The Royal Life Saving Society UK (RLSS UK), the Drowning Prevention Charity, is re-launching its national campaign, Don’t Drink and Drown, warning students to steer clear of walking by or entering water when under the influence of alcohol as they return back to university.

RLSS UK’s Don’t Drink and Drown campaign runs from 26 September to 2 October, warning drinkers, particularly students, to act responsibly near water after they have been drinking, and to make sure they and their friends avoid walking home near bodies of water. Research indicates that around a quarter of all adult drowning victims have alcohol in their bloodstream*.

Di Steer, RLSS UK Chief Executive said: “People die each year after entering the water with alcohol in their bloodstream, either deliberately or completely by accident. Around a third of all 18 to 21-year-old drowning victims have alcohol in their bloodstream*. Drinking near or in water can be dangerous and a deadly cocktail. Alcohol can seriously impede your ability to survive in water.’’

RLSS UK is working with universities across the UK and will be pushing awareness messages to students through social media, with the hashtag #DontDrinkandDrown. People are also encouraged to share the charities latest hard-hitting film which can be found at

It only takes a split second for happy hour to end in a nightmare. Take note of RLSS UK’s safety advice:

  • 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

Effects of alcohol:

  • 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


* Water Incident Database (WAID) from the National Water Safety Forum (NWSF) of which RLSS UK is a key partner.