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Local businesses to receive training to help save lives

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This month, businesses in Porthleven will receive training to help save lives and prevent alcohol related drownings as part of the #CoastSafe campaign led by Devon & Cornwall Police and partner agencies.

The training will take place on Tuesday 4 December 2018 to support of the Royal Life Saving Society UK’s Don’t Drink and Drown week of action (3–9 December 2018).   

At 12 noon on Porthleven harbour, staff from restaurants and bars around the waterfront will be trained by CFRS water rescue technicians and the Porthleven Coastguard Rescue Team on how to be a first responder in case anyone should enter the water around the quay.  This training will be overseen by an RNLI assessor to enable participants to become accredited waterside community responders.

As well as receiving the training, staff will wear t-shirts and wristbands with the #DontDrinkandDrown message and display beer mats in their businesses throughout December.

Research indicates that around a quarter of all adult drowning victims have alcohol in their bloodstream and the Devon & Cornwall Police’s #CoastSafe collaboration was started to educate and inform people of the dangers of alcohol related drownings after several tragic student deaths.

Devon & Cornwall Police #CoastSafe Lead, Acting Police Sergeant Andy Mulhern said: “This initiative is aimed at being pro-active, we are joining with partners again to re-affirm a message that drowning statistics are too high, a great deal are preventable, we want to reduce the amount of harm suffered by people on our coasts.  

With thanks to the co-operation and support of the pubs and restaurants in Porthleven for their support of the RLSS Don’t Drink and Drown campaign we hope to reach as many people with this message as possible. Look after each other, alcohol and water don’t mix and can lead to tragedy.”

Falmouth Watch Manager Stuart Williams said: “Accidental drowning statistics are rising globally with alcohol involvement in a high proportion of those, working in partnership with other agencies and charities we are supporting the RLSS Don’t Drink and Drown campaign and this initiative will show us taking a serious stance to raise awareness and taking positive action to prevent anybody coming to harm around our coasts.   

By providing throw lines and the training to staff on how to use them, we are giving the tools and skills to members of the community who are likely to be notified of someone in the water first and can provide immediate lifesaving intervention. Cold water shock is a killer and we urge we urge everybody to respect the water.”

RLSS UK Community Drowning Prevention Coordinator for the Devon and Cornwall area, Hannah Wiggnis-Bettles said: “People tragically die each year because they’ve entered the water with alcohol in their bloodstream, either deliberately or completely by accident.

Drinking near or in water can be a dangerous and deadly cocktail. Alcohol can seriously impede your ability to survive in water. When walking home from a night out, avoid routes that are alongside water, particularly in the darkness, and always stay with and look out for your friends. We want everyone to have a great time this Christmas and our Don’t Drink and Drown campaign gives essential advice to party-goers to make sure they know how to stay safe when they’re out celebrating.”

The advice from the #CoastSafe collaboration is:  

  • Don’t enter the water if you have been drinking

  • Alcohol seriously affects your ability to get yourself out of trouble

  • Look out for your friends, make sure they get home safely

  • Don’t walk home near water, you might fall in

If you see someone in trouble immediately call 999 and ask for the Coastguard.


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