The Maritime and Coastguard Agency has started a campaign to warn against the danger of Tombstoning. This is a craze that has been around for some years, and involves (young) people jumping off cliffs or other high points into the water below. If you don't know what lies below the water's surface, you are literally playing with your life.
Mike Bill from Humber Coastguard said,
This sad loss [of a 17-year old on the coast near Humberside, AL] highlights the dangers of tombstoning and pier-jumping and our sympathies are with the family. Coastguard figures show this is the ninth coastal death in just two years but hundreds of incidents happen every year and many end in severe permanent injuries.
We advise people never to tombstone or pier-jump. Jumping from height into water is dangerous because water depth alters with the tide and it might be shallower than it appears, submerged objects like rocks and structures may not be visible, the shock of cold water can make it difficult to swim, plus strong currents can sweep people away.
This activity is becoming increasingly popular and although we realise we cant stop everyone who wants to participate in this activity, we urge people to use common sense and consider the advice on offer:
Think before you jump:
• Be aware of the depth of the water. Remember tides go in and out very quickly – it may start off deep enough but can quickly become shallower
• Be aware of hazards in the water. Rocks, groynes or debris under the sea may not be visible through the surface
• Never jump from any object into the sea while under the influence of alcohol or peer pressure
• Consider the risk to others. Young children may be easily influenced by the behaviour they witness.
(End of quote).
Further advice can be obtained from this page on the MCA website.