Warnings over ‘tombstoning’ as teen injured

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Fresh warnings have been issued over the dangers of tombstoning after a teenaged damaged his ankle in North Tyneside this week.

Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) lifeguards rushed to the aid of a teenager at Longsands beach on Tuesday, June 30, after he jumped into the sea and injured his ankle.

The incident occurred when the 19-year-old leapt into the sea from the promenade near the disused swimming pool.

Owing to the shallow depth of the water the casualty injured his ankle on impact and was unable to swim.

RNLI lifeguards Liam Hogg and Sandy Keer had spotted the teenager and were en-route to offer him some safety advice, but he jumped before they could reach him.

As the tombstoner was in a difficult location they launched their inshore rescue boat and took him back to the beach for treatment.

After performing a casualty care assessment the charity’s lifeguards stabilised the teenager’s ankle and reassured him.

aramedics then took him to hospital for treatment for a suspected broken ankle.

Senior RNLI lifeguard, Sandy Keer, said: “The teenager was very distressed when we reached him and in considerable pain. Our main priority was to get him to the safety of the beach for treatment.

“Tombstoning can be a hazardous activity and he could have sustained life changing injuries.

“It’s important to remember that water depth alters with the tide – the water may be shallower than it seems, obscuring submerged objects like rocks, which can cause serious impact injuries if you land on them.

Sandy added: “After leaping into the sea, strong currents can rapidly sweep people away and the shock of cold water can make it very difficult to swim.

“Our charity would always urge people to come and ask the lifeguards for advice on tide times and about the safe areas in which to swim.’