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Teen breaks leg after diving off Worthing Pier
7:00am Wednesday 16th April 2014 in News
Warnings have been made against tombstoning after a teenager broke his leg in three places diving off a pier and into sand.
The 18-year-old dived off Worthing Pier but the tide was out and he crashed into the sand and was injured.
A South East Coast Ambulance (SECAmb) spokesman said the teen had plunged the depth of a “double-decker” bus, which is around 16ft.
He said: “This should serve as a huge warning ahead of the Easter Bank Holiday when there could be a lot of people on Sussex’s beaches.”
He confirmed the teenager suffered a broken leg after “jumping from the pier”.
Sussex Police added: “The ambulance service called to report that an 18-year-old man had sustained a broken leg after jumping from Worthing Pier and was being taken by road ambulance to Worthing Hospital.
“The report suggested he was trying to dive into water but instead hit the beach.”
A spokesman from the Royal National Lifeboat Institute added: “The charity does strongly recommend people refrain from jumping into water from a height – so-called ‘tombstoning’.
‘Difficulties’ “It is seen as fun by some, but a number of people have been left so badly hurt by jumping from a height into the sea that they will never walk again.
“We would remind people it can be incredibly difficult to tell the depth of the water as you look over the edge on to the surface, and remember the tide can go in and out very quickly, so while the water can be deep during parts of the day, it can soon become shallow.
“That means a person would be leaping towards the seabed with not much water in the way to break their fall.
“In addition, younger children might look up to older ones, so if they see others jumping from a pier, cliff or harbour wall, they might do it as well.
“Unfortunately, though, they may not be strong enough to swim to safety. Put simply, our advice is to enjoy the sea, but enjoy it responsibly.”
The teenager was injured at 5pm on Monday.
On Twitter Tiffany-Jayn said: “The air ambulance is on the beach next to Worthing Pier at the moment.
“Not confirmed, but I overheard someone saying he jumped of Worthing Pier, mucking about. Broken leg/ankle.”
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