THRILLSEEKERS have been warned about the dangers of tombstoning this summer.
Coastguards are issuing the message as temperatures continue to rise and more people take to the water.
National figures show 18 swimmers have died and 57 have been seriously injured as a result of jumping off cliffs, rocks and other high places since 2007.
A spokeswoman for the Maritime and Coastguard Agency said: ‘We always urge people to have fun but to stay safe when out enjoying our beautiful coastline, but jumping from piers, cliffs and rocks – or tombstoning as it is also known – is a big concern as it’s extremely dangerous.
‘Water depth alters with the tide so what was a deep pool at lunchtime might be a shallow puddle by teatime.
‘If you see someone in difficulty at the coast, call 999 and ask for the Coastguard.’
It comes after Hampshire police were called on Sunday about youths jumping from a moored boat into the water at the Camber Dock in Old Portsmouth. Action was taken to move them on.
Issues with tombstoning are also being seen as a ‘priority’ by the Safer Portsmouth Partnership this summer because of concerns raised by residents and councillors.
The partnership is made up of agencies committed to stamping out crime and other misbehaviour.
Community wardens are warning people not to dive if they are under the influence of drink or drugs or because they are being spurred on by friends.
They also point out that submerged objects like rocks may not be visible and can cause serious injury if you jump onto them.
The shock of hitting cold water may also make it difficult to swim and strong currents can quickly sweep people away.
Cllr Luke Stubbs, deputy leader of Portsmouth City Council, said the authority was working to ensure tombstoning doesn’t become a huge problem this summer.
‘Everyone knows that tombstoning is high risk,’ he said.
‘The council strongly recommends that no-one engages in this activity we will be working with the police and other agencies to ensure people remain safe.’