NekNominate online drink craze can prove fatal

The NekNominate craze is sweeping the Isle of Man

The NekNominate craze is sweeping the Isle of Man

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Schools, public health officials and the police in the Isle of Man have issued warnings about an online drinking game linked to two deaths in Ireland.

NekNominate, a social media craze which has spread to the island, involves people being nominated to down alcoholic drinks in unusual ways and posting a video online.

They then nominate another person via the internet to try to outdo them.

The island’s director of public health Dr Parameswaran Kishore said: ‘It’s a very dangerous practice.

‘There’s been two deaths in Ireland and it’s only a matter of time before someone here comes to real harm if they do this.’

He said that drinking large amounts of alcohol in a short time period was harmful to health, and that some people were going further, by drinking toxic products.

Parents of students at Castle Rushen High School have been warned by text: ‘Please tell your child to keep well away from the possibly harmful Neck and Nominate chains on Facebook etc.’

A Department of Education and Children spokesman said: ‘Schools are asking staff to be aware of the issue and where appropriate are alerting parents and students.

‘The DEC is also working with the police and public health to minimise the risk to young people on the island.’

But two residents have turned the game into a force for good.

When Liam Moorhouse, 20, of Ballaugh, received a nomination he decided not to bow to pressure, admitting in his YouTube video: ‘I’m not known for doing things normally and following the crowd.’

Rather than make a video of himself downing an alcoholic drink the Cumbrian Institute of Performing Arts student filmed himself downing a large glass of water.

He then holds up a series of cue cards to promote a concert to raise money for WaterAid to provide clean water access to villages in Nepal.

The cards say: ‘Fresh, clean water. Something a lot of countries don’t have so let’s help them!

‘Poor children are without fresh water. On August 16 we are going to help these children.’

Few details have been released about the concert, but Liam said it would feature ‘local and special guest acts’.

Liam explained: ‘I’d seen an awful lot of NekNomination videos, and at first found them quite amusing. But they just started to get a bit ridiculous!

‘What started off as something quite fun became a game of complete stupidity with great danger so I thought maybe I could try and put a positive spin on it.’

He said the response from the video had been ‘overwhelming’.

In the first 24 hours the video received more than 2,000 YouTube hits.

Meanwhile Douglas businesswoman Karen Hanly launched ‘Rec and Nom’.

In her video, she said: ‘We have a lot of Neck and Noms going on in the Isle of Man at the moment and we’d like to do something different.

‘We want to do “Rec and Nom” which is recognising and nominating someone within our community.

‘Someone who does something extra special, someone who makes a difference in their everyday lives.’

She nominated Gerry Pishvaie, who founded Naseem’s Manx Brain Tumour Charity, and in the video presents a surprised Gerry with a bunch of flowers.

Karen, director of Warehouse Fitness, then invites others to start nominating people they feel deserve recognition.

The social media craze is believed to have originated in Australia in January.

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