Tombstoning is an activity which has occurred around the coast for generations, unfortunately over recent years it has gained attention for the wrong reasons, with a number of people killed or seriously injured.
This information below offers some essential advice for those considering tombstoning:
Why is it dangerous?
Tombstoning offers a high-risk, high-impact experience but it can have severe and life-threatening consequences. This is because:
- Water depths alter with the tide – the water may be shallower than it seems
- Submerged objects like rocks may not be visible – these can cause serious impact injuries
- The shock of cold water can make it difficult to swim
- Getting out of the water is often more difficult than people realise
- Strong currents can rapidly sweep people away
What can you do?
Don’t jump into the unknown. Consider the dangers before you take the plunge:
- Check for hazards in the water. Rocks or other objects may be submerged and difficult to see
- Check the depth of the water. Remember tides can rise and fall very quickly
- As a rule of thumb, a jump of ten metres requires a depth of at least five metres
- Never jump whilst under the influence of alcohol or drugs
- Check for access. It may be impossible to get out of the water
- Consider the risks to yourself and others. Conditions can change rapidly – young people could be watching and may attempt to mimic the activity. And, if you jump when you feel unsafe or pressured, you probably won’t enjoy the experience.
For further information and advice please visit the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA) website – https://www.rospa.com/leisure-safety/water/advice/tombstoning/