Chiswick Lifeboat are urging caution to pub-goers planning on drinking at venues along the Thames.
Because current COVID guidelines do not allow for indoor drinking, pubs are making use of their outdoor spaces to accommodate customers more than ever. Chiswick RNLI fear this may increase the risk that those under the influence will end up in the river.
Whilst noting there hasn’t been any specific alcohol related river incidents locally yet, Chiswick Lifeboat hope to remind patrons that entering the water after a few drinks is anything but safe.
Mark Pusey, a crewman for Chiswick Lifeboat, told The Chiswick Calendar:
“Unfortunately ‘beer goggles’ make people feel indestructible, and impair your judgement when it comes to levels of risk. There are many hidden dangers on the river, from objects underneath the water, to strong fluvial flow, hidden currents, fast rising tides, entrapment in mudbanks, cold water shock… the list goes on.”
Chiswick Lifeboat have also been unable to hold ‘throwbag clinics’ with landlords and staff from pubs up and down the river, due to lockdown restrictions. These clinics supplied pubs with standard issue rescue equipment and training for use in emergencies, to prevent injuries from alcohol related accidents.
Mark added: “The general advice we would give, is not to allow alcohol to trick you into thinking the water is safe. Keep an eye on one another when using alcohol near the river, and if you see anyone in danger, don’t be tempted to jump in to assist them. Instead, telephone 999 immediately and ask for the Coastguard.
“Hopefully, it won’t be too long before we can resume the throwback training with the pubs!”.
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