The Sun is Shining!

….and that’s something to smile about! 😊

We hope that you have been able to get out and enjoy this beautiful weather (responsibly of course). We know that some of you have been heading to the beach and therefore wanted to highlight some important points for anyone becoming tempted by the open water. Most importantly open water swimming should only be done at this time by experienced open water swimmers. 

If it is a quick dip your after, here’s what you must consider before taking the plunge:

  • Remember: many life guarded beaches do not yet have lifeguards on duty
  • It is important that you never go swimming or dipping in open water on your own
  • It is recommended to swim parallel to shore and not go out of your depth

Safety in the open water is important for even the shortest of short dips, so it’s really important to make a plan and always consider the following:

  • It is highly recommended that you go with someone who is also an experienced and confident open water swimmer, and knows the area you are swimming in
  • If you are going for a dip in the sea, check the tides first. Generally, high tide is the best time to go, and three hours before or after any tide in Ireland is the worst, with strongest currents present.
  • Even though the sun is shining, the sea temperature is still cold! At the moment, in the seas around Ireland, it is between 10C and 12C, which can cause cold-water shock even when you are wearing a wetsuit.
  • Having said that, if you have a wetsuit, it is a good idea to wear it – at least on your first dip.
  • Pick a spot where the water is calm and shallow, so you can walk in and out of the water. This will allow you to get in gradually and get used to being in cold water whilst still in your depth.
  • Wearing two swim hats can help keep you warm, and there are also neoprene hats, gloves and socks available.
  • When lifeguards are back sometime in June, always drop by and ask them for any dangers to be aware of on the beach, and always swim between their flags.

You may have noticed that Swim Ireland released a “Return To Water Roadmap” recently. This Roadmap document details Swim Ireland’s views (rather than the approved government position) as to how aquatic activities may be resumed on the island of Ireland on a phased basis.

The actions set out in the Roadmap aim to support our members and all aquatic participants, coaches, volunteers and supporters to return to the water in a safe and timely manner. Key to this is both an understanding and acceptance that the COVID-19 risk cannot be eliminated (although it can be mitigated against and minimised with the correct measures and communications) and the re-opening of facilities.

The Roadmap is a “live” document in that it will adapt to current advice provided by Sport Ireland, Sport Northern Ireland, Ireland Active (the industry body for leisure and fitness) and relevant governmental departments as we progress through this pandemic.
If you would like to find out more on the document – click here!

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