IT’S a fresh warning over a dangerous craze that can leave people horribly injured or worse.
South Central Ambulance Service has warned people to avoid the potentially-deadly ‘tombstoning’ fad this summer.
It involves jumping into water from a great height and is popular in Southampton where youngsters frequently jump off bridges and cliffs into the Itchen and the Test.
Redbridge Causeway is one of the biggest hotspots where youngsters leap from 25 feet above the water.
A spokesman for the service said: “We would definitely warn against anyone doing that due to the unknown dangers and hazardous that lurk beneath the water line.”
One victim of the craze is 31-year-old Nick Biddlecombe, from Blackfield, who shattered his neck after hitting a submerged rock in a jump at Lepe Beach when he was 17.
He was left wheelchair bound and requires 24-hour care.
And as reported by the Daily Echo, his mum branded Olympic champion runner Mo Farah “irresponsible” earlier this year after the double gold medallist was pictured tombstoning off a cliff in the Caribbean.
The warning comes as part of a wider campaign to encourage child safety around all bodies of water, from ponds and swimming pools to rivers and the sea.
Tony Heselton, paramedic & SCAS safeguarding lead said: “Over the last couple of months we have seen an increase in the amount of calls we are attend that involve children and young people in or around water.
“We would like to encourage members of the public to stay safe around water whether that be paddling pools, swimming pools, garden ponds or even open water. It is vitally important that people heed this advice and only attempt to swim in safe areas where there are the appropriate safety precautions should you get into difficulty.”
Dangers include hidden currents, deep water, steep and slimy banks and polluted water.
SCAS recommends erecting meshing and netting around any home water hazards as well as supervising children around baths and sinks.
For Twitter updates on the SCAS #summersafe campaign follow @scas999.