Tombstoning youths halt Southend speedboat rides

Police and Coastguard called to incident at Prince of Wales Jetty

Police and Coastguard called to incident at Prince of Wales Jetty

First published in News by

SPEEDBOAT rides on Southend seafront have been halted after a gang of youths, some as young as ten, were seen “tombstoning” in front of boats.

Southend Speed Boats has cancelled rides from the Prince of Wales Jetty, next to Adventure Island, in Marine Parade, for fear of hitting one of the youngsters, who hurled abuse at staff and passengers.

About 12 young people, aged between ten and 20, were “tombstoning”

which is diving or jumping off rocks, cliff faces and piers into a body of water.

Police and coastguards spoke to the gang, but failed to stop the horseplay, leading the firm to cancel rides yesterday, today, tomorrow and Sunday.

The owner, who asked not to be named, said: “They are putting their lives in danger. Some of them climb on to the hand rails of the jetty and do somersaults into the water.

“It’s only 5ft or 6ft deep and if they went in headfirst they would break their necks, but they won’t stop.

“They go under the jetty and spring up in front of the boat.

“If you go down there they threaten you and make abusive remarks.”

Tides and weather mean the boats only operate about 18 days a year, so the cancellation will hit profits hard.

Tombstoning has proved fatal in some cases as daredevils do not knowwhat lies beneath the water level.

Den Freeman, spokesman for the Southend RNLI, said: “Other than the dangers posed by the flowing water, it could be shallow or have hard objects just below the waterline which can cause serious injuries.

“Tombstoning can cause serious spinal injuries or death, it is a very dangerous activity.”

A spokesman for Thames Coastguard said: “Southend Coastguard Rescue Team and Essex Police were sent to a group of 12 youths tombstoning and being abusive at the Prince of Wales Jetty, in Southend.

“Advice was passed to the youths who then dispersed.”

A spokesman for the police said: “Police were contacted by the Thames Coastguard at 2.25pm on Wednesday, following reports that a number of youths were jumping off the Prince of Wales Jetty, and they were concerned for their safety.

“Officers attended the scene and the youths were moved on.”

Tombstoning is so named because participants aim to enter the water upright and straight, like a tombstone.

The deadly pursuit claimed the lives of two men who jumped off Clacton Pier in 2007 while drunk, and figures from the Maritime and Coastguard Agency state more than 20 others around the country have died from tombstoning since 2004.

Comments (14)

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8:00am Mon 4 Aug 14

pembury53 says...

should have just pretended not have seen them....... chop, gnarl, splat
should have just pretended not have seen them....... chop, gnarl, splat pembury53
  • Score: 32

8:35am Mon 4 Aug 14

Robin Reliant says...

"It’s only 5ft or 6ft deep and if they went in headfirst they would break their necks, but they won’t stop".

then let them carry on, problem solved.
"It’s only 5ft or 6ft deep and if they went in headfirst they would break their necks, but they won’t stop". then let them carry on, problem solved. Robin Reliant
  • Score: 35

8:51am Mon 4 Aug 14

Who_Flung_Dung says...

"Tides and weather mean the boats only operate about 18 days a year, so the cancellation will hit profits hard. "

At £4 a go, it wont hit profits that hard!!

................alth
ough i agree with the other comments, hit the kids (with the boat), they wont do it again!!
"Tides and weather mean the boats only operate about 18 days a year, so the cancellation will hit profits hard. " At £4 a go, it wont hit profits that hard!! ................alth ough i agree with the other comments, hit the kids (with the boat), they wont do it again!! Who_Flung_Dung
  • Score: 9

9:56am Mon 4 Aug 14

Robin Reliant says...

and i feel the reporter needs to search up the real tomb stoning, and then see the big difference there is to some 10 year olds mucking around jumping off this very small wooded platform/jetty and jumping from a high cliff face/bridge feet first into the water below, and a 'Gang'? really...tut tut tut.

also IF the public are not permitted onto that jetty and jump off it the authoritys should be dealing with it, or is it just another by-law that gets forgotten about, like riding on pavements, dogs off leads, dogs on the beach, fouling the footpath,cars parking along the 'new' seafront outside the pubs,littering so on and so forth.
and i feel the reporter needs to search up the real tomb stoning, and then see the big difference there is to some 10 year olds mucking around jumping off this very small wooded platform/jetty and jumping from a high cliff face/bridge feet first into the water below, and a 'Gang'? really...tut tut tut. also IF the public are not permitted onto that jetty and jump off it the authoritys should be dealing with it, or is it just another by-law that gets forgotten about, like riding on pavements, dogs off leads, dogs on the beach, fouling the footpath,cars parking along the 'new' seafront outside the pubs,littering so on and so forth. Robin Reliant
  • Score: -6

10:58am Mon 4 Aug 14

mr fast says...

Easter to September, do you mean 18 weeks? Surely not 18 days!
Easter to September, do you mean 18 weeks? Surely not 18 days! mr fast
  • Score: 7

12:39pm Mon 4 Aug 14

maxell says...

yet more dribble are you trying to tell me that there are weired obsticles that are beneath the surface that move about , and hide when the tide goes out so they cant be seen, if this is the case I feel the wrong story is being reported here , it is obvious that the area would be know to have no obsticles, I think any obsticles may just be noticed a low tide , of course I guess a submarine could drift in but it is doubtful. or a rather large ROCK eel
yet more dribble are you trying to tell me that there are weired obsticles that are beneath the surface that move about , and hide when the tide goes out so they cant be seen, if this is the case I feel the wrong story is being reported here , it is obvious that the area would be know to have no obsticles, I think any obsticles may just be noticed a low tide , of course I guess a submarine could drift in but it is doubtful. or a rather large ROCK eel maxell
  • Score: -2

12:58pm Mon 4 Aug 14

Who_Flung_Dung says...

I've lived in Southend all of my life, i can honestly say ive never seen a speedboat ride taking place!!
I've lived in Southend all of my life, i can honestly say ive never seen a speedboat ride taking place!! Who_Flung_Dung
  • Score: 7

1:52pm Mon 4 Aug 14

emcee says...

1. Jumping from a jetty into water is not "tombstoning", it is jumping into water from a jetty. It's summer, there is a jetty, a body of water, its what kids have done for eons.
2. Is the Jetty private property? If so then these youngsters are trasspassing and can be removed, physically if necessary. However, it would only become a police matter until it became "aggravated tresspass".
3. If the jetty is a public access jetty then there is not a whole lot that can be done about it. These youngsters would not be doing anything illegal. OK, so there may be the smallest chance they could hurt themselves at some point but this is no legal reason to stop them. This is purely a parental responsibility issue. As for the older ones, if they hurt themselves, hard luck.
1. Jumping from a jetty into water is not "tombstoning", it is jumping into water from a jetty. It's summer, there is a jetty, a body of water, its what kids have done for eons. 2. Is the Jetty private property? If so then these youngsters are trasspassing and can be removed, physically if necessary. However, it would only become a police matter until it became "aggravated tresspass". 3. If the jetty is a public access jetty then there is not a whole lot that can be done about it. These youngsters would not be doing anything illegal. OK, so there may be the smallest chance they could hurt themselves at some point but this is no legal reason to stop them. This is purely a parental responsibility issue. As for the older ones, if they hurt themselves, hard luck. emcee
  • Score: 10

4:06pm Mon 4 Aug 14

Robin Reliant says...

Who_Flung_Dung wrote:
I've lived in Southend all of my life, i can honestly say ive never seen a speedboat ride taking place!!
I have, its mostly day trippers down from the smoke.
[quote][p][bold]Who_Flung_Dung[/bold] wrote: I've lived in Southend all of my life, i can honestly say ive never seen a speedboat ride taking place!![/p][/quote]I have, its mostly day trippers down from the smoke. Robin Reliant
  • Score: 0

7:19am Tue 5 Aug 14

CHRISTMAS CAROL says...

Let them carry on and face the consequences
Let them carry on and face the consequences CHRISTMAS CAROL
  • Score: 1

8:55am Tue 5 Aug 14

Kim Gandy says...

maxell wrote:
yet more dribble are you trying to tell me that there are weired obsticles that are beneath the surface that move about , and hide when the tide goes out so they cant be seen, if this is the case I feel the wrong story is being reported here , it is obvious that the area would be know to have no obsticles, I think any obsticles may just be noticed a low tide , of course I guess a submarine could drift in but it is doubtful. or a rather large ROCK eel
"obsticles"?
[quote][p][bold]maxell[/bold] wrote: yet more dribble are you trying to tell me that there are weired obsticles that are beneath the surface that move about , and hide when the tide goes out so they cant be seen, if this is the case I feel the wrong story is being reported here , it is obvious that the area would be know to have no obsticles, I think any obsticles may just be noticed a low tide , of course I guess a submarine could drift in but it is doubtful. or a rather large ROCK eel[/p][/quote]"obsticles"? Kim Gandy
  • Score: 0

8:56am Tue 5 Aug 14

Kim Gandy says...

“Tombstoning can cause serious spinal injuries or death, it is a very dangerous activity.”

Tough. Don't do it then.

Morons..
“Tombstoning can cause serious spinal injuries or death, it is a very dangerous activity.” Tough. Don't do it then. Morons.. Kim Gandy
  • Score: 1

12:46pm Tue 5 Aug 14

Controversial1 says...

if it is that critical to business.... put the customers in a rowing boat - row them out 10 foot away from the jetty and start the speedboat ride from there avoiding the kids.
18 days business a year..... I think not
if it is that critical to business.... put the customers in a rowing boat - row them out 10 foot away from the jetty and start the speedboat ride from there avoiding the kids. 18 days business a year..... I think not Controversial1
  • Score: 0

12:47pm Tue 5 Aug 14

Controversial1 says...

Kim Gandy wrote:
“Tombstoning can cause serious spinal injuries or death, it is a very dangerous activity.”

Tough. Don't do it then.

Morons..
And is that what you say to your kids?
[quote][p][bold]Kim Gandy[/bold] wrote: “Tombstoning can cause serious spinal injuries or death, it is a very dangerous activity.” Tough. Don't do it then. Morons..[/p][/quote]And is that what you say to your kids? Controversial1
  • Score: 1

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