THE RNLI has issued a warning about the dangers of tombstoning ahead of the weekend after two people narrowly avoided injury.

Tombstoning is the action of jumping or diving from a height into water.

Lifeboat crews were called to Brighton Palace Pier at around 6pm on Thursday evening following reports of two people in trouble after jumping off the west side of the pier.

The crew were stood down en route when it was confirmed both were okay.

Brighton RNLI lifeboat operations manager Roger Cohen MBE said the pair had a lucky escape as there was a low tide at the time.

He said: “Jumping from piers and groynes can be incredibly dangerous at any state of the tide for a number of reasons, such as submerged rocks and strong currents.

“We realise that it’s tempting to jump from a height into the water, especially with such great weather, but submerged items may not be visible and could cause serious injury if you hit them.

“The shock of cold water may also make it difficult to swim and, in some places, strong currents might sweep you away.”

The Argus: RNLI Brighton lifeboat "Random Harvest" by Brighton Palace PierRNLI Brighton lifeboat "Random Harvest" by Brighton Palace Pier

While the RNLI said they do not advocate people tombstoning, they said people who do can take steps to reduce the risk of injury, which include checking for hazards in the water like submerged rocks, checking for access to ensure they can get out of the water, and never entering the water under the influence of alcohol, drugs or peer pressure.

The charity is also urging anyone visiting the coast this summer to make sure they keep themselves and their families safe.

They encourage those taking to the water to visit a lifeguarded beach and swim between the yellow and red flags, check local tide times and hazard signage, and to keep a close eye on friends and family.

The RNLI also said that anyone who falls in the water unexpectedly should fight the instinct to thrash around and instead lean back, extend your arms and legs, and float.

In an emergency, people are urged to dial 999 or 112 and ask for the Coastguard.