CCTV shots show girl being helped to leap off jetty in Portsmouth

One of the CCTV pictures from Eastney Pier
One of the CCTV pictures from Eastney Pier

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IT’S an act of stupidity that beggars belief.

An adult is captured on camera lowering a teenager off a jetty into the treacherous waters at the mouth of Langstone Harbour.

One might think he would step in and tell them to stop.

Instead, he appears to help a teenager over the railings of the jetty at Eastney and help her on her way.

The scene was captured by a CCTV camera at Eastney Cruising Association in Ferry Road.

Bob Evans, sailing secretary, was stunned when he viewed the images.

He said: ‘I always thought that this was a problem with unsupervised kids – but as you can see, the photos show a man who appears to help his a girl over the railings before she throws herself off.

‘You’ll also see how close the boats – many are our members – can sometimes get to these kids in the water and that particular spot has a very strong tide especially on the ebb.

‘Kids’ heads and boat propellers need to be kept far apart.’

Tombstoning has continued this summer, with boys seen jumping off the jetty at Eastney last month.

Councillor Neill Young, who is in charge of children’s services in Portsmouth, said they were risking life and limb and he was concerned they were jumping in near a sewage outlet.

Jacqui Unal, 49, the mother of 27-year-old Sonny Wells, who was left paralysed after jumping 30ft from South Parade Pier six years ago, was shocked by the images.

Jacqui, from Havant, said: ‘You only have to look at what happened to Sonny. I’m speechless.’

Louise MacCallum, from the Langstone Harbour Board, which manages the stretch of water, said: ‘I can totally understand why people want to cool off by going in the sea.

‘I know all too well that the sea can be a very dangerous place. You should always treat the coast with respect.

‘It’s easy to forget that when the sea is blue and everyone is eating ice creams.

‘If you are jumping into the sea, you don’t know what’s underneath and you could be injured or worse.’

She added: ‘There are currents there that are very strong.

‘We also have some big ships coming in and out and to spot a person in the sea is not always easy from a boat.

‘On the coast at Hayling Island and Southsea, there are beaches with lifeguards where it might be safe to swim.’