Priest warns of water dangers as man drowns

Priest warns of water dangers as man drowns

A priest who is a volunteer coastguard has been warning parishioners of the many hazards related to water he sees each summer as temperatures rise.

With the recent hot weather, Wexford priest Fr Tom Dalton highlighted issues such as cold water shock and the dangers of inflatable toys.

With many children jumping into water in rivers around the coast Fr Dalton said: “Cold water shock is literally when your body goes into shock after hitting this cold water that it wasn’t expecting, and you take in a big mouthful of water, and that can then lead to drowning”.

He advises anyone jumping into cold water to cover their noses and mouths, as the body can involuntarily take in a gasp of water due to the cold.


Fr Dalton said that inflatable toys such as rings can quickly take people out of their depth, or even further out to sea.

“The important thing for people too, and I would have mentioned this at Mass on Sunday, is that if they do see someone in difficulty to phone emergency services and ask for the coastguard, because sometimes people don’t know what to do,” he said.

“It’s better to have the coastguard on alert that someone could be in trouble rather than calling them when it’s too late.”


Irish Water Safety released a statement this week, which is National Water Safety Awareness Week, stating that drowning typically occurs when people overestimate their own abilities.

They have a list of water safety precautions at

Overall the majority – 62% – of drownings occur inland in rivers and lakes.

This comes as a man (25) drowned tragically in a Tipperary river on Monday.