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Last Updated: Tuesday, 2 August 2005, 16:14 GMT 17:14 UK
Bodyboard ace hurt 'tombstoning'
A top Australian bodyboarder is still recovering in hospital after breaking his legs while "tombstoning" in west Cornwall.

Harry Dixon, 21, from Sydney, was jumping into the sea off cliffs at Rinsey Head, near Porthleven, when the accident happened on Monday evening.

He managed to get ashore after the accident, but was airlifted by a helicopter from RNAS Culdrose.

Coastguards have warned people not to go tombstoning.

We deal with dozens of incidents around all of the county's coast, and it seems to be prevalent everywhere
James Instance, Falmouth Coastguard

Falmouth Coastguard watch manager James Instance said: "He landed very, very awkwardly and broke both his legs; one of which was an open fracture.

"It was quite serious, particularly as he was in the water when he sustained this injury. When people break legs from doing this, they can very easily drown."

Earlier this month, a teenager suffered head injuries at Piskey's Cove, near Porthleven, and a man died after tombstoning at Ansteys Cove in June.

'Prevalent everywhere'

Mr Instance said: "It's not a safe activity at all.

"We deal with dozens of incidents around all of the county's coast, and it seems to be prevalent everywhere.

"Injuries we have seen have ranged from twisting of ankles, to very severe spinal injures, to people being paralysed and even deaths.

"The water may look clean and clear, which means it's very difficult to ascertain the depth of it. And if it's cloudy or dirty, you can't see if there are any rocks.

"People also underestimate how far they can jump out. They think they can jump six or eight feet away out, but can't and find themselves landing on rocks."

Teenager in 'tombstone' accident
15 Jul 05 |  Cornwall
'Tombstoning' patrol at harbour
27 Jun 05 |  Cornwall

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