In the lead in to the first phase (today, May 18th) of the Government’s ‘Roadmap for reopening society and business’ the Coast Guard has thanked the public for their cooperation in observing the travel and social distancing guidelines as they impact on maritime and coastal activities.
The phased easing of restrictions will result in more people participating in coastal and water-based leisure activities that are within the 5km radius. The Coast Guard is emphasising the importance of continuing to observe current COVID -19 guidelines, as well as attending to their personal safety when engaging in any water-based or coastal activity.
Under Phase 1 of the Roadmap to Recovery (commencing today, May 18th), people are permitted to engage in outdoor sporting and fitness activities on an individual basis. Very small groups—a maximum of four people—will be permitted to engage in outdoor sporting and fitness activity but only within a 5km travel distance and where social distancing of 2 metres can be maintained.
Members of the public should use caution if engaged in water sports, realising there are no lifeguards on the beaches, and many swimming spots are closed off to prevent gatherings. Many clubs and organisations have also provided their members with detailed guidelines to be followed with the commencement of phase 1 of the roadmap.
Coast Guard Search and Rescue services, including those provided by RNLI and Community Rescue Units (CRBI), continue to be fully operational and on call 24/7.
Gerard O’Flynn on behalf of the Coast Guard stated; “It is recognised that people will want to get out for a break and take to the water if they are living or exercising near the coast or inland waters. The public are again reminded to follow Government instructions, which are focused on protecting frontline services and saving lives. Observe the current 2×5 rule i.e. 2M physical distance & 5KM travel distance.”
Arrangements continue to be in place for Coast Guard services including Helicopters and Volunteer Coast Guard units to assist HSE, Gardai and Local Authorities in provision of community and other logistical support during the current emergency.
If you see somebody in trouble in the water or along the coast use VHF Ch 16 or Dial 112 (or 999) and ask for the Coast Guard.
Image Credit: Darina Clancy