IMAGES of a boy “tombstoning” in Porthleven have sparked a warning from the RNLI over the dangers of the sport that is becoming |increasingly popular on Cornish coastlines.
The unidentified teenager was shown in the national press jumping from the old pillbox in Porthleven into water dozens of feet below.
Underneath him, between the coast and the water, rocks jut out 15 feet from the cliff base. His friends are seen standing on |pillbox as well, watching and preparing to |possibly leap too.
The Maritime and Coastguard Agency has said that at that location in the last five years there has been one suspected spinal injury and one serious |fracture.
The sport of tombstoning has recently increased in |popularity and has caused 20 deaths and 76 severe injuries since 2005.
Whilst it is an adrenaline rush for participants, shallow water, hazardous rocks and debris lurking on the seabed are all perils they may face when jumping in.
James Millidge, community |incident reduction manager for the RNLI, said: “Tombstoning is incredibly dangerous and the RNLI urges people not to do it for their own safety.
“People cannot be sure how deep the water is underneath where they’re jumping, which can lead to some very serious injuries. With the tide constantly changing, an area of deep water can become shallow quickly and people may not realise this as it’s difficult to spot from above the water.
“There may be hidden dangers under the surface such as |submerged objects and the impact of hitting the water can lead to cold water shock. The shock of cold water may also make it difficult to swim and strong currents can |rapidly sweep people away.”