Daredevils warned of dangers of tombstoning

New notices have gone up in Cullercoats Bay in a bid to prevent people from tombstoning.
New notices have gone up in Cullercoats Bay in a bid to prevent people from tombstoning.

DAREDEVILS are being urged not to put their lives at risk by jumping off North Tyneside’s cliffs into the North Sea.

Every year, coastal emergency teams are called out to deal with cases of tombstoning along the North Tyneside coast by young men and teenagers.

Now, coastguards are trialling a new scheme which, if successful, could be employed nationwide next year.

Warning signs are being put up along the coast at Cullercoats at locations popular with tombstoners at Marconi Point and Brown’s Bay.

The signs warn those thinking of jumping in that others have suffered serious injuries while doing so in the past.

Coastguard official Greg Albrighton said: “Tombstoning has been a problem over the last five years. It seems to be ever-increasing and we’ve had a few serious injuries and a few deaths.

“Each year, coastguards look at what is happening across the UK then try to put preventable strategies in place. These signs are the ones we have come up with this year.

“We’re putting the signs up and I’ll also be involved with youth clubs and schools to get the message across.

“If we can stop a percentage doing it, then that might translate into fewer injuries and deaths and less callouts for emergency teams.

“Tombstoning all depends on the weather. The warmer the weather, the more risk of people tombstoning.

“This is something that should be completely preventable, but accidents and injuries do seem to be increasing over the years.

“The school holidays are by far our busiest time, with the two and three weeks either side, when the weather is warm.”

“There is also peer pressure and the involvement of alcohol.” he said.

Anyone who spots people jumping off cliffs is urged to contact either the coastguard or the police.

“I know the police are keen to stop this as well,” added Mr Albrighton. “They want to decrease the number of incidents and stamp it out if possible.”