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    "If you've been injured through no fault of your own you could be entitled to compensation. If you're unsure if you could claim, I recommend you call Accident Advice Helpline."

    Esther Rantzen

    Internet sensation accidents: Tombstoning

    Internet sensation accidents: Tombstoning

    Practised around coastal areas for generations, the terrifying ‘sport’ of tombstoning has hit new heights of popularity thanks to the internet. Rapidly growing, the craze involves people, leaping into the sea or other bodies of water from cliffs, piers, bridges and other structures. Offering high-impact, high-risk experiences, tombstoning can have potentially life-threatening consequences.

    The dangers

    There are several reasons why tombstoning is so dangerous, including:

    • Tides alter the depths of water, which is often shallower than it appears to be
    • Submerged rocks and other objects cannot be seen from the surface and may cause severe impact injuries
    • The shock of hitting cold water can make swimming difficult
    • Strong currents can quickly sweep people away

    Getting back out can also be more difficult than expected.


    It appears that 85 per cent of tombstoning participants are male. Kids and teenagers make up 55 per cent, while 25 per cent of jumpers are in their 20s. The remaining 20 per cent of participants were 30 or older. All reported alcohol-related tombstoning accidents, three of which were fatal, involved men over the age of 40.

    Over the past ten years, the craze has claimed 20 lives. Hundreds of incidents required responses by emergency and rescue services, with 76 cases involving severe, life-changing personal injuries. The most commonly reported non-fatal tombstoning related accidents involved limb and spinal injuries.

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    Rescue services

    Rescue and emergency service personnel are shocked by people insisting on participating in this dangerous activity. It is bad enough to deal with the consequences of genuine accidental slips, trips and falls of cliffs without having to witness kids deliberately jumping to their deaths.

    RNLI plea

    Pleading with teenagers not to do this, RNLI lifeguard supervisor Rogan Wheeldon stated in August 2014 that ‘tombstoning is incredibly dangerous anywhere’. Continuing to say that people jumping 35 feet or more into potentially shallow water hiding jagged rocks undoubtedly risk their lives, Wheeldon added that risking breaking limbs, paralysis and even death for quick thrills is simply not worth it. His advice to would-be participants is simple: ‘Please don’t tombstone’.

    Genuine incidents

    Not all injuries by falling, slipping or tripping are sustained in the pursuit of adrenaline-pumping, dangerous activities. If you suffered a slip, trip or fall injury through no fault of your own, you may be entitled to personal injury compensation. Enlist the assistance of experienced no win no fee** injury lawyers by contacting Accident Advice Helpline today.

    Date Published: September 30, 2014

    Author: Accident Advice

    Accident Advice Helpline (or AAH) is a trading style of Slater Gordon Solutions Legal Limited. Slater Gordon Solutions Legal Limited is a company registered in England and Wales with registration number 07931918, VAT 142 8192 16, registered office Dempster Building, Atlantic Way, Brunswick Business Park, Liverpool, L3 4UU and is an approved Alternative Business Structure authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority. Authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.

    Disclaimer: This website contains content contributed by third parties, therefore any opinions, comments or other information expressed on this site that do not relate to the business of AAHDL or its associated companies should be understood as neither being held or endorsed by this business.

    No-Win No-Fee: *Subject to insurance costs. Fee payable if case not pursued at client's request.