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Don't Drink & Drown

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

Accidental drownings

There were 451 accidental drownings involving alcohol and/or drugs in the United Kingdom from 2013-2017, with an average of 90 per year. This represents 29% of all accidental drownings that occurred in the UK during this period.

There are 4 distinct groups within this data.

  • Intoxicated walkers: 255 fatalities. Assumed to be walking home after drinking.
  • Intoxicated water users: 153 fatalities. Intentionally engaging with aquatic activity after drinking.
  • Intoxicated found in water: 29 fatalities. Insufficient evidence to allocate these individuals to either group.
  • Intoxicated land-based transport: 14 fatalities. Driving a vehicle or cycling while under the influence of alcohol or drugs.


Latest Update :
11 March 2020
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