Coastguards 'can't stress enough' the dangers of tombstoning after a man was rescued barely concious after being swept out to sea.

Lyme Regis Coastguard, Lyme Regis lifeboat, Beer Coastguard and the coastguard helicopter from St Athan in Wales, as well as the fire service and South Western Ambulance Service, all attended Axmouth harbour, Devon, yesterday (Monday) around 6pm after a man who 'had been drinking throughout the day' jumped off the harbour wall and was swept out to sea.

A spokesman for Lyme Regis Coastguard said: "On arrival at Seaton beach, the casualty had been recovered from the water onto the beach by a paddle boarder. He was barely conscious, hypothermic and had ingested a lot of sea water. 

"Coastguards and the fire service co-responders administered first aid until the paramedics arrived. Once conscious, the casualty was carefully packaged into a stretcher and carried off the beach by the coastguard teams. He was then stabilised before being transferred by land ambulance to the Royal Devon and Exeter hospital.

"The young man had been drinking throughout the day and was jumping off the harbour wall. This is known as ‘tombstoning’. Please do not tombstone from any harbour walls, cliff or bridges into the sea. 

"There are numerous hazards under the water which can cause serious injuries. Three casualties had to be airlifted with life changing injuries at Durdle Door this weekend. The harbour at Axmouth is notoriously troublesome. It has very strong currents and a sand bar making the waters treacherous. This creates a ‘rip tide’ that will drag you out to sea very quickly.

"We cannot stress enough that tombstoning is putting your life at risk and the lives of the rescuers when something goes wrong."

Lyme Regis lifeboat was requested to make an immediate launch. On route they heard from the coastguard that the boy was taken ashore by a member of the public who was paddle boarding.

The young boy required first aid which the local Beer coastguard team were able to give before the ambulance crew arrived.

The lifeboat returned to Lyme Regis harbour around 7pm.

Lifeboat helm Murray Saunders said: “We launched as quick as safely possible as we have been to incidents at the river mouth previously. 

“It is important for people to understand the dangers of the rivers and sea but if you do see someone in trouble in or near the sea, call 999 and ask for the coastguard.”

This comes almost a year after two 14-year-old boys were rescued at the same location after jumping off the harbour wall in June last year.

Archie Woollacott and his friend Bozhidrar Bobev - known as Bo - were swept out to sea and were around 200 metres offshore when they were rescued by the lifeboat. They had been in the water for quarter of a hour or so before they were picked up.

Archie had jumped off the harbour wall into the River Axe and began to be swept towards the sea. His friend Bo - jumped in to help, but both were taken by the current.

The pair showed their gratitude to their rescuers by baking them a cake and organising a charity headshave to raise money for the Lyme Regis lifeboat.

The rescue was shown on BBC documentary series Saving Lives at Sea earlier this year.