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Pembroke family back 'don't drink and drown' campaign after teenager's death

Robert was one of three people to drown in Pembroke's mill pond in 2015 Credit: Family photo

The family of a "kind and caring" young man who drowned after a night out on his 18th birthday is backing a national water safety campaign.

Robert Mansfield died in July 2015, after entering the water at Pembroke Castle's mill pond.

He was one of three people to drown there that year.

His family are now supporting the Royal Life Saving Society's (RLSS) 'Dont' Drink and Drown' campaign, which is urging people not to walk home near water after they have been drinking.

According to statistics around a quarter of all adults who drown have alcohol in their system, which can slow down reactions, numb the senses and limit muscle ability, making simple movements much harder.

The RLSS has issued the following advice:

  • Don't walk home near water, you might fall in
  • Look out for your friends, make sure they get home safely
  • Don't enter the water if you have been drinking
  • Alcohol seriously affects your ability to get yourself out of trouble

Robert's aunt Susan said she believes Robert may still be here, if he had had more advice and guidance on the dangers of water.

Since his death she's been campaigning to raise awareness and to improve safety around the mill pond.

Read more: family of teenager who drowned in Pembroke's castle pond call for safety improvements

I don't think many people know of cold water shock, that's something that people just don't understand - although it's a warm day that water is freezing and your body can go into some sort of shock and obviously you get into difficulties and you don't come out.

I think if there was a lot more education and a lot more things out there hopefully he would have taken that advice and not gone in the water.

He had so much planned and it was just absolutely devastating for him to go like that.

– Susan Mansfield
The castle mill pond in Pembroke Credit: ITV News

The national campaign is also being supported by emergency services, including Mid and West Wales Fire and Rescue Service.

People tragically die each year because they've entered the water with alcohol in their bloodstream, either deliberately or completely by accident.

Drinking near or in water can be a dangerous and deadly cocktail. Alcohol can seriously impede your ability to survive in water.

When walking home from a night out, avoid routes that are alongside water, particularly in the darkness, and always stay with and look out for your friends.

We want everyone to have a great Christmas and our Don't Drink and Drown campaign gives essential advice to party-goers to make sure they know how to stay safe when they're out celebrating.

– Andrea Roberts, RLSS

'Don't Drink and Drown' was launched in 2014 after a string of tragic drownings of young people.