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July 24 2012

I agree with Andy on this one.

Whilst there are people who think that this type of extreme event would only have dangers for themselves, they still lack the basic understanding that the cost in time and effort for, say, the lifeboat services, is immense.

You then have to consider the cost to the police force and of course any hospital treatment that might be needed.

We all know the pressure that all of these vital services are under to reduce costs and we still hear just a minority voice thinking that it is just ok to continue to do these stupidly dangerous activities without any forethought to the issues that they create.

Please, for the sake of everyone's sanity, STOP it NOW, before it all ends in tears and possibly DEATH.

Barry P Telfer


What sort of damage did the 'stoners do?

I would have thought the massive re-inforcements erected by NPP to prevent access are indestructible.

Thus I suspect it is just a 'beat up' to try and put 'stoners off - and that is more likely to make them want to do it even more!

John Powell. 



In this politically correct, risk averse society, (where a postie has to wear a hi-viz jacket to deliver letters), we are being made to live in by the select few PC bigots, it is a delight to see someone having a bit of fun.

For the love of God... What is the problem with people enjoying themselves?

Accidents happen; Get over it!

P Abbott


The bit that Alex has missed is that those killing themselves by tombstoning may be drunks or children and they are not mature enough to make a sensible decision.

Also, if the person harms themselves, then tax payers have to rescue, fix, and support them. So they do not only harm themselves. There is a knock on effect.

Whilst the same can be said of other regulated (legal?) sports at least these go on in a managed / controlled fashion.

The answer here is to put legal jumping points around areas where it is safe, with a coded flag to show if the water / current is safe 'today'

Anyone want to pay for that?

Andy Barnes 


I had to check on Google exactly what Tombestoning was but having had it confirmed I can give you two penneth

Firstly, ROSPA do NOT tell you not to do it (see the link here)  

They tell you to do some basic checks first, which seems quite sensible

Secondly, this used to be called JUMPING which I believe is still not banned My son used to do this in his younger teenage years down in St Mary's on the Scilly Isles off the harbour wall They too were stopped by the owners of the harbour (but still managed it occasionally) The difference was that they took a concrete block with them as they went down to ensure that they went to the bottom (to "investigate" the crabs) Having been banned from the harbour, they went around the corner to a cliff where they could do the same thing.

He is now 28 and healthily living in New Zealand (where they do some pretty daft stuff)

I think you'll find that the reason this activity has been criminalised is because the authorities are hoping that after a couple of arrests and subsequent convictions, the activity will stop But their main reason for wanting it to stop isn't consideration of those taking part, its purely the "not wanting to get involved" with the "hassle" if something goes wrong - and of course the extra paperwork along with the "black mark" that the harbour would get if there were a death That of course would increase the kudos of the activity - and the location.

I think its about time that we, as a "community", stopped cossetting young males (the majority) and let them "get their kicks" Its better than fighting at a football game or, God forbid, going to war

Andy Wallis



Well done Alex - life is far too boring and over regulated.

I drove racing cars for 20 years and all the time people were trying to ban that. (In Switzerland they were successful)

I remember a survey of amateur racing showed more racing drivers suffered injuries playing football that racing.

Keep jumping - enjoy the buzz

Phil Stone



Thanks for the warning on tombstoning. I didn't know it was possible in Newhaven but thanks to your news article I might try it now ;) I did it in South Wales and it was the biggest buzz of my life.

If there have only been 14 death and 40 injuries doing tombstoning in the last few years it's considerably safer than driving a car! There are a great number of extreme sports which people do for a thrill - surfing, parachuting, diving, skiing and more. Are we going to tell people not to do these activities because they might hurt themselves?

Clearly if someone is going to jump into the sea, then if they have an ounce of common sense they will check out whether the sea is deep enough, and clearly boats entering the harbour don't want to have to dodge swimmers and tombstoners but it does seem like a bit of a police state to prosecute someone for doing something fun which can only harm themselves.

If it really is a big issue for the port authorities, then surely a firm but friendly warning from the authorities or the police would be more effective than the threat of prosecution, especially given the bad feeling towards the Port because of the West Beach?

Best Regards,