Just weeks after tragedy was narrowly avoided following a dramatic sea rescue off Skye a new film – aimed at highlighting the dangers of drinking or falling into water, especially after drinking – has been released.
It was in May that the coastguard was alerted in the early hours after two men apparently went into the water in the bay at Isleornsay.
The pair, who had earlier being drinking at the Hotel Eilean Iarmain were said to have fallen in the sea as they returned to their boat by dingy. Fortunately, despite being in the water for over two hours they were located and pulled to safety by RNLI staff called to the scene.
Now, a new film which targets 18 to 29 year old men with a message about the dangers of cold water shock has been launched by the Maritime & Coastguard Agency. The 40-second film aims to highlight the dangers of jumping or falling into water, especially after drinking, and reveals some stark dangers.
The MCA commissioned the eye-opening film in a bid to reduce drowning fatalities across the UK; Coastguard statistics reveal that on average around 50 people die of alcohol-related drowning around the coast of the UK each year. Of these, a significant percentage are young men who end up in the water as they make their way home. Each tragic incident has a different cause, ranging from slipping from river banks or harbour sides to dares from friends that have gone wrong.
The film delivers a hard-hitting message which is designed to make people think twice before entering the water. Young males are most at risk, and this film is heavily targeted towards them.
The MCA advise: "Even if the weather is warm, the waters around the UK remain extremely cold throughout the year. If you fall into the water, you are likely to suffer from cold water shock – your breathing increases uncontrollably meaning that you are more likely to take water into your lungs and drown.
"People who have been drinking are more likely to take risks, combining this with a dangerous environment like cold water can be lethal. We’d like everyone to take care near water, make sure they keep an eye on their mates and take a safe route (away from water) on the way home.
"If you see anyone in trouble at the coast call 999 and ask for the Coastguard."