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High Jump…

Fancy the High Jump?

You don’t have to be in and around Portsmouth for very long before you realise that the seafront has a number of hotspots that people use to cool off whenever there’s some warm weather.

Tombstoning is, let’s not beat about the bush, bloody stupid. End of. In 2008 a tombstoner was paralysed for life after leaping off the South Parade Pier. He jumped from a height of 30 feet into water that was only 3.5 feet deep. You do the maths. He might as well have leapt directly onto concrete. Other locations across the City where tombstoning takes place include Whale Island, Camber Dock and along the seafront including both the Square and Round Towers.

Take a walk, enjoy the views, chill out and enjoy yourself. But don’t even think about doing a spot of casual leaping from any or all of them. Because it might just kill you – or, if you’re lucky, you’ll get away with a spot of light paralysis. All those liquid meals and needing someone else to wipe your backside for you, for the rest of your life, doesn’t sound appealing to us…

There are three major risks associated with Tombstoning:


The water is going to be a lot, LOT colder than you think. This can cause cramping, collapse, even heart failure.


That is, hitting rocks or the bottom of shallow water, or missing the water altogether. This can lead to death or serious paraplegic spinal injury.


These can sweep you into or under obstructions, or even out to sea. And what was 30 feet deep water an hour ago might only be three feet deep a few hours later.

There are plenty of examples. Just go to Google and enter “Tombstoning deaths”. And have a read. But hey – we’re not complete killjoys at Mayhem!. Because there is an alternative for you thrill seekers out there…


Coasteering is a mixture of swimming, climbing, scrambling, and traversing the coastline. When it is safe to do so coasteering also allows you to jump into the sea from height. You can explore areas of the coast that you would never normally see. Coasteering is ideally a group activity that allows you to have fun with your mates and fellow adrenaline junkies. It’s still a dangerous activity, and there’s still an element of risk involved. But if you must do it, then at least show some responsibility and check the BCF out before deciding if you want to take it any further.

To find out more visit the Coasteering Federation website.

Written by Edward Couzens-Lake