‘Wexford MarineWatch’ was established in December 2012, primarily to try and reduce the high level of deaths & suicides in the Wexford Harbour and Bridge area – one of the longest bridges in Ireland today, at over 580 metres. Most of these individuals are not recovered in time and get swept away by the very strong tidal flows in the Harbour. This often results in drawn out lengthy searches, sometimes for weeks or even months – resulting in distress for the families, the relatives, the search teams and the wider community.
For the first time ever, all Emergency & Voluntary services have come together – Wexford Civil Defence, An Garda Siochana, the RNLI, the National Ambulance Service, Order of Malta, Wexford Fire Service, the Irish Coast Guard and Wexford Local Authority, to put this scheme in place.
Since records began some 12 years ago, EVERY SINGLE YEAR someone has died in Wexford Harbour – however with the formation of Wexford MarineWatch in 2012, this has dropped from several people a year to ZERO – proof and testament this concept is not just a massive success, but it WORKS - effectively.
A recent interview with RTE;
Wexford MarineWatch managed to reduce deaths by operating ‘Intervention & Safety Patrols’ several nights a week by trained Volunteers. These members volunteer their time on a rota-basis each month, to help prevent loss of life, make people aware of the dangers of the water and provide assistance to someone who may be in difficulty. They also monitor life-saving equipment in the area ensuring all are intact and functioning correctly, whilst replacing any damaged/vandalised items. Each team of volunteers is headed up by a Supervisor, who is responsible for liaising with the Emergency Services including the Irish Coast Guard, RNLI and the Gardai.
The purpose of the scheme is to provide an “intervention service” – to identify and intercept people who may be in difficulty before they do ‘self-harm’ – and alert the correct emergency services accordingly.
None of our Volunteers come into physical contact with a person in difficulty and DO NOT enter the water. They are there to provide a distraction (while the appropriate emergency services such as the RNLI are summoned by other team members), as well as provide the individual with information on local 24hr professional assistance that is available, which they may not be aware of.
“Suicide does not end the chances of life getting worse… it eliminates the possibility of it ever getting better”.
3 times more people die by Suicide in Ireland than die in road traffic accidents.
Deaths by Suicide are devastating for those left behind, for families and loved ones and entire communities - Yet Suicide is preventable. Every life is priceless and every cent earned for suicide prevention is invaluable”. 3T’s Charity