With the nights already darker, a new batch of students getting settled in and, dare we say it…Christmas on the way, our Don’t Drink and Drown campaign has become our primary focus.

We had a fantastic response to our September social media based Don’t Drink and Drown campaign which targeted students and young people. Thousands of people took to Facebook, Twitter and Instagram throughout Fresher’s Week to share our crucial messages and post about their activities.

Our main Don’t Drink and Drown Campaign kicks off on December 4 and will include a national media promotion and a number of events in high risk areas.

We have adapted our approach to the campaign this year to include a focus on people who purposefully enter the water when intoxicated. Closer analysis of the stats revealed that young people aged 17-29 were as much at risk of drowning when intentionally engaging in aquatic activity after drinking, as they were of falling in accidentally.

More attention is also being given to males aged 40-69 this year, after stats revealed they were just as high a risk of drowning as young people. Based on this year’s drowning stats, our Community Drowning Prevention Co-ordinators have been tirelessly working in high risk areas, putting preventative measures in place in an effort to cut down the number of alcohol related drowning incidents.

With the latest drowning statistics now in the public domain and more tragic losses of life to drowning making the headlines, it has never been so crucial that our campaign work is up to date and fit for purpose. With this in mind, we have updated our Don’t Drink & Drown campaign pack this year.

The new pack offers the most up to date statistics on drowning victims with alcohol or drugs in their bloodstream over the last five years, giving campaigners a factual background to their work. This is then complemented by the

human touch, given through the tragic account of one father’s loss of his son at Christmas.

Case studies of previous campaign success stories, a national map showing current campaign activity and a full list of available resources, are also included in this handy pack, as well as suggestions on social media and press communication messaging.

The pack is FREE to download and can be accessed: www.rlss.org.uk/dont-drink-and-drown


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 percent of all accidental drownings that occurred in the UK during the 2012-2016 period.

There are three 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 with aquatic activity after drinking.

3. Intoxicated found in water: 40 fatalities.
Insufficient evidence to allocate these individuals to either group.

Total drownings associated with intoxication 2012-2016


Don’t Drink and Drown has come a long way in just three years and the amount of interest and support we have received, confirms there is a definite need to invest more time and resources into the campaign. But we cannot do it alone. Over the next year, we will be reaching out to big businesses,asking them to financially sponsor the campaign. If you know of any contacts with businesses that you think would be interested in supporting Don’t Drink and Drown, contact: [email protected]