Tomb stoning - should someone be responsible for protecting teens from themselves?

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As someone who works daily with people who have been seriously injured through no fault of their own, I do not understand why people deliberately put themselves at risk. 

I was already aware of tomb stoning, an activity which increases during the summer months.  I am aware of the devastating injuries that can result and appreciate those that jump, either don't give any thought to the possible consequences or jump in the belief that nothing will happen to them.

This activity was highlighted by BBC Breakfast news following an incident at in Scotland, when a teenager jumped from a cliff into shallow water and broke both his ankles.  The news item also included the very sad details of a local Portsmouth man, who jumped off a local pier and is paralysed.

With the start of school summer holidays and the improving weather, the RNLI are warning people of the dangers of tomb stoning.  The main problems are

  • failing to properly judge the depth of water
  • not appreciating the sea tides and currents 
  • ignoring rocks or hazards either at or just under the surface

You could say this teenage in Scotland was lucky. 14 people have died tomb stoning over the last 5 years.  Others I'm aware of have suffered broken necks or backs and have been left paralysed. 

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