Councils launch ‘smart buoys’ challenge

by Gazette Reporter
Life Buoy

AROUND 15 life buoys go missing or are stolen every week in the Dublin City Council area alone.

The need to replace nearly 600 ring buoys each year costs in excess of 20,000 – and puts lives at risk.

Four companies are now piloting a range of solutions to supply low-cost, retro-fit, technology solutions to alert, monitor and report on when ring buoys go missing or are tampered with.

The solutions aim to monitor in real time when life buoys are tampered with or taken. Apart from the potential to save lives, other benefits include reducing the number of ring buoys that go missing and decreasing the time taken to replace them.

Owen Keegan, Chief Executive, Dublin City Council said: “This is a great example of collaboration across the four Dublin local authorities and Water Safety Ireland. It is also the first time we have used a procurement approach like this to pilot an innovative technology solution before we buy.

“I look forward to seeing the results and implementing solutions that will improve water safety across Dublin and Ireland’s local authorities.”

Peter Keating, Water Safety Development Officer at Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown (DLR) County Council, said: “Having real-time notification on lifesaving equipment will make a significant difference in the response times of staff to missing life-saving equipment. 

“DLR County Council have 52 ring buoys along our coast and every ring buoy has the potential to save a life, but only if it is present.

“Traditionally a ring buoy inspection on all locations is carried out every two weeks and can take up most of the day. With this technology the inspection time is greatly reduced and can be spent on more beneficial tasks.”

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