Cliff jumpers are rescued

Four teenagers were rescued after jumping 70ft off a cliff in Cullercoats.

The quartet had been ‘tombstoning’ from Pigeons Point at 4.15pm last Tuesday when they were unable to get out of the sea due to the strong current.

RNLI lifeguard Tom Hepburn saw the boys in difficulty and paddled to them on his paddleboard, with three holding onto his board.

Fellow lifeguard Elliot Rogers was able to get to the scene and keep the fourth boy afloat while the inshore lifeboat was being despatched.

The group, aged 13 to 16, were brought back to safety and given advice on jumping from the cliffs.

Senior RNLI lifeguard Beth McDonald said: “The lads were incredibly lucky to walk away with no injuries. Tombstoning can be a hazardous activity as after leaping into the sea, strong currents can rapidly sweep people away.”

“The swift teamwork of the RNLI lifeguards meant the rescue had a happy outcome but the situation could have been a lot more serious.

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

Chris Mason, RNLI lifeguard supervisor, added: “Leaping into the sea from a height can seem quite exciting and young people often give it a go because of peer pressure.

“However, a key thing to consider is 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.

“The sea is an amazing environment but, as our charity’s current safety campaign Respect the Water highlights, there are sometimes hidden hazards and water needs to be enjoyed responsibly.”

For more information about Respect the Water visit