Tyne & Wear

River Tyne booze cruise on inflatables criticised by police

Kaljakellunta (beer floating) on the Vantaa River in Finland 2015 Image copyright Alamy
Image caption The Kaljakellunta happens every year in Finland

A planned 3,000-person drinking trip on inflatable dinghies on a city centre river has been criticised by police.

The River Tyne Booze Cruise is based on the Finnish Kaljakellunta, meaning "beer floating". This is "what England needs", organisers said.

They said alcohol quantities would be "regulated".

Northumbria Police said they were concerned about people drinking a "significant amount of alcohol" in vessels that were not "appropriate".

"The River Tyne is not a countryside stream," a spokesman said.

Image caption The inflatable booze cruise would finish on the Newcastle and Gateshead quayside

"The current is strong, there is a lot of debris and a number of vessels use the waterway every single day.

"A rubber dinghy is not an appropriate vessel to be used on this river and if people were to fall overboard then they could find themselves in real danger."

The force said it would speak to the organisers.

One, Kieran Chapman, said it was "more of a social drink not a night out in town getting mortal".

"People will be searched before they go on to the river to make sure that they're not drinking five litres of vodka," he said.

The event's Facebook page recommends participants wear armbands and life jackets and stay on their vessel at all times "to eliminate accidents".

The July event, lasting three-and-a-half hours, is due to begin in Newburn and finish on the quayside.

Related Topics