Warning for tombstoners

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AS TEMPERATURES rose to 27 degrees a RNLI crew member warned beach-goers in Seaford to keep safe following reports of people tombstoning in Sussex.

The dangerous craze, which sees people risk their lives by jumping into the sea from a cliff or other high point, has led to people being injured and in some cases dying.

Visitors to the town and residents have been flocking to the beach and enjoying the latest warm weather.

But Alan Novis, search and rescue navigator for the Newhaven RNLI, is urging people not to run the risk of ruining their day out.

He said, “I would obviously discourage it [tombstoning], if you don’t know the depth of the water there could be obstructions which could cause a life-threatening injury.

“We had a person off the Newhaven Breakwater a few years ago who was unconscious.

“It’s something that is especially a problem when you don’t know the depth of the water.

“It’s really, really important that people know what they are doing.”

Mr Novis has also urged people who are out in boats to make sure they are well equipped.

The RNLI has been on hand to rescue several people in the Seaford and Newhaven areas who have found themselves stuck after their vessels suffered from mechanical failure.

He said, “A lot of mechanical failures can be down to bad luck but I would strongly advise people when going out on any vessel to take a VHF radio rather than rely on mobiles.

“It can be picked up anywhere on the sea whereas if mobiles come into contact with salt water they will pack up straight away.

“We have a direction finder on the boat and we can find people even if they don’t know where they are.”

Last week groups of young men were seen tombstoning from the doughnut groyne, next to the Palace Pier.