Festive drinkers in Lancashire are being urged to look after their friends on a night out after statistics revealed the county has almost double the national percentage average for intoxicated drownings.
As part of the Royal Life Saving Society UK’s national Don’t Drink and Drown campaign, this year running from December 2-8, local revellers are being asked not to let any of their friends walk home alone and to watch RLSS UK’s new film on its website to see how easily a fun night out can turn into tragedy.
Latest statistics revealed 38 people have accidentally drowned in Lancashire over the last five years and a staggering 45 per cent of these (17) were found to have had alcohol and/or drugs in their system, significantly higher than the national percentage average.
There were 1,4581 accidental deaths in the UK between 2014-2018 and more than 30 per cent of the victims had alcohol and/or drugs in their bloodstream. Many of them drowned because they walked home alone and fell in the water.
Laurence Hickin, RLSS UK community drowning prevention coordinator for the Lancashire area, said: “It’s a sad truth that the number of drownings increase in the winter period, more often than not because of intoxication.
“Families, friends and whole communities are left devastated every year because someone walks home alone whilst under the influence and falls into the water.
"We’re urging people to stay together on a night out. Make sure their friends get home safe and don’t let them walk anywhere, especially near water, alone.”
The Don’t Drink and Drown campaign was launched in 2014 following a string of tragic drownings of young people.
RLSS UK was keen to prevent more tragedies by targeting at-risk groups in hot-spot areas and at particular points in the year where alcohol related drowning incidences increase - September (at the start of the new university term) and December (during the festive period).
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
For more information on RLSS UK’s Don’t Drink and Drown campaign visit www.rlss.org.uk, follow the campaign on #DontDrinkandDrown, or call 0300 3230 09.