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Ringbuoys

www.ringbuoys.ie - to report missing, stolen, vandalised or located ringbuoys

How to use a Ringbuoy

Specification for Ringbuoy and Guidelines for its erection

Current Ringbuoy Requirements

1. Equipment

1.1 The 18” ringbuoy is used as a quoit and line and is not designed to support a person with positive buoyancy similar to a SOLAS Approved Life Belt, which is 30" diameter

1.2 Weight of ringbuoy: a minimum 1 kg Polyurethane or similar material.

1.3 Positive Buoyancy of a Ringbuoy: a minimum of 50 Newton's.

1.4 The ringbuoy shall be red in colour and a maximum width of 18”(450 mm) in diameter.

1.5 A rope, should be attached to the ringbuoy, minimum of 15 meters up to a maximum of 30 meters length. At bridges in tidal estuaries the length of rope should be Air Draft of bridge at MLWS plus ten Meters where possible.

MLWS: Mean Low Water Spring.

1.6 The rope shall have a minimum of 0.5 tonne breaking strain, 8 plaid, 6mm coloured red and yellow polypropylene or similar material. This line should be securely attached to the ringbuoy.

1.7. Ringbuoys can be mounted on a galvanised steel structure or bolted directly to walls or other similar structures.

The bottom of the box should be no more than 1300mm from the ground.

1.8 The Ringbuoy should be erected in the yellow box with appropriate safety notifications (e.g. sticker) attached to the box.

1.9 The rope should be free of kinks and knots and be available for emergency use.

1.10 The location of the ringbuoy boxes should be determined by a risk assessment. See 2.1 below.

1.11 The Ringbuoy should be positioned above the Mean High Water Spring line if it is a tidal waterway or above the Winter Flood line on a river or lake. This is to ensure safe access to it at all times. It should be located in a conspicuous position in close proximity to the waterway so as to allow easy access to it.

2. Risk Assessment of Ringbuoy Location

2.1 Public rescue equipment will be sited following a risk assessment carried out by Irish Water Safety qualified personnel or equivalent.

 3. Frequency of inspection of Ringbuoys

3.1 Public Rescue Equipment located within lifeguarded zones should be checked daily by lifeguards when on duty during the Bathing Season.

3.2 Public Rescue Equipment located in non-lifeguarded, known popular locations should be checked on a fortnightly basis during the summer season (May – September) and checked monthly in wintertime.

3.3 Public Rescue Equipment located within cities, major towns, harbours should be checked weekly.

3.4 Public Rescue Equipment located in minor towns, villages and rural areas should be checked every two months.

3.5 It would be prudent that in the case of para 3.3 and 3.4 above,   more/less frequent checks should be carried out in areas of recorded interference or vandalism / no interference or vandalism.

4. Inspection of Ringbuoys

4.1 Ringbuoy will be removed from the box, examined for defects and damage.

4.2 The rope should be checked for fraying, cuts and secure attachment. Any damaged rope should be replaced immediately.

4.3 Ensure the yellow box is undamaged and secure.

4.4 Replace ringbuoy if one or more of the four outer rope loops is broken.

4.5 Check ringbuoy for water penetration by judging the weight and replace if required.

4.6 Check all safety notifications (e.g. stickers) for legibility and replace if not in satisfactory condition.

4.7 Remove any unauthorised signage, and replace box if necessary due to graffiti etc.

5. Record Keeping

5.1 A register of public rescue equipment shall be maintained.

5.2 The Inspector will record:

1. Date of inspection

2. Name of person conducting inspection

3. Location of the public rescue equipment

4. Inspection frequency

5. Type of Equipment and condition of same inspected

6. Action taken, if any

6. Annual Audit

6.1 An audit of the public rescue equipment register and inspection records should be carried out once a year to confirm compliance with inspection criteria and to highlight areas most prone to interference, vandalism and stolen equipment.



The Ringbuoy should be positioned above the Mean High Water Spring line if it is a tidal waterway or above the Winter Flood line on a river or lake. This is to ensure safe access to it at all times. It should be located in a conspicuous position in close proximity to the waterway so as to allow easy access to it.

To effect a rescue with a ringbuoy the rescuer should aim the ringbuoy to fall a short distance beyond the casualty so that it can be retrieved towards them. When the casualty has a firm grip they are retrieved slowly to the bank or edge. It is essential that the rescuer reassures and instructs the casualty throughout the rescue to ensure their co-operation and confidence.

Download A4 Poster: click here
For further information on ringbuoys click on: www.ringbuoys.ie


Inspection and Maintenance of Lifesaving Equipment: Click here

Form to report missing ringbuoy(s)- Dublin Corporation

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