Republic of Ireland

The Republic of Ireland (ROI) boasts 1,970 miles of coastline, 43 miles of waterways, 3,192 rivers and more than 12,000 lakes.

Drowning is considered prevalent in ROI and a huge cause for concern.

On average 95 people drown in the Republic of Ireland every year (2017 - 2021)

Many more suffer injury from non-fatal drowning, often with life-changing effects.

In 2021, 80 people lost their lives to drowning, twice as many as those who died in fires, and more than double the number of pedestrian fatalities

  • An average of 110 drownings occur in Ireland every year.
  • Males represent the vast majority of deaths in Irish waters – 79%.
  • The majority of all drownings occur at inland water sites – 62%.
  • Thirty children aged fourteen and under drowned in ten years.
  • Drownings often happen quickly and silently with 80% of drownings occurring within the home county of the victim.
  • Alcohol is a factor in one third of drownings.
  • The main pursuits that account for the highest number of drownings, are bathing, boating, walking and fishing

Type of fatality in the Republic of Ireland in 2017. 

  • Drowning fatalities 109
  • All road fatalities 158
    • Driver/Passenger 93
    • Pedestrians 30
    • Motorcyclists 20
    • Cyclists 15
  • Fire fatalities 41 

Education and awareness

We believe that the key to preventing drowning across Ireland and the UK is to educate people on how they can enjoy water safely; raising awareness about the potential dangers around water and teaching them what to do in an emergency. 

To learn how to keep yourself and your family safe around water, click HERE to access our water safety advice.

Our Resources

We have produced a range of FREE downloadable activities for schools and youth groups, ranging from classroom-based workshops to outdoor PE and orientation sessions, as well as a host of pool-based resources for leisure centres and swim schools.

Click HERE to register and access the resource page.


A Community Drowning Prevention Coordinator operates in ROI, running events and campaigns specifically targeted to raising awareness of water safety to local communities.

To find out more about our campaigns and how you can get involved, click HERE.

Teaching water safety and lifesaving skills

We run a wide range of programmes, including those that teach:

  • Children and young people how to self-rescue and respond to an emergency in the water
  • Basic CPR and emergency skills to anyone who cares for a baby, child or adult
  • Swimmers new skills to help them make the transition from pool to pond safely

To find out more about our programmes click HERE.

Training people to become lifeguards

Do you want to help keep ROI’s beaches and pools safe, whilst establishing a career that provides flexibility, skills progression, and opportunities to work abroad?

Click HERE to find out more about our range of national qualifications.