COASTGUARDS have raised concerns over “tombstoning” ahead of the school holidays.

Clacton Coastguards issued safety advice to all those taking to the sea during the heatwave and the upcoming holidays.

Coastguard Danny Ayling said despite the warmer evenings, the danger posed by the sea remains the same.

He said: “We always urge people to have fun but stay safe when out enjoying our beautiful beaches and coastlines.

“Jumping from piers, cliffs, rocks or other structures into the sea can be very dangerous.

“The depth of the water can dramatically change with the tide, and what was a deep pool at lunchtime might be a shallow puddle by teatime.

“You don’t know what hazards may be lurking under the surface until you are hurt or worse.

“The shock of cold water may make it difficult to swim to safety and strong currents can quickly sweep people away.

“If you do want to jump from height into the sea we would advise people join a coasteering group with a professional and reputable adventure centre.

“In the past six years, there have been 16 deaths and 50 serious injuries caused by tombstoning.

“As ever our message is keep safe, but if you see anybody in trouble or if you get into difficulty, call 999 and ask for the coastguard.”

Two men died after “tombstoning” into the sea from Clacton Pier in 2007 following a day of drinking on the beach.

Youngsters have also risked their safety by jumping from the lighthouse off Harwich beach.