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Thursday, 23 October 2014

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Warning issued over Millom 'tombstoning' risks

TEENAGERS are risking their lives by diving into lagoon waters up to 80ft deep near Millom.

The group of “tombstoning” teens say they don’t think the activity at the sea wall at Hodbarrow is dangerous – but one said a friend had to be pulled to safety after he was knocked unconscious.

Marc Procter, 20, from Millom, said the group ranges in age from 12 to 20.

He said: “Lots of us go down there. Some places along the wall are shallow but you can see where they are.

“I can see why people think it’s dangerous but I don’t know anyone who has been hurt.”

The teens have been clambering on to the wall near the stone lighthouse, and making their way along a narrow ledge.

RSPB Hodbarrow warden Mhairi Maclauchlan warned about the dangers of tombstoning.

She said: “There are undoubtedly hidden hazards under the water in this area and, coupled with extreme depth, we would like to warn people of the dangers of this.

“We do have safety signs in place but would like to urge the public not to partake in this pastime and maybe use some of the brilliant beaches we have in the area during this lovely weather.”

Stuart Richards, chairman of Haverigg Inshore Rescue Team, said: “The water is colder than people think, and if they go into the water the wrong way they could knock themselves out.

“It is only a matter of time before somebody gets hurt.”

Millom town councillor Joan Hobbs said: “It happens every summer when the weather is warm and the schools break up.

“It is extremely dangerous; they don’t know what hidden obstacles there are down there.”

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