Limerick County Council has teamed up with Irish Water Safety and Cork company Loc8 Code to pilot a new programme using GPS technology to help improve emergency responses following marine and water accidents in Co Limerick.
Via the new programme, 86 ringbuoys and their holders along the River Shannon and estuary, River Mulcair, River Maigue and other waterside locations have been fitted with Loc8 codes containing GPS co-ordinates.
If a person gets into difficulty, the aim is that the codes will be able to help the emergency services accurately pinpoint their location to within around 6 metres.
Brian Kennedy, a water safety development officer at Limerick County Council, said Loc8 code stickers feature on each ringbuoy box and ringbuoy. He said if a person requires emergency assistance at one of these ringbuoy locations they can call 999 and give their code to emergency services who will be able to use an app to determine the person’s location.
"The code is also compatible with sat-nav systems and on the web to help emergency service navigate to the relevant location," said Kennedy. As well as this, he said people can also report missing or damaged ringbuoys using the codes.
Gary Delaney, CEO, Loc8 Codes, said such codes are a modern alternative to postcodes and can leverage web, smartphone and GPS technologies.
"The placing of these codes on ringbuoys and their holders in Limerick will help to further improve the emergency services’ response times when dealing with an emergency incident," he said.