Day 5 – #BeWaterAware – Missing after a night out


Today’s message focus is young drinkers…and I will set out the facts and statistics…..tomorrow on Day 6, the focus will be similar…but touch on the human story behind these incidents, behaviours and the safety advice to share

There won’t be many amongst you that haven’t in the past or perhaps fairly recently  had a drop too much alcohol on a night out, many drinking socially or to celebrate something, but the reality is that we also know that there is a very significant statistical correlation between excessive use of alcohol and drowning in the UK.

In 2018 the National Union of Students published a survey of over 2,000 UK students which concluded that ‘ It is concerning that university life is still strongly associated with excessive alcohol consumption. More so, many think that others drink to fit in with their peers.‘

Sadly every year during September (freshers week period) and December (Christmas party season) spikes in student deaths from drowning occur….but the factors that affect this are not just the amount of alcohol consumed, they are also to do with the fact that students may be away at Uni in their first year and not know the town or city very well and get disoriented when returning home after a night out…also the location of student accommodation in relation to the night time economy areas is an issue …particularly if main walking routes between the two are by riversides without lighting or safety barriers.

But it’s not just students…other research has confirmed that the majority of men who go missing on a night out are under 35yrs old and will have been drinking…..stag dos and Christmas parties/ nights out feature….it’s tragic when a night out celebrating ends with someone not making it home to their family.

The National Water Safety Forum (NWSF) who are a collective of organisations, charities and agencies who promote water safety and who are the authors of the UK Drowning Prevention Strategy (2016-2026) also produce through WAID an annual report of drowning statistics and collaborate to focus water safety campaigns on target audiences that are higher risk….young, male drinkers are the key audience for the Royal Life Saving Societies ‘Dont Drink and Drown’ campaign and similarly the RNLI have targeted similar audiences in the past as part of their RESPECT THE WATER campaign


The most recent annual NWSF report identifies that in 2018 that of the 243 accidental drownings that occurred, 230 of those were male, 92 had consumed alcohol or drugs and the age profile of the 92 were that 45 of them where under 35.

The facts and statistics speak for themselves …we need to do more to raise awareness and increase the education for young men to reduce UK drownings after a night out.

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