CHILDREN are risking serious injury by jumping off walkways and slipways off the coast.

Coastwatch groups have raised serious concerns following a spike in incidents due to the hot weather.

And when they are warned about their safety they respond with foul mouthed abuse, it is claimed.

The young people are taking risks when jumping about 15 foot into the sea near Holehaven Creek, Haven Road on Canvey.

The land and jetty are owned by the Port of London Authority.

National Coastwatch Institution, based at Holehaven Station, Haven Road, said they could risk spinal injury by making the jumps.

Anthony O’Brian, station manager said: “We have seen about six incidents of it so far this season.

“They are swimming off the slip way and jumping off the station walkways.

“The issue is about safety.

“It is called tombstoning and they can end up with spinal injuries, it is a perennial problem.

“It seems to be in the afternoons after 3pm after the kids finish school, but we are concerned that it will be worse when the school holidays arrive.

“They have also been verbal and ‘lippy’ to us and our staff.

“We have one watch keeper who is a bit nervous and has now refused to do the job.

“Some of the watch keepers are finding it uneasy when approaching these kids. One of them felt severely threatened.

“We do need more watch keepers to help out.”

Martin Garside, from Port of London Authority, said: “Jumping into water from any height is incredibly dangerous. There are a number of locations on the Essex shore where this has been attempted.

“Some call it ‘tombstoning’ – an apt name.

“The water may look inviting – especially on a hot day. Anyone jumping risks death or permanent life changing injury – such as spinal damage and paralysis. No one should ever jump from piers, jetties or any other structure over water. We work closely with other organisations such as the RNLI; Police; Maritime Coastguard Agency and Coastwatch to highlight the dangers.”