‘Don’t drink and drown’ in Leeds warning

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Festive revellers in Leeds are being urged to act responsibly near water during their night out, as part of a national charity’s Don’t Drink and Drown campaign.

The initiative, run by the Royal Life Saving Society UK and backed by the Canal and River Trust, warns people about walking home near rivers or becks after they have been drinking.

The trust is hosting a Facebook Live event in the city centre tomorrow, Wednesday, December 6, to highlight the dangers. The event, from 5pm to 6pm at Aire Bar on The Calls, will see attended by representative from RLSS UK and West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service.

Tom Wright, from the trust, said: “Having a few festive drinks in one of the great waterside bars and pubs in Leeds is a great way to celebrate Christmas cheer. But when you’re on your way home in the dark, please take extra care. If you and your friends have had a few drinks, don’t walk home by water, find another route home.”

Last year 20 per cent of all adult accidental drowning victims in the UK had alcohol in their bloodstream. 26 people have drowned in Leeds in the last five years, and four were found to have had alcohol or drugs in their system. RLSS UK launched the Don’t Drink and Drown campaign to prevent more tragedies in hot spot areas. The charity’s advice includes not walking home near water, making sure your friends get home safely and not entering any water after you’ve been drinking.

Aaron Dhanda, from RLSS, said: “Drinking near or in water can be a dangerous and deadly cocktail. Alcohol can seriously impede your ability to survive in water.” Visit www.rlss.org.uk for more information.