Don't Drink and Drown

We're supporting a national campaign led by the Royal Life Saving Society UK that warns drinkers to steer clear of walking by or entering water when under the influence of alcohol.

Boat moored outside White Cross Pub on Lancaster Canal White Cross Pub, Lancaster Canal

Waterside bars, pubs and restaurants are great places to spend time both day or night. What beats the lovely view of water when enjoying Sunday lunch and a glass of wine at a canal side pub, picnicking with prosecco by the canal in the summer, or having a few festive beers at a buzzing waterside bar in the centre of a busy city? People in the East Midlands have even been nominating their favourite waterside bar.

However, if you’ve had a few drinks, being by the water has its risks.  Walking home in the dark along a towpath is not the best idea, particularly if you’re on your own. If you’ve had one too many and are finding it hard to walk straight you may end up in the water. Nearly a quarter of all adult drowning victims have alcohol in their bloodstream. 

On all inland waterways (canals, rivers, docks, marinas, quarries, reservoirs), there were 366 accidental drownings involving alcohol and/or drugs in the United Kingdom between 2012-2016, an average of 73 per year. 177 of these were intoxicated walkers and 42% of these people were 17-29 years old. 
*All statistics are provided by the Royal Life Saving Society UK

Please look out for each other when you’ve had a few drinks and make sure you walk home with friends.

Don't Drink and Drown

Top tips from the RLSS UK to make sure you all get home safely after a great night out along our lovely waterways:

  • 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

Visit RLSS UK Don’t Drink and Drown for more details and to see how alcohol affects the body.

What happened when we went live

We hosted a Facebook Live (watech the video below) 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!

Last date edited: 9 January 2018