Don't drink and drown

The beer mats will be distributed to pubs throughout the Bridgnorth district

An unusual campaign to call time on drunks risking their lives by jumping into the River Severn this summer is being launched at pubs across the district of Bridgnorth.

Beer mats bearing the hard-hitting message "Don't Drink and Drown" are being sent out to pubs across the area in a bid to make drinkers think twice before they jump into the river or other stretches of open water in a bid to cool down during the hot weather.

In the last six years Shropshire Fire and Rescue Service has been called to 196 incidents across the county involving members of the public in the water, 24 of which were in the Bridgnorth area.

The beer mats are being distributed to pubs along the riverside during the first few weeks of June and the scheme, which is a joint initiative between Bridgnorth District Community Safety Partnership and Shropshire Fire and Rescue, will then be expanded to drinking spots elsewhere in the district.

The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA) is also backing the scheme.

Jim Quinn, from Shropshire Fire and Rescue said: "It's all too easy to get carried away on a hot summer's day and decide the river is a perfect place to cool off, especially after a few drinks.

"We want to hammer home that it is a stupid and dangerous thing to do.

"Summer high jinks can very easily end in tragedy."

17th May, 2006