City scoops top water safety award (19 Sep 2007)
Galway City Council has scooped the top Water Safety Award for promoting water safety in Ireland for 2006.
The council has been presented with the Charles Thomson Award, which is presented annually to the local authority, which has done the most work in water promotion. Junior Environment Minister, Tony Kileen, presented the Charles Thomson Award to Galway City Council at a ceremony in the Custom House Visitor Centre in Dublin.

Joe MacGrath, Manager of Galway City Council, welcomed the award saying: “This is a credit to all the staff involved in both water safety awareness and the protection of the public on the beaches. Galway City Council will continue to pursue a range of measures to ensure water safety in Galway City.”

Galway regained Blue Flag Status at Salthill after seven years. The city council has developed and improved five bathing areas at Ladies Beach, Salthill; Blackrock, Salthill; Silverstrand, Barna; Ballyloughane, Renmore; Grattan Road, Salthill and Palmers Rock, Salthill.  Considerable monies were spent at improving these well-established bathing areas.

A large number of ring buoys have been put in place, including an inspection/replacement regime over all the known areas of risk within the city boundary. There has also been a large increase in the number of water safety signs erected, which is helping to raise the public’s awareness of water safety.

Galway City Council has supported the running of the National Junior Lifesaving Championships on Ladies Beach, Salthill that attracted a record number of entrants. The council completed an overhaul of beach lifeguard facilities, equipment and training. The fire brigade has trained up 40 personnel in swift water rescue and commenced rescue operations from the River Corrib and around the Claddagh area. This new service has been designed to save lives in particular with regard to suicide attempts.

The council has supported water safety classes, both on the beach and in Leisureland, with over 170 members of the public enrolling in winter classes and hundreds more for the summer training programme.

Contact: Galway Independent
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