Hold Hands to Save Lives this Summer

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While it might not feel like beach weather, Cork County Council’s Beach Lifeguards have started their full-time summer schedule and are encouraging parents and guardians to adopt their new motto, “Holding Hands Saves Lives”.  The message is simple, that a young child should always hold an adult's hand when near water.

The Beach Lifeguard service is now on duty 7 days a week until the end of August across 13 of the county’s beaches from 10.30am to 7pm daily. Beaches will also be guarded during the first two weekends in September. The service is made up of 40 full-time Beach Lifeguards, with a backup team ready to support if required.

Lifeguards will monitor the safety of swimmers in East Cork at Youghal Front Strand, Claycastle, Redbarn and Garryvoe, in the Carrigaline Area at Fountainstown, in West Cork at Inchydoney East and West, Owenahincha, The Warren, Tragumna and Barleycove Beaches, and at the Old Head of Kinsale in Garrylucas and Garretstown.

The Mayor of the County of Cork, Cllr Danny Collins said, “Cork County is home to 19% of the country’s entire coastline which means we have a host of beautiful beaches to enjoy this summer. Thousands of people will be flocking to the coast to experience the sunshine, sand and sea, and we want to ensure that every visitor has a safe and enjoyable time. Our experienced lifeguards will be on duty every day at 13 locations and I am encouraging all beach goers to please heed their advice. It is never too early to teach children about water safety and the lifeguard’s motto of “Holding Hands Saves Lives” is a simple but effective way to keep young children safe while having fun in or near the water.”

Lifeguards will raise their red and yellow flags to indicate when they are on duty. Beach goers are asked to families themselves with the flag system at the beach. 

  • A red over yellow flag means the Lifeguards are on duty. 
  • Swim between the red and yellow flags parallel and close 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. 

Chief Executive of Cork County Council, Tim Lucey added, “Our Beach Lifeguard teams carried out 21 rescues, reunited 23 lost children with their families and assisted in 940 first aid incidents last year. Lifeguarding is all about prevention and I have no doubt that thousands of incidents were averted by our teams during 2021 alone. We’re expecting another busy season this summer and we’re asking beachgoers to keep safety in mind whenever they are near the coast.”

Cork County Council’s Beach Lifeguards are also asking members of the public to supervise children on the sand and in the water, never use inflatable toys or beds on open water and to swim within your depth, and stay within your depth, at all times.

For further Water Safety information and education please visit Water Safety Ireland's website, www.watersafety.ie You can also visit ‘Cork Co Co Beachguards’ on Facebook where daily updates on conditions and flags flying at each beach are available.