On January 1st 2014 the national annual drowning statistics are reset to zero.
Every year, an average of 140 people die in tragic preventable drownings and in one particularly tragic ten day period in the summer of 2013 a total of twelve people drowned nationwide.
As a mark of remembrance to the lost souls of loved ones that have drowned in water along our coasts and inland waterways and to urge all water users to be extra cautious in 2014, the Dublin Branch of Irish Water Safety organised a ‘New Year-Zero’ plunge at Sandycove Beach from 12pm to 1pm on January 1st 2014.
This Awareness of Safety in and around Water event included a New Year’s wish that no family loses a loved one this year through drowning. In Ireland we are fortunate to have access to an abundance of water in our lakes, rivers and our coastal areas, and with careful planning, education and caution it can be the source of great enjoyment for the whole family.
The volunteers of the Dublin Branch of Irish Water Safety organised a lifeguard patrolled swimming area for public use during the event and encouraged New Year Dippers to use this opportunity to have a swim with the comfort of knowing that lifeguards are present.
Despite the storm conditions, extreme high tides in Dublin and surrounding counties, the weather calmed down right on the dot of 12:00 noon, the sun came out and the temperature reached a balmy 11 degrees.
There was a great turn out for this event with medals of recognition presented to all those brave enough to take the New Year ‘Zero’ Plunge.
A wreath made of over 140 red and white carnations in the form of a Ring Buoy was laid in the water by the Chairman of Dublin Water Safety, Aisling Cushen and Dr. John McGrory, Event Organiser.
It is hoped that this will become an annual event around the country.