full-time hours from this week.
There is no official statement on whether the busy month of September will also see full-time beach guards, but with more and more people enjoying our beaches for longer each summer, extending this life-saving service for as long as possible would surely represent some of the best value for money spent by our local authority.