The Royal Life Saving Society UK (RLSS UK) is warning UK students to steer clear of walking by or entering water when under the influence of alcohol.

The drowning prevention charity is launching its national Don’t Drink and Drown campaign on 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.

RLSS UK has also launched a short, powerful and thought provoking film to mark the start of the Don’t Drink and Drown campaign. The film sees the effects of alcohol on a young person when in the water. It aims to raise awareness of the dangers of being near water when under the influence of alcohol.

Research shows 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 as well posters, beermats and wristbands distributed to universities around the UK.

Universities throughout the UK, including University of Northampton, Liverpool John Moores University, Bristol University and Plymouth University are just some of the universities supporting the campaign and targeting their students with key water safety messages throughout the week. A launch event will also been held in Bristol to raise awareness and support the campaign on 1 October.

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.”

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 RLSS UK’s 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.