Water, water, everywhere – be careful what you drink! Galway has a river, canals, a lake and the ocean, all of which can be dangerous if you are not careful. The most important thing to remember is to stay away from the waters edge, especially if you have drink or drugs taken. It is very easy to fall in and it can have fatal consequences. Remember that when you drink you may do things you wouldn’t ordinarily do so steer clear of any potential hazards and don’t wander off alone.
We recommend you learn to swim. It’s a really enjoyable form of exercise and makes your environment safer. The swimming, waterpolo and lifesaving club provides beginners’ lessons. Never swim while intoxicated, within an hour of eating or if you feel tired or weak. You should only go swimming within view of a lifeguard on duty or with someone who has trained in lifesaving.
If you are not a strong swimmer then don’t go out of your depth. Don’t dive into an unfamiliar body of water, one too shallow, murky or at low tide. Don’t swim anywhere there are strong currents. Don’t swim and chew gum! If you are out on a boat, make sure you have life jackets and adequate safety gear. A mobile phone isn’t enough as it won’t work if it gets wet. If you encounter a person in trouble in the water, call emergency services on 999/112. Do NOT go in after him/her unless you are trained. Throw a ring buoy to the person if there is one there or if you have a jumper or length of rope that could reach him/her use it to pull the person in. Only do this if it does not put you at risk of falling in.
For more information on water safety, check out www.iws.ie