SUMMER revellers are being warned that alcohol and the sea can make a deadly cocktail after a number of recent seaside rescues.
Brighton lifeboat crews have issued the warning after they came to the rescue of three drink-fuelled seafront visitors in a matter of days.
RNLI members came to the rescue of a young man last Saturday after he jumped from the Palace Pier.
Three days later, the lifeboat team were back in action when two swimmers got into difficulty after deciding to take an early-morning swim following a beach party.
RNLI crew members say that young men are the most likely to die in coastal accidents with alcohol a common factor.
They are urgently reminding anyone looking for sunshine fun at the beachside that “alcohol and water don’t mix” as the height of the tourism season kicks in.
Last Saturday the volunteer lifeboat crew were called at 5.40pm after a passer-by dialled 999 saying the man had jumped from the pier.
Crews said the man, estimated to be in his mid-20s, was out of his depth and Brighton and Hove Council lifeguards on the scene were concerned for his health.
The lifeboat crew placed him onto a stretcher, protected his neck with a collar and took him by lifeboat to Brighton Marina where he was handed over to paramedics.
Roger Cohen, lifeboat operations manager at Brighton RNLI, said that his crew believed the man “was heavily under the influence of drink”.
On Tuesday morning at 5.55am another member of the public reported two swimmers seemingly in difficulty in the sea near the West Pier and the lifeboat crew launched, located the swimmers, and escorted them back to beach.
The swimmers were given safety advice about the dangers of swimming whilst under the influence of alcohol after a pile of empty cans and shots were found on the beach by their clothes after an apparent all-night party.
Mr Cohen said: ‘We all know what it’s like. A hot day, a few drinks with friends, the sun beating down.
“Suddenly the sea becomes a seductive and inviting way to cool off.
“But as these, and other incidents, show, alcohol and water don’t mix.
“People may not realise that alcohol impairs your judgement and lowers your inhibitions, yet it can be fatal if you succumb to cold water shock or a rip current.
“We’re not saying don’t enjoy a drink by the seaside – we’re just encouraging people to be careful, know your limits, and if you want to be as safe as possible, drink after a swim, not before.”