Quick Facts

  • From 2017 to 2021 there have been an average of 118 drownings per year.
    1. This is down from 140 average per year from 2012 to 2016.
  • Males account for 69.9% of all drownings from 2017 to 2021.
  • Individuals aged between 40 and 64 years total 50.9% (299) of all drownings in 2017 to 2021.
  • 18 individuals aged under 18 drowned 2017 to 2021.
    • 12 were male
    • 6 were female
    • 222 were drownings by suicide, accounting for 37.8% of all drownings in 2017 to 2021.
    • From 2017 to 2021, 56.6% (207) of all accidental drownings (338) were preceded by land-based activities (such as walking, hiking, foraging, fishing from land, cycling, and driving).
    • 22.7% (83) of accidental drownings (338) were preceded by swimming, bathing, or other water-based activities excluding the use of any watercraft.

Drowning Statistics

Lifeguard Rescue Statistics

Our Local Authorities employ Water Safety Ireland assessed Lifeguards during the bathing season at popular bathing sites nationwide. This table gives a clear picture of the effectiveness and value they contribute to saving lives each year and we commend them for their work in drowning prevention.


Rescue: Physical intervention with Canbuoy, a Rescue Board, or a Rescue Tube, Long distance pick up in Deepwater.

Assist: Wading, Reaching, Ringbuoy, Canbuoy Assist/Towing – No serious carries involved or Physical Contact, Short Distance.

Advice Given: General Safety Advice – Flag Meanings, Weather Conditions, Facility Locations, Verbal Advice by Lifeguard.

Accident Prevented: Blowing Whistles, Keeping people in LG Zone, Preventing Climbing on rocks, Advising Water Sports users to keep out of LG Zone, Verbal or Signal Intervention by Lifeguards