Festive drinkers in Falmouth are being urged to look after their friends on a night out, as local organisations unite to tackle drink and drug related drownings.

As part of the Royal Life Saving Society UK’s national Don’t Drink and Drown campaign, this year running from December 2-8, organisations have joined together to ask the towns’ revellers to stick together during their festivities and not to let any of their friends walk home alone.

Hannah Wiggins-Bettles, RLSS UK community drowning prevention coordinator for the Cornwall area, said: “It’s a sad truth that the number of drownings increase in the winter period, more often than not because of intoxication.

“Families, friends and whole communities are left devastated every year because someone walks home alone whilst under the influence and falls into the water.

"We’re urging people to stay together on a night out. Make sure their friends get home safe and don’t let them walk anywhere, especially near water, alone.”

On Friday, December 6 at Custom House Quay, the student community wardens from Falmouth and Exeter Students’ Union, as well as staff from St Austell Brewery, will be receiving water safety training from Cornwall Fire & Rescue Service.

The fire service will also be talking to members of the public about keeping people safe whilst under the influence.

In addition, Falmouth and Exeter Students’ Union will be promoting water safety messages on social media and sharing the RLSS UK’s brand-new film which shows how easily a fun night out can turn into tragedy, and how staying with your friends can make all the difference.

Latest statistics revealed 70 people have accidentally drowned in Cornwall over the last five years and ten of those were found to have had alcohol and/or drugs in their system, making it the seventh highest county for drownings linked to intoxication.

Gwen Scolding, the community engagement coordinator for Falmouth and Exeter Students’ Union, said: “I have been supporting one of our student community wardens, Frank Gough, to promote the Don’t Drink and Drown campaign to Falmouth and Exeter students.

Frank volunteers for the RNLI as Youth Education Presenter and is very passionate about water safety. He will be participating in the training with the Cornwall and Fire Rescue Service along with other Wardens in the hope we can help promote water safety amongst those studying, working and living by the sea.”

The Don’t Drink and Drown campaign was launched in 2014 following a string of tragic drownings of young people.

Organisations up and down the country promote water safety messaging and run awareness activities urging revellers to take care near water whilst under the influence of alcohol and/or.

Stay Safe this Christmas:

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

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

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

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

For more information on RLSS UK’s Don’t Drink and Drown campaign visit www.rlss.org.uk, follow the campaign on #DontDrinkandDrown, or call 0300 3230 096.

Watch a video at www.youtube.com/watch?v=C1OgicnXr1U&t=3s