Being a lifeguard at Brittas Bay in Wicklow is a far cry from the role depicted in the television series 'Baywatch'.
Brittas Bay is an hour away from Dublin and hugely popular with day-trippers and holidaymakers, particularly in good weather. One group of people who are at the beach come rain or shine are the lifeguards.
Two lifeguard units are responsible for the three mile stretch of beach at Brittas Bay. Between the months of June and August the lifeguards work from 11 am and 7 pm. To do the job, they must be confident swimmers, have life saving qualifications and be familiar with first aid and resuscitation.
Lifeguard Cormac Phillips says he mainly carries out first aid on stings, cuts and bruises as well as assisting people who have lost their keys. It is not at all like the depiction of the role seen in the American television series ‘Baywatch’.
It's a lot more responsible and a bit more humdrum.
Senior lifeguard Margaret O'Flaherty says her job focuses on dealing with are missing children and performing first aid on the beach. While she may rescue people who go too far out in the water on lilos and dinghies,
All in all it's a very safe beach to swim in.
Water safety officer Phil O'Rourke says there are seven supervised beaches in Wicklow. He encourages people to swim in these designated areas to ensure a lifeguard is on hand should they get into difficulty.
An RTÉ News report broadcast on 16 August 1999. The reporter is Anthony Murnane.