'Tombstoning' man hauled from ravine

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The Independent Online

Thrill-seekers were warned against "tombstoning" after a man leaping off a bridge broke his ankles and nearly drowned.

Emergency services were called to the River Glascarnoch, Inverness, where coastguards climbed down a ravine to reach him. He was airlifted to hospital.

Aberdeen Coastguard watch manager Kevin Brown said: "Jumping from bridges, piers, cliffs or other structures into water is very dangerous. You do not know what lurks under the surface and the depth of tidal waters changes considerably." A spokesman for Northern Constabulary added: "The impact of cold water and strong currents may make swimming very difficult."

Tombstoning, the practice of jumping into water from height, began in Britain six years ago and has claimed 16 lives. It is particularly popular in Devon and Cornwall and authorities deal with an average of one cliff-jump rescue a week during the height of summer. Police now issue warnings to people who are found waiting at popular spots.