TEENAGERS indulging in ‘tombstoning’ on an Irvine bridge are being warned they are risking their lives.

Last week the Times told how teenagers were caught on video jumping from the Innovation Bridge at Irvine Harbourside.

The shocking stunt – known as ‘tombstoning’ – was caught on film on August 18 by passerby Ed Dally who branded the jumps “lunacy”.

He told the Times: “I have done some daft stuff in my time but that was just complete lunacy.

“There was a group of teenagers and they were jumping from the top of the bridge in to the water. We were fishing and there was a really strong current. I dread to think what could have happened.”

Ed, who was fishing at the harbourside at the time with a pal, called police to warn them what was happening after fearing one of the teens would be injured or killed.

He added: “That water isn’t deep enough to be diving in from that height and you just don’t know what is under there. We were fishing and our lines were dragging out to sea with the current so one of those kids could have easily got swept away. I don’t know exactly how old they were, but at a guess I would say 13 or 14. It was scary stuff.

“Then they were swimming to the other side and climbing on to the roof of the Big Idea building. Crazy.”

A spokesman for Police Scotland said: “About 4.45pm on Saturday, August police received reports of youths swimming in Irvine Harbour near to the Big Idea. This resulted in the Coastguard at Ardrossan also being deployed.

Police attended and at this time it was established that the youths were out the water.”

Kevin Paterson, Station Officer of the Ardrossan Coastguard Rescue Team, said: “We can’t stress enough just how dangerous jumping into water from height is – commonly referred to as tombstoning.

“There could be any number of hidden objects underneath the surface which you can’t see which could easily lead to injury or entrapment under the water. The depth of the water also varies throughout the day - what was deep water a few hours earlier could now be only a few feet deep.

“There’s hidden currents underneath and there’s the additional risk of other water users including personal water craft, motor boats and yachts.

“There’s also the significant risk of cold-water shock which makes you gasp uncontrollably and breathe in water which can quickly lead to drowning. The average temperature of British and Irish waters is 12-15C - cold enough to cause cold water shock.

“Tragically, in the past six years there’s been 16 deaths and over 50 people seriously injured as a direct result of tombstoning. It’s just not worth the risk.”

“We want everyone to enjoy the coast but to do so safely. It’s vitally important that everyone Knows Who To Call if there’s an emergency at the coast. If you see someone putting themselves at risk or in difficulty at the coast it’s always dial 999 and ask for the Coastguard.”