With long, hot summers and a festive season in our warmest months, socialising around water has become intrinsic to Australian culture. Whether it be at the beach, the pool or out on the river, sharing a few beers with friends around water is seen as both normal and sociable.
Unfortunately, our love of aquatic recreation coupled with our love of a few cold drinks, (particularly on a hot summer’s day) leads to an increased risk of drowning. Alcohol not only encourages greater risk taking behaviour, it also impairs judgement and coordination, causes disorientation, inhibits reflexes and can fasten the onset of hypothermia. Together, these physical and behavioural changes when combined with water create a dangerous mix.
FACT: Alcohol plays a factor in 41% of drowning deaths in the 15-29 year age group.*
FACT: Males account for 81% of all alcohol related drowning deaths.*
FACT: The three most common locations for alcohol related drowning deaths in NSW are oceans, beaches and rivers.*
Royal Life Saving’s SINKERS campaign aims to tackle the issue head on, targeting ‘Gen Y’ through a social media campaign. Featuring celebrities such as Channel 9 Journalist Erin Molan, Pro Surfer Ellie Jean Coffey, Pro Skateboarder and TV Presenter Corbin Harris and Actor Dan Ewing, a number of videos have been circulated via Instagram, Facebook and Twitter, each highlighting the fact that alcohol and aquatic recreation don’t mix.
See the video’s below:
“Each year we lose young Australians to drowning because they drink alcohol and then enter the water. The two don’t mix! Alcohol consumption leads to a lack of coordination, greater risk taking behaviour, impaired reaction time and impaired judgment. This summer we want everyone to enjoy our pools, beaches, rivers and lakes but we need to ensure that alcohol consumption is left to when aquatic activities have concluded. The Sinkers campaign is utilising a range of social media strategies together with high profile ambassadors to raise awareness amongst the 15-29 year olds who are traditional hard to reach so they know the dangers of mixing alcohol with aquatic activity.”
Commented Michael Ilinsky from Royal Life Saving.
*Reference: Swim Safe Swim Sober Report (2008) – A study examining drowning in NSW and the influence of alcohol
OUR COLLABORATIVE PARTNERS
Royal Life Saving NSW, in partnership with the NSW Government have collaborated on the “Sinkers” Campaign, aimed at reducing alcohol related drowning in people aged 15-29. While we understand most people enjoy a drink to unwind and enjoy themselves, alcohol has been shown to significantly increase the risk of drowning. Royal Life Saving is urging people to take the pledge and think twice before mixing alcohol and swimming. #DontDrinkAndSink
This initiative could only come to fruition through the engagement of collaborative creative partners 303LOWE. Their management expertise, commitment and passion have provided a cutting edge solution to address alcohol related aquatic injury and death amongst 15-29 year olds.