What’s a summer holiday without a few beers and a get together at the nearest beach or creek? It’s seems to be a part of Aussie culture to have a couple of drinks and a swim, but the dangerous mix of open water and drinking alcohol means you could be heading into trouble.
Australia day lands on a Friday in 2018, so you’re probably already planning to fire up the barbie and stock the Esky for a long weekend of celebrating. It’s a great time to get together with family, friends and neighbours and let your hair down, and to find reprieve from the searing temperatures in the water. But when the sun starts to beat down and you fancy a dip to cool off, take a minute to stop and assess your safety. If you’ve had a fair bit of amber fluid, staying out of the water could save your life.
Higher rates of drownings are reported on public holidays each year, and are often linked to parties and barbeques held by the beach, river or swimming pool. Royal Life Saving Australia (RLSA) has embarked on a campaign to educate against mixing alcohol and swimming, warning that it can prove deadly. Their figures for the last decade show that men accounted for 80% per cent of all drownings, and that one in four of these drownings involved alcohol.
In an effort to draw attention to these worrisome statistics, RLSA has launched a new campaign ready for the 2017/18 summer, called, ‘Don’t Let Your Mates Drink and Drown’. The warnings, which are to be printed on alcohol labels, will remind drinkers that alcohol may impair judgement and advise that men are more likely to take riskier decisions and overestimate their capabilities in the water when intoxicated. Other sensible recommendations include: wearing a lifejacket, learning life-saving skills, and avoiding swimming alone, and keeping a look-out for mates.
It’s important to understand that alcohol impairs decision making, and that even sensible people are much more likely to make poor decisions and take risks when intoxicated. So, with a scorcher of a summer on the way, it’s it’s a good time to start planning to party responsibly and be alert when there’s water involved. Keep a look out for your mates and don’t let them make that one silly mistake that could end up costing their life.