When the moon is full and tides are high, the coastline can be a more hazardous location than being out to sea.
Parts of the Atlantic seaboard are particularly exposed to the swells and surges, rather than freak waves, which are associated with such strong tidal movements, Irish Water Safety (IWS) chief executive John Leech has pointed out.
While there is a public perception that “offshore” is synonymous with danger, the statistics show that most drownings occur during bathing or walking along coastlines or riverbanks.
It reports these results:
A 25-year analysis for IWS from 1988 to 2012 found that of some 40 per cent of drowning cases with an identifiable cause, 10 per cent were associated with bathing, and another 10 per cent with walking.
Some 7 per cent were associated with boating, 6 per cent with commercial fishing, 4 per cent with shore angling and 3 per cent with road traffic incidents.
Ability to swim is no safeguard in certain circumstances and the majority of drownings here still occur on inland waterways, the report found.
And their concluding advise that people should always wear a life-jacket and maintain a safe distance from the water's edge is certainly well taken and should be be observed by all. Anyway watch out for the hazards during full moon and high tides!