What We Do at IWS

What We Do at IWS

Our focus is on Public Awareness and education. Tragically, an average of 133 people drown each year in Ireland.  We feel that this is simply unacceptable considering that most fatalities are avoidable.  We strive to reduce these fatalities by increasing water safety awareness and by changing attitudes and behaviours so that our aquatic environments can be enjoyed with confidence and safety.


Strategic Development Plan 2012 to 2017



  • Teach swimming, lifesaving, water confidence, safety, survival, rescue skills and basic life support. Courses are provided nationwide to the general public and also to children as part of the primary school curriculum. Many qualifications such as our Pool and Beach Lifeguarding Awards are recognised internationally.
  • Arrange conferences, lectures and demonstrations to Local Authorities, Government Agencies, NGO’s, schools, Colleges and members of the public.
  • Publish literature to promote water safety and target at-risk groups. We provide publications for all aquatic activities to assist the public adhere to best practices.
  • Our volunteers carry out Risk Assessments on bathing areas and waterways nationwide that may pose a particular risk to the public, in order to make them safer by the erection of Public Rescue Equipment, signage and other necessary facilities. We also advise and assist Local Authorities, state agencies and private enterprises on matters relating to water safety and we complete Public Rescue Equipment checks.
  • Our staff support the work of approximately 5,000 volunteer members and we also administer approximately 250 people who are commercially delivering swimming, lifesaving and CPR training.
  • Beach Lifeguards are trained and tested by our examiners for the Local Authorities, prior to the annual summer season each year.
  • Train and examine rescue boat crews for the Community Inshore Rescue Services.
  • Promote marine safety along with other members of the Marine Safety Working Group and the Irish Marine Search and Rescue Committee.
  • National and local media help build public awareness by actively communicating our safety messages to the public.
  • Press releases target the seasonal hazards at sea, on our inland waterways and other aquatic environments.
  • Analysis and provision of drowning statistics that enables effective targeting of “at risk” groups in Ireland.
  • Work with a range of organisations to help reduce the high number of drownings by suicide annually.
  • Organise the Annual National Lifesaving Championships; some of our members then go on to compete in international events each year.
  • Organise the National Water Safety Awards Ceremony. The SEIKO “JUST IN TIME” Rescue Award and other awards recognize people’s work, providing training and promoting Water Safety in Ireland.
  • Partners from the private sector sponsor the delivery of messages to key “at risk” groups.
  • Provide information on the locations of Lifeguarded waterways in Ireland.
  • Public and private bodies call on us to make submissions on water safety related matters.
  • Maintain a comprehensive websites of water safety advice, publications and courses.
  • Advise and assist Local Authorities on water safety matters.
  • Assist Coroners in their investigations.
  • IWS is registered charity CHY 16289.

Irish Water Safety

The Long Walk, Galway

Tel: 091-564400

LoCall 1890420202

Fax: 091 564700


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