Almost 160 Drown In Ireland Per Year

The Irish Water Safety (IWS) agency has revealed Irish water claim the lives of almost 160 people per year.

The announcement comes in advance of the agencies launch of its 2008 annual report at it's Head Office in Galway.

The IWS called on those engaged in water-based activities to take personal responsibility for their own safety and become "water-wise" in advance of any trip to Ireland's waterways.

"We are privileged that Ireland offers a wide variety of easily accessible aquatic environments, such as public beaches, rivers and lakes, as well as public and private swimming pools. Unfortunately, our use and love of water can have serious consequences. Death and injury due to drowning and other water-related causes are too common in Ireland," an IWS spokesman said.

In advance of launching the annual report, Michael Finneran TD, Minister of State at the Dept of Environment paid tribute to the volunteers at Irish Water Safety

"While it is vital that everyone takes personal responsibility for being water safe, we are also fortunate to have dedicated individuals who work tirelessly towards preventing drowning and other water-related injuries," said Minister Finneran.

He added: "By providing quality water safety education and awareness, Irish Water Safety's strategy will increase community engagement in water safety initiatives and create safer environments in, on and around water."

On average, 158 people drown in Ireland every year. The worst year according to the IWS was 1998, which saw 208 deaths from drowning.


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