On Thursday evening (5th December) our team along with Kent Fire and Rescue Service (Ramsgate), Thanet Lifeguard Club, RLSS, HM Coastguard Margate and the Thanet Street Pastor team came together in Ramsgate to help share the Don’t Drink and Drown water safety message.
This year the campaign is running from 2-8 December, which was launched in 2014 following a string of tragic drownings of young people. Research indicated that around a quarter of all adult drowning victims have alcohol in their bloodstream and RLSS UK are keen to prevent more tragedies by providing a strategic approach in hot spot areas. Kent has been ranked in the top 3 counties in the UK for drink and drug releated drownings. This years campaign centre’s around looking after your mates on a night out using the social media #BeAMate. If you haven’t already seen the new video to accompany this years campaign why not take a look (above).
This is the second year running that the Don’t Drink and Drown campaign has been run in Thanet and this year we were very fortunate to be joined by the wholetime crew from Ramsgate Fire Station (Kent Fire and Rescue Service) and by Alex from Heart FM radio station. We also welcomed Deborah Hunt the RLSS Vice President and her officials from the Kent branch.
The evening comprised of all the respective teams and agencies meeting at Ramsgate Lifeboat Station for a briefing. Then heading to the Royal Victoria Pavillion (Wetherspoons) on Ramsgate Harbour where a multi-agency photograph was captured and then teams split up, with one team basing themselves in the foyer at Whetherspoons to chat to people entering and leaving the venue.
Two further teams deployed on foot into Ramsgate town visiting bars, clubs, restaurants and fast foot outlets chatting to customers, bar staff, door security teams and taxi drivers about how to stay safe on a night out handing out florescent wrist bands, beer mats and the very attractive bar runners all carrying the #DontDrinkAndDrown message. Taxi drivers, bar staff and venue security teams are all key in passing on the drowning prevention message as they have interactions with customers at the start and end of their evenings.
We are very grateful to all the people we spoke with on the night and we are particularly indebted to the businesses who gave up their time to chat and those who displayed the Don’t Drink and Drown merchandise in their venues:
Ramsgate Tandoori, Crown pub, Port and Anchor, Harbour Street Bar, The Goose, Horse and Groom, Queens Head, Mariners Bar, The Royal, Little Ship, Green Tara, Harbour Fish Bar, Thai Village restaurant and Rokka. We are particularly grateful to Peter’s Fish Factory on the Harbour for looking after the teams with hot drinks and their fab bags of chips. As well as Wetherspoons for the teams use of their foyer to engage with their customers.
A huge thank you to all the agencies and groups who freely gave up their Thursday evening to support this crucially important campaign. Thanks also go to the Ramsgate Lifeboat Coxswain Ian Cannon and the Operation’s Manager Tony Wylie for allowing us to use their crew room to hold the briefing.
The Thanet RNLI Community Safety Team along with the Street Pastors and Thanet Lifeguard Club will be out again on Friday evening in Margate helping to share the Don’t Drink and Drown message. If you are out and about in Margate then why not pop over and say hello to our friendly teams.
Be Water Aware – National Fire Chief’s Drowning Prevention Campaign
Canals and River Trust – water safety
HM Coastguard – Margate
Thanet Lifeguard Club – RLSS
Kent Fire and Rescue Service