A HUGE increase in the popularity of open water swimming has led Swim Ireland and the RNLI to join forces to host a series of safety webinars.
A successful pilot webinar was held in December, but there are more planned for February 22nd and March 8th, and lunchtime sessions.
Safety lead with the RNLI, Kevin Rahill, is to host a ‘Weather and Waves’ webinar this month, and a ‘Tides and Current’ module in March.
There will be a €5 fee to attend each webinar, but the money will be donated to support the RNLI’s lifeboat crews.
Grainne Murphy, the national co-ordinator of Get Ireland Swimming, described the increase in open water swimming as ‘unprecedented.’ This summer alone, she said Swim Ireland supported more than 700 open water swimmers with lessons and coaching.
‘It is even more important to support these newcomers in the cold winter,’ said Grainne. ‘That is why we have partnered with the RNLI to provide an ongoing series of educational webinars that will deliver key safety messages and provide a platform for them to speak directly with experts in swimming and safety.’
Running in tandem with the evening webinars will be 30-minute ‘lunch break chats’, providing education on ice swimming, swim route planning, and Channel swimming.
Swim Ireland’s Instagram channel will also feature live chats with various experts, including the Irish ex-international marathon swimmer Chris Bryan.
To find out more go to Swim Ireland’s website: www.swimireland.ie.