Warnings over danger of tombstoning in Old Portsmouth

Tombstoners jumping into the old Portsmouth waters in Hampshire at the historic Hot Walls
Tombstoners jumping into the old Portsmouth waters in Hampshire at the historic Hot Walls

Leisure centre wins prestigious award in national fitness contest

  • Council leader and RNLI warn of dangers of tombstoning
  • More people seen taking the leap over the weekend
  • Warning comes ahead of summer holidays
0
Have your say

DAREDEVILS have been sent a stark warning about the dangers of tombstoning.

These pictures show that young people are still leaping from the Hot Walls in Old Portsmouth, despite several warnings about the dangers of tombstoning over recent years.

The 35ft drop into the water is in a rocky area and the water is often shallow.

And many people across the country have died or suffered serious injuries.

In May 2008 Sonny Wells, from Waterlooville, was paralysed by jumping off South Parade Pier.

Councillor Donna Jones, leader of Portsmouth City Council, said people need to listen to the warnings about the dangers.

With every single jump a person takes on the hot walls in Old Portsmouth they are literally putting their lives in their own hands

Donna Jones, city council leader

‘With every single jump a person takes on the Hot Walls in Old Portsmouth they are literally taking their lives in their own hands,’ she said.

‘Countless people over the years have been paralysed by jumping into extremely shallow waters or worse still, hitting the side on the way down.

‘It’s an incredibly dangerous thing to do and I would encourage everybody not to do it.’

The warnings come ahead of the school summer holidays, which begin at the end of the month.

Keith Colwell is the RNLI’s coastal safety manager.

The charity has been called out countless times over the years to places up and down the country.

Mr Colwell said: ‘Tombstoning 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 and can cause serious injury if you jump onto them.

‘The shock of cold water may also make it difficult to swim and strong currents can rapidly sweep people away.’

Last year, the RNLI responded to 18 incidents of tombstoning across the country.

The charity started a campaign in 2014 called Respect the Water. The campaign focuses on how to stay safe while in the sea.

To find out more information about the campaign please visit rnli.org/RespectTheWater.