Life-saving water rings in jeopardy (27 May 2010)
Life-saving water rings in jeopardy
Mayo Advertiser, May 28, 2010.

Michael Gavin, Mayo water safety officer; Fiona Freyne, lifeguard; Councillor John Cribben, Cathaoirleach Mayo County Council; Michael Sweeney, area engineer; and Lisa Jordan, lifeguard, in Ballyhaunis at the launch of ringbuoys.ie website. Photo © KWP Studio 094.
A new website, www.ringbuoys.ie has been launched by Irish Water Safety to help local authorities speedily identify missing and damaged ringbuoys. A total of 300 ringbuoys are located near water in various parts of Mayo but between 30 and 40 of these are damaged or go missing each year.

“Far too often ringbuoys and safety warning signs are removed or damaged and Mayo County Council expends considerable resources in replacing them,” said Michael Gavin, water safety officer with Mayo County Council.

“This number of replacements is far too high considering that the life expectancy of a ringbuoy should be 10-12 years. There is a certain unavoidable loss through erosion and storm damage at coastal areas particularly over the winter months, but it is difficult to understand why ringbuoys go missing on piers, inland waterways, and other sheltered locations. Certainly vandalism and night time revelry can be identified as reasons in some instances. I would appeal to those involved in such behaviour to desist from tampering with lifesaving equipment. Remember you could be putting someone’s life at risk, maybe even your own.”

John Cribben, Cathaoirleach, Mayo County Council has issued an appeal to the general public to be pro-active in reporting missing or damaged ringbuoys.

This week is National Water Safety Awareness Week (May 24 – 31) and as part of its awareness campaign, Mayo County Council and the town councils of Ballina, Castlebar, and Westport have jointly launched the Ringbuoys.ie website for the people of Mayo.

For all water safety information use www.iws.ie or the children’s website www.aquaattack.ie



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