Revellers in Worcester are being warned to act responsibly near water during their night out in a bid to cut down alcohol related drownings.
As part of the national Don’t Drink and Drown campaign, run by the UK’s drowning prevention charity the Royal Life Saving Society UK (RLSS UK), Worcester townsfolk are being urged not to walk home near bodies of water after they have been drinking.
The warnings come on the back of the tragic drowning of 18-year-old University of Worcester student Thomas Jones, who went missing in September this year after a night out and was found in the River Severn a week later.
Latest statistics revealed 18 people accidentally drowned in Worcestershire in the last five years and 3 of these (17%) were found to have had alcohol in their system.
Over the last five years there have been 1,581 accidental deaths in the UK and almost 30% of the victims had alcohol in their bloodstream*.
Laurence Hickin, RLSS UK Community Drowning Prevention Coordinator for the Worcestershire 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, this year running from 3-9 December,w 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 were keen to prevent more tragedies by providing a strategic approach in hot spot areas.
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).