THE headteacher of a Christchurch school has written to parents after teenage boys were seen 'tombstoning' from a footbridge into the River Stour this week.

Jy Taylor, the head of Twynham School, sent out a warning after the incident, which happened at around 6pm on Tuesday, July 16 and was seen by a member of staff.

The letter reads: "A group of about 20 male young people were involved in jumping into the river from the footbridge which crosses the River Stour on Iford golf course.

"This activity, known as tombstoning, is extremely dangerous and you may have seen the recent press relating to significant injuries suffered from such an activity at the end of the pier in Bournemouth.

"The member of staff identified some of the students but I am emailing you all as parents as I would be concerned for the safety of any of our children and young adults involved in such an activity.

"I fully appreciate that it will appear enjoyable and I very much doubt the consequences will be considered by the young people at the time.

"We will remind all of our students about how they can keep themselves safe over the coming holiday but am sure you will want to reiterate these messages if you felt your child could be involved."

As reported in the Daily Echo, a woman broke both legs while tombstoning on the Jurassic coast last week.

Coastguard officers said the young woman had jumped ten feet into water "which turned out to be much shallower than first imagined" and landed awkwardly on her knees.

The woman also suffered cuts and jarred her body, leading to fears she had injured her spine. The incident happened at Winspit near Worth Matravers.

On July 4, two men were caught tombstoning from Durdle Door into the sea.

And during the same week, coastguard officials issued a warning to people tempted to try tombstoning after police and the RNLI were called out at 3am to reports of drunk people on Bournemouth Pier.

Duty controller James Instance said:“Jumping from piers, cliffs, rocks or other structures into the sea can be very dangerous.

"Conditions can change quickly and a change in tide can dramatically affect the depth of the water.

"What was a deep pool at lunchtime might be a shallow puddle by teatime."