Paddlers of Inishowen will be dipping their toes into a new sea swimming safety programme this week.
As the wise wee fish named Dory once said, “Just Keep Swimming”, and The LightHouse in Inishowen, supported by Donegal County Council, are adding a caveat to that by helping you to “Do So Safely”.
The LightHouse, a Social Enterprise powered by Inishowen Development Partnership, has introduced a new fully ONLINE programme to help new or novice sea swimmers learn about the wellness benefits and safety awareness aspects of being in the sea.
The course has had such high demand that it was booked up within a day.
Starting on Wednesday 9th June for four weeks, participants had the option to sign up for either the morning online programme or the evening online programme.
Aisling Sheehy, Project Officer, explains, “Back in early 2021, The LightHouse team made an application to Donegal County Council under the Development Fund Initiative (DFI), to deliver a short online programme aimed at anyone in Inishowen considering taking a dip or novices who may have recently taken up swimming in open water. Since the onset of the restrictions, there has been a noted increase locally in the number of people who have turned to the sea for solace and exercise. This is very much evident here in the Inishowen Peninsula, and we are truly spoiled for choice with an extensive coastline and access to beautiful blue flag beaches. We have several long-established groups; some of whom we connected with in planning for this programme, which is greatly appreciated and a true testament to the passion Inishowen sea swimmers have for this wonderful amenity.”
Karen McCormick, IDP Social Innovation Officer, adds that “It is great to see an increase in the numbers of people making the most of our coastal location and enjoying this clean, healthy activity; however, there are dangers associated with being in the water that novices and those new to swimming may be unaware of. This programme will highlight the physical and wellbeing benefits, with the objective that, on completion, participants will be more confident to go into the water, with increased knowledge and awareness to enjoy it and keep themselves safe first and foremost. We have a great team in place to deliver the programme!”
Thanks to the funding provided by Donegal County Council DFI, on completion, each participant will receive a kit bag. Shauna McClenaghan, Joint CEO adds “We greatly acknowledge the support of Inishowen Municipal Elected Members in supporting our new Social Enterprise, The LightHouse, with this beneficial Inishowen wide initiative”.
The kit bag will have practical safety equipment plus lots more accessories, kindly donated by The Irish Coastguard who have also supported this programme from the outset.