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Girl injured at Hayle beach party after jumping off cliff

By This is Cornwall  |  Posted: June 07, 2012

  • Cornwall Air Ambulance at the scene

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Police in Hayle have issued a warning to parents after an underage teenager suffered a back injury after allegedly drinking vodka and jumping off a cliff at a beach party.

From around 2pm on Thursday, May 31, large numbers of teenagers gathered on the Towans in Hayle, which appeared to be as a result of the Year 11 students breaking up from local schools.

A police spokesperson said: "Many of those gathered had done so to enjoy themselves responsibly, some were playing on the beach, swimming and having a barbecue.

"However there were a large number who had brought alcohol with them, alcohol which ranged from lager and cider to much stronger spirits.

"Upon police attendance there was generally a good reception to police presence, and most handed over alcohol with no problems at all. The assembled group were advised to enjoy their afternoon responsibly and to clear up after themselves.

"There was unfortunately a small minority who did not comply with police requests to behave responsibly. RNLI lifeguards made a call to police with concerns over more alcohol being consumed in the area and young people under the influence going into the water."

When police re-attended they found a 16-year-old girl who had allegedly consumed a large amount of vodka and had jumped from a high point on the Towans and fallen around 12-14 feet and landed straight onto her back.

RNLI lifeguards attended, providing initial stabilising first aid and paramedics soon attended. Members of the HM Coastguard also attended and due to the concern around the possibility of a potentially serious back injury the Cornwall Air Ambulance was called.

The Air Ambulance crew landed on Gwithian beach, and lifted the injured girl to a local campsite where she was transferred to a land ambulance and taken to Royal Cornwall Hospital in Treliske for treatment.

PC John Fulker of Hayle Neighbourhood Policing Team said: “On this occasion many hours of emergency services time has been occupied by the actions of a young person who has been unwisely consuming alcohol in a location which is potentially dangerous given their drunken state.

“Four police officers, five RNLI lifeguards, six paramedics and the crew of the air ambulance have been involved in the medical and transport aspects of this incident. This is what we do, and I would like to praise the professionalism of all the personnel from the different agencies. But I have to be concerned about the continued issues arising from young people who are not old enough to consume alcohol, and most especially the issues arising from them doing so in dangerous locations like the Towans.

“Incidents like this will occur all the time that this carries on. I would ask all parents of children in the area to consider what their children are doing when they are not being supervised directly, and to try to mitigate the possibility of these kinds of accidents.”

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  • kimmyp  |  June 08 2012, 3:47PM

    It is not the role of the police to supervise our kids. The fact is there are plenty of parents who know that their kids are up to no good and encourage them and are quite happy to supply them with booze and send them on their way, as long as they are out of their hair. Anyone with a scrap sense knows that a large group of teenagers unsupervised is asking for trouble. Add booze and it turns into a tradgedy. Lazy parenting and a liberal approach to punishment has led to our youngsters growing up far too quickly and although many of them are physically mature they do not have the mental capacity to go with it. The judicial system in this country are failing to support good parenting and indeed our police who are as fed up with processing the same kids over and over again.

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  • Sunshineing  |  June 08 2012, 2:06PM

    Parents cannot be with their children 24/7, parents were not on the beach with the children, the police knew that the children were drinking, the police knew they were underage, police knew it was an offence of the children to consume alcohol, did the police contact the parents to let them know, No, did the police arrest any of the children to committing a criminal offence, No. If the police witness somebody robbing a bank that arrest them because it's their job and it's against the law and because of that we don't get many people robbing banks because they know the consequences of their actions, if the police witness children attempting to buy alcohol or consuming alcohol they do not arrest them, maybe that is why we have so many children drinking getting drunk and having serious accidents. If the two officers that attended had called the parents or arrested the children that the accident would most probably not have happened.

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  • josdave  |  June 08 2012, 1:28PM

    Ivabiggun you are right the responsibility lies with the girl and her parents. In fact when there was all that publicity about Paddy Higgins of the parents interviewed up country 30% admitted supplting their 16 year old offspring with booze before packing them off on an unsupervised holiday in Newquay. Did they think the kids were just going to have an occasional drink and be in bed by 10? It was complete abbregation of responsibility on their part. The sooner parents start teaching their kids right from wrong and take an interest in where they go and what they get up to the fewer incidents like this will occur

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  • Ivabiggun  |  June 08 2012, 12:53PM

    The parents should be held responsible for their 16 year old children drinking, I know you cannot watch them all the time but when they come home they should be severely reprimanded. The girl involved should be made to pay for the ambulance, police, coastguard, helicopter and land ambulance she used, if she can't pay then make the parents, it would probably cost £5000 or so.

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  • Sunshineing  |  June 08 2012, 9:51AM

    It is a criminal offence for a child to attempt to purchase alcohol and/or consume alcohol, if the police had bothered to do their job correctly and arrested any children they found in possession of alcohol firstly it would act as a deterrent to other children and secondly this accident would probably not have happened. Parents can not be held totally responsible if the authorities choose to turn a blind eye to this type of situation.

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  • Ivabiggun  |  June 08 2012, 8:16AM

    She actually jumped of the dunes about 6 foot, not a cliff!

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