'Tombstoning' warning as teens seen jumping into sea in Porthleven

'Tombstoning' warning as teens seen jumping into sea in Porthleven

'Tombstoning' warning as teens seen jumping into sea in Porthleven

First published in News

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.”

Comments (4)

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7:58am Fri 15 Aug 14

Gill Z Martin says...

I and my family always used to jump in from the wall, to swim at both Porthleven harbour and Mullion harbour, but never from the rocks or cliffs. However, we no longer do so, following the storms there is no guarantee that there are not underwater obstructions that were not originally there. When swimming from the beach at Porthleven we always swim in the life guarded area.
Perhaps a few notices in appropriate places warning of the dangers of tombstoning may help, including in holiday lets, it is not only locals that participate in this dangerous activity, as speaking to some visitors will prove.
I and my family always used to jump in from the wall, to swim at both Porthleven harbour and Mullion harbour, but never from the rocks or cliffs. However, we no longer do so, following the storms there is no guarantee that there are not underwater obstructions that were not originally there. When swimming from the beach at Porthleven we always swim in the life guarded area. Perhaps a few notices in appropriate places warning of the dangers of tombstoning may help, including in holiday lets, it is not only locals that participate in this dangerous activity, as speaking to some visitors will prove. Gill Z Martin
  • Score: 5

12:16pm Fri 15 Aug 14

Helston John says...

I agree about the holiday makers doing it as well, I spoke to some up at Trebarwith Strand North Cornwall when I was working up there before and they were saying they hadn't got any cliffs like that where they lived and it was a novelty. You'll never stop the kids just jumping off the harbour wall though in Mullion and Porthleven because you can see how high the tide is there.
I agree about the holiday makers doing it as well, I spoke to some up at Trebarwith Strand North Cornwall when I was working up there before and they were saying they hadn't got any cliffs like that where they lived and it was a novelty. You'll never stop the kids just jumping off the harbour wall though in Mullion and Porthleven because you can see how high the tide is there. Helston John
  • Score: 3

8:06pm Fri 15 Aug 14

Gill Z Martin says...

I agree it is very difficult to stop people, one can gauge the tide and water depth easily at Mullion, however, since the storms there are now added dangers. People are already climbing round the metal barriers and jumping from the wall that is still damaged.
I agree it is very difficult to stop people, one can gauge the tide and water depth easily at Mullion, however, since the storms there are now added dangers. People are already climbing round the metal barriers and jumping from the wall that is still damaged. Gill Z Martin
  • Score: 3

8:07am Sat 16 Aug 14

Helston John says...

Well the National Trust need to get on and either mend both walls at Mullion or take them down or secure them from entry properly.
Well the National Trust need to get on and either mend both walls at Mullion or take them down or secure them from entry properly. Helston John
  • Score: 1

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