The drowning of two heroic young men who went to assist six people in difficulty in County Cavan last week has highlighted the need for vigilance on all waterways.

That was the reaction offered by Waterford City Councillor John Cummins, when showing The Munster Express three discarded lifebuoys floating in Saint John’s River on Friday morning last.

Just yards from where the lifebuoys had been tossed into the river, one of the four steel ‘crucifix’ boxes which house the lifebuoys on this section of riverbank had been literally melted away.

“It’s an unfortunate coincidence that a tragedy like the one in Cavan coincides with this sort of anti-social behaviour,” said Cllr Cummins.

“As is states here on the side of the box, as it does on all such boxes, ‘A stolen ringbuoy is a stolen life’ and it really is.”

He continued: “These lifebuoys are put here for a specific purpose: to help members of the public who may encounter difficulty in our waters.

“And while this may be a relatively small river, a life can be lost with only a small amount of water involved, so I’d plead with everyone to respect these facilities because none of us ever know when they may be needed.”

Striking a more positive note, Cllr Cummins said that the works completed on the Riverwalk had met with universal praise among locals.

“This is a fantastic amenity and proof that great work can be done without a huge amount of investment,” he added.

“Ultimately, the Council envisages this walk running all the way to the Outer Ring Road and I know that when this project is completed, it’s going to make the Riverwalk even more attractive to more and more walkers.”