At last the summer has arrived but with it come some hidden dangers! Waterways Ireland would like to advise swimmers that operating docks, harbours and marinas are not appropriate areas for swimming and that those wishing take a dip in the Shannon should do so in the designated local Authority swim areas. Dock, harbours & marinas are busy with boats, barges and cruisers and it is near impossible for captains of these vessels to navigate safely when swimmers are in the water.
Éanna Rowe of Waterways Ireland stated that “swimming is prohibited in these areas for very good reason and recently we witnessed a couple of near misses in a number of different harbours right along the Shannon.” He advises “those wishing to cool down in this hot balmy weather should go to the designated local authority bathing areas and the dangerous practice of swimming at marinas and harbours should cease immediately.”
Waterways Ireland is raising this point as swimmers seem unaware that from the driving position in most cruisers it is impossible to see swimmers in the water and as a result accidents may occur. Waterways Ireland has issued a Marine Notice to advise masters, owners and all other users of the navigations that it is prohibited to swim in the vicinity of harbours, quays, jetties and within 200m of locks, weirs, bridges and other navigation infrastructure because of the dangers associated with vessels manoeuvring. Also, a fast current is to be expected adjacent to locks, weirs and bridges which can pose a further danger to swimmers.