It’s easy to overlook water safety with the excitement of finding your dream boat or new watersports equipment on DoneDeal, so here’s some items for your checklist
With so many thousands of miles of coastline and inland waterways it’s no surprise that watersports are increasing in popularity. With this, comes an interest in related second-hand gear for sale on DoneDeal.
However, something that should be top of your list is a good understanding of water safety before you try out a boat, surfboard or swimming togs.
Keep your head above water
The first port of call for water safety advice is the Irish Water Safety website. It has lots of different advice for staying safe on water.
We’ve put together our own guide to things you need to consider before getting into a new watersport or on-water activity.
A life jacket/personal flotation device is a must. What one to buy depends on your planned activities. There are four different levels of buoyancy aids which range from offshore cruising, fishing and commercial users down to buoyancy aids for dinghy sailors, windsurfers, water-skiers and personal water craft.
Find out more from the Personal Flotation Devices (PFDs) Lifejackets & Buoyancy Aids guide from Irish Water Safety.
Learn how to swim
No matter what age you are it’s not too late to learn how to swim. If you’ve plans to use a boat in Ireland’s inland waterways or on Ireland’s coasts, sign up for some adult swimming classes.
Ask at your local pool or leisure centre. Being able to swim could save a life if you or a friend have an accident on the water. It’s a definite requirement for surfing.
Watching Home & Away isn’t going to be enough to figure out surfing. Even in this YouTube age nothing replaces lessons with an instructor. Whether you’re taking up kayaking, jet skiing, sailing or fishing in a row boat, ask somebody with expertise for instruction.
Search online or DoneDeal for classes in your area, get in touch with a national association for suggestions or ask a friend with experience to show you the ropes. You need to know how to operate boats correctly in all sorts of conditions and what to do in an emergency.
First aid courses are regularly run the length and breadth of the island. If you’re investing in equipment for having fun days out on the water, put aside some of your funds for first aid training. If you’re on open water miles from civilisation you will be glad you did.
Think ahead and find out what extras you need: depending on your vessel/activity these can vary from goggles and wetsuits to a flare and fire extinguisher. The IWS website also a very comprehensive guides section covering everything to do with water safety. It also has a comprehensive water safety checklist.
Off the water
Whether it’s a surfboard or an outboard motor – make sure you have the right extras to bring it from your home to the water. This could include a roof rack or roof straps for boards or kayaks, a hitch on your car and trailer for a boat.