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Peter Grant, MP for Glenrothes & Central Fife, has signed up to support the UK’s drowning prevention charity in its work to reduce drowning and provide water safety education and lifesaving awards.

Representatives from The Royal Life Saving Society UK (RLSS UK) visited Parliament ahead of its annual national Don’t Drink and Drown campaign which, this year, runs from December 4 to the 10.

Peter was invited to find out more about the charity and its work, and learnt shocking statistics about alcohol and drug related drownings.

An average of 73 people a year, the equivalent of one in every five, who lose their lives to drowning have alcohol or drugs in their system. Between 2012 and 2016, 17 people died from accidental drowning in Fife - 18% were intoxicated with alcohol. Four of these deaths took place in the Glenrothes constituency.

Commenting, Peter said:

“The statistics about alcohol and drug related drownings are worrying, and my heart goes out to the families of those who have lost loved ones in such a tragic way. Deaths of this nature are so easily preventable if people are aware of the risks of drinking alcohol and being around water.

“Avoiding areas where there is water, such as rivers and ponds, when you have been drinking could keep you and your friends out of harm’s way.

“I would urge my constituents, particularly those who live near open water, to log on to the RLSS website to read more about the dangers of being around water when under the influence of alcohol.”

RLSS UK’s Director of Communications and Public Affairs, Vicki Hartley-Kite, led the event in Parliament. She said:

“Around 400 people accidentally drown in the UK every year - one every 20 hours - and thousands more have near drowning experiences.

“Many of these deaths could have been avoided and our Don’t Drink and Drown campaign targets those who have been drinking and enter the water either intentionally or by accident by educating them of the risks and delivering strong key messages. We were overwhelmed with the support offered by MPs during our session and can’t thank Peter Grant enough for pledging to help us in our efforts, not only during our Don’t Drink and Drown campaign but all year round, because we cannot do this alone.

“The support we have received from MPs will help our key messages to be delivered right into the heart of communities, saving lives.”

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