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Patrols on River Medway as pubs reopen after lockdown

Kent Search and Rescue will be patrolling the River Medway tomorrow as its Safe and Dry campaign is staged on the day the pubs reopen.

The organisation regularly takes to the water, usually around Christmas time, to remind people of the dangers of drowning after a night out.

There will be patrols of the River Medway in Maidstone. Picture: Sean Aidan
There will be patrols of the River Medway in Maidstone. Picture: Sean Aidan

But ahead of the relaxation of lockdown rules to allow pubs and restaurants to reopen, they have decided to stage the event in Maidstone to coincide with what some have dubbed 'Super Saturday'.

In a post on their Facebook page, the group announced tomorrow's patrol: "Our successful Safe and Dry campaign which is normally run over the Christmas and New Year period will be running this Saturday in Maidstone.

"If you’re planning on venturing out for a few drinks in any pubs, bars or restaurants that are reopening tomorrow, please take care and stay well away from water – because if you enter water or fall in drunk, you’re likely to drown, whether it’s a lake, river or the sea.

"Reduced reaction times and skewed instincts linked to alcohol consumption, combined with cold water shock which affects your breathing and ability to move, makes entering water after even a small amount of alcohol a potentially fatal decision."

They urge those walking home after a trip to the pub to choose well-lit routes well away from water.

Last year Kent Search and Rescue patrolled the river in Maidstone in December, five years since a young man lost his life when he fell into the water during a night out.

Kent Police has also warned pubgoers to know their limit when it comes to the drink and plan how they will be getting home.

With the relaxation of lockdown coming while there are still hotspots of infection across the country, the chief medical officer Professor Chris Whitty said the coronavirus pandemic “is a long way from gone” as he urged the public to follow social-distancing rules.

Sir Patrick Vallance, the chief scientific adviser, also warned of the danger of "superspreading" of Covid-19 occurring in pubs.

Stood between them at the Downing Street press conference, Prime Minister Boris Johnson urged the public to "enjoy summer safely" so the ailing economy can be boosted without causing the virus to spread uncontrollably.

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