Communities across North Wales encouraged to stay safe and clear of the water this WinterPosted
Staff from North Wales Fire and Rescue Service and the RNLI have come together to appeal to everyone to be cautious near the water whilst under the influence.
As part of the national Don’t Drink and Drown campaign, run by the Royal Life Saving Society UK (RLSS UK), residents of North Wales are being urged to make good choices, look after one another and make sure that routes home after a night out are away from the water.
Statistics show that on average 73 people lose their lives each year through a substance-related drowning, this is almost a quarter (29%) of UK annual accidental drowning fatalities, and young men are one of the highest risk groups.
Gwyn Roberts, Fire Safety Watch Manager and lead for water safety for North Wales Fire and Rescue Service, said:
“People tragically die each year because they’ve entered the water under the influence, sometimes deliberately or more often, completely by accident. Alcohol and drugs can seriously impede your ability to survive in water. If you’ve had a drink, stay away from the water.”
“Most people who drown when under the influence, have done so by falling in whilst walking alone near water. This year, more people are likely to be drinking at home and so we are urging people to consider their actions when heading home.
“We know that everyone looks forward to enjoying nights out at this time of year, and we’re asking for ‘guardian angels’ to stand up and be counted; if somebody is leaving your house when under the influence then make sure they have a safe route home- #BeAMate.”
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 when alcohol-related drownings have shown to be particularly high. These are September (at the start of the new university term) and December (during the festive period), which has been extended this year to include the World Cup, with the campaign running from 11 – 17 December.
This year, RLSS UK aims to continue to drive down the rate of alcohol-related fatalities in, what are usually, completely avoidable tragic incidents.
The Charity are pushing their #BeAMate message by encouraging people to:
- Stay safe
- Plan a safe route away from water
- Look after one another
For more information and free digital resources on RLSS UK’s Don’t Drink and Drown campaign, visit www.rlss.org.uk.