Worrying pictures show a woman "tombstoning" off Westcliff's sea wall.

The pictures, revealed to the Echo by the Chalkwell Lifeguards club, which was called to the scene yesterday afternoon, show a woman diving head first off the sea wall into the "shallow water" below.

Southend's Coastguard teams have criticised the woman, and a member of her family, as they began tombstoning moments after she, herself, became stuck 500m out to sea.

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The woman had become stuck half a kilometre off the Westcliff shoreline, with a family member calling 999.

But the swimmer made it back to the beach before the RNLI and HM Southend Coastguard teams reached her.


Warning - the woman has previously become stuck 500m out

A spokesman from the Chalkwell Lifeguards club, said: "We received reports of a female swimmer jumping and diving head first off a high section of the sea wall at Westcliff sea wall, opposite the Arches cafe into shallow water on Thursday afternoon.


"Chalkwell Lifeguards mobile beach patrol members responded to this report and were first on scene on land and provided safety advice to the individual concerned.

"This new trend known as tombstoning is an extremely hazardous activity and is not recommended by any of the Emergency Services.


"As soon as Southend Coastguard and The RNLI arrived on scene on land, we handed over this incident and stood down and returned to their HQ at Chalkwell Beach. 

"During these extremely hot days and challenging times, members of the public are reminded to stay well hydrated, stay alert and stay safe when in or around any stretches of water, especially in the Thames Estuary where currents can be strong and weather conditions unpredictable."