The deaths of two young men in Ireland have been linked to an online drinking game called "Neknominate". The aim of the game is to complete a drinking dare, normally 'necking' a pint of alcohol, posting the video online and then nominating one or two people to do the same.
The body of Jonny Bryne, 19, was recovered from the River Barrow in county Carlow in Ireland early this morning, the Irish Mirror reports. It is believed the teenager had been playing the game before jumping into the river last night.
His death comes just one day after the death of Dublin DJ Ross Cummins, 22, whose body was recovered in a house in Dublin yesterday morning.
Police and alcohol experts have warned of the dangers of the craze and appealed for those dared by their friends to take part to resist doing so.
Hailed as the 'social drinking game for social media' the game has become more extreme as it has spread across the globe. Trending as #NekNomination on Twitter and spreading rapidly on Facebook, the game is thought to have started in Perth, Australia.
In the UK, thousands have taken part in the craze, with videos being posted across Scotland, Northern Ireland, Wales and England.
Police have warned that the consequences of the game are getting more serious as the trend gets bigger. Cumbria Police chief superintendent Steve Johnson told the Mirror:
Whilst some may see it as a bit of fun, the consequences could be catastrophic.
I’d ask that people act with responsibility and that they don’t put themselves in danger. I’d also act that if you receive a nomination please do not feel influenced to partake in any activity through peer pressure.
The families of both the young men who died in Ireland have appealed for people to stop taking part in the game. Speaking to Irish broadcaster RTE, Bryne's father Joe said:
I'm pleading to every youngster to think of the things they are doing.
It has cost my son his life. The whole family is devastated and our lives will never be the same again.
I hope this message is heeded, because for us, life is virtually over.