View as PDF

Irish Coast Guard and RNLI urge ‘Respect the Water’ this Bank Holiday weekend

Lifeboats News Release

The Irish Coast Guard and the RNLI, the charity that saves lives at sea, have issued a joint call urging people to be vigilant and take care in and on the water or along the coastline this bank holiday weekend.

With the school holidays and good weather it has been a busy time for the search and rescue agencies and this bank holiday weekend, the two organisations have cautioned people to be vigilant and take heed of some simple safety advice.
The recent rise in popularity of mobile phone apps and games has brought a lot of people outdoors to take photos or play games with them. However looking at screens or taking selfies near the coastline can be dangerous if people don’t take care of where they are standing and note the risks.
The Irish Coast Guard and the RNLI have both launched safety campaigns this summer to highlight the potential dangers of the water. The Coast Guard has highlighted a simple message ‘No Lifejacket- No Excuse’ emphasising that if you can stay afloat and communicate a request for help, then you have an excellent chance of being rescued or assisted.
The RNLI’s ‘Respect the Water’ campaign looks at the causes of accidental drowning, which has claimed on average 23 lives around the Irish coastline each year. These include cold water shock, unexpected entry into the water, rip currents and unusual waves.

Over the Bank holiday weekend last year (1-3 August), RNLI lifeboats in Ireland launched 29 times, with 49 people rescued including seven lives saved.

People can keep safe by being aware of the dangers around them and taking some advice before they head out. If you spot someone in the water call 999/112 and ask for the Coast Guard. If you have something that floats or they can hold on to, throw it to them. Don’t go in the water yourself. Further information is available on the RNLI’s website 
Traditionally one of the busiest lifeboat stations during the summer months is Dun Laoghaire. RNLI Coxswain Mark McGibney, who is based at the Dublin station commented: ‘Our lifeboat crew are trained and ready to launch at a moment’s notice but every second counts in any rescue and people can help themselves by being prepared and taking advice.’ 
‘We launch to a lot of people who never expected to end up in the water when they left home. Call outs can range from the tide cutting people off, to slips or falls while walking near the coastline. Becoming distracted or not taking note of your surroundings has resulted, in some cases, in serious injury or death.  Looking up and taking notice of where you are means that you are aware of any risks and can enjoy your day out without having to call the rescue services.’

RNLI media contacts
For more information please contact Nuala McAloon RNLI Press Officer Ireland on 0876483547 or email or Niamh Stephenson RNLI Public Relations Manager Ireland on 0871254124 or 018900460 or email

Key facts about the RNLI

The Royal National Lifeboat Institution is the charity that saves lives at sea. Our volunteers provide a 24-hour search and rescue service in the United Kingdom and Ireland from 238 lifeboat stations, including four along the River Thames and inland lifeboat stations at Loch Ness, Lough Derg, Enniskillen, Carrybridge and Lough Ree. Additionally the RNLI has more than 1,000 lifeguards on over 240 beaches around the UK and operates a specialist flood rescue team, which can respond anywhere across the UK and Ireland when inland flooding puts lives at risk.

The RNLI relies on public donations and legacies to maintain its rescue service. As a charity it is separate from, but works alongside, government-controlled and funded coastguard services. Since the RNLI was founded in 1824 our lifeboat crews and lifeguards have saved at least 140,000 lives. Volunteers make up 95% of the charity, including 4,600 volunteer lifeboat crew members and 3,000 volunteer shore crew. Additionally, tens of thousands of other dedicated volunteers raise funds and awareness, give safety advice, and help in our museums, shops and offices.

Learn more about the RNLI

For more information please visit the RNLI website or Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. News releases, videos and photos are available on the News Centre.

Contacting the RNLI - public enquiries

Members of the public may contact the RNLI on 0300 300 9990 or by email.


The RNLI is a charity registered in England and Wales (209603) and Scotland (SC037736). Charity number 20003326 in the Republic of Ireland