Don’t Drink and Drown is a national campaign that warns drinkers to steer clear of walking by or entering water when under the influence of alcohol.

Research indicates that around a quarter of all adult drowning victims have alcohol in their bloodstream.

The campaign was launched following a string of tragic student drownings. It has two targeted time frames through the year where RLSS UK and partners push messaging these are September and December.

Ross Irwin sadly lost his life in December 2016, read his story here.

Our advice

Stay Safe

  • Don’t enter the water if you have been drinking
  • Alcohol seriously affects your ability to get yourself out of trouble
  • Look out for your friends, make sure they get home safely
  • Don’t walk home near water, you might fall in

Effects of alcohol on the body

  • Alcohol lowers inhibitions, leading to impaired judgment which means you are more likely to take risks and get into trouble
  • Alcohol limits muscle ability making simple movements much harder
  • Alcohol slows down your reactions making it more difficult to get yourself out of trouble
  • Alcohol numbs the senses particularly sight, sound and touch, making swimming very difficult

The Evidence – Don’t Drink and Drown Campaign

There were 366 accidental drownings involving alcohol and/or drugs in the United Kingdom from 2012-2016, that’s an average of 73 per year.

73 per year represents 21% of all accidental drownings that occurred in the UK during the 2012-2016 period.

There are 3 distinct groups within this data:
1. Intoxicated walkers: 177

Fatalities. Assumed to be walking home after drinking.

2. Intoxicated water users: 144

Fatalities. Intentionally engaging in aquatic activity after drinking.

3. Intoxicated found in water: 40

Fatalities. Insufficient evidence to allocate these individuals to either group.

Download the campaign pack to find out more.