Water rescue demonstration at Motion Nightclub

Avon Fire & Rescue Service (AF&RS) has held a water rescue demonstration at Motion Nightclub in Bristol to highlight how alcohol can affect people if they enter the water.

Firefighters took part in Exercise Missouri which involved the use of Motion Nightclub to replicate a fire in one of the cloakrooms within the club followed by a simulated water rescue.

AF&RS were called to 54 water rescues in the Avon area in the last year (January – December 2016).

The aim of the water rescue was to demonstrate that even the strongest swimmer can be affected by the effects of alcohol if they end up in river water.

Station Manager Andy Goode said: “This exercise was an opportunity to demonstrate how firefighters would tackle a fire within the nightclub and a simulated water rescue.

“There have been a number of occasions where people enjoying nights out have needed to be rescued or even lost their lives in the waterways in our area.

“We want people to enjoy their night out safely and to take extra care when drinking alcohol near the water. The last place you would want to end up is in the river as the water is particularly cold.

“The low temperatures mean that even extremely strong swimmers will quickly find themselves in real difficulty.”

AF&RS has been working with Motion Nightclub advising on preventative measures that could be taken to reduce the risk of customers entering the water.

At the rear of the building the bushes have been cut back so the ledge that leads to the water is now visible and a high fence has been installed to deter anyone from trying to gain access to the club.

Venue Manager at Motion Nightclub, Marco Bernardi said: “We want all our customers to enjoy their time at our venue and to be safe. The security at our venue has been improved to ensure that anyone refused entry is unable to gain access to the club from the rear of the building.”

Station Manager Andy Goode added: “The measures taken by Motion Nightclub demonstrate a responsible attitude and commitment to the safety of their customers.”


Safety advice

  • Rivers, canals and open water can present a real danger if you’ve had a drink. The water can be extremely cold this time of year, and added to the effects of alcohol, can dramatically affect the reactions of even the strongest swimmer.
  • Plan a route home at the start of the night. If your walk home takes you past water could you take an alternative route or get a taxi?
  • To help you stay more aware, drink a glass of water between each alcoholic drink.

What to do if somebody is in trouble:

  • Think, do not put yourself in danger. Do not enter the water or jump in
  • Shout for help, ring 999 and request the Fire and Rescue Service
  • Reach, if it’s safe to do so, try and reach the person with a stick or a pole or any other object that will keep you out of danger.  Crouch or lie down to avoid being pulled into the water
  • Throw designated rescue equipment or rope if available to pull the person to the bank.  Otherwise throw in something that will float this will help keep the person afloat until assistance arrives.