Dangerous way to get your kicks; a youth in freefall off the cliffs at Pilot Hill, Yamba.
Dangerous way to get your kicks; a youth in freefall off the cliffs at Pilot Hill, Yamba. Lesley Collie

Rocks in their heads

WHILE youths of generation Y may think this photo is cool, Yamba surf club president Alan Schofield says people partaking in the dangerous practice of jumping from rocks or cliffs into the ocean are putting themselves and others at risk.

Despite no accidents involving people jumping from rocks around Yamba in the past few years, Mr Schofield said people jumping from rocks placed lifesavers and emergency services personnel at risk if they had to be rescued.

The adjacent photo was taken a few days before a Yamba teenager mucking around with mates on the same Pilot Hill headland suffered suspected spinal injuries.

Mr Schofield said there would always be thrill seekers chasing an adrenaline rush wanting to jump off rocks.

While he accepted it was hard to prevent people chasing their thrills, he said they should thoroughly assess the risks involved. He said conditions on and un- der the water could change rapidly, throwing up hazards including swells and submerged objects.

Clarence Valley council deputy general manager Des Schroder said council had placed warning signs alerting people to the dangers on the rock ledge below Pilot Hill lighthouse.

He said to fence off the area would require community debate and debate among councillors.

As a big portion of the Pilot Hill headland was crown land, Mr Schroder said fencing off the area would require department of lands approval.

He said fencing off the headland would open a "can of worms" on the issue.

"Fencing off the area would effectively quarantine fishermen from the area and it's a popular fishing spot," he said. "If you were to do that, why not fence off every beach, water hole, creek and river."

"After all, the biggest danger people face on the coast is probably surf and the beaches aren't fenced off."

A Gold Coast hospital spokesperson said the 17-year-old Yamba youth was discharged from the hospital.



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