“This is extremely dangerous and a potential risk to life.” Youths warned of dangers of ‘tombstoning’ into the sea at Exmouth

PUBLISHED: 17:00 08 August 2018

'Tombstoning' into the entrance of Exmouth docks on Friday evening. Photo by Simon Horn. Ref exe 0925-18-13SH

'Tombstoning' into the entrance of Exmouth docks on Friday evening. Photo by Simon Horn. Ref exe 0925-18-13SH


Youths seen jumping into the water from the sea wall off Mamhead Slipway are putting their lives at risk of serious injury, paralysis or death.

Beachgoers are being warned of the dangers of ‘tombstoning’ at Exmouth after reports young people have been spotted cooling down by jumping from the sea wall over the path, or rock armour, into the sea.

East Devon District Council said it ‘cannot emphasise enough’ the numerous high risk factors associated with diving or jumping into unknown deep water.

A district council spokeswoman said the currents going past Mamhead Slipway were ‘extremely strong’ and advised that no-one jumps into the water at this point.

She said: “This is extremely dangerous and a potential risk to life.”

Councillor Tom Wright, East Devon District Council’s portfolio holder for the environment, urged anyone jumping into the sea to first check for hazards and water depth, and consider the impact to others.

He said: “Jumping into water from height – or tombstoning – can have severe and life threatening consequences and people need to stop and seriously consider how hazardous this kind of activity can be.

“Not only that, but they may also pose a risk to others, who may risk their lives trying to save them.

“Water changes depth with the tide and may be shallower than it appears.

“Submerged items may not be visible and can cause serious injury or paralysis if you hit them.

“Then there is the shock of cold water, which may make it difficult to swim and can even lead to a heart attack.

“Anyone considering jumping into the sea from height should always check for hazards in the water like submerged rocks, check the depth of the water because a jump of 10 metres requires a depth of at least five metres.

“Never jump while under the influence of alcohol, drugs or peer pressure and always check for access because it may be impossible to get out of the water.

Cllr Wright added: “However, we strongly advise that you should never jump in the first place.

“Consider instead Coasteering with a registered company, which may be a safer alternative,” he added.

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