12 July 2021
Public urged to “always think water safety” in Dublin Bay
New campaign from Dublin Port helps novices get their bearings.
Dublin Port Company (DPC) has today launched a new water safety awareness campaign supported by Water Safety Ireland (WSI) to help promote the safe, responsible use of Dublin Bay for leisure and recreation this summer.
Both Dublin Port Company and Water Safety Ireland have observed an increase in the number of people enjoying water-based sports and activities in the surroundings of Dublin Bay and Dublin Port, many for the first time. Unfortunately, some have also found themselves in potentially dangerous situations on the water requiring the guidance of Dublin Port crews to keep them clear of the shipping lanes.
Dublin Port’s campaign is aimed at the growing number of leisure boat users on the water and also those venturing out for kayaking, paddle boarding, jet-skiing and sea-swimming with the arrival of warmer temperatures and continued easing of lockdown restrictions.
Supported by new radio, digital and social media advertising, the campaign’s message encourages anyone planning a trip on the water to “get their bearings – always think water safety”. The message is also reinforced outdoors on a billboard at the entrance to Dublin Port.
Members of the city’s established boat and water sports clubs will already be very familiar with the dos and don’ts of crossing Dublin Bay, navigating the shipping lanes at Dublin Port or enjoying the River Liffey. However, DPC also recognises that many others taking to the water may not be aware of basic safety regulations and practices intended to keep everyone safe.
Dublin Port Harbour Master Captain Michael McKenna explains, “We have seen how quickly someone can get into a potentially dangerous situation on the water, such as being unaware that they have entered the shipping channel, passing too close to ships, not calling “VTS Dublin” on VHF Channel 12 for permission to cross, or not having a working VHF radio on board. It can be a very frightening and dangerous experience if you are not familiar with the water. We want to get the message out about the basic precautions that can help make every trip much safer.”
As part of the campaign, DPC has created a starter’s guide to basic safety etiquette on the water, including a new map showing a simplified version of the shipping lanes at Dublin Port where permission to cross is mandatory for all leisure craft users. This information, and more, is available at www.dublinport.ie/water-safety
Dublin Port Harbour Master, Captain Michael McKenna, said; “Dublin Bay and the River Liffey are for everyone to enjoy. We want people to have fun on the water, but our number one priority is safety. We are encouraging people to always think water safety. There are more than 17,000 ship movements in and out of Dublin Port every year which equates to almost 50 each day. There is huge variety in the size and type of ships sharing the water with the city’s boat and yacht communities, sailing groups and sports clubs. Everyone, but especially those who are new or inexperienced, can take some simple safety precautions to help keep themselves, and everyone else on the water, safe.”
John Leech, Chief Executive Officer, Water Safety Ireland, said; “It is everyone’s responsibility to take a proactive approach to personal safety on the water, whether that’s on the waters of Dublin Bay and Port, or further afield. This summer, as people take advantage of the many beautiful coastal areas on offer, the advice has never been more relevant.
Take the time to inform yourself of the basic safety measures you can take. Having that understanding and awareness creates confidence on the water. We know from experience that you are more likely to protect yourself and others when you are aware of the risks involved, and how to avoid them in the first place.”
Note on Jet Skis and Personal Watercraft (PWC)
Jet ski and PWC users are reminded to adhere to the 6 knots speed limit when within 60 m of a pier, jetty, slipway, mooring, shore or another vessel and 120 m of a swimmer or dive flag. Freestyling is not permitted within 200m of swimmers, or the shoreline.
For further information on Water Safety from Dublin Port please CLICK HERE