Don’t Drink and Drown – that’s the simple message being issued to revellers this festive season.

Statistics show that in the last three years, more than a third of adult accidental drowning victims in County Durham had alcohol in their bloodstream.

As Christmas approaches, a campaign is warning festive party-goers to steer clear of walking near to or entering water while under the influence of alcohol.

Don’t Drink and Down is delivered nationally by The Royal Life Saving Society UK (RLSS UK), the drowning prevention charity.

The campaign is being rolled out in County Durham by the charity working with the Safe Durham Partnership (SDP) – which includes Durham County Council, Durham Constabulary, County Durham and Darlington Fire and Rescue Service, the Durham Tees Valley Community Rehabilitation Company and County Durham and Darlington NHS Foundation Trust .

It is also being supported by Durham University, New College Durham, Durham Sixth Form Centre, Durham City Pubwatch and licensed premises.

Every year people lose their life by drowning after or during a night out.

In the past three years, figures from the National Water Safety Forum Water Incident Database show that 36 percent of adult accidental drowning victims in County Durham had alcohol in their bloodstream.

Within that time, the drowning victims in the 18-21 year old age group had alcohol in their bloodstream and were all male.

Don’t Drink and Drown is urging people to act responsibly near water, especially if they have been drinking – and to remind everyone of the importance of not walking home alone after a night out.

In County Durham, the campaign will be centred on Durham City and Chester-le-Street.