Students across Mid and West Wales Fire and Rescue Service area are encouraged to stay safe and clear of the water this Fresher’s.
Mid and West Wales Fire and Rescue Service (MAWWFRS) are encouraging students to stay safe and clear of open waters this new university term.
As part of the national Don’t Drink and Drown campaign, run by the Royal Life Saving Society UK (RLSS UK), students are encouraged to:
- make smart decisions when under the influence of alcohol,
- steer clear of walking or entering water,
- be responsible for friends if they have had too much to drink, don’t let them walk home on their own.
- Don’t enter the water if they have been drinking, alcohol seriously affects the ability to get out.
In a sample of UK accidental drowning cases analysed by RLSS UK, 62% of those aged 16 – 25 who lost their lives were students. As a result, the charity is urging students to familiarise themselves with their new surroundings, especially if there is a body of water within the town or city they are moving to.
Bethan Gill – Central Community Safety Lead at MAWWFRS said:
“People tragically die each year because they’ve entered the water under the influence of alcohol, sometimes deliberately or more often, completely by accident. Alcohol and drugs can seriously impede the ability to survive in water. Cold water kills and can take the life of even the strongest swimmer 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.
“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 or student accommodation when under the influence then make sure they have a safe route home.” #BeAMate
Don’t Drink and Drown was launched in 2014 following a string of tragic drownings of students. 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).
This year, RLSS UK aims to continue to drive 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:
- Stay safe.
- Plan a safe route away from water.
- Look after one another.
For more information on RLSS UK’s Don’t Drink and Drown campaign, visit www.rlss.org.uk.