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Rock-jumpers warned to take care following teenager’s injury

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YOUNG adventurers are being urged to take precautions when rock-jumping this summer after a 13-year-old boy suffered a suspected broken ankle near Grève de Lecq.

The teenager injured himself after jumping off rocks around the eastern corner of the bay – a popular spot for rock-jumping and coasteering – on Tuesday.

He was found by Jack Langford and other instructors from Absolute Adventures who were taking a group of French schoolchildren on a tour when they heard the young Islander ‘scream’ in pain.

‘Me and two other instructors had just got around to the “Octopus Pool” when we saw the young boy and his friends. I didn’t see him jump, but I heard him scream and he was saying he couldn’t move. We got him out of the water and his ankle was badly grazed and bleeding,’ said the 21-year-old coasteering instructor.

Last year, while leading a kayak tour, Sean Kinsella, operations manager for Absolute Adventures, had to rescue a person who was unconscious in the water ‘following a cliff jump gone wrong’.

Mr Langford and Chester Mackley, the owner of Absolute Adventures, are now calling on young people and their parents to ensure precautions are taken to make rock-jumping and coasteering as safe as possible.

‘We don’t want to discourage people from exploring the coastline, we want to encourage it. My advice would be to have an adventure bag ready to go – a dry bag with a phone in or an old Nokia brick that can be used to contact someone if something happens,’ said Mr Mackley.

Mr Langford, who has worked as a coasteering instructor for three years, said that had the young boy injured himself when he and his colleagues were not close by, the incident could have been much worse.

‘He could not put weight on the ankle and he was getting very cold. We had dry clothes and a rescue foil blanket with us that we wrapped around him.

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‘We then managed to get hold of the Coastguard on Channel 16. They got hold of the lifeguards, who paddled round on rescue boards but they were unable to take the boy back to shore, so the Fire and Rescue Service boat was also deployed.’

Mr Langford added: ‘The boy had two friends with him who stayed with him and then went back to shore to try to get his stuff. They did everything right, but they were young. They were lucky we were there – they could have taken quite a long time to go back to the lifegaurds, and for them to come around to where the boy was, so it could have been quite dangerous.

‘My advice to people going coasteering would be to always let someone know where you are going and what time you are supposed to be back. Know the tides and the swell and wear a wetsuit – these boys were just in shorts.’

In a statement, the Fire Service said it was called to the scene at about 3.48pm on Tuesday. Its inshore rescue boat was launched and the RNLI St Catherine’s lifeboat was also deployed but was not required. The boy was taken to hospital by ambulance.

Jack Maguire

By Jack Maguire
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