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Tombstoning: Terrifying Photo Shows Teen Boy Jumping 35ft Over Jagged Rocks

14/08/2014 17:04 | Updated 20 May 2015

Tombstoning: Terrifying photo shows teen boy jumping 35ft over jagged rocks

This photo has captured the horrifying moment a teenage boy flings himself off a cliff into a sea of jagged rocks – but mercifully escapes serious injury.

Cheered on by a crowd of friends, the boy takes a few steps' run up before leaping from 35ft over the sharp stones in Porthleven, Cornwall, with his eyes shut.

He moves his arms and legs wildly in a desperate bid to make it over the 15ft stretch of stone between the cliff base and the sea.

Terrifyingly, his feet appeared to hit the water inches away from the jagged rocks.

But he emerges from the water wincing and limping to the shore, but otherwise unharmed as his friends prepared to take their own leap.

It's the latest case of so-called tombstoning, which has caused 20 deaths and 76 severe injuries in Britain in less than a decade.

The dangerous activity is called 'tombstoning' because jumpers try to stay upright as they hit the water.

Teenagers throw themselves into shallow waters from dozens of feet in the air.

Now the Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) has issued a fresh plea to teenagers to stop the activity.

Rogan Wheeldon, RNLI lifeguard supervisor, said: "Tombstoning anywhere is incredibly dangerous.

"These people are jumping from about 35ft into shallow water which hides jagged rocks on the seabed. They are risking their lives, there is no doubt about it."

He added: "Our advice is simple. Please don't tombstone. You will be risking broken limbs, paralysis or death for a quick thrill. It's not worth it.

"The best way to enjoy the seaside safely is to swim between the red and yellow flags at a lifeguarded beach."

In 2008, a man was paralysed and confined to a wheelchair when he jumped into the water from Southsea Pier in a tombstoning incident.

The safety appeal comes as the RNLI launches a major drowning awareness campaign called Respect the Water.

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