Thanet RNLI Community Safety

RLSS Don’t Drink and Drown – Drowning Prevention Campaign 2nd-8th December

Once again this year our team are supporting the Royal Life Saving Society UK’s national Don’t Drink and Drown campaign, this year running from 2-8 December.

On Thursday 5th and Friday 6th December, we along with teams from RLSS UK, Kent Fire and Rescue Service, Kent Police, HM Coastguard Margate and the Community Pastors will be out and about talking to bar staff, venue security, taxi drivers and members of the public about keeping people safe whilst under the influence.  Kent was ranked in the top three counties for drink and drug related drownings.

We will also be sharing water safety advice via our social media channels daily as well as the RLSS UK’s brand-new film via social media which shows how easily a fun night out can turn into tragedy, and how staying with your friends can make all the difference.

RLSS Respectthewater bewateraware Margate Broadstairs Ramsgate
Don’t Drink & Drown 2018 – HM Coastguard Margate visiting  Coco Latino’s Ramsgate Harbour

Statisics

Latest statistics revealed 53 people have accidentally drowned in Kent over the last five years and 32% of these (17) were found to have had alcohol and/or drugs in their system, making it the 2nd highest county for drownings linked to intoxication.

Nationally there were 1,4581 accidental drowning deaths in the UK between 2014-2018 and more than 30% of the victims had alcohol and/or drugs in their bloodstream*. Many of them drowned because they walked home alone and fell in the water.

RLSS – Don’t Drink and Drown campaign

Hannah Wiggins-Bettles, RLSS UK Community Drowning Prevention Coordinator for the Kent area, said: “It’s a sad truth that the number of drownings increase in the winter period, more often than not because of intoxication.

“Families, friends and whole communities are left devastated every year because someone walks home alone whilst under the influence and falls into the water.

We’re urging people to stay together on a night out. Make sure their friends get home safe and don’t let them walk anywhere, especially near water, alone.”

London watersafety drowningprevention RNLI RLSS NFCC respectthewater coastguard floattolive

Kent Fire and Rescue Service Area Manager for Customer Safety, Colin King, said: “It only takes a small amount of alcohol to impact your ability to save yourself in water. Even strong swimmers with no alcohol in their system could struggle if they fell into a river, due to underwater currents and the effects of cold water shock, which includes involuntary inhalation and can result in drowning. So if you fall in after just a drink or two, you’re likely to drown because your reaction times are reduced, instincts are skewed and coordination is impacted. Have fun this Christmas, but please take care and think before you drink near water.”

drowningprevention watersafety respectthewater bewateraware lifeboats RNLI coastalsafety seasafety

Thanet RNLI Community Safety Officer Andy Mills said: “We are happy to support this critically important campaign and hope that everyone stays safe.”

The Don’t Drink and Drown campaign, this year running from 2 to 8 December, was launched in 2014 following a string of tragic drownings of young people. RLSS UK was keen to prevent more tragedies, by targeting at risk groups in hot spot areas, at particular points in the year where alcohol related drowning incidences increase – September (at the start of the new university term) and December (during the festive period).

As part of the campaign, organisations up and down the country promote water safety messaging and run awareness activities urging revellers to take care near water whilst under the influence of alcohol and/or.

Stay Safe this Christmas:

  • Don’t walk home near water, you might fall in
  • Look out for your friends, make sure they get home safely
  • Don’t enter the water if you have been drinking
  • Alcohol seriously affects your ability to get yourself out of trouble

For more information on RLSS UK’s Don’t Drink and Drown campaign visit www.rlss.org.uk, follow the campaign on #DontDrinkandDrown, or call 0300 3230 096

Stats taken from National Water Safety Forum Water Incident Database (WAID) of which RLSS UK is a member. Data is used from 2014-2018, including accidental and natural cause records only. Adults aged 18 years+. Alcohol records are suspected or confirmed deceased, based upon Coroners and emergency service records, court records.

Acknowledgements

RLSS

HM Coastguard

Kent Fire and Rescue Service

RNLI

Out for a few beers with your mates this weekend? Know how to stay safe?

Out for a few drinks with your mates this meeting? Some of our Community Safety Team really enjoy watching sport on their days off. Andy Mills one of our Team says “we want everyone to enjoy themselves and have a great time whilst out having a few drinks, but think about how to get home before the night has finished and stay away from walking alongside water after a night out”.

Here are some tips to get you and your mates home safely:

  • Don’t walk home alongside water after a night out
  • Make sure your mates get home safely after a night out, don’et let them walk by water
  • Plan your journey home before you start your night out, book a cab inadvance
  • Paths beside water are not safe when you are drunk, find a better route home
  • If you do unexpectedly find yourself in water ‘float on your back’ until you get your breath back

What affect does alcohol have on the body?

  • Alcohol lowers in habitions, leading to impaired judgement which means you are more likely to take risks and get into trouble
  • Alcohol limits muscle ability making simple movements 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
HM Coastguard and RNLI Community Safety sharing Don’t Drink and Drown safety messages with the Cinque Port Bar Manager 2018

If you do see someone who you think is in difficulty in the water or at the coast or on the River Thames dial ‘999’ or ‘112’ ask for the Coastguard straight away, giving an accurate location, the number of people involved and what you can see (what is happening).  If you are at an inland location such as a river, lake, loch or canal ask for the Fire and Rescue Service.

Other useful links

Don’t Drink and Drown campaign

Discover more about how Community Safety Teams shared the Don’t Drink and Drown message

Acknowledgements

Royal Lifesaving Society

RNLI

HM Coastguard

NFCC

Don’t Drink and Drown Campaign 12th – 19th September

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