The government launched its ‘Be Summer Ready’ 2023 campaign with the message: “Think Water Safety – Plan and Prepare.”
This year’s public safety information campaign provides advice across a wide range of topics on staying safe this summer.
The campaign was jointly launched by Tánaiste and Minister for Defence Micheál Martin, as Chair of the Government Task Force on Emergency Planning, and Minister of State Jack Chambers.
Head of Forecasting at Met Éireann, Evelyn Cusack also joined the launch.
The Tánaiste said, “the summer months are about making the most of warmer weather and enjoying Ireland’s beaches, coastal regions, and lakes. We want everyone to stay safe when enjoying the water this summer, and to be aware of the risks involved. So, I’d encourage everyone to visit the Be Summer Ready campaign website for practical, simple guidance on keeping themselves and their loved ones safe over the coming months.”
The launch also heard of the vital role the Irish Coast Guard and other search and rescue services play during the summer months. The Minister acknowledged the work of Coast Guard staff and volunteers across the country, Helicopter crews, RNLI and Community inshore rescue crews for their continued efforts in ensuring water safety.
Minister Chambers said, “last year the Coast Guard responded to over 2,700 incidents, with the summer being their busiest time. A significant proportion of call outs are for people engaged in recreational activities. The Irish Coast Guard’s message this year emphasises Planning and Preparation for any water based or coastal activities.”
“Think of the word PLAN. P is for Plan & Prepare – Always remember to Plan & Prepare for the activity you are about to participate in, whether it’s boating, operating a personal watercraft, paddleboarding, angling, open water swimming or taking a walk along some of Ireland’s beautiful coastline. L is for Learn – What do you need to learn to safely perform the task you will be undertaking? Do you know how to use all your equipment? Are you wearing a correctly fitting Personal Flotation Device (PFD)? A is for Alert – What do you need to do if you get into difficulty? How will you call for help and what can you do to assist yourself before rescue services arrive? N is for Notify. Part of the planning process is to let someone ashore know what you are doing. If your plan changes then don’t forget to update someone ashore.”
The ‘Be Summer Ready’ campaign is a whole of government initiative to provide information to the general public on potential risks which may affect them during the summer months. The campaign’s messages will be delivered through internet and social media based information platforms across Government and by the provision of a ‘Be Summer Ready’ information booklet and audio files and a ‘Think Water Safety – Plan and Prepare’ leaflet which are available for download at www.gov.ie/summerready.