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Children spotted tombstoning from Folkestone Harbour Arm prompting lockdown safety concern

Fears have been raised after a group of children were spotted tombstoning in Folkestone – but others say they don't see a problem with the stunt.

The youngsters, believed to be aged 13 or 14, were seen jumping off the Harbour Arm and into the sea earlier today.

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Watch as the children jump into the sea

But the act left one spectator concerned for the children's safety due to the possibility of rocks in the water and the apparent lack of social distancing.

While people are now allowed to visit beaches and parks, if you're from different households you must remain at least 2 metres apart to help prevent the spread of Covid-19.

The man, who wishes to remain anonymous, said: "In the video they are jumping from the middle level, but they were tombstoning from the top too.

"They had to swim out there and then jump off.

"We just thought to ourselves 'bloody hell'.

Children were seen jumping off the Harbour Arm at Folkestone
Children were seen jumping off the Harbour Arm at Folkestone

"There must have been 15 or 20 of them jumping. There were no lifeguards and no social distancing.

"There is masonry down there; they could have cracked their heads open."

Tombstoning is the act of jumping in a straight, upright vertical posture into the sea or other body of water from a high jumping platform, such as a cliff, bridge or harbour edge.

Police were called about the incident, but the group had already left the area and officer attendance was not required.

The spectator added: "I'm not a killjoy, but we're in lockdown and there was no social distancing.

"They were all together. Where were the parents?

The act has sparked safety fears
The act has sparked safety fears

"I don't know if this is the Cummings affect but they shouldn't be doing it.

"They could have been hurt.

"At the end of the day the NHS is struggling enough, and they don't need more people to take care of.

"Someone from the Harbour Arm did ask them to stop at one point."

But others have said they don't see a problem with the stunt.

A spokesman for the Maritime and Coastguard Agency said: "We always urge people to have fun but stay safe when out enjoying our beautiful beaches and coastlines.

"Jumping from piers, cliffs, rocks or other structures into the sea can be very dangerous.

"The depth of the water can dramatically change with the tide, and what was a deep pool at lunchtime might be a shallow puddle by teatime.

"You don’t know what hazards may be lurking under the surface until you are hurt or worse.

"The shock of cold water may make it difficult to swim to safety and strong currents can quickly sweep people away.

"As ever, our message is, ‘Keep safe, but if you see anybody in trouble or if you get into difficulty, call 999 and ask for the Coastguard’."

A plea was issued last year after more acts of tombstoning in Folkestone were caught on camera.

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