Don’t Drink and Drown - Royal Life Saving Society UK

A Blog from Stephen Lyon, RLSS UK


It only takes a split second for happy hour to end in a nightmare...

Don’t Drink and Drown is a RLSS UK national campaign that warns drinkers to steer clear of walking by or entering water when under the influence of alcohol.  The campaign was launched following a string of tragic student drownings.  There are two targeted time frames through the year in September and December, where RLSS UK and partners push this message.


Evidence Behind the Campaign

There were 23 accidental drownings involving alcohol and/or drugs in Scotland from 2017-2018, with an average of 11 per year.  This represents 26% of all accidental drownings that occurred in the Scotland during this period.  Of the 23 accidental drownings, a massive 96% were male.


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.

RLSS Don't Drink and Drown

My Advice 

  • Don’t enter the water if you have been drinking.  Water is fun, enjoy it throughout the day.  Leave the alcohol until you have finished in and around water.

  • Look out for friends and family – don’t let then walk home alone or call them a taxi.

  • If you are walking – stay in brightly lit areas away from any body of water.  Taking a short cut that could save you 5 minutes but might cost you much more if you were to fall in.


Want to find out more?

Click the links below to find out more about the campaign, and what you can do to support it.

Our volunteers are out every year to promote Don’t Drink and Drown and we welcome the support of other groups or organisations to share the message.  We encourage any establishment that serves alcohol especially around any waterway to join in and support our campaign.