The council hopes to discourage jetty jumpers.
The council hopes to discourage jetty jumpers.

Make it uncool to jump

THE COUNCIL is pleading with young people to stop endangering their lives by jumping off the Hervey Bay jetties.

Youth development officer Sue Lawler said there had been a spate of injuries to young people jumping off Torquay jetty recently and so the council would provide a series of talks on the issue at schools.

Urangan State High School’s Year 8s will be the first to hear about the dreadful consequences of jetty jumping during their presentation on Friday, she said.

“Clearly there are some young people in our community who do not realise how dangerous it is to jump into the sea off our jetties, especially where the water is shallow and the sand moves with the tides, changing the depth,” she said.

“One day there might be two metres of water or more under a jetty and the next day there might be only a metre or less or the tide might have washed a log against a pile.”

A permanent spinal cord injury is just one of the risks for those who engage in the hazardous pastime.

The Spinal Injuries Association says people often do not realise that spinal cord injuries not only inhibit one’s ability to walk, but can also affect their bowel, bladder, sexual function and respiratory system.

Ms Lawler cited previous incidents across Australia that showed how dangerous jetty jumping could be, including the recent death of a Brisbane university student who died when he jumped from a bridge over the Brisbane River.

He had been drinking with friends and he urged his friends to film his jump but he misjudged the rails and fell awkwardly.

A 13-year-old girl died after jumping off a footbridge into Budgewoi Creek in NSW earlier this year. She hit her head on a submerged concrete footing.

“We are desperate to avoid more injuries in Hervey Bay so are keen to ensure that all our young people are fully aware of what can happen and how it will affect them, their friends and their families if they are injured or killed,” Ms Lawler said.

“We want them to discourage their friends from jetty jumping. How would these young people feel if they thought it a great joke to egg on their friends to jump then they saw them die?

“I hope that this presentation will help make jetty jumping an unacceptable risk and an uncool activity in Hervey Bay.”

Further presentations will be held at other schools on dates yet to be set.

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