Posted by: lifeboatlady | 04/08/2015

Don’t “Tombstone” into Water – Keep safe this summer!

School summer holiday time and families off to the Mulberry Harboursea  –  but there’s danger out there.

That’s why most beaches have information boards pointing out the hazards and how to keep safe at the seaside.

That’s why there are RNLI Lifeguards on busy beaches, and why there are more than 340 RNLI Lifeboats on call to carry out rescues.

People do silly things when they are by the sea.   They jump off piers, breakwaters, and the like with absolutely no idea what is in or under the water where they will land.   There may be jagged rocks;  there may be obstructions like old ironwork from long-abandoned jetties;  there may be strong currents in the water;  the water itself may be very deep or, just as dangerous for dives or jumps, very shallow.   It’s nicknamed “Tombstoning” and it’s a mad and reckless thing to do.   

Here’s a warning from Southend-on-Sea RNLI, one of the very busiest lifeboat stations which operates three inshore lifeboats and a hovercraft  –  great for getting across that mile-and-a-quarter of mud when the tide is out.   Just offshore from Thorpe Bay is part of the World War 2 Mulberry Harbour, which had to be abandoned there.   It sticks up out of the water, and at low tide it can be easily reached from the beach.   What’s more there’s a ladder up the side of it, just encouraging adventurers to climb on to it.

Not just danger from reckless climbing and jumping though, but the long, shallow foreshore means the tide rises quickly leading to people being cut off, and, of course, those who get stuck in the mud.   All of this means that this summer has been exceptionally busy for Southend RNLI.   In the first seven months of the year the crews have been called out 90 times, almost as much as in the whole of 2014.

Here’s the link to the story in the Echo Newspaper.   And don’t forget the message  –

Never Jump Off Piers, Breakwaters, River Banks, or Anything Else.   You Simply Don’t Know What’s in That Water.





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