Full moon, spring tide warning to beach walkers

A full moon on Thursday will result in spring tides that will place weekend coastal walkers in danger of stranding.

A full moon on Thursday will result in spring tides that will place weekend coastal walkers in danger of stranding.

This is the serious message to everyone enjoying coastal walks over the Bank Holiday weekend. Many people enjoy walking on our beaches and exploring newly exposed areas of beach and those picking shellfish will be at risk during very low tides.

The wetter weather will not deter “casual boaters” from going afloat this weekend, which will be the busiest of the year, but the competence level of many will be varied so therefore Irish Water Safety is keen to reinforce some basic advice that will save lives this weekend:

- Wear a Lifejacket. Find out what device suits your needs at http://www.iws.ie/guides-page24421.html

- Never go alone. You’ll be safer and have more fun if you pair up with another adult for water sports. If one of you gets into trouble, the other can help - and call for additional help if necessary. Always wear a Personal Flotation Device.

- Watch children constantly. Children are irresistibly attracted to water. Take the time to protect your children from the dangers of water. Teach them in advance at www.aquaattack.ie.

- Avoid alcohol. Water sports and alcohol don’t mix. Tragically, alcohol is often a factor in adult deaths from drowning or injuries incurred in the water. Alcohol impairs judgment, balance and coordination - all essential for swimming and boating well and avoiding hazards in the water.

- Lifejackets Checklist

Visually Check all lifejackets and buoyancy aids for the following deficiencies:

Ensure CO2 Cartridges have not been punctured and are secured firmly.

Ensure all zips, buckles, fasteners and webbing straps are functioning correctly and adjusted to fit the user, especially the holding down device or crotch strap.

Check that their lights, if fitted are operating correctly.

Ensure that Automatic Inflation devices if fitted are fully serviced and in date.

Check that the valve or lifejacket is not leaking by inflating the lifejacket overnight.

Discard any faulty lifejackets by destroying them.