Don’t Drink and Drown Campaign

Our team are again supporting the Royal Lifesaving Society (RLSS UK) Don’t Drink and Drown Campaign which takes place between 12th – 19th September. This is a national campaign that warns drinkers to steer clear of walking by or entering water when under the influence of alcohol.  The campaign was launched following a string of tragic student drownings around the UK.

The campaign kicks off as first year students start their new University term known as Freshers Week. Many of whom will have never been away from home before, will be initially unfamilar with their surroundings and will enjoy socialising with their new University friends often drinking alcohol during nights out or at social functions. Unfortunately, there have been several fatalities over recent years including Charlie Pope a student in Manchester who very tragically died after falling into a Rochdale canal after a night out in March 2017.

Our RNLI Community Safety sharing the ‘Don’t Drink and Drown’ message at Ramsgate Harbour Christmas 2018

Research indicates that around a quarter of all adult drowning victims had alcohol in their bloodstream.

Our ‘Safety Selfie frame’ being put to good use during our ‘Don’t Drink and Drown’ safety evening by members of Thanet Lifeguard Club

In December 2018, our team undertook ‘Don’t Drink and Drown’ engagement evenings at Ramsgate and Margate harbours working in partnership with the Margate HM Coastguard team, Thanet Lifeguard Club and Thanet Community Pastors.  Whereby we visited numerous bars around each respective harbour sharing the ‘Don’t Drink ad Drown’ safety tips (which can be found below) and handing out free ‘glow in the dark’ wrist bands.

The following top tips will help you get home safely

  • Don’t walk home alongside water after a night out
  • Make sure your mates get home safely after a night out, don’t let them walk by the water
  • Plan your journey home before you go out, book a cab inadvance
  • Paths by the water are not safe when you’re drunk, find a better route home
  • If you do end up in the water unexpectedly ‘float to live’

The RLSS Youtube video ‘Beneath the Surface – Families Stories’

What affect does alcohol have on the body?

  • Alcohol lowers inhibitions, leading to impaired judgment which means you are more likely to take risks and get into trouble
  • Alcohol limits muscle ability making simple movements much harder
  • Alcohol slows down your reactions making it more difficult to get yourself out of trouble
  • Alcohol numbs the senses particularly sight, sound and touch, making swimming very difficult

Mixing swimming and alcohol is definitely a bad idea!

Evidence

There were 451 accidental drownings involving alcohol and/or drugs in the UK from 2013-2017, with an average of 90 per year. This represents 29% of all accidental drownings that occurred in the UK during this period.

Do you know someone who will be going away to University or College this year?

If you know a relative, friend or work colleague who will be going away to University this year please pass on the safety messages which are contained in this blog it just could help save their life.

Social Media & Newsletters

You can stay informed about our lifesaving activity by signing up for free to receive our newsletter.  You my also like to follow our team on social media for updates.

Facebook, Twitter and Instagram

Useful Links:

How to support the ‘Don’t Drink and Drown’ campaign – RLSS

RNLI – Float to Live

National Fire Chief’s ‘Be Water Aware’ campaign

Acknowledgments

RLSS


Andy Mills

Thanet RNLI Community Safety Officer Striving to reduce accidental drownings by 50% by 2024 by spreading key safety messages to Thanet communities and its visitors.