January 12, 2009

The British Navy Has A Drinking Problem

I'm shocked! Shocked! To hear that the Royal Navy has a massive alcohol problem.

The researchers said that there was a tendency for sailors to ‘alternate between restraint while at sea and the opportunity for excess while on shore’.

Last year researchers at King’s published a study that looked at the drinking habits of all of the UK’s armed forces.

It uncovered a worrying culture of drinking and suggested that it was driven in part by isolation and boredom.

But they said it could also be fuelled by a need to bond with colleagues after intensive periods of duty or training. A sense of communal risk-taking and comradeship is thought to promote drinking as a way of bonding.

The Navy survey of 1,333 personnel found those most at risk were young, single, low-ranked sailors.

The results appear to show that efforts to curb heavy drinking, including alcohol-awareness days and penalties for staff who commit alcohol-related offences, have failed to tackle widespread abuse.

Defence Minister Kevan Jones said: ‘I’m well aware of the potential harmful effects of alcohol and there is no room for complacency.’

That coming from a branch of the military that used to issue rum to its sailors as part of the daily rations.

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