April 23, 2021

NekNomination deadly drinking craze sweeping Britain [and Cayman is warned]

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CD Cover Designs Spannish 2By Tom Rawstorne From Daily Mail UK

The deadly teenage drinking craze fuelled by Facebook: Terrifying online fad sees young people down pints of spirits mixed with car polish, Viagra and even live goldfish

Smiling at the camera, Ryan Linley raises a pint glass full of foaming liquid to his lips and drains the lot in five seconds flat.

A few minutes later he logs on to his Facebook page, posts the video and then taps in the following comment: ‘Hahaha I am burping fxxxxxx bubbles.’

It is hardly surprising, given what the 23-year-old has just drunk: a home-made cocktail of Tabasco sauce, Southern Comfort and fluorescent yellow liquid car polish.

article-2539028-1AA89A3A00000578-169_634x470What many will fail to comprehend is why anyone would risk their health by drinking such a concoction, let alone boast about it to all and sundry.

The answer is to be found in a deeply worrying internet craze currently sweeping the UK — and spiralling out of control — called ‘NekNomination’.

It involves friends daring one another to rapidly consume or ‘neck’ alcohol in as extreme a way as they can devise, such as draining a pint while surfing, or downing a ‘dirty pint’ — made up, not of beer, but multiple shots of different spirits and even worse.

They film themselves doing it, upload it onto the internet and then ‘nominate’ others to find an even more shocking way of drinking within the next 24 hours.

NekNomination, which has already killed two young men, started in Australia early last month but, thanks to social networking, has swept around the world like lightning.

Rachel Carey. Drink/Goldfish story..Thousands of British youngsters are now taking part in the death-defying craze that is terrifying parents throughout the country. Facebook pages are full of photos of their stunts which range from dangerous to downright disgusting.

Because where initially it was enough to ‘neck’ a pint of beer, the way youngsters are constantly encouraged to up the ante means they soon swapped to much stronger alcohol.

Online you can see video after video of people downing pints or even litres of spirits in one go — sufficient to render a person unconscious or even kill them.

Rachel Carey. Drink/Goldfish story..Now other substances are being introduced: foodstuffs, illegal drugs, household cleaning products and even urine are all being added to the mix and consumed. All just to get a laugh.

‘One of my other mates drank a pint with some liquid steroid in it that is meant for sheep, as well as some Viagra,’ boasts car-polish drinker Ryan, a security guard from Bridlington, Yorkshire.

‘So there was no way I was going to just drink a pint of beer. I didn’t want to do something boring because the main thing is to have a laugh.’

Who knows what will happen next in this ever-changing ‘game’? We’ve already had a young man from Wales who posted a video of himself biting off a chicken’s head before downing a mix of vodka, raw eggs and cigarette butts.

Then there were the two 20-somethings in Cornwall who, earlier this week, posted a film of themselves catching rabbits in traps, snapping their necks and then cutting them open and eating their livers washed down with a pint of cider.

And don’t forget 23-year-old Rachel Carey, from Northern Ireland, who posted a clip on Facebook a few days ago of herself downing a glass of alcohol with a live goldfish in it.

IRachel Carey. Drink/Goldfish story..ncredibly, Miss Carey is a trainee solicitor.

Following savage criticism of her ‘disgusting cruelty’ by animal campaigners, she tried to justify her stunt saying fish are ‘eaten alive and raw all the time’.

Eventually she was forced to apologise, adding: ‘Clearly my NekNomination got out of hand . . . I’m young, I was drunk. Not my finest hour.’

Sadly there are already families of two young men in Ireland for whom NekNomination has brought not laughter but tears: both Ross Cummins, 22, and 19-year-old Jonny Byrne are believed to have died while taking part in the craze.

Ross was found unconscious in a house in Dublin and died later in hospital amid reports he had been drinking spirits when he collapsed.

In a separate incident, Jonny drowned after also downing spirits and then jumping into a river. His grieving family has now started a campaign to warn young people not to feel pressured to take part if nominated.

They are also demanding that Facebook ban NekNomination videos, thereby stopping its spread.

‘Basically what it has turned into now is a bullying competition,’ said Jonny’s brother Patrick, 26. ‘A guy who turned down a challenge last week was called a chicken and a coward — people are now just doing stupid acts to try to better each other.’

On Facebook, there are dozens of pages dedicated to the ‘best’ NekNomination videos, some of which have gained tens of thousands of ‘likes’.

Sadly, this forms part of the attraction: youngsters hope that if their stunt proves especially popular it will ‘go viral’ on the internet and they will achieve global fame or notoriety.

The current obsession with celebrity means few teenagers or young adults are likely to pass up the challenge. Of course, only the most extreme NekNominations are likely to propel their participants to stardom, spurring youngsters on to ever more stupid acts.

Additionally, it means they do nothing to try to preserve their anonymity — quite the opposite, in fact.

One popular video watched by millions of people worldwide shows a bare-chested man filling a toilet with beer before two friends lower him head-first into the porcelain bowl to lap it up.

Another shows a 21-year-old called Indiana Ralph riding her horse Harvey into a Tesco near Bishop Auckland, County Durham, on Monday. Once inside she is filmed downing a can of Pepsi Max before nominating a series of friends to complete the challenge next.

While alcohol may not have been involved, in the footage posted on Facebook the horse is seen struggling to keep its footing on the slippery supermarket floor.

The incident is now being investigated by police, who are distinctly unimpressed by the stunt. ‘At this stage we are trying to establish what criminal offences might have been committed, and discussions have taken place with the RSPCA in regards to the welfare of the horse,’ said Chief Inspector Sue Robinson, of Durham Police.

‘It goes without saying this was a senseless and foolish thing to do. There were a number of shoppers in the store at the time and it is fortunate no one was hurt.’

Not that Miss Ralph appears to care. ‘I’m getting so many friend requests, inboxes & notifications I think my iPad is gonna blow up haha I feel famous!’ she posted on her Facebook page.

She then added: ‘Harvey & Me are the reigning King & Queen of the neck nomination #Legend’s thanks for all the likes & shares everyone xx.’ She went on to attack her critics, claiming that what she had done was just ‘harmless fun’.

The trouble is, of course, that the line between harmless fun and serious injury can be a fine one.

And while young people have always taken risks and abused alcohol, there are concerns about the way in which social media amplify the pressure they feel to take part in something like NekNomination. It is a point poignantly made by the family of the dead Irish teenager Jonny Byrne.

Having been nominated by friends, at 6pm last Saturday he downed a mixture of spirits beside the River Barrow in County Carlow.

He had gone there because he did not want to drink in front of his parents, and was being filmed by his brother, Patrick, and his girlfriend, Emma. They had no idea he was planning to jump into the swollen river.

‘In a split second he was in the water,’ said Patrick, who dived in when he realised what had happened. ‘I nearly had him out, but he pushed me under. I had one foot on the bank and had him in my arms but he struggled and pushed me under.’

Patrick has since called for NekNominations to stop, saying: ‘My young brother died in the middle of his nomination. He thought he had to try and beat the competition. If people have decency and respect, they’ll refrain from any more of this.’

It was a point reiterated by the priest who presided over Jonny’s funeral on Wednesday.

Just as this craze is supposed to have been started by one person, it can be stopped by one person,’ Father Tom Lalor told the congregation.

‘Let you be that person. If you are faced with this challenge, be strong, be great and make a worthwhile contribution. You owe it to Jonathan Byrne.’

Others have called for social media sites and Facebook in particular — as it’s the most popular — to ban NekNomination videos and to pull the pages that glorify them.

It is a call joined by Labour MP Helen Goodman, who noted that on Tuesday Facebook was celebrating the tenth anniversary of its launch.

‘I think encouraging this kind of behaviour on social media sites is totally irresponsible,’ she said. ‘Facebook is ten. I really think it is time for the executives of the company to grow up.’

Unfortunately, despite growing pressure, the company has refused to do anything about the problem.

‘At Facebook we try to be a platform where people can share freely whilst still protecting the rights of others,’ a spokeswoman told The Mail. ‘We do not tolerate content which is directly harmful, for example bullying, but behaviour which some people may find offensive or controversial is not always necessarily against our rules.

‘We encourage people to report things to us which they feel breaks our rules so we can review and take action on a case by case basis.

We also give people the ability to remove themselves from an uncomfortable conversation through tools such as untagging and blocking.’

Despite their inaction, the good news is that at least some of their users are more socially minded.

When South African Brent Lindeque received a NekNomination from a friend via Facebook, he decided not to bow to peer group pressure.

Instead he started his own challenge, filming himself handing out a sandwich, chocolate bar and can of drink to a man touting for work at a traffic junction.

Mr Lindeque, who is from Johannesburg, said he wanted to create something positive out of the random global phenomena of NekNominations.

‘Anyone can down a beer, it’s easy,’ he said. ‘Imagine if we all harnessed the power of social media to make a real difference in people’s lives.’

Since the video was uploaded on Friday, it has received over 250,000 views and Mr Lindeque is planning to launch an online charity website.

And so in a way that was never intended, NekNomination may actually lead to something positive. Whether that can outweigh the heartache that it has caused thus far, only time will tell.

For more on this story go to:


EDITOR: Some of the photographs were too disgusting for us to show.

Dr. James Robertson of TrinCay medical services warned on CITN/Cayman27 Wednesday (26) News that it is “just people who want a minute of fame and they don’t seem to be thinking much about consequences.”

“There seems to be two potential causes of death here. One is the potential for acute alcohol intoxication which basically stops your brain working and will kill you,” he added.  ”With your loss of inhibitions or loss of sensible streak you do something like jump into a fast moving river or into the sea, which again has the potential to kill you.”

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