Don't Drink and Drown

Spending time by our canals and rivers can make us all happier and healthier. Staying safe by the water is key to enjoying your time there. So we’re supporting the Royal Life Saving Society UK's campaign, which warns us all not to walk home next to water or to enter water when under the influence of alcohol.

Rochdale Canal, Manchester Rochdale Canal, Manchester

Walking home in the dark along a towpath is not the best idea, particularly if you’re on your own. If you’ve been drinking your judgement, balance and reaction to any lumps or bumps in the towpath will be impaired and the chance of ending up in the water is increased. Nearly a quarter of all adult drowning victims have alcohol in their bloodstream.

The stats

  • There were 448 accidental drownings involving alcohol and/or drugs in the United Kingdom from 2014-2018. That's an average of 90 per year.
  • This represents 30% of all accidental drownings that occurred in the UK during the 2014-2018 period.
  • 29% were aged 20-29 years old (132)
  • 86% were male
  • 61% were inland
  • More than 60% had no intention of being in the water
  • A quarter drowned in the coldest months of the year - December, January and February

*All statistics are provided by the Royal Life Saving Society UK

Please read these top tips from the RLSS UK to make sure you all get home safely:

  • If you do go out, look out for each other when you’ve had a few drinks and make sure you walk home with friends
  • Plan your journey home before you go out
  • Don’t walk home alongside the water after a night out. Find a better route home
  • Make sure your friends get home safely after a night out. Don’t let them walk by the water
Don't Drink and Drown

What happened when we went live

We hosted a Facebook Live at the Aire Bar, which sits alongside the Aire & Calder Navigation in Leeds. We talked about why the Don’t Drink and Drown campaign is so important with RLSS UK, West Yorkshire Fire & Rescue Service and Bath Spa University. Thanks to Made in Leeds TV for the loan of their presenter.

Charlie Pope

Charlie Pope was 19 when he drowned on a night out in Manchester. 

Last date edited: 27 November 2020