Hampshire Constabulary and Cowes Harbour Commission are issuing a joint warning following reports of youths tombstoning into the water from Trinity Landing and Totland Pier on the North Coast of the Island.
In a recent incident, a Cowes Harbour Commission Berthing Master had gone to warn a large group ‘tombstoning’ from Trinity Landing and the Royal Yacht Squadron breakwater in Cowes Harbour about the risks they were taking and their irresponsible behaviour.
After being subjected to a barrage of verbal abuse and threats of violence he requested police support via the Coastguard.
Harbour Master Stuart McIntosh of Cowes Harbour Commission said:
“The waters of Cowes Harbour, in particular those near the fairway, moorings and berthing areas, are no place for swimmers.
“The implication of strong tides, obscured rocks and obstructions, dense traffic, and shallow water, means that swimming is a prohibited activity in this part of the Harbour.
“Anyone who fails to comply with this could be liable to a fine of up to £2,500.”
Inspector Adam Henderson-Parish of West Wight TPT said:
“Tombstoning is considered to be life-threatening and dangerous behaviour.
“It is very hard to judge the depth of water due to swell and sea conditions. Serious injuries are often sustained when hitting the seabed or an underwater obstruction.
“A thrilling dare for you and your friends can have a deadly and devastating effect, particularly on families dealing with the traumatic aftermath of injuries caused by tombstoning.”