Drunken Student Drowns Fêting Month of Sobriety

Niall Pawsey stripped down and jumped in River Thames
By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 11, 2011 2:00 PM CDT
A law student drowned in the Thames after marking a month of sobriety by downing 4 1/2 times the legal driving limit of beer, Jaegermeister, and sambuca.   (Getty Images)
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(Newser) – A law student drowned in the River Thames after getting drunk to celebrate a month of sobriety, a London inquest found this week. Niall Pawsey, 20, drank more than four times the legal driving limit after winning a bet to go 28 days without alcohol. Kicked out of a pub for singing, Pawsey joined friends to the Thames, stripped to his undies, and jumped in. He was 15 feet from the shore when he went under, the Daily Mail reports.

Rowing teacher Andrew Beard spotted Pawsey and tossed him a buoy just before the student sank beneath the surface. Beard jumped in but couldn't save him. "There won't be a day in my life when I don't wish I had jumped in five seconds earlier," Beard said. A helicopter scoured the area and found Pawey's body three days later. "Niall has meant more to me than anyone else ever has," a student told the Mail. "He has changed me for the better and was the best thing that ever happened to me. ... I loved him and I always will." (Read more alcohol stories.)

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