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Call to ban kids’ deadly jump craze

By Peter Barnett
Margate coastguard Pete Overton: "People don't realise how dangerous these areas can be."

Daredevil youngsters are risking serious injury or death leaping from harbours and promenades into the seas around the Thanet coast.

Known as ‘tombstoning’, the summer seaside craze has sparked a school holidays warning from local coastguard Pete Overton.

The deputy manager for the town’s emergency service said: “The jumpers are taking incredible risks.

“Every year young people around the UK are killed or badly hurt ‘tombstoning’. There have been fatalities at Broadstairs and at St Mildred’s Bay at Westgate in the past.”

Mr Overton remains firm in his belief that legal action should be taken to outlaw the craze.

He said: “It is a personal opinion but I believe that some form of statutory measures like a bye-law should be introduced.”

He said Margate and Ramsgate harbours and the concrete proms were favourite spots for the sea jumpers.

He added: “They can never really judged the depth of the water they are leaping into, and whether or not there will be obstructions and objects below the water line. Leaping off proms is dangerous."

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