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Don't Drink and Drown Week

Save the dates for 2024:
16 - 22 September
12 - 20 December

Thank you for joining us for Don't Drink and Drown Week 2023.

Being responsible for your friends around water, if they've had too much to drink is so important; help them to return home safely.

RLSS logo

What is Don't Drink and Drown Week?

Don’t Drink and Drown is the Royal Life Saving Society UK’s national campaign that encourages smart decision-making whilst being drunk around water.

#DontDrinkandDrown

This campaign particularly wants to target those of us who should be responsible for their friends if they have had too much to drink; helping them to return home safely.

On average 73 people lose their lives each year through a substance-related drowning; this is more than a quarter (29%) of the number of accidental drowning fatalities each year in the UK.

The charity, the Royal Life Saving Society UK, launched the campaign following a string of tragic and high-profile student drownings in 2014.

Every year RLSS UK staff, partners, and volunteers carry out activities and events in towns and cities that have demonstrated a particularly high number of alcohol-related drownings.

#BeAMate - Don't Drink and Drown
#BeAMate - Don't Drink and Drown
Freshers Week Don’t Drink and Drown Animation
Freshers Week Don’t Drink and Drown Animation
Tom's Story - Freshers Week Video
Tom's Story - Freshers Week Video
Drink responsibly - Don't Drink & Drown
Drink responsibly - Don't Drink & Drown
Charlie Pope Video
Charlie Pope Video
Give Drowning the Boot
Give Drowning the Boot
Kirsty Walsh on Don't Drink and Drown
Kirsty Walsh on Don't Drink and Drown

2023's themes

  • Don’t walk home near water after a night out, you might fall in.
  • Make sure your mates get home safely after a night out, don’t let them walk home on their own.
  • Cold water kills and can take the life of even the strongest swimmer.
  • Don’t enter the water if you’ve been drinking, alcohol seriously affects your ability to get out.

Being responsible for your friends around water, especially if they've had too much to drink, is so important; help them get home safely.

This year, the campaign aims to continue driving down the rate of alcohol-related fatalities in, what are usually, completely avoidable tragic incidents.

The Charity are pushing their #BeAMate message by encouraging people to:

  1. Stay safe
  2. Plan a safe route away from water
  3. Look after one another

People tragically die each year because they’ve entered the water under the influence, sometimes deliberately or more often, completely by accident. Alcohol and drugs can seriously impede your ability to survive in water. If you’ve had a drink, stay away from the water.

Most people who drown when under the influence, have done so by falling in whilst walking alone near water. This year, more people are likely to be drinking at home and so we are urging people to consider their actions when heading home. #BeAMate.

We know that everyone looks forward to enjoying nights out at this time of year, and we’re asking for ‘guardian angels’ to stand up and be counted; if somebody is leaving your house when under the influence then make sure they have a safe route home.

Don’t Drink and Drown was launched in 2014 following a string of tragic drownings of young people. The campaign has two targeted time frames when alcohol-related drownings have shown to be particularly high. These are September (at the start of the new university term) and December (during the festive period), with the 2023 campaign running from 11 – 17 December.

Key statistics:

There were 365 accidental drownings involving alcohol and/or drugs in the United Kingdom from 2018-2022.

That's an average of 73 per year.

This represents 29% of all accidental drownings that occurred in the UK during this period.

25% were aged 16-25 years old.

Of these:

  • 84% were male
  • 68% of drownings occurred inland
  • 3 in 5 (59%) never intended to be in the water
  • 32% of fatalities occurred during the coldest months of the year, in December, January and February.

How can I improve my water safety skills?

If you've been drinking, or plan on drinking, the safest thing to do will always be to avoid walking near bodies of water, but it's always beneficial to learn more about how to be safe around water and improve your skills.

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