RNLI volunteers will unfurl two giant flags for ‘Respect the Water’ and ‘Float to Live’ in Croke Park today to highlight the campaign and give people a single survival skill in the water - floating.
Volunteers from lifeboat stations across Ireland will be taking to the pitch to share drowning prevention advice from the RNLI’s campaign ‘Respect the Water’, which is being supported by the GAA’s Healthy Clubs programme.
The display will be accompanied by the 30second ‘Float to Live’ video and a half time interview with the RNLI, featuring Dun Laoghaire RNLI lifeboat volunteer, comedian and broadcaster, PJ Gallagher.
"I know it might come as a surprise to some but I am an RNLI volunteer lifeboat crewmember," said Gallagher.
"It will also be less of a surprise to many that I am a passionate and dedicated GAA supporter.
"I just hope the message will help save lives and I’d encourage everyone to talk about it and share it."
Volunteer Ambassadors have been recruited and trained from RNLI lifeboat stations to deliver short talks and demonstrations to GAA clubs in their local communities so that young men and women can understand the risks of drowning and how a simple action could save a life.
The ambassadors are RNLI volunteers who are also passionate about GAA and include, players, coaches, referees and supporters.
"We are extremely grateful to the GAA for giving us the opportunity to highlight the work our two organisations are doing together to try and raise awareness of the risks of drowning and what action to take that could save a life," said Gareth Morrison, RNLI Head of Community Engagement
‘Float to Live’ is the key safety message of the ‘Respect the Water’ campaign.
Even the strongest swimmers can be caught out by the power of the water. The survival message is to fight your instinct to panic, and instead stay calm and float until you can control your breathing. Then a decision can be taken on the next step, to shout for help or try and swim to safety.
The senior football semi-final features two land-locked counties but the RNLI is delighted to have the opportunity to share its safety messages with an audience that may not be traditionally associated with lifeboats.
The charity says that the advice applies to everyone whether on the coast or enjoying inland waters and loughs.