With a growth in popularity for watersports the Irish Sailing Association is concerned about the number of people taking to the sea without any training.

While there is no requirement for a licence or certification to have a boat, the Irish Sailing Association (ISA) is encouraging people to do training courses. 

Sailing Instructor Eddie English describes the dangers that people can encounter at sea especially when they are not properly trained.

With the Celtic Tiger, more and more new people are coming into watersports especially powerboating.

From sailing to jet-skis and power boats, it estimated that there has been a forty per cent increase in the number of people taking to the water this year. 

Stuart McNamara of the ISA says that people see a boat with a steering wheel and assume it is going to be easy to drive. This is not the case.

Tragedy has already struck as two brothers died in an accident off east Cork on the first day of using their speed boat.

While the growth in popularity of watersports is welcomed, it is bringing concerns about safety. In Ireland, there is no requirement to have a driving licence for a boat. The European Union is now considering legislation to control the use of boats which will result in Irish people needing certification.  

While the requirement for training is not compulsory, many people are taking courses to ensure their safety on the water. Iris Kenefick and April English are two such trainees.

Already this year, the Irish Marine Emergency Services have dealt with 553 incidents at sea.  

The message of safety on the water needs to be learned.

An RTÉ News report broadcast on 9 July 1999. The reporter is Tom MacSweeney.