Don’t Drink and Drown

11 September 2018
close up of water and light reflecting off it

Northamptonshire Fire and Rescue Service is proud to be supporting a national water safety campaign, launched after a series of students lost their lives to drowning.

In the run up to the start of a new term at universities up and down the country, the Royal Life Saving Society UK has been working to spread the messages of its Don't Drink and Drown campaign.

Nationally, there were 366 accidental drownings involving alcohol and/or drugs in the UK between 2012 and 2016. This equates to 21 per cent of accidental drownings during this four year period.

Of these, 177 were intoxicated walkers, 94 per cent of whom drowned after falling in or by water.

District Liaison Officer Tina Collett said: "It is so important to reinforce the 'Don't Drink and Drown' campaign messages at any time of year, but particularly in the run up to freshers' week.

"So many people will either be heading off to uni from Northamptonshire or coming here to study and the danger of drowning is quite possibly furthest from their thoughts.

"However, the statistics tell us that, of the 177 intoxicated walkers who drowned between 2012 and 2016, 42 per cent were aged 17 to 29. That is an alarming number of young people, especially when you remember that this age group only amounts to 17 per cent of the UK population.

"We would just remind people across the county and particularly all those going to university this year that if they go out and have a few drinks, please stay away from stretches of water on the way home and never try to go for a swim after having consumed alcohol."

Visit the Don't Drink and Drown campaign for more information.

Key safety messages

  • Having a drink is the last thing that 20 per cent of drowning victims do - don't drink and drown.
  • Don't walk home alongside water after a night out. Paths by the water are not safe when you're drunk. Find a better route home.
  • 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.
  • Paths by the water are not safe when you're drunk.
  • Swim first, drink later. Don't swim after drinking alcohol.


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