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East Sussex Fire & Rescue Service logo

Unicorn ducks promoting water safety this Brighton Pride!

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This Brighton Pride, East Sussex Fire and Rescue Service and the Royal Life Saving Society UK (RLSS UK) are launching a ‘Unicorn Duck’ campaign designed to raise awareness of the dangers of being drunk or on drugs near water.  We are urging members of the public to stay safe near the water and not to drink and drown.  Using the hashtag #dontdrinkanddrown, we are aiming to raise awareness of the shocking statistic that between 2013 and 2018, 543 accidental drownings involved drugs and alcohol.  

East Sussex Fire and Rescue Service are called out to water rescue incidents regularly, and some of the people involved accidentally fell in when drunk. We want people to have fun this Pride, but also to take care of themselves and think before they drink near water.  

Limited edition Unicorn Ducks

We have provided bars and clubs along Brighton seafront with unicorn rubber ducks and stickers to give away to customers.  Informative posters will also be displayed in the bars/clubs along with train stations and public areas in the build-up to Pride. On Saturday 3 rd August, we will be handing out our limited edition unicorn ducks, stickers and providing water safety advice during the parade and also at Preston Circus Fire Station.   

A very real issue

Susan Taylor (Water and Road Safety Coordinator-ESFRS) said: “We are excited to promote the Don’t Drink & Drown Campaign at this year’s Brighton Pride, sharing our rainbow unicorn ducks and stickers with members of the public we encounter along the parade route.  The carnival atmosphere makes for an excellent opportunity for engagement about the dangers of getting into the sea or open water when under the influence. 

Unfortunately, last year in East Sussex 47 people accidentally drowned, around a quarter of those victims had alcohol or drugs in their bloodstream. In 2017, Brighton Beach Patrol stopped 535 intoxicated people from entering the water and a further 188 people were encouraged to leave the water. This is a very real issue, especially in Brighton. 

We are hopeful that our positive engagement will have a lasting effect and make people aware of the dangers of entering the water, keeping themselves and their friends safe. Happy Pride.” 

Look after yourselves and each other

RLSS UK’s Community Drowning Prevention Co-ordinator, Hannah Wiggins-Bettles added “The unicorn ducks campaign is an eye-catching way to communicate a very serious message.

We urge everyone enjoying Brighton Pride and all the city has to offer, to look after yourselves and each other.”

Did you know?

Research indicates that around a quarter of all adult drowning victims have alcohol in their bloodstream. 

Our advice

  • Don’t enter the water if you have been drinking
  • Alcohol seriously affects your ability to get yourself out of trouble
  • Look out for your friends, make sure they get home safely
  • Don’t walk home near water, you might fall in   

Effects of alcohol on the body

  • Alcohol lowers inhibitions, leading to impaired judgment which means you are more likely to take risks and get into trouble
  • Alcohol limits muscle ability making simple movements much harder
  • Alcohol slows down your reactions making it more difficult to get yourself out of trouble
  • Alcohol numbs the senses particularly sight, sound and touch, making swimming very difficult
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