A warning has been issued by Cornwall Council, particularly targeting young people, to highlight the dangers of tomb-stoning – the unregulated and unsupervised high risk activity of jumping or diving from a height into water.
Tomb-stoning can be dangerous because:
- Water depth alters with the tide; the water may be shallower than it seems
- Submerged objects like rocks may not be visible; they can cause serious injury if you jump onto them
- The shock of cold water may make it difficult to swim
- Strong currents can rapidly sweep people away
Cornwall Council Community Safety Manager Tamsin Lees said: “In some cases, young people are drinking alcohol in areas of Cornwall where tomb-stoning is popular. Mixing alcohol with water activities is particularly dangerous, and we would strongly advise young people to think about what it would be like if one of their friends were to be killed or seriously injured. We want young people to have fun, but please, avoid tomb-stoning and stay alive to enjoy next year.”
Paul Walker, Chief Fire Officer for Cornwall Fire, Rescue and Community Safety Service said: “The statistics show the devastating impact this high risk activity can have and I ask people to refrain from Tomb-stoning along the Cornwall coastline. Stay safe by accessing and enjoying the sea in designated areas where your safety is monitored by professional RNLI Lifeguards.”
Cornwall Council cabinet member communities Geoff Brown said: “Tomb-stoning can be dangerous or potentially even fatal and is a problem in many areas of the UK including inland waters. The message is clear if you do not know that the depth of the water is safe or you cannot see what is below the surface DON’T JUMP. Think before you get involved. Don’t let alcohol; drugs or your friends affect your judgement. Even if you think you are jumping safely, children may be watching you and copy your actions.”
If you want to report a dangerous incident, please call 999 and ask for the coastguard.