13 Jan 2012

Warning alcohol and water can be a dangerous mix

3:27 pm on 13 January 2012

The national organisation for water safety says a coroner's report which found alcohol to be a major contributor in a man's drowning, says it serves as a reminder not to drink and swim.

The man, whose name has been suppressed to protect the identity of his children, drowned when gathering pipis while drunk at Himatangi beach off the Manawatu coast in September last year.

He had a blood alcohol content three times the legal drink-driving limit at the time of his death.

There are on average 108 drownings a year - 15% of which involve alcohol.

Water Safety New Zealand chief executive Matt Claridge says it is best not drink alcohol at all when in or around water because it impairs judgement.

" If you're going to be supervising children or have kids or others on the boat regardless - one (drink), two, three or four - one thing leads to another, and it's a chain reaction when it comes to water safety that leads to to many drownings in New Zealand."