Police and Vale of Glamorgan Council issue stern warning over tombstoning at Rhoose Point
27 June 2017
VISITORS to Rhoose Point are being warned that they risk death, serious injury and fines of up to £500 if they jump off ledges into the water of the old quarry area below.
Groups of young people have been gathering at the site during the spell of recent warm weather, with some engaging in tombstoning – the act of leaping into water from a significant height.
People have died, been paralysed, shattered bones and suffered other life-changing injuries as a result of this activity.
A local man remains paralysed after breaking his back during a tombstoning incident at Rhoose Point just a few years ago and there have been a number of deaths at Cosmeston Lakes, another former quarry area, after people indulged in similar activities, which are now prohibited.
Aside from the danger posed by rocks protruding from uneven walls of the quarry, hazards lurk beneath the water surface, including machinery from the site’s industrial past, while the cold water can also cause people difficulty.
"We are particularly keen to encourage the parents of the young people involved to keep their children safe by ensuring they instead use Vale beaches where there is lifeguard cover.
The aim is not to spoil anybody’s fun, but to keep people safe by protecting them from very real dangers. Swimming and jumping into former quarry areas is recognised by the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (ROSPA) as being inherently dangerous with many young people losing their lives in the UK over recent years. We are attempting to take action before somebody is either killed or seriously injured.”
Miles Punter, Vale of Glamorgan Council Director of Environment and Housing Services
Police officers will be increasing patrols of the area, while the Vale of Glamorgan Council has drafted in extra security staff to ensure the safety of visitors.
Byelaws governing the site prohibit swimming and anyone found to have entered the water could face criminal prosecution or be issued with a Fixed Penalty Notice.
Council enforcement agents and the police will also be looking to crack down on any anti-social behaviour in the area, with penalties such as Anti-social Behaviour Orders a possibility for such offences.
“Tombstoning, as it’s become commonly known, may seem like a bit of fun but it is in fact highly irresponsible. It is extremely dangerous and has resulted in a number of fatalities around the country.
To take part in such activities can not only endanger the participant but can also put other people at peril including bystanders and the emergency services.
The byelaws in place at the Rhoose Point quarry are there for a reason, and we will be working with our colleagues throughout the summer to ensure they are abided by.
Alongside our partners we will also be clamping down on antisocial behaviour in the area. During the recent hot spell, groups of up to 100 people were gathering at the area at any one time, and the noise, littering and irresponsible parking caused by some, really impacted on those living nearby. This is simply not acceptable, and we will take action against those who cause a public annoyance or flout the law.”
PS Mark John, Community Safety Sergeant for the Vale of Glamorgan
Fences have been erected in an effort to prevent people from reaching elevated ledges of the quarry, though the Council stresses its aim is not to discourage everyone from attending the area.
Those wishing to walk along the coastal path that stretches through the area or enjoy what is a picturesque location are welcome to visit, and we hope combating the problem outlined above will make it a more attractive destination for them.