Cork County Council Beach Lifeguard Team take up duty for 2023 Bathing Season


As the Summer bathing season arrives, Cork County Council’s Beach Lifeguard Team is once again preparing to oversee the safety of the public in the water around the county’s stunning coast. 

The beach lifeguards motto this year is once again ‘Holding Hands Saves Lives'.  Last Summer the county’s lifeguards reunited 23 children with their parents across Cork Beaches, up on 15 in 2021. Parental supervision and vigilance are key in keeping children safe on a day out in any water environment.  Inflatable boats, beds and toys are unsafe to use on open water due to our temperate climate together with strong and changeable winds throughout most of the summer. Cork County Beach Lifeguards are asking parents and guardians to always swim at a lifeguarded waterway and not bring inflatable toys to the beach where it is unsafe to use them.

Starting this weekend, the beach lifeguards will raise their red and yellow flags to indicate when they are on duty between 10.30 am to 7 pm daily.  They will be on duty weekends in June, full time in July and August and the first two weekends of September. The last day of duty will be September the 10th 2023.

Cork County Council’s Beachlifeguard teams will be on duty at Youghal (Front Strand, Claycastle and Redbarn), Garryvoe, Fountainstown, Inchydoney, Owenahincha, The Warren, Garrylucas, Garretstown, Tragumna and Barleycove Beaches.  Due to the unavailability of staff some locations may not operate at certain times.  Up to date information on lifeguarded beach will be available on Cork County Council Beachlifeguards Facebook page. 

Cork County Council wishes to remind everyone of the importance of learning the Flag System at the beach, especially children.  

  • A red over yellow flag means the lifeguards are on duty.  
  • Swim between the red and yellow flags close and parallel to the shore as this is the area that the lifeguards are patrolling.  
  • A red flag indicates that swimming is not advised.  
  • Black and white chequered flags mark the area for surfing only.  

Mayor of the County of Cork Cllr. Danny Collins is also asking all swimmers to familiarise themselves with the flag system,

As with every other Summer Season, our beach lifeguard service has resumed. While we promote water safety rigorously every year, this year we are also reminding members of the public to please respect the water, leave inflatable toys at home, supervise children when they are in the water and finally enjoy our beautiful beaches.

Cork County Council Chief Executive Tim Lucey went on to say,

Tim Lucey

Chief Executive

Cork County Council Headquarters, County Hall, Carrigrohane Road, Cork, Ireland. Eircode: T12 R2NC.

Our Lifeguards provide a wonderful service in terms of water safety but they are also available for any first aid events and are ready and willing to help so please do not hesitate to contact them for any assistance.

For further Water Safety information, daily updates on conditions and flags flying at each beach visit ‘Cork Co Co Beachguards’ on Facebook.

See Infographic Transcript

Infographic Transcript

Cork County Council Beach Lifeguard Service

Lifeguarded Beaches in County Cork

Fountainstown, Youghal - Front Strand, Claycastle & Redbarn, Garryvoe, Inchydoney East & West, Owenahincha, The Warren, Tragumna, Barleycove, Garretstown, Garrylucas.

Lifeguards on duty

Weekends in June. Full time in July & August.

First 2 weekends in September. Last day of duty is September 10th, 2023.

Water safety flags you need to know

Red & yellow flags

Safe to swim between these flags swim parallel and close to the shore never swim out to sea

Red flag 

No swimming at all.

Black and white chequered flags

Surfing area only.

Safety notice

Use of inflatables is not advised at any open water locations.

Scan QR Code to view safety videos.

Find the Cork County Council Beachlifeguards on Facebook to get a daily update on each lifeguarded beach in County Cork.