Safety at sea - Astrid gives us a lesson

That the very real potential for tragedy was averted when sailing ship Astrid sank at the mouth of Kinsale Harbour on Wednesday shows how very important it is to prepare for nearly any eventuality before going afloat.

The recent spate of drowning — at least 11 lives lost — has reminded us of how very dangerous water can be. Thankfully, that toll was not extended by the Astrid’s difficulties largely because the crew had been trained how to respond in these circumstances.

The role of a dedicated rescue service underlined again the selflessness and courage routinely shown by their personnel.

Anyone who uses a boat should take a moment to consider the obvious lesson — be prepared.

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