River patrol will see volunteers man suicide hotspots

 Friday, 13 March 2015 6:02

 Written by: Enda Cunningham  

The surging waters at O'Brien's Bridge. Photo: Joe O'Shaughnessy. Category: News permalink Publication: Tagged under: asist, drownings Galway, featured, galway city tribune, Galway suicide patrols, latest Galway news, River Corrib suicide, river patrol, safeTALK, suicide Galway Enda Cunningham

Voluntary patrols of the River Corrib and the city’s waterways – to prevent suicides and accidental loss of life – are set to be introduced for the summer.
The new initiative will see groups of trained volunteers patrolling ‘hotspots’ around the city at night on weekends at on Wednesday nights – which has become a popular student night out in recent years. On April 1, a public meeting will be held in the Radisson Blu Hotel in Galway to discuss the issue of suicide and accidental drowning in the Corrib and the city’s waterways, and will result in the formation of the new patrol group.
Arthur Carr – who previously founded the Galway East Life Support group – told the Galway City Tribune: “What we want to get are voluntary patrols for the waterways and river, similar to Foynes Watch in Limerick and Foyle Watch in Derry.
“Marie Skehill, the Superintendent in Galway is getting onto another ‘watch’ in Cork, so we will pool together the information from all three and see what suits Galway City best. “Volunteers will go out in groups of three from around 9.30pm in hi-viz gear to watch out for people that may be in trouble. And it’s important to bear in mind that not every drowning is suicide, some are accidental because people may be lost or in an unfamiliar area,” said Mr Carr.
He said training for volunteers will be provided by the Red Cross and Garda vetting will be involved. The volunteers will a minimum of ‘safeTALK’ training from the National Office for Suicide Prevention, and will be encouraged to go on to complete an ASIST course (Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training).

 For more details on this story, see this week’s Galway City Tribune

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