Lifeguards warn against tomb stoning after Cromer incidents

Lifeguards have warned 'tomb stoners' that they could end up in a wheelchair or die after being called to four incidents at Cromer Pier in the past fortnight.

On Wednesday a man jumped off the pier at low tide into just four feet of water.

In recent years there has been a surge in incidents of tomb stoning where thrill-seekers jump vertically from cliffs and other high points into water.

An RNLI spokesman said the latest jumper was 'extremely lucky' not to have suffered serious injury.

Last week lifeguards and police talked down a man who was threatening to jump off the pier and the previous week lifeguards intercepted and stopped two people who had started to climb over the pier's railings in a bid to jump.

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Stuart Thompson, RNLI lifeguard manager for East Anglia, said: 'These people have all been extremely lucky. They are dicing with potential paralysis and maybe even death.

'In the past few years there have been several high-profile incidents of people being paralysed for life by tomb stoning into shallow water.

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'We strongly advise against tomb stoning – which means literally jumping to your death. There are many perils including underwater hazards like rocks and low levels of water to be aware of. Also the shock of cold water may make it difficult to swim and strong currents can rapidly sweep people away.'

He advised that risks could be reduced by checking for hazards, the depth of water - a jump of 10 metres requires a depth of at least five metres - risks to others, a safe exit, and said no-one should jump under the influence of alcohol, drugs or because of peer pressure.

Three years ago this month 33-year-old father Lee Griffin drowned after jumping from Cromer Pier with another man after fishing and drinking cider.

While his friend managed to make it safely back to shore, Mr Griffin, from Roughton, fell victim to strong currents concentrated on the groyne nearest to the east side of the pier and disappeared below the water.

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