Big splash: Donegal’s bathing season gets underway

Brendan and Hannah Murray from Milford having a dip at the sea in Rathmullan. Photo: Donna El Assaad

Donegal’s Bathing Season begins in earnest this weekend as beach lifeguards take up duty at 13 beaches around the county.  Lifeguards will be on duty seven days a week from Saturday until the end of August and also for the first two weekends in September. Lifeguards are on duty at all sites from 12:00pm until 6:30pm or in Rossnowlagh where the service is provided 11:00am to 7:00pm. Public conveniences will also open this weekend at all of the lifeguarded beaches.
With 12 beaches and 2 marinas in the county receiving Blue Flags, Donegal now tops the charts as the county with the most Blue Flags for 2020.  In addition, 4 other beaches also received Green Coast awards. These internationally recognised awards aim to raise environmental awareness and promote sound environmental management of beaches, marinas and inland bathing waters around the world. Donegal County Council encourages the public to enjoy our award winning beaches this year.  However, it asks that all are mindful of the ongoing need to respect social distancing, hand hygiene and respiratory etiquette in relation to COVID-19.  
Beach Lifeguards will be on site in Donegal from Saturday June 27th at the following beaches; Bundoran, Rossnowlagh, Murvagh, Fintra, Portnoo/Narin, An Charraig Fhinn, Killahoey, Marblehill, Na Dúnaibh, Portsalon, Rathmullan, Culdaff and Stroove. Lisfannon beach will remain closed to the pubic due to storm damage to the access road and parking area and will not have a lifeguard service available for the 2020 season.
The county’s beaches are a popular destination when the sun comes out but just because it’s relaxing to dip in the water – doesn’t mean you should relax when it comes to your safety. The red and yellow flags on the lifeguarded beaches indicate the area that is monitored by the lifeguards.  To ensure your beach visit is a safe one, Donegal County Council encourages bathers to;
·         Swim with others, never alone
·         Swim in daylight not in darkness
·         Never enter the water when the lifeguards have raised a red flag
·         Pay attention to signs on the beach
·         Learn to use equipment before trying it out
·         Avoid swimming in unfamiliar places
·         Allow time to rest after eating or if tired
·         Stay in the water for short periods
·         Swim parallel and close to the shore
·         Never use inflatable toys in open water
·         Children are particularly at risk and need constant supervision.
·         Never go in or on the water having consumed alcohol.


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