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Wales in top 5 in UK for alcohol and drug related drownings

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THE ROYAL LIFE SAVING SOCIETY has shared its concern ahead of the festive period as it launches its Don’t Drink and Drown campaign on Monday 21 November.

Statistics from the Water Accident Incident Database (WAID) from the National Water Safety Forum for accidental drownings between 2017-2021, show that Wales ranks joint fourth in the UK, with the East of England and Yorkshire and the Humber, for the highest number of alcohol/drug related drownings in 16–25-year-olds.

Walessaw 6 alcohol/drug related drownings during this period and the charity fears that the winter months, which typically sees an increase in partygoers, will result in a spike in tragedies.

Don’t Drink and Drown will begin on Monday 21 November and run until 18 December. The campaign usually targets those who will be enjoying the festive period with their friends and family but with the home nations of England and Wales both qualifying for the tournament, the charity wants to encourage everyone who is heading out this winter to take extra care.

Don’t Drink and Drown is RLSS UK’s national campaign that encourages smart decision making whilst being drunk and the risks of drowning if near water. It particularly targets individuals to be responsible for their friends if they have had too much to drink; #BeAMate and help them to return home safely. 

On average, each year 80 people lose their lives through substance-related drowning and the charity fears that a tournament such as this, at this time of year, may increase those tragic incidents. 

Whether heading to the pub to watch a game, going to a work party, having a reunion with friends, or arranging a family gathering, the charity wants to ensure that everyone has the right knowledge around water safety, and chooses a route home away from the water after drinking.  

Lee Heard, Charity Director at RLSS UK said, “This is the first time that the world cup will have been held during our wintertime, so it will be a completely different experience to what we have been used to in previous tournaments, when we may have seen people in pub beer gardens, watching the games on a big screen in the summer sun.  

“This timing, paired with the celebrations around Christmas, raises concerns around water safety. We want to ensure that everyone enjoys the tournament and the festive period, but they are also able to stay safe around the various waterways on their routes home.” 

Lee added: “We have prepared lots of messaging which will be shared during the four weeks of the campaign, encouraging everyone to take care, not only of themselves, but of their friends, whilst out drinking. We would like to encourage everyone to share these messages with their friends and family, so we can ensure that we equip as many people as possible with the right knowledge around water safety.” 

With alcohol impairing our judgements, limiting muscle ability, slowing down reactions and numbing our senses, this can mean that even for strong swimmers, entering the water after drinking can be extremely dangerous. Statistics show that 45% of drownings of those aged 16-25 cited alcohol or drugs and where known, over half of alcohol/drug related drownings occurred between 11pm and 5am, which is five times higher than those that weren’t alcohol/drug related. (WAID, 2021) 

RLSS UK research also shows that three in four of people who drowned were not with someone they knew when they drowned; therefore one of the charity’s key messages is to be a mate and ensure that your friends get home safely, stick together and find a route home away from the water. 

For further detail on RLSS UK’s Don’t Drink and Drown campaign visit www.rlss.org.uk/dont-drink-and-drown where you can also download resources to spread the word and help keep your friends and family safe this winter.  

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Milford Haven father of two sadly dies following medical emergency in Mount Estate

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A MAN was found unresponsive, and sadly later passed away in The Mount Estate, Milford Haven on Wednesday evening (Dec 9).

Police vehicles and an ambulance responded to a call coming from Chestnut Way just before midnight, but despite the excellent efforts of the paramedics attending, the man could not be revived.

The man who passed away has been named locally as Paddy McManamon, age 30, a well known local and a father of two young children.

A spokesperson for Dyfed-Powys Police confirmed to The Pembrokeshire Herald by way of an official statement: “At 11.45pm on Wednesday, 7 December, police were called to Chestnut Way, Mount state, Milford Haven, after a male was found unresponsive.

“The male sadly passed away.

“His death is not being treated as suspicious.”

Paddy McManamon’s cousin, Tara-Jade Riley paid tribute on social media saying: “We had some awful news our lovely cousin has passed away.

“You were such an amazing person but now you have gained your wings.

“So go and have a Guinness up there with our Nans and give them both a big hug from us all.

“Such a young man will be sadly missed by all of us – until we meet again, God bless you.”

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Christmas Gift Subscription wins £10,000!

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Carol Ormond with daughter Collette, granddaughter Ellie and great granddaughter Polly

THE PEMBROKESHIRE LOTTERY has awarded one lucky player a massive £10,000 in their Christmas Superdraw. 

The Superdraw was held on Wednesday, December 7 and the winner was Mrs Carol Ormond from Pembroke with lottery number 48095.

After Carol’s name was announced on 102.5 Radio Pembrokeshire, the team at the Pembrokeshire Lottery made contact with her and presented the winning cheque later that day. The win was made extra special as Mrs Ormond’s lottery membership was a Gift Subscription from her daughter last Christmas. Accompanying her were daughter Collette, granddaughter Ellie and great granddaughter Polly.

The normal weekly £2,000 draws now continue until the next monthly Superdraw for £4,000 on January 4. However, as the Lottery celebrates it’s 30 th Anniversary next year, there will be higher prize amounts than usual as the 3 x £8,000 draws in March, June and September will all be increased to £10,000!

Pembrokeshire Lottery Gift Subscriptions make ideal gifts for anyone and can be purchased for either 6 months or a full year. To order yours or to join up to play yourself, ring the Pembrokeshire Lottery on 01646 690800.

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Four rescued following early morning mayday call

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FOUR fishermen have been rescued in the early hours of this morning (December 7) after their vessel is said to have hit rocks near Skomer Island.

The Coastguard received a mayday call from the stricken vessel just before midnight, with lifeboat crews from Angle and St Davids sent to assist.

The crew abandoned the vessel and were located in a life raft nearby and were taken onboard the Angle lifeboat.

Milford Haven Coastguard have confirmed that no injuries have been reported and the crew were safely brought ashore at Milford Haven.

Arrangements are being made to recover the fishing vessel and to assess whether there is any pollution.

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