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Warning from Irish Water Safety CEO on risks to children as hard weather thaw kicks in

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Stark warning from Irish Water Safety CEO on risks to children as hard weather thaw kicks in

The CEO of Irish Water Safety, John Leech is advising parents to supervise their children over the next few days until the current spell of hard weather moves away.

In a statement he warns: "Children will be keen to get out and enjoy our winter games. During the thaw, many watercourse edges will be very dangerous and the risk of people slipping in to the water and drowning is very high.

"We are not used to having snow on our riverbanks, canal tow paths and pond/lake edges. On average three people drown every week in Ireland. Walkers and anglers are particularly at risk on rivers where the water temperature is approximately 2 degrees Celecius and we advise that you stay at least 3 metres away from the edge and all anglers must wear lifejackets."

Your lifeline in an emergency is 999 or112 and ask for the Coast Guard so always carry a mobile phone and call at the first sign of somebody getting in to difficulty.