Clinical Epidemiology | Exercise Physiology | Exercise Science | Health and Physical Education | Other Kinesiology | Other Rehabilitation and Therapy | Outdoor Education | Public Health Education and Promotion | Sports Sciences


This is an exploratory study of the impacts of drowning death on local communities and families in the Republic of Ireland as perceived by first responders. The impact of a death may be particularly stressful. The identified population of interest were members of the Garda and first responders from Community Rescue Boats Ireland. The principal data collection method was one-to-one narrative interviews followed by a focus group. Questioning involved asking interviewees to talk about specific events rather than providing general opinions. Community identity was a source of impact, an urban or rural setting was a significant factor, social media was clearly an issue, and once the immediate incident was dealt with families did not receive much formal support. Families require the support of counseling professionals. Participants identified the need for support for search and rescue personnel and improved inter-agency collaboration. There is a need for national guidelines.