The Royal Life Saving Society UK (RLSS UK), the drowning prevention charity, is launching a national campaign to warn students not to drink and drown with a special event in Bristol as well as with a powerful awareness film.

Bristol students and those on a night out will be warned to steer clear of walking by or entering water when under the influence of alcohol at an awareness event on 1 October at Thekla night club in Bristol. The charity will be raising awareness and educating students as they enter and leave the famous floating night club. The charity will be handing out drinking water and wristbands to club goers.

RLSS UK’s Don’t Drink and Drown campaign runs from 28 September to 4 October to warn 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.

This year, RLSS UK has also launched a short powerful film to mark the start of the Don’t Drink and Drown campaign. The film aims to raise awareness of the dangers of being near water when under the influence of alcohol.

Research indicates that around a quarter of all adult drowning victims have alcohol in their bloodstream*. Alongside the film there will be a host of social media awareness posts and graphics with the hashtag #DontDrinkandDrown while posters, beermats and wristbands are distributed to universities across the UK.

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. Drinking near or in water can be dangerous and a deadly cocktail. Alcohol can seriously impede your ability to survive in water.

“At RLSS UK we work hard to inform and educate people of the dangers and advise the public to never go into water when you have been drinking and always take care and be aware if you are near water.

“When walking home from a night out, avoid routes that are alongside water, particularly in the darkness, and always stay with and look out for your friends.”

Patrick Somers, Thekla Promotions Manager, said: “We are very pleased to be supporting the RLSS UK’s Don’t Drink and Drown campaign. Due to our proximity to the water in Bristol Harbour, we understand the importance of safety around water, especially once alcohol comes into play and this campaign gives us the opportunity to raise awareness to our customers.”

RLSS UK Ambassador, Jackie Roberts lost her 20-year-old student daughter Megan after she fell into the River Ouse in York when walking home after a night out in January 2014.

She said: “Since losing Megan to drowning I have been actively involved in drowning prevention work with RLSS UK. I fully support the RLSS UK’s campaign, Don’t Drink and Drown and hope that the film and awareness event in Bristol will raise awareness about the dangers. Please watch and share the film as widely as you can – let’s avoid any more tragedies wherever possible.

The charity, Missing People is also supporting the Don’t Drink and Drown campaign.

Ross Miller, Missing People Director of Communications said: “People who go missing on a night out – most often men – are often found dead in water. This important campaign draws much needed attention to a preventable yet tragically frequent occurrence.

“Missing People is working with RLSS UK and other agencies this year to encourage people to get home safely after a night out. No family should experience this heartache.”

To watch and share the RLSS UK Don’t Drink and Drown film visit RLSS UK YouTube channel.