A city nightclub and the University of Chester have warned revellers about taking part in an online drinking game being blamed for a handful of deaths.
NekNomination sees a contestant chosen by a friend via Facebook or Twitter to ‘neck’ an alcoholic drink in one go after which they then nominate friends to do the same within 24 hours.
In many cases the drinkers film their exploits and post them on the web.
Bhavi Senthitselvan, a University of Chester student and Frisbee player, is shown on YouTube downing his mixture of Corona, cider, vodka, Malibu, gin and Bailey’s from a Frisbee while being egged on by his friends.
Afterwards, the 18-year-old says: “I think I’m gonna be sick.”
He appears to be aware the game could be dangerous, saying on Twitter: “Can't wait to do Necknominate 2K14. My one is going to be on the edge! #neckominate #hellyeah #oneofakind #lifethreatening #epic.”
Another NekNominate video shows a comedic scene with a man described as ‘Hopo relaxing on his Cheshire Farm!’ drinking a glass of wine and a can to the tune of Lady in Red while sitting in a water trough. He goes on to nominate friends from Cholmondeley and Northwic.
A university spokeswoman said: “The university has always sought to discourage its students from drinking to extremes and under peer pressure – behaviour which is promoted through the ‘NekNomination’ craze – because of the risks which it poses to their own safety and the impact it may have on others.”
She added: “Students are regularly reminded of the possible welfare consequences of drinking to excess. This is both in relation to finding themselves in vulnerable situations where they may be at risk of falling victim to crime or injury and the long term impact on their health.”
The team behind Chester nightclub Rosie’s student night has also posted a warning on Facebook.
It reads: “Team Onit would like to kindly remind all you guys that you don't need to drink a dangerous amount of booze quickly in order to be cool!
“We recommend that you take the advice given by the NUS, and don’t get involved in, or nominate friends of yours, to do something that could potentially harm your health and even risk your life!”
And Rosie’s suggests revellers instead take the advice of Savannah Miles, vice president (Campaigns and Activities) at Chester Students’ Union, who has posted an online video of a South African who decided, after being NekNominated, to do a good deed instead.
Savannah, from Tanzania, said: “Let’s see if we can get people doing this more!”
Heeding that message, Steve Kay, of Penley near Wrexham, was recently NekNominated but instead of drinking alcohol, he asked his colleagues to video him giving clothes and food to a homeless man in Chester.
Links with the NekNominate drinking game are being investigated by police who are looking into the sudden and unexplained death of Cardiff man Stephen Brookes.
South Wales Police say they are awaiting post-mortem examination results into the 29-year-old’s death on Sunday morning but confirmed they had received information about the drinking game as part of the investigation.