Alcohol and river water don't mix

You may not realise it, but at least once a month firefighters from Avon Fire & Rescue Service are called to rescue people from waterways. 

Although we’re here to help, we’re keen to prevent these type of accidents occurring in the first place.

A combination of research and experience suggests that many of those who need our help have been drinking alcohol.  During the warm weather particularly, people may be out by the water, drinking alcohol.

All we ask is that you think about this brief advice to ensure you can enjoy yourself in safety. 

  • Buddy up on a night out and make sure all your mates get home safely.
  • Even the strongest swimmers can drown.
  • Rivers, canals and open water can present a real danger if you’ve had a drink. The water can be extremely cold, and added to the effects of alcohol, can dramatically affect the reactions of even the strongest swimmer.
  • Plan a route 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/pole scarf or any other object.  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.

If you would like to know more about how alcohol can affect you and make use the 'unit calculator' click here to visit the Drinkaware website.