Fire, Road And Water Safety Highlighted As Part Of ‘Amber Thursday’

A lifegaurd and two Gardaí holding signs promoting amber thursday

Cork County Council is appealing to people to stay safe over the August Bank Holiday weekend as it marks ‘Amber Thursday’ for the second year in a row.

The event is a collaboration between safety bodies, fire services and local authorities to help promote fire, road and water safety over the busy bank holiday weekend. The colour amber was chosen as it signifies a hazard or a warning.

It has been a busy summer for the emergency services in Ireland. Sadly, there have been a number of road and water related fatalities in Ireland recently. Four people lost their lives in crashes during one 24 hour period this week bringing the total number of deaths on Irish roads to 94 people so far this year.

The Mayor of the County of Cork Cllr. Danny Collins is calling on everyone to help ensure this August Bank Holiday weekend is a safe one. He said, “The increase in the number of deaths on our roads is a worrying trend. We know that long journeys can lead to driver fatigue. Speeding and non-wearing of a seatbelt are also common factors in serious or fatal injuries by road users. I am appealing to everyone to remember that the road is a shared space and we must all look out for each other. Vulnerable road users account for almost half of serious injuries. Pedestrians, cyclists and motorcyclists are particularly at risk so please be careful when you are out on the County Cork Roads this weekend.”

The recent dry spell and warm weather has resulted in an increase in outdoor fires. This bank holiday weekend is expected to be a particularly busy time for firefighters who are called to various incidents including barbeque or domestic fires and road traffic collisions. 

Chief Executive of Cork County Council, Tim Lucey encouraged members of the public to enjoy the weekend but to bear in mind the safety aspect of fire-related activities. He said, “Please respect our public areas and never light a camp-fire in parks, wildland areas, close to vegetation or trees and be mindful not to discard any cigarette butts on the ground. We are also asking everyone to enjoy our stunning coastal landscape but to park responsibly to avoid blocking Emergency Vehicle access at public amenity areas and always avail of our Lifeguard patrolled beaches. I’m encouraging all adults to look at their own behaviour whether they’re driving, around water or enjoying our scenic areas as young people in our community are watching and learning from us every day and will do as we do.” 

The number of people flocking to the county’s beaches has greatly increased during the recent spell of warm weather. During the months of June and July alone, Cork County Council’s Beach Lifeguards were called upon to rescue people on six occasions and assisted 16 people in the water who needed help. The teams gave advice to members of the public on 3,898 occasions and prevented more than a thousand incidents.

The Lifeguard’s advice is that holding hands with children saves lives and to be aware of rip currents and other water safety hazards before entering the water.  Swimming while under the influence of alcohol should always be avoided.  Swimmers are reminded to swim within their depth, not to use inflatable toys on open water and always swim at a lifeguarded beach. Swimming inland in lakes and rivers is also proven to be particularly high risk in terms of water safety. 

 "More people are at risk of an accident on our waterways during bank holiday weekends", said Roger Sweeney, Acting CEO of Water Safety Ireland. "Every effort should be made to swim where Lifeguards can provide for your safety. Bringing children to any waterway brings with it a responsibility for constant, uninterrupted supervision by an accompanying adult. Never let children use inflatable toys in open water as they can be swept from shore and place a child at risk of drowning."

Amber Thursday is supported by Local Authorities, the Chief Fire Officers Association, Road Safety Authority, Water Safety Ireland and Local Authority Road Safety Officers.  Further information can be found at