THE dangers of tombstoning have been highlighted after a worrying incident saw a man rescued after jumping from Southend Pier.

Coastguard teams brought the man to safety and he was rushed to hospital.

Councillors in the city have spoken out and urged visitors to the seafront to be mindful of the dangers.

Tombstoning is a high-risk activity where people jump or dive from height into water, often from piers, jetties, cliffs and bridges.

Visitors have been warned the water may be shallower than people think and there may be hidden dangers on the seabed.

Aston Line, Westborough ward Labour councillor, said: “Southend is a tourist town, and we want people to have fun, but it’s vital they do so safely.

“It’s really important that people know to respect the sea and its dangers. We should never needlessly put ourselves or others into harm’s way.”

James Courtenay, councillor responsible for community safety and public protection, urged people to be cautious in the water.

He said: “Our pier is safe and safeguarding measures include extensive CCTV coverage, community safety foot patrols and close partnership with all relevant agencies, including HM Coastguard and the RNLI, to help keep our visitors safe.

“With all these safety measures in place, it’s also really important that visitors continue to play their part, take extra care and be aware of their surroundings.”

In 2020, pictures showed a woman tombstoning off Westcliff’s sea wall, diving head first into the shallow water below.

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

It sparked the crew to issue an urgent warning to visitors to the coastline.

In another incident four teenagers were treated by coastguard and RNLI teams after the group were jumped into the water off the pier in Shoebury.

According to the HM Coastguard website, people can reduce the risks by not “jumping, going into the water under the influence of alcohol, drugs or peer pressure, and by trying coasteering with a registered provider”.