Falmouth safety campaigner Paige Winsper was joined by staff from businesses around Custom House Quay and emergency service personnel yesterday to help drive home the message that alcohol and the water are a potentially fatal combination.

Paige's bother Josh drowned last year after falling into the water in Milford Haven following a night out. Since then she has joined forces with the Royal Life Saving Society (RLSS) to promote its #Don't Drink and Drown campaign

The campaign is now being backed by the police, Cornwall Fire and Rescue Service, Falmouth RNLI, the coastguard rescue team and staff from The Stable, the Quayside, Chain Locker and The 'Front and Trago Mills. Representatives from all the organisations gathered on the quay on Wednesday afternoon to drive home the message and take part in a rescue demonstration using throw lines which are now being kept by the businesses.

The new throw lines have been provided for emergency use on the quay and staff are being trained to use them by Cornwall Fire and Rescue Service water rescue specialists and Falmouth Coastguard Rescue Team. If someone was to fall in the water around the quay it is these staff who would be the first responders on the scene and who could save a life.

Blue Watch manager, firefighter, Stuart Williams said: “Accidental drowning statistics are rising with alcohol involved in a high proportion – it is the biggest single reason people drown. Working in partnership with agencies and charities we are supporting the RLSS Don’t Drink and Drown campaign.

"This initiative will show we are taking positive action with the aim of preventing anybody coming to harm around our harbours and coastline. By providing throw lines on the quay and training local 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 everybody to ‘respect the water.’”

Sgt Andy Mulhern added: “We are joining with partners again to re-affirm a message that drowning statistics are too high, we want to reduce the amount of harm suffered by people on our coasts. We have been working with Falmouth University students’ union and licensed premises on Custom House Quay and are really grateful for the support they are giving to this campaign.”

The #Don't Drink and Drown campaign has already received considerable publicity locally thanks to Paige who said: "I'm really proud to be involved today. I have shouted for so long about this and without me shouting this would not be happening today.

"I feel really overwhelmed that these amazing services have come on board now and want to make a change - I feel really blessed with that. The more people we get involved with this, the more lives we will save and that's why I started with this."