‘SENSELESS’ daredevils are putting their lives at risk by repeatedly leaping from a South Lakeland bridge into a notoriously dangerous rock-strewn river.
People were photographed tombstoning and back-flipping from Devil’s Bridge in Kirkby Lonsdale over the weekend in exactly the same spot where one thrill-seeker died two years ago.
The daredevils disregarded repeated police warnings about the dangers of jumping from the bridge into the River Lune and the threat of prosecution.
One eye witness told the Gazette that at least two of the jumpers were visibly drunk - one was swaying so badly he could barely even stand.
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There is a by-law in place which means any person seen to be tombstoning by the police faces a hefty fine.
Inspector Paul Latham, of the Kendal Neighbourhood Policing Team, said: “There are a number of risks associated with jumping off a bridge including hitting rocks, misjudging the depth of water and sudden immersion into cold water.
“There is also personal responsibility; people need to protect their own health and safety. It’s an incredibly senseless and dangerous activity and I would ask anyone who is considering jumping to think about the risks and effects it will have on their family should anything untoward happen.
“While it may seem tempting to cool off on a hot day, deep water is very cold. It can lead to injury or death.
“Don’t risk your life for what is a quick thrill - it is worth so much more.
“I would appeal to members of the public, local communities and councillors to point out to officers people who they see jumping off Devil’s Bridge.
“With this evidence we can then take action against the people breaking the by-law.”
Despite a police warning being issued on Friday (July 25), there were no officers present at the scene to stop the jumpers from endangering their lives.
Allan Muirhead, chairman of Kirkby Lonsdale Town Council, was ‘disappointed’ there was not a greater police presence at Devil’s Bridge.
“The police are short staffed but we raised the issue with them in the week and we were assured by the PCSO that she would do what she could to ask officers to pay attention to the bridge,” he said.
“We have to accept the fact that the police can’t be there 24 hours a day. It’s disappointing but acceptable. The river is particularly low at the moment and there’s only a very narrow area where jumpers can avoid risking damage. A couple of seconds of excitement could end up with them losing their lives.”