Jersey Harbourmaster responds to media reports on Pier Jumping
From Port of Jersey,
17 July 2017
As follows is a statement from Jersey Harbourmaster, Captain Bill Sadler in response to the recent media comments relating to pier jumping in and around the Islands' Harbours:
"Ports of Jersey takes it responsibility to ensure the safety of all users of its Harbours very seriously. Pier jumping, also known as 'Tombstoning', is recognised by the RNLI, the Maritime Coastguard Agency and the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents as a hazardous activity; resulting in a number of incidents, which required a rescue or emergency response, some of which sadly ended in a fatality. Similar incidents have also been recorded in Jersey.
While there are a variety of hazards associated with this activity, whether it is from piers, harbour walls or rocks around our coastline, the main ones include striking an object below the surface as well as cold water shock. As part of our year-round 'Safety @Sea' campaign we wish to educate water users how to enjoy our fantastic coastline without having this fun change to potential tragedy following an incident, which could have been prevented.
Participating in activities in groups, with those who have experience with the waters or as a part of an organised activity all minimise the potential for injury – and this is the message we wish to convey.
The recent media article headlined on enforcement, which unfortunately lost the general safety message we were trying to deliver. Enforcement only plays one small part in our wider safety campaign and is only used as a last resort where harm has been or could be done to others. The regulation, General Directions 3, which can be found on our Jersey Harbours website outlining the rules relating to pier jumping, was first published in 2012. Since that time no one has been prosecuted and no prosecutions have been sought.
We have also received comments about the new signs highlighting this safety and potential enforcement message at La Rocque Harbour. The signs at La Rocque are temporary and installed in response to a number of specific complaints around anti-social behaviour in this area, including damage to personal property by those jumping from the pier. We would urge water users to be mindful of other people's property, such as dinghies and tenders, when you are engaged in this activity."