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with a strong warning to New Year’s revelers – don’t drink and swim.

Whether it is swimming, surfing, fishing from rocks, operating a boat or driving – alcohol and water simply don’t mix.

On average, 31 people die on our coast each year due to alcohol and/or drugs, with 85% of these drowning deaths men.

Surf Life Saving Australia General Manager Coastal Safety, Shane Daw, said New Year’s Eve is a traditional time for parties and celebrations, but it should not be the time of year for complacency around water.

“We have warned in the past about the dangers of swimming at night and swimming in the surf after consuming alcohol,” said Daw.

“We cannot warn people enough about these dangers. The dangers of swimming in the surf after consuming alcohol and/or drugs, is enormous.

“Combine swimming at night with alcohol and suddenly you have a very lethal combination. Alcohol consumption impairs your senses, encourages risk-taking behaviour, meaning you are more likely to get into trouble.

“The data shows that those people who have drowned after consuming alcohol are 4 times over the legal driving limit. Just like we hope people wouldn’t get behind the wheel 4 times over the limit, simply don’t get into the ocean.

“At the end of day we just want everyone to have a fun time but also to be safe, for themselves and their families when visiting the beach.

“Stay between the red and yellow flags when at the beach and don’t mix alcohol and swimming,” said Daw.

For more information on how to stay safe when visiting the beach this summer, or find your nearest patrolled location, visit www.beachsafe.org.au or download the BeachSafe APP.

For all the latest coastal drowning trends – click here for the National Coastal Safety Report.

For the latest information on alcohol, drugs and coastal recreation – click here for the Coastal Safety Brief – Alcohol and Drugs

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