Coast Guard and RNLI issue safety message to those swimming over Christmas

Coast Guard and RNLI issue safety message to those swimming over Christmas
A group going for a Christmas swim in Muckross, Co Kerry last year

The Coast Guard and RNLI have issued a joint safety message to anyone heading to the water over Christmas.

Both groups are reminding people not to swim alone and not to mix water sports and alcohol.

The RNLI says they have over 1,500 lifeboat volunteers ready to drop everything if a call for help comes in this Christmas.

But they would all prefer if their safety message got there first.

Seán Dillon from the RNLI says if you see someone in trouble, don't hesitate to raise the alarm straight away:

"Our advice would always be to be better safe than sorry. If you see someone in trouble or if you think they are in trouble ring 999 or 112 and ask for the coast guard.

"We will have over 1,500 life boat volunteers available over Christmas on call for help if the need arises.

We would much prefer to be called out to help than to be regretting it afterwards that we weren't called out.

Mr Dillon also had advised people who are swimming over Christmas to do so as part of a group.

"Never swim alone, always try and have someone with you as part of a organised swim," he said adding that swimmers should wear a wetsuit and a bright-coloured swim cap to make them easily identifiable.

"And finally, at this time of year, never swim under the influence of alcohol," he said.

The Irish Coast Guard says 'stay back, stay high and stay dry.'

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