Festive revellers in Brighton are being warned to act responsibly near rivers and the sea during their night out, as part of a national charity’s Don’t Drink and Drown campaign.
The campaign, run by the UK’s drowning prevention charity the Royal Life Saving Society UK (RLSS UK), urges people not to walk home near bodies of water after they have been drinking.
Last year 20% of all adult accidental drowning victims in the UK had alcohol in their bloodstream.
Latest stats revealed that 17 people drowned in the last five years in Brighton & Hove and 29% of those were found to have had alcohol or drugs in their system.
Brighton Water Safety Forum, East Sussex Fire and Rescue Service (ESFRS), Brighton Police, Resolve Security (the security company in Brighton that operates the quad bike patrol on the lower promenade) and a host of promenade bars and clubs have all pledged their support to the campaign.
As part of the campaign, RLSS UK, ESFRS and police will also be hosting an information stand on 8 December to warn people about the dangers of walking home near the sea after a night out drinking.
Andrea Emery, Water Safety Coordinator for East Sussex Fire and Rescue Service said: “East Sussex Fire and Rescue Service is really pleased to be working alongside the RLSS and supporting their national Don’t Drink and Drown campaign. We are hoping that a joint collaborative approach with this campaign will get the key messages out there to raise the awareness of the dangers of being near water under the influence of alcohol. During this festive period ESFRS want to do everything we can to make sure Christmas is spent with your loved ones. ”
Jo Thompson, RLSS UK Community Drowning Prevention Coordinator for the Brighton area, said: “People tragically die each year because they’ve entered the water with alcohol in their bloodstream, either deliberately or completely by accident. Drinking near or in water can be a dangerous and deadly cocktail. Alcohol can seriously impede your ability to survive in water.
“When walking home from a night out, avoid routes that are alongside water, particularly in the darkness, and always stay with and look out for your friends.”
“We want everyone to have a great time this Christmas and our Don’t Drink and Drown campaign gives essential advice to party-goers to make sure they know how to stay safe when they’re out celebrating.”
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
Don’t Drink and Drown was launched in 2014 following a string of tragic drownings of young people. The campaign has two targeted time frames where RLSS UK and supporters push messaging through events and social media. These are September (at the start of the new university term) and December (during the festive period).
Visit their website at www.rlss.org.uk
Follow them on Twitter - @RLSSUK
Follow the campaign - #DontDrinkandDrown
Visit their Facebook page - www.facebook.com/RLSSUK
Call – 0300 3230 096