Water and alcohol don’t mix!

Alcohol slows reaction time and impairs judgment leading individuals to place  themselves and/or others at risk.

Alcohol affects almost every water activity, from swimming to boating and fishing.

Individuals should be responsible by limiting alcohol consumption or refrain from drinking alcohol completely. This includes parents, who should always stay sober when supervising children in or near water.

Alcohol impairs body movement and coordination making staying afloat extremely difficult and also creates a sense of warmth reducing the awareness of the onset of hypothermia.

  • In 2004-2006 alcohol was present in 30-70% of all recreational drownings
  • Alcohol is a factor in approximately 17% of all boating drownings

Enjoy the water and leave the alcohol at home.

Do alcohol and youth mix?

A research project was undertaken in 2008, examining the context of youth alcohol consumption and aquatic recreation.

The research was a collaboration between WaterSafe Auckland, Alcohol Healthwatch, Auckland City Communities Living Injury Free, CAYAD and Youthtown and has involved Auckland-based focus groups comprising under 18 year olds.

The aims were to:

  1. Ascertain the personal experiences and observations of youth with regards to the use of alcohol in, on and around water;
  2. Examine the contexts, both social and situational, in which alcohol consumption and aquatic activity occured; and
  3. To identify at-risk behaviours and make recommendations to promote safe practice among youth around water and when engaged in aquatic recreation.

The final report with findings and recommendations is available on the Alcohol and Aquatics page in the Research section of this website.