SUNSEEKERS have been criticised for ignoring warning signs and risking their lives by jumping into a river from a South Lakeland bridge.

People have been seen taking their enjoyment of the summer weather to dangerous lengths in Kirkby Lonsdale, with people being seen jumping from Devil’s Bridge into the River Lune below.

Cllr Allan Muirhead, a member of Kirkby Lonsdale Town Council, was quick to condemn the practice.

“It’s an activity which has previously resulted in people being killed,” he said.

“There are notices up on both sides of the bridge saying it is not only dangerous but also a criminal offence.

“At this particular time with the weather being as it is and the water being as cold and shallow as it is, it’s even more life threatening than usual to those that think it’s an adventure to do it.”

In 2012, Manchester man Darrell Teal died after jumping into the water from Devil’s Bridge and failed to resurface.

His body was found hours later downstream from the bridge.

Mr Muirhead added: “The water is cold, it’s tidal so the depth is changing all the time and there are very shallow parts.

“There is a risk of hitting the rocks and there is the risk of the cold being a shock to the body which is how that boy died.

“There’s also no life-saving equipment down there for the obvious reason that people are not supposed to be jumping in.”

A spokesperson for South Lakeland District Council said: “Anyone who jumps from the bridge is risking their life.

“It is extremely dangerous and has sadly already resulted in one death and numerous injuries, including a teenager suffering back injuries just two years ago.

“There is a by-law in place, enforced by the police, which prohibits jumping off the bridge. Anyone caught breaking the by-law can be issued with a fine.

“The by-law was put in place to protect public safety and signs make it clear that it is an offence to jump from the bridge.’’

A Cumbria Police spokesperson said: “With the hot weather we would ask people to be very cautious about entering bodies of water such as rivers, streams, lakes and reservoirs.

“Jumping in can be extremely dangerous.

“Those considering swimming in any bodies of water are also urged to be extremely cautious as there may be no way of knowing what lies beneath the surface which could potentially entangle legs and lead to tragedy.”