Graphic RNLI advert showing what it’s like to drown given age 15 rating

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Adverts, to be shown in cinema, as part of the charity's summer campaign are rated suitable for those only age 15 and above due to their chilling content

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10th July 2015 by Paul Cardwell 0 Comments

A charity has released two hard-hitting adverts showing what it is like to drown.

The Royal National Lifeboat Institution’s (RNLI) created the terrifying adverts to be shown in cinemas as part of its Respect the Water campaign.

The 60-second clips, which are also on the charity's YouTube channel, are so intense they have been rated suitable only for viewers aged 15 and over.

One of the adverts (below) features a man drowning in various scenarios, including one where he entered the water originally to retrieve a football and another where his family is watching on helpless and screaming hysterically as he struggles with the power of the water.

A gravel toned voiceover chillingly explains the unpredictable nature of coastal waters.

The Respect the Water campaign is particularly aimed at men as out of 24 deaths in Scottish waters last year, 22 were adult males.

It says even those not expecting to be in the water have to be careful.

Of the 174 people who have died in coastal waters over the past five years, over half were taking part in activities like walking, running, climbing and boating.

Slips and falls while walking and running contributed to the most coastal deaths in Scotland, accounting for one in four.

The second advert (below) challenges viewers to see if they can hold their breath long enough as a man struck by cold water shock gasps his last bit of air and sinks to the bottom of the murky sea.

It was filmed to remind people of the dangers of cold water and rip currents.

The average UK sea temperature is just 12 degrees celsius, the charity says, but cold water shock, which causes uncontrollable gasping and numbs the limbs, can set in at any temperature below 15 degrees celsius.

“The water might look inviting, but it can be dangerously unpredictable, with hazards which can be fatal if not respected," Michael Avril, RNLI community incident reduction manager for Scotland, said.

“We want people to enjoy the water but to make sure they respect it.

“Around 35 lives are lost around Scotland’s coast each year but many of these losses could be avoided if people acknowledge the dangers and follow some basic safety advice.”

The RNLI is aiming to halve the number of coastal deaths by 2024

As well as cinema adverts the Respect the Water campaign will run across the UK and Ireland during the summer, through outdoor, radio and online advertising.

The charity is also running a number of tailored safety programmes, targeted at those who participate in the activities which account for a large number of coastal incidents each year.

For example, a scheme urging divers over 50 to get a health check before their next dive, and another reminding kayakers to make sure they carry a means of calling for help and keep it within reach at all times.