Stolen ringbuoy, stolen life (28 Oct 2009)
Stolen ringbuoy, stolen life    
Written by Staff Reporter, Galway Independent    
Wednesday, 28 October 2009  
Dozens of schoolchildren and members of the local community have joined Minister of State Michael Finneran to launch a new initiative www.ringbuoys.ie. "The website is a public service offered by Irish Water Safety that will allow members of the public to report missing, stolen, located or damaged ringbuoys to the relevant local and harbour authorities across Ireland," commented Minister Finneran. "This service will assist in reducing the number of tragic preventable drownings in all Counties."

"The highly visible ringbuoys placed at many waterways nationwide not only serve as a warning to passersby of the potential risk associated with aquatic environments but also to deliver a lifeline in an emergency," added Minister Finneran, "the absence of a ringbuoy due to theft or vandalism can have tragic consequences when a member of the public needs to effect a rescue."

Local authorities on their regular checks, particularly in urban areas, discover that ringbuoys are often missing.

Regrettably, there are also continuing incidents of malicious damage to these lifesaving appliances by irresponsible members of the public and there is a continuing need for the public, particularly late-night revellers under the influence of alcohol, to be made aware that damage or theft of such ringbuoys or the attached rope could result in the loss of life.

Any person seen tampering or in possession of this lifesaving equipment should be reported to the local authorities and/or the Gardai, who can enforce a conviction and a fine.

Irish Water Safety appeals to the public to assist in maintaining these vitally important lifesaving appliances in good condition at all times. This new website, www.ringbuoys.ie, developed by Kildare Water Safety Area Committee, has the potential to save lives.



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