Recognise risk - Water safety training facility

AS AN island nation, we should have a stronger culture of recognising how dangerous water can be and how reckless behaviour at sea, on rivers, or on lakes can quickly turn into a life-threatening situation.

Far too many people drown in our waters each year. Every summer, lives are lost in boating accidents or because swimming trips go wrong. Those tragedies are often exacerbated when it is established that the victims did not heed safety warnings or even take basic precautions such as wearing a life-jacket, situations that can only deepen the heartbreak felt by bereaved families.

A €500,000 National Lifeguard Training Centre will be opened in the seaside resort of Tramore, Co Waterford, today and it is to be hoped that the facility will make a significant contribution to making our beaches and waterways safer places. However, all the training in the world will stand for nothing unless we all recognise that we are fallible, behave responsibly around water, and do not put others’ lives, or our own lives, in jeopardy.

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