A man broke his ankle after ‘tombstoning’ off a slipway into shallow water

A man broke his ankle after jumping off a boat slipway while “tombstoning” over the weekend.

It has led to a warning from authorities about jumping into water from height – or tombstoning.

The man, who is in his 30s, was left with a broken ankle and cuts to his feet after landing in shallow water.

Porthcawl RNLI said he jumped from around 7ft into murky water he thought was deep enough on Sunday afternoon.

But in fact the water was just four feet deep and the man hit rocks below.

The charity has joined forces with Bridgend council to warn people not to jump into water.

Helmsman Carl Evans attended the scene and helped the man, who had managed to swim to the bottom of the slipway.

Porthcawl Coastguard Search and Rescue team members also attended.

Porthcawl Marina

Porthcawl RNLI Lifeboat Operations Manager Phil Missen said: “This incident reminds us how dangerous jumping into water from height – or tombstoning – can be.

“Water changes depth with the tide, so the water may be shallower than it looks. Submerged items may not be visible and can cause serious injury or paralysis if you hit them. The water can be a lot colder than it looks so the shock of cold water may also make it difficult to swim and strong currents can sweep you away. It’s really important that people think about the possible dangers. We want people to be in a position to make better, more informed choices to keep themselves and others safe.

“Coasteering with a registered company may be a safer alternative. Anyone considering jumping into the sea from height should always check for hazards in the water like submerged rocks, check the depth of the water knowing that, for example, a jump of 10m requires a depth of at least 5m. People should never jump while under the influence of alcohol, drugs or peer pressure. Also it is important to check for access because it may be impossible to get out of the water.”

A Bridgend council spokesman said: “We’re very keen to highlight the dangers of jumping into unknown waters.

“In Porthcawl, anyone leaping into the sea off the breakwater or slipway is also very near to Porthcawl Marina and therefore could be potentially putting themselves into the path of boats that are coming in and out of the marina. We cannot emphasise enough how dangerous this is.”


Article source: http://www.walesonline.co.uk/news/local-news/man-broke-ankle-after-tombstoning-13206295