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COVID-19 (Coronavirus)


Ireland has now moved nationally to Level 5 of Covid-19 restrictions in the Government’s Resilience and Recovery Plan 2020 – 2021.


Following consultation with An Garda Síochána, Water Safety Ireland wishes to inform all members of the Water Safety services currently deemed essential under public health legislation.

WSI personnel may revalidate and train up new Beach & River lifeguards, which will enable our organisation to have sufficient lifeguards for Local Authorities to employ and deploy on our beaches, rivers and lakes for the 2021 bathing season. The Gardaí have interpreted the beach and river lifeguard service as an essential service to the state and that these lifeguards are essential workers.

It will be a matter for local Gardaí to investigate any possible breaches under Regulation 11 of SI No: 701 0f 2020. If our classes are not in support of an essential service and the participants are not essential workers, then it is a “training event” and is in breach of Regulation 11 of SI No: 701 0f 2020.

A pool lifeguard is not an essential service at this time and these premises should be closed until restrictions are lifted.

WSI appreciates your understanding and co-operation on this matter.


Water Safety classes can take place at Level 1 & Level 2 only, using a similar SOP to the sample SOP from the Technical Committee and following Government guidelines to teach information and procedures in the prevention of drowning.”

Lifeguard training and revalidation should be run at all Levels 1-5 for these essential workers.

See our Returning To Water Safely plan for further details. Pages 10 and 11 provides guidance about Level 3, 4 and 5 of Covid-19 restrictions.

Returning To Water Safely

There are a number of other dedicated Covid-19 resources available to you. Keep updated on all the latest information as our activities resume.

Covid-19 Information Hub
Covid-19 Community Supports
Government Public Health Advice (
Lifeguard Resuscitation And First Aid Guidelines

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Lifeguarded Waterways

Traditionally, our local authorities employ Water Safety Ireland assessed lifeguards during the bathing season at popular bathing sites nationwide. For operational reasons, and in light of the Covid-19 pandemic restrictions, details for the 2020 bathing season may differ. Please contact the relevant local authority for confirmation.

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Water Safety Statistics



76% of the 124 drownings a year are male



24% of the 124 drownings a year are female



62% of all drownings happen inland on our rivers or lakes



Almost 1/3 of drowning victims over the last decade had consumed alcohol

Upcoming Courses & Events

From beginners to professionals, we provide courses to keep you and your loved ones safe in the water – it’s never too late to learn about water safety

Water Safety Ireland Term Lifesaving Classes

January 1, 2020 - January 1, 2027

Beach Lifeguard Award THIS COURSE IS FULL

April 12 @ 6:30 pm - April 24 @ 6:30 pm

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