‘Tombstoning’ makes unwelcome return in heatwave

A man dives off of the sea wall near Old Portsmouth, as Britain has sweltered on the hottest day of the year so far, with soaring temperatures sparking a surge in calls for medical help and causing delays on the railway. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Tuesday July 19, 2016. Temperatures reached 32.2C (89.9F) at Brize Norton on Tuesday afternoon, the Met Office said, with the mercury predicted to reach 35C (95F) by the end of the day - making it hotter than Barcelona. See PA story WEATHER Hottest. Photo credit should read: Jonathan Brady/PA Wire WEATHER_Hottest_153741.JPG
A man dives off of the sea wall near Old Portsmouth, as Britain has sweltered on the hottest day of the year so far, with soaring temperatures sparking a surge in calls for medical help and causing delays on the railway. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Tuesday July 19, 2016. Temperatures reached 32.2C (89.9F) at Brize Norton on Tuesday afternoon, the Met Office said, with the mercury predicted to reach 35C (95F) by the end of the day - making it hotter than Barcelona. See PA story WEATHER Hottest. Photo credit should read: Jonathan Brady/PA Wire WEATHER_Hottest_153741.JPG
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​FEARS have been raised that the safety message over ‘tombstoning’ is not getting through.

It comes after these pictures were taken during this week’s heatwave.

A picture taken by Graham Dooley of a man leaping into the sea from Sally Port in Old Portsmouth

A picture taken by Graham Dooley of a man leaping into the sea from Sally Port in Old Portsmouth

One shows a man diving into the water from the sea walls by the Square Tower, while the other captures someone in mid-flight from the nearby Sally Port.

The daredevils were spotted risking their lives, despite repeated calls for people not to take risks.

Semi-retired Graham Dooley, 66, was visiting his partner in Portsmouth when they saw a large group of young people tombstoning from Sally Port in Old Portsmouth.

He recalls watching a friend of his die when they were teenagers after a tombstoning accident in Weymouth.

Mr Dooley said: ‘I was with a gang of fellow apprentices in Weymouth, when I watched my friend dive from the bridge into the harbour.

‘The water was shallow and he broke his neck. He later died.

‘In Southsea, there were kids as young as eight or nine jumping in. The shallow tide meant that they barely made it into the water.

‘I’m not trying to curb people’s fun, but someone could get seriously hurt.’

According to the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents, 139 people were hospitalised between 2004 and 2008 as a result of tombstoning.

In 2014, there were 14 deaths from jumping or diving into water.

In 2008, Sonny Wells broke his neck after diving from South Parade Pier, leaving him paralysed from the chest down.